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Old February 26, 2013, 07:12 PM   #1
Join Date: May 6, 2007
Location: northern Ky.
Posts: 32
firearm in company vehicle

I drive a company owned vehicle that is bound by dot regulations. My company has a policy of no firearms on or in company property. I have a concealed carry permit in the state of Ohio. A representative of my company asked me if I had a gun in the truck or had ever had one. I answered that I had one there that I had temporarily placed in the cab while I was performing a task in my yard and that I forgot about it until the next day. I remembered it the next morning but was too close to work to take it back. Our trucks were inspected later that day and the weapon was found. I was put on immediate suspension and am facing a possible firing due to violation of company policy.
My question is does a company have the right to create and enforce a policy that denies me the constitutional right of self defense? Do you think their policy would hold up in court? Also do DOT regs nullify these rights?
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.....George Washington
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Old February 26, 2013, 07:34 PM   #2
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,881
Originally Posted by sognky
...My question is does a company have the right to create and enforce a policy that denies me the constitutional right of self defense? Do you think their policy would hold up in court?...
Absent a state law or state court decision prohibiting a private employer from doing so, the answer is "yes."

You should note a few of things:
  1. There is no constitutional right of self defense. The Second Amendment describes a right to keep and bear arms. The right to use force in self defense comes from the Common Law and is now generally statutory.

  2. In any case, in the case of a non-governmental employer the Constitution is irrelevant. The Constitution regulates the conduct of government, not private parties or private entities.

  3. Several States (including Oklahoma, Florida and Texas) do have statutes prohibiting a private employer from taking employment action against an employee for having a gun locked in his private car parked on the employer's premises. I don't know if Kentucky has such a law.

  4. In any case, the details would matter. There are various exceptions under the state laws I referenced above. And depending on the law, if there there is one in Kentucky, its protections might not extend to a company owned vehicle.
In any case, you need the help of a real lawyer -- not a bunch of anonymous denizens of cyberspace.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:05 PM   #3
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 7,143
Frank Ettin has provided a thorough and complete answer. Accordingly, I'm going to close this thread.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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