Company parking lots that ban guns


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caleb
August 23, 2006, 03:31 PM
Can anyone provide any information about the authority a business can have to ban guns from their employee's cars parked in their lot while at work? I went to packing.org and could find little information. I can carry concealed in Florida and anyone of legal age that can legally purchase a gun can carry it in a car without a concealed carry license. So how can a business ban them from your car while parked at work? It doesn't make sense they can have more authority than the state. Any information/comment is appreciated. C

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coltrane679
August 23, 2006, 04:15 PM
Yeah, it's called private property--it's a concept that goes back a while.

Out of fashion, however.

Really, it is hopeless around here.....

coat4gun
August 23, 2006, 04:49 PM
Yes, and my car is Private Property as well... and searching it requires some probable cause of crime, regardless of where it is parked.

Just because I park on your property does not mean you can forcibly open my car and search it on a whim.

Now I suppose you could ask me to open it and submit to a search... and that would be the point where I find employment elsewhere.

I do agree that government does not need to be involved with this... unless it is to point out the fact that my car is Private Property as well.

AJ Dual
August 23, 2006, 04:53 PM
Yes, but in an "at will" employment state, you can be fired with cause (not that they need "cause" in an "at will" state) for refusing the search.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 04:54 PM
Employers are perfectly entitled to prohibit firearms on their property, including in your vehicle, UNLESS there is a state law to the contrary. Some states are currently considering such laws, but I don't know that any have passed.

Generally speaking, employers cannot search your vehicle without your consent, even when it is parked on company property. They can, however, fire you for refusing to consent to such a search. It's called "employment at will." Employers can fire you for any or no reason, with very few exceptions (for example, they can't fire you for being a member of a protected class, or in retaliation for certain protected activities such as union organizing). If they can fire you because they don't like the way you cut your hair, they can certainly fire you for bringing a vehicle onto company property and refusing to consent to a search of it.

The simple solution is not to park on company property. If that's not an option, then don't keep a firearm in your vehicle, or find another job.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 04:59 PM
Yes, but in an "at will" employment state, you can be fired with cause (not that they need "cause" in an "at will" state) for refusing the search.

Every state is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment flows directly from the concept of freedom of contract. The only circumstances where you don't have "at will" employment in the United States is are: (1) government employees protected by civil service laws and rules'; and (2) employment contracts that limit the right to terminate the employee. In the 2nd case, the employment contract may be 1:1 between the employer and employee, it may be a collective bargaining agreement, or it may be an "employee handbook."

Roadwild17
August 23, 2006, 05:03 PM
In LA you vehicle is "an extension of your private residence” That was told to me by an armed guard at work. He said, "IN Louisiana we can not legally stop you from bringing arms into the owner controlled access area, but the second you take a gun out your car your dead."

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 05:30 PM
You do have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your vehicle, just as you do in your home. Thus, in accordance with the 4th Amendment, the government (police) typically cannot search your vehicle without your consent, unless it first obtains a warrant or satisfies other specific legal requirements.

Private employers are not the government, however, and the 4th Amendment doesn't apply to them. They are perfectly free to prohibit firearms on their property, and to require that you submit to searches. You are free not to work for them if you don't like their policies.

coltrane679
August 23, 2006, 05:40 PM
FKB--I could use you in another thread or two around here. I don't often run into folks who have actually read the Constitution, as opposed to those simply pounding the table about what they want in an infantile fashion.

Thefabulousfink
August 23, 2006, 05:45 PM
If an employer ever asks to me to open my car for a search, I will open it, get in , drive it off their property, and tell them that if they want to look inside they will have to contact a LE agency and they had better bring a specific warant. The same goes with schools, it is apparently legal for school officials (not LEOs) to enter vehicles parked on their property.

If I ever work for a company that has that kind of firearms policy or have to visit a school I will park on the street and walk. If I get mugged I will sue for not providing adequate protection (and to cover my legal cost of shooting the BG with my CCW;) ).

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 06:01 PM
If I get mugged I will sue for not providing adequate protection
Good luck finding a lawyer to bring that lawsuit for you. There is generally no legal duty to protect someone from criminal acts by third parties. If you do find a (really stupid) lawyer to file the suit, or file it yourself, it will promptly be thrown out of court, and all you will have done is waste both time and money.

bruss01
August 23, 2006, 06:13 PM
If I'm going skeet shooting with a buddy after work, my solution has always been to park across the street or down the block. If it's not on company property, they have no cause to gripe. I understand that there may be large plants where it would be impractical or would expose your car to harm to park off-site. I don't have a clever solution for that other than what has been mentioned already i.e. don't ask/don't tell, find another job, etc.

BTW I agree, a person's car is his private property, and anything the person has in their car, provided it REMAINS in the car, should be no one's business but the car owner. Probably not much in the way of legal standing, but that's how I believe things SHOULD be.

Thefabulousfink
August 23, 2006, 06:16 PM
FKB, That was more a "tounge in cheek" response. The point is: I will not park on their property and I will not go unarmed (even if that means pepper-spray and a sure-fire).

dracphelan
August 23, 2006, 06:16 PM
Like others have said, it is private property. They have the right to choose what can and can not be taken onto the grounds of their property, just as you have that right for your home. It really saddens me that some businesses choose to not allow concealed weapon license holders carry on the property. But, that is their choice.

JCampGCO
August 23, 2006, 06:58 PM
My car is my property and I will carry what ever the heck I see fit to carry in it. If my employer doesn't like what I am carrying in my car then T.F.S. If they ask to search my car I will tell them to go stick it where the sun don't shine and if I get fired then my response to them will be that Jobs are a dime a dozen and I will take my productivity elsewhere and make money for someone else...

John Wesley
August 23, 2006, 09:26 PM
Employers are perfectly entitled to prohibit firearms on their property, including in your vehicle, UNLESS there is a state law to the contrary. Some states are currently considering such laws, but I don't know that any have passed.

Kentucky did. Went into effect on July 12th of this year. Don't need a CCW.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 09:32 PM
That's good to hear. Thanks for the tip. I'm pretty sure that Oklahoma passed a similar law after those Weyerhauser employees got fired, but it's been challenged in court by the employers.

stlgunfan
August 23, 2006, 09:40 PM
Isn't the Brady Bunch protesting a law to allow people to have guns in their cars at work in Florida? they were pimping it on their website a few months ago. However I dunno about now. Lat time I went to that POS site for some good laughs it freezed my internet up, and started giving me popups.:cuss: :cuss: Wouldnt shock me the Shady bunch wants to track users and what site gun owners visit.

Here in MO Its not against the law to have a gun at your work in your car. The employer is allowed to ban guns on compayn property, but can only fire you, not arrest you.

Hower here in stl the area malls have a sign on the parking lot saying no guns allowed in cars on the grounds. ROFL they have no say in that, and there is no state law against it.

However I know NC is a PITA when it comes to where you can and cant carry. Against the law to even have a gun in your car at work if their is a rule agianst it. I thought Missouri was strict because the signs are posted everywhere.

I laugh Anti St. Louis county was even giving out No guns allowed signs with a big Stl county police logo on it.:cuss:

John Wesley
August 23, 2006, 10:34 PM
Here is a link to house bill 290 that was signed by our governor last April. Law went into effect last month. The press mentioned several new laws but omitted this one.

http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/record/06RS/HB290/bill.doc

SECTION 8. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 237 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) No person, including but not limited to an employer, who is the owner, lessee, or occupant of real property shall prohibit any person who is legally entitled to possess a firearm from possessing a firearm, part of a firearm, ammunition, or ammunition component in a vehicle on the property.
(2) A person, including but not limited to an employer, who owns, leases, or otherwise occupies real property may prevent a person who is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition from possessing a firearm or ammunition on the property.
(3) A firearm may be removed from the vehicle or handled in the case of self-defense, defense of another, defense of property, or as authorized by the owner, lessee, or occupant of the property.
(4) An employer that fires, disciplines, demotes, or otherwise punishes an employee who is lawfully exercising a right guaranteed by this section, and who is engaging in conduct in compliance with this statute shall be liable in civil damages. An employee may seek and the court shall grant an injunction against an employer who is violating the provisions of this section when it is found that the employee is in compliance with the provisions of this section.

FTF
August 23, 2006, 11:06 PM
Personally, I wouldn't sweat it. For the most part, I doubt they have any reason to even care what you have in your car. Unless you are at work talking about your BOB and the SKS you keep in your car at all times, they probably wouldn't even know let alone search it. Now, if you work at some kind of military base, nuclear plant or whatever, then you are running a risk regardless of it you can keep your mouth shut or not.

Last job I had was on private property and I assume they didn't allow guns. I usually had one in my car but it's not like I walked around advertising it. If there ever WAS a reason for me to need it, I doubt whether or or not I got fired would be a real concern. I would rather get hit with trespassing than hit with a bullet lol.

Now I work on govt property and that's a whole diff situation. I wont carry there, but I can get home in 30 minutes on foot if needed so I take my chances being unarmed considering the pro/cons.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 11:12 PM
Personally, I wouldn't sweat it. For the most part, I doubt they have any reason to even care what you have in your car. Unless you are at work talking about your BOB and the SKS you keep in your car at all times, they probably wouldn't even know let alone search it. Now, if you work at some kind of military base, nuclear plant or whatever, then you are running a risk regardless of it you can keep your mouth shut or not.

Tell that to the guys in Oklahoma who got fired last year. The company (Weyerhauser?) invited the Sheriff to bring drug-sniffing dogs to walk the parking lot because they were supposedly concerned about illegal drug use by employees. As it turns out, the dogs were trained to alert on both drugs and guns. The dogs alerted on something like eight vehicles. All eight employees were hauled out to the parking lot and asked to give consent to search their vehicles. I think all but one of them stated that they had firearms in their vehicles, and consented to the searches. They were all fired, anyway, for violating company policy prohibiting firearms on company property. If it could happen there, it could happen anywhere.

FTF
August 23, 2006, 11:36 PM
Tell that to the guys in Oklahoma who got fired last year. The company (Weyerhauser?) invited the Sheriff to bring drug-sniffing dogs to walk the parking lot because they were supposedly concerned about illegal drug use by employees. As it turns out, the dogs were trained to alert on both drugs and guns. The dogs alerted on something like eight vehicles. All eight employees were hauled out to the parking lot and asked to give consent to search their vehicles. I think all but one of them stated that they had firearms in their vehicles, and consented to the searches. They were all fired, anyway, for violating company policy prohibiting firearms on company property. If it could happen there, it could happen anywhere.

Interesting story! It was actually 12 of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weyerhaeuser

Several of them have filed civil suits...at least at the time of the article... who knows where it is now.

I guess that's the risk you run. Out of all the places that don't allow firearms onsite, I imagine that the vast majority never bother to check or enforce it with the methods that these people did. Hell, I bet more people have drugs in their car than guns any day of the week. Personally, I wouldn't have consented to the search until I saw it in writing that I could be fired for refusing consent.

I still say that is, by far, the exception rather than the rule... and it also seems to have stirred up a bit of trouble... looks like it actually helped the KY law. Gotta weigh the pros and cons.

ConstitutionCowboy
August 23, 2006, 11:58 PM
Go to this thread and read more detail.

Bottom line:


Corporations are created according to, and by, state law.
Corporation do not have rights like people do.
Corporations only have powers granted to them by law.
Corporations cannot ask you to waive anything it is otherwise forbidden to require of you.


The case in Oklahoma where Weyerhauser is challenging the new Oklahoma law forbidding employers to prohibit employees keeping guns locked in their cars is further complicated by the fact that Oklahoma law forbids corporations to have any bylaw inconsistent with the rights of its employees (Title 18, Pp 1013).

I'm watching this case with great interest.

Woody

"The Right of the People to move about freely in a secure manner shall not be infringed. Any manner of self defense shall not be restricted, regardless of the mode of travel or where you stop along the way, as it is the right so enumerated at both the beginning and end of any journey." B.E.Wood

LightningJoe
August 24, 2006, 12:40 AM
Laws are all well and good, I suppose, but they're not like gravity. Lots of people where I work have guns in their cars. My company forbids this, but nobody cares. I mean, the colonists were supposed to pay the stamp tax or whatever. We're Americans. We've got a history of not doing what we're told. Rules that tell us what to have in our cars at work are best ignored. I don't care if a few guys in Oklahoma got fired. People get hit by lightning, too. It's not worth worrying about (unless your're on a golf course in a thunderstorm).

kengrubb
August 24, 2006, 04:08 AM
We're Americans. We've got a history of not doing what we're told.
That used to be so, but I think more and more Americans are being cowed into compliance for compliance sake.

Folks on jury duty believe it when judges tell 'em they cannot exercise jury nullification.

There was a time when most people probably thought there was something wrong with ya if ya didn't have a gun. Carry a gun with ya? To work? Well, it won't do much good sitting at home.

I daresay our Founding Fathers would not recognize America today as America.

gezzer
August 24, 2006, 10:56 PM
Big deal find it and I will get work elsewhere.

They can scare you ONLY if you let them.

veloce851
August 25, 2006, 05:37 PM
+1 gezzer,

I used to work for a company with the same policy on parking lots as well as anything you bring in.

I worked there for 3 years and carried my CCW with me everysingle day in a backpack I brought to work.

The emp. manual stated quite clearly that bringing a firearm onto company property would make you subject to immediate firing.

So I knew that if I were ever asked to consent to a search, they would receive my resignation at that moment.
Everyone at work even knew I was a "gunnut" no one ever asked me what was in my backpack or if I ever violated company policy.

If it works for the military why not me. Don't ask Don't Tell.

You know how the old saying goes... better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Granted I don't have a family that is dependant on my income.. so I have the luxury of sticking up for my beliefs and principles.
A job is just a job.. they are a dime a dozen.

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