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Question:

Our company takes threats of violence seriously. We prohibit any act or threat of violence by or against any employee, customer, supplier, or visitor. Our policy applies to all employees, whether on or off company property.

We specifically state that we prohibit any use or possession, whether legal or illegal, of weapons on company property or while on company business.

Our employees use their personal vehicles for company business. We pay them $200 a month tp compensate them. Can we enforce the no firearms policy for their vehicle while conducting company business?

Answer:

According to Perkins Coie Senior Counsel Michael O’Brien, “Your company can enforce a no firearms policy while your employees are on company time. Because your employees’ cars are unlikely to be characterized as company property, a blanket ban on having weapons in the vehicle, even during off hours, is unlikely to be enforceable. But you can prohibit having firearms in the vehicle during the workday or during any time that could be construed as work time is reasonable.”

Attorney Charles Krugel adds that state or municipal laws may support your policy, particularly if your state honors the employment at will doctrine, which gives you the right to terminate an employee for any or no reason as long as you don’t violate public policy.

Says Krugel, “Factors weighing in favor of your company being able to enforce your policy include the $200 monthly compensation as consideration for not carrying firearms while doing company business.” At the same time, Krugel notes that since your employees drive their own vehicles, “the $200 allowance may not be sufficient consideration to waive your employees’ right to carry firearms in their own car.”

Krugel suggests adding a memo to your policy that your employees sign that acknowledges that the $200 monthly stipend is sufficient consideration for them to agree to your policy. He also notes that if “employees live or work in ‘bad’ neighborhoods where it’s reasonable for them to possess firearms or if they’ve been attacked or robbed in the past, and have permits for their firearms, your company’s prohibition may be seen as contrary to public policy or even in violation of workplace safety. If so, your policy may be unenforceable unless your employees receive sufficient consideration for waiving their right to possess firearms, such as proper training, extra security, or even protective tactical gear.” 

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4 thoughts on “Guns In Cars in the Parking Lot

  1. I could see the company policy being applicable if the empty is “on the clock” while driving their personal vehicle, otherwise one would never want to inspect any of my personal vehicles.

  2. These are thoughtful and measured reactions to the prohibition by a company of having firearms on its property and concerns about employees having firearms in their cars on the company lot. At this point in the read, I predicted that it probably would be OK to prohibit firearms, as a policy, when an employee’s car was on company property during work time–which as correct, mostly. As you noted, the $200/month compensation for employees driving their personal cars to and from work and on company business might not be adequate compensation for added safety risks or costs of driving. The issue about employees living in areas that are not considered safe without having personal firearms on hand for protection is another consideration. Lots to balance here!

  3. Few things frustrate me more than regulations and/or rules that cancel each other out, or interfere with each other; or those that step on personal rights for people who are totally law-abiding people.

    I, and many other ‘old timers’ can remember driving to school or work with a gun or two hanging in the gun rack in the back of a pickup cab. Then along came thieves that would steal anything left in sight.

    But I can remember carrying a gun into the school itself to put in my locker, or to show a fellow student or teacher. And rarely being without a weapon at least in the trunk when a few of us planned to go hunting after school or work. In fact, I’ve done that recently. And NOTHING BAD OCCURRED BECAUSE OF IT!

    Nowadays, Concealed Carry is legal even without a permit in many states – and MANY people carry loaded weapons all day/week/month/year long. And NOTHING BAD OCCURS BECAUSE OF IT!

    And I know more than a few folks who carry openly. And NOTHING BAD OCCURS BECAUSE OF IT!

    So I have problems with a company that will not even allow good, honest, licensed, legal employees at least keep a weapon concealed in their trunk while they are at work – for their personal, legal use as soon as they leave the grounds of those who are so paranoid about weapons being around.

    It’s getting VERY old having a few bad apples completely changing the entire world for the many others who DO NOTHING WRONG!

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