It seems reasonable to grant employers the power to tell staffers to leave their guns at home. But reasonable and legal aren’t exactly synonymous.
Most employers just assume that they have the right to ban people from bringing firearms anywhere near the workplace.
However, more and more states have legislation in place where employers can’t legally forbid employees from bringing guns to work, as long as they leave them in their cars.
This puts employers in a tricky place. Not complying with these laws could cost you — in both civil and/or criminal penalties. But by complying with these controversial laws, you could be knowingly putting your employees’ safety at risk.
Nine states (LA, AK, FL, GA, KS, KY, MN, MS and OK) currently have laws prohibiting employers from carrying out any policies that would bar workers from keeping a gun on the company parking lot. Moreover, many other states have proposed similar legislation.
But there are exemptions in some clearly defined situations. For example:
- You can prohibit employees from bringing guns to “any property where the possession of firearms is prohibited under state or federal law.”
- You can prohibit employees from storing guns in your workplace parking lot if the employee’s vehicle is owned or leased by your company. (This excludes employees who are required to “transport or store a firearm in the official discharge of their duties” — probably not too many of your Finance staffers.)
- You can prohibit employees from storing guns in your workplace parking lot, if the workplace has restricted or limited access (fence, gate, security station, etc.) and one of these conditions applies: (1) Your company has a temporary storage for unloaded firearms; and (2) your company has an alternative parking area that is “reasonably close to the main parking area” where employees can “transport or store firearms in locked, privately owned motor vehicles.”