Illegal CCW at work.....


PDA






The Goose
July 15, 2005, 03:48 PM
Hereís a little story of something that happened today. I would be interested in the groupís thoughts and opinions. I operate a small business and sometimes employees utilize their own vehicles for business purposes (for which they are compensated). This morning one of my project managers sent a technician out for some supplies in his truck. The technician stopped for coffee and a donut and after consuming them placed the cup and debris in a bag and tossed it on the floor of the truck. As he was exiting the vehicle the tech reached back in for the bag and noticed a handgun under the seat. He got upset and called the office and complained to our dispatcher. He was upset and felt that he had been put at risk.

Just a note, here that in MA it is illegal to have a gun under the seat of a vehicle unless the gun is in a locked container or has an appropriate locking device. Of course that also assumes that one has the appropriate permit.

So moving along with the story. The tech was upset because he does not have a permit and was concerned about what would have happened if he was stopped for some reason or got into an accident. Certainly an understandable concern. MA is not a gun friendly state.

The dispatcher contacted the project manager (pm) and relayed the complaint. Here is where it gets good! The pm just laughs and says not to worry because the gun is unloaded and it does not work anyway. He only carries it for those times when he is in bad neighborhoods. ***!!! Oh yeah, the pm also does not have any kind of permit.

Luckily nothing happened. The pm volunteered not to carry it in his vehicle anymore and the tech is letting it go. We are consulting our attorney, but hopefully this is just a minor issue that we can forget about.

As a final note I do not meddle in my employees private business and I do not discourage LEGAL ccw. However, this pm put another employee at risk at least from a legal perspective. The pm is a great employee in all other ways and I do not want to blow this out of proportion. So, any thoughts?

If you enjoyed reading about "Illegal CCW at work....." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
GRIFFIN1
July 15, 2005, 04:08 PM
I would just tell the PM to either not let people use his vehicle, or to always take the gun out before anyone uses his vehicle. If he doesn't care about going to jail for having the gun in his car, then that's his choice, but someone else driving his vehicle shouldn't get burned for the PM's bad decision.

one-shot-one
July 15, 2005, 04:11 PM
your pm is a da (and i don't mean district attorney).
if your tech had gotten stopped and hauled off to jail, it would have been a big deal and your pm needs to know that, it is not "meddling in my employees private business" if it is going to cost your company and other employees.

Nickotym
July 15, 2005, 04:21 PM
+1 on One-shot-one's post.

It won't matter to the police whether the gun works or not. Also the pm is a da for thinking an unloaded gun will solve his problems. What will happen when someone he tries to scare with the broken gun has a working gun? I know I am preaching to the choir, but a broken gun is worse than no gun in my book. You shouldn't threaten deadly force if you can't follow through.

Andrew Rothman
July 15, 2005, 04:22 PM
Your story certainly points out the dangers of driving another's vehicle.

The tech could well have been found to be in "constructive possession" of the gun and convicted accordingly. Same thing goes for drugs or any other contraband.

As little as you want to meddle, YOU could end up legally liable. The tech could sue you for getting him thrown in jail while on company business.

You need to either forbid employees from driving another's car on company business or get waivers from everyone.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so I could be totally wrong. :D

Bravo11
July 15, 2005, 04:23 PM
I would think the person driving could get burned. They get burned all the time on COPS when they deny its their gun and they claim its their cousins car.

odysseus
July 15, 2005, 05:01 PM
Very wrong for that PM to have done that and not be responsible for his own firearm.

On another note about being stopped, he most certainly would have been in much trouble if stopped by LEO. Later the DA might have a change of heart, but it would be a hassle.

This reminds me of a small incident that occurred to me years ago. I was designated driver and driving some people home in a friend's car. He also was in the car. I was pulled over, apparently because my friend's car had a taillight out. To make a long story short, I was given the fix-it ticket, even though the owner of the car was right there and was asking the officer to give it to him, since it was his car and his fault. I got a lot of BS regarding how I should have inspected the vehicle myself before driving, but really it was unreasonable and that particular officer was bent out of shape about something and was on a "mission" that night. It was an assertion he would not give up on, so I got the fix it ticket.

It was funny when I showed up with my friend and his car to get it signed off at the station, that officer rolled his eyes and shook his head when he found out what his peer had done.

Suffice it to say - you really take on someone else's liability when you drive their vehicle.

MikeIsaj
July 15, 2005, 05:14 PM
As a final note I do not meddle in my employees private business and I do not discourage LEGAL ccw. However, this pm put another employee at risk at least from a legal perspective. I agree with you in not wanting to blow this out of proportion but you have excused your company from any risk in this situation. Your employee was acting as your agent, conducting your business, in a vehicle he had use of through your business. That places you square in the middle of things. You aren't meddling in his private business, it is your business. I would make sure it was crystal clear to the PM, just how much trouble numerous people could have been in.

As to discouraging legal CCW, there was absolutly nothing legal about this situation. Even if he was a legal CCW, it became illegal when he lent his truck to your company for it's business with the gun still inside.

spacemanspiff
July 15, 2005, 05:28 PM
so lets compare if it was in a state that had decent firearm laws.

up here, the law is worded 'knowingly concealed'. and a gun under the seat would qualify as being 'concealed on or about the person'. but if the person did not know it was there, i would hope that the police would go to the lengths to verify that, and not make the guys life hell.

but it sounds like in your state law enforcement would charge the guy with the crime. now lets say i was your employee, and i never used my vehicle for business purposes. (imho) it would be meddling in my affairs if you made a company policy that i shouldnt have a gun in my car (which would be unlawfully). basically, i dont think an employer should tell an employee how to obey the law. thats up to the individual.

however, if i did use that vehicle for business, or let other coworkers use it for business, then it is certainly NOT meddling for the businessowner to insist that the vehicleowner ensure there is nothing in the vehicle that could result in criminal charges for whomever drives it.



finally, and this is an OT sidebar to this thread, but do you have 'hired and nonowned' liability coverage? this insurance coverage can be on your companys auto policy or if there are no company-owned vehicles (i.e. only vehicles used for your business are those of the employees) then you should be able to add the coverage to your general liability policy.

have your insurance agent check into it if you don't already have this coverage. its definitely worth it.

1911_sfca
July 15, 2005, 05:49 PM
It might be a good idea to give a verbal or written reprimand to your PM, telling him not to bring firearms to the work site and/or not to lend his vehicle to other employees, and DOCUMENT it to CYA. Keep a copy on file. With a personality like that, don't be surprised for something else to happen in the future.

R.H. Lee
July 15, 2005, 05:57 PM
His vehicle, his firearm are nobody else's business as far as I'm concerned. But then I don't (thankfully) live in MA.

Andrew Rothman
July 15, 2005, 06:03 PM
t might be a good idea to give a verbal or written reprimand to your PM, telling him not to bring firearms to the work site and/or not to lend his vehicle to other employees, and DOCUMENT it to CYA. Keep a copy on file. With a personality like that, don't be surprised for something else to happen in the future.

A reprimand is a good idea, but I'd limit it to his illegal acts while on company business.

SnakeEater
July 15, 2005, 06:23 PM
Sounds like the pm is leaning in the right direction but he's not quite there yet. I would encourage him to ditch the non-working gun for a loaded and working one. I would also educate him on the proper carry of a firearm in a vehicle, notice I didn't say legal, I said proper. I would then make sure his POV is no longer used for company business.

geekWithA.45
July 15, 2005, 06:24 PM
I'm not sure you want a corporate paper trail wherein you acknowledge that your employees may have broken the law on company time, without reporting said infraction to the authorities.

Bad mojo.

SnakeEater
July 15, 2005, 06:35 PM
How many of these "laws" are we supposed to obey? When is enough gonna be enough? I'm law abiding, but there comes a time when you have to chose between what's right and what's lawful. Carrying a firearm for personal protection may not be lawful in many places, but it's never wrong.

odysseus
July 15, 2005, 06:39 PM
How many of these "laws" are we supposed to obey?

Huh? I thought this was an issue of someone negligently leaving their firearm in their car, while then loaning the car to someone else and not even telling them of it either.

Despite all other CCW laws and vehicle carry laws, I think he broke the "law" of common sense.

Zundfolge
July 15, 2005, 06:44 PM
More and more I love Colorado ... had that happened here then the biggest complaint the Tech would have had is that he could have been put in danger by having a non-functioning firearm if he needed it.

Concealed carry in a vehicle is perfectly legal here without a permit.

taliv
July 15, 2005, 06:49 PM
i think you should make the PM write the four rules on a dry erase board 100 times after work Monday.


Add a fifth one...

I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
I will not carry a broken gun without a permit.
...

Marshall
July 15, 2005, 07:56 PM
I would advise to the let this issue go to bed and to sleep. If you haven't, have a private talk with your PM and make sure he understands that everyone has something to loose by his actions, including jobs. Heck, after that, let him know your views on guns and ask him to go shooting some time.

Standing Wolf
July 15, 2005, 08:28 PM
The pm just laughs and says not to worry because the gun is unloaded and it does not work anyway. He only carries it for those times when he is in bad neighborhoods.

Sounds like aggravated stupidity to me.

peacefuljeffrey
July 15, 2005, 08:33 PM
Fire the PM.

Any person who is such an idiot that he would:

- carry an unloaded firearm, ever, and claim it was for "bad neighborhoods"
- claim that it would not cause someone else trouble to be found with it
- do so without even having a CCW permit himself in a state as bad as MA

is TOO STUPID TO BE ENTRUSTED WITH YOUR BUSINESS MATTERS. PERIOD.

I mean really, Goose. You want a guy as dumb as that conducting your business, and managing projects? His thought processes are evidently very poor.

-Jeffrey

RCL
July 15, 2005, 09:33 PM
A broken, non functioning hand gun at best makes a poor club........ :rolleyes:

Chipperman
July 15, 2005, 10:08 PM
In MA it's illegal to even possess ammunition with no license, nevermind the gun.

This guy had a major malfunction in the cerebral department.

I would have a serious talk with this guy; not only about how stupid his actions were, but also that you will now need to question his judgement in the future.

peacefuljeffrey
July 16, 2005, 12:01 AM
but also that you will now need to question his judgement in the future.

+1. EXACTLY.



Demonstration of ultra-poor judgment and analytical skills is true cause for trepidation when being asked to trust them in the future.


-Jeffrey

Hawkmoon
July 16, 2005, 12:05 PM
+2 on One-Shot-One's view.

His vehicle, his firearm are nobody else's business as far as I'm concerned. But then I don't (thankfully) live in MA.
It may not be anyone else's business when only he drives it. When he places a subordinate in a legally compromised position, which could have extremely serious consequences both for that subordinate and for the company (if not liability directly, certainly the loss of time of that subordinate while he's in court, and maybe in jail), then it ceases to be his personal business.

At the least, a written reprimand in his personnel file is called for. Beyond that --- this guy is a PM, so he presumeably has people working under him. Why not task him with sitting down and writing up HIS response if one of the technicians under him had sent a co-worker off for coffee in a vehicle with a pistol under the seat, and the second co-worker got busted for it? Ask him what he would do if another employee had put his team at risk the same way he put your team at risk.

Next -- does your company have any sort of written personnel manual? If so, does it address this situation in any way? You probably don't have a prohibition against legal CCW, but what about illegal actions in general while on company time, or actions that place the company or other employees at risk, things like that. Personally, given the potential consequences of the situation, I think a week's suspension without pay would be appropriate, but consult your company's labour attorney first, because if you do it you'll have to be able to justify it. But don't just shrug it off. He NEEDS to recognize, understand, and take responsibility for the fact that his thoughtlessness could have landed an employee in jail for a year.

Smurfslayer
July 18, 2005, 04:16 PM
PM (or is it DA now?) should be required to get his MA Permit. He packs, you know he packs, so don't let him do it illegally - broken gun or not!

Tell him to further purchase a decent belt holster and secure box for the gun and you want to see receipts.

You could use it as a teachable moment. Let the staff know that you've addressed the issue of the unsecured firearm and that it should not happen again. Advise them of MA's strict firearms laws, including that a loaded gun must be about the person, not under the seat. Close with "A MA class A LTC Firearms will allow you to carry, or have about your person a loaded firearm... you can get one by contacting... :evil:

Just in case something similar happens again (but for God's sake get a holster!)

If you enjoyed reading about "Illegal CCW at work....." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!