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View Full Version : Changing company "no weapons" policies


locosway
01-14-2011, 8:36 PM
Many of us work in areas or at times that are dangerous. And, even in those nice office buildings bad things can happen if someone becomes disgruntled.

Sadly, most businesses that have a formal structure also ban the carrying or possession of weapons on the work property. With most of us spending a good deal of time at work, it seems silly that we would go through the trouble of training and learning how to protect ourselves only to not be able to do so when at work.

So what can we do? Well, some of us can change jobs to something less dangerous, or perhaps to a company that has a good policy of allowing employees to carry. However, for the majority of us with careers, this just isn't going to happen. I think if we had a legal letter that held some weight to it we would be better equipped to push the issue. Especially with those people who do currently have a CCW, carrying at work would seem like a necessity.

So how can we go about obtaining such a letter? I, along with many others, can write well. But this isn't the same as having a well researched letter that's written by a lawyer to address key issues. If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears.

Note: While researching this topic I ran across this article which is inspiring.
http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25622693-41/boersma-dutch-bros-shooting-barista.csp

meaty-btz
01-14-2011, 8:42 PM
While some Buisness may be Activist, most are just chasing the almighty dollar.

The issue then isnt guns and selfdefense, but Liabillity. Remeber that our culture is fixated on two things: Avoiding Liabillity and Responsibllity. So what needs changing is more cultural and legal than really an Anti-Gun Issue.

locosway
01-14-2011, 8:43 PM
While some Buisness may be Activist, most are just chasing the almighty dollar.

The issue then isnt guns and selfdefense, but Liabillity. Remeber that our culture is fixated on two things: Avoiding Liabillity and Responsibllity. So what needs changing is more cultural and legal than really an Anti-Gun Issue.

I wonder if a company can be held liable if they allow employees to carry legal weapons. I don't see how they could be, so long as it's legal.

On a side note, why wouldn't the company be held responsible if they removed the means for employees to defend themselves?

meaty-btz
01-14-2011, 8:46 PM
I wonder if a company can be held liable if they allow employees to carry legal weapons. I don't see how they could be, so long as it's legal.

On a side note, why wouldn't the company be held responsible if they removed the means for employees to defend themselves?

Yes to the first and the second really depends on how good a lawer you or your next of kin hire.

locosway
01-14-2011, 8:48 PM
Yes to the first and the second really depends on how good a lawer you or your next of kin hire.

Are there any cases to backup your claims that a company can be held liable for allowing employees to exercise their rights while at work?

It seems that if an employee is attacked while at work, and the company policy shows that the employee was restricted from having protection, that it would be a open and shut case against the employer for not allowing an employee to protect themselves. However, I don't ever recall seeing such thing.

meaty-btz
01-14-2011, 8:56 PM
Not for allowing use, the liabillity appears due to a few specific situations: AD/ND, Escellation Causing Wrongful Death of Another Employee, Crossfire resulting in the Employee shooting another co-worker.

Again, it isnt about the company being afraid of the BG suing. It sounds absurd but the Insurance Company likely charges based on if you do or do not, specificly because of something like the above. I can do some research to see if it ever actually hit court (doubtful because chances are the Insurance comany will likely settle out of court and seal the records).

This talks about it a bit. http://www.sgrlaw.com/resources/trust_the_leaders/leaders_issues/ttl13/869/

I would have to research this topic harder but considering the commonality of it, that usually means the Lawers or Insurance Companies are behind the policies. Especially when a company can be held liable for failing to provide a safe environment. That can include preconditions that disarm a legal carrier of a weapon.

locosway
01-14-2011, 8:59 PM
Not for allowing use, the liabillity appears due to a few specific situations: AD/ND, Escellation Causing Wrongful Death of Another Employee, Crossfire resulting in the Employee shooting another co-worker.

I still don't see how a company would be liable here. They aren't condoning or supporting unsafe handling, or any other form of weapons use. They would simply allow the carrying of weapons as a self defense tool.

i.e., where I work now, if someone came through the door to my office I'd have no way out. My only choice would be to either hide under my desk, or confront the attacker. Without being armed, my survival chances of either choice I make are low. While being armed, I'd say my chances are 50/50 or better depending on circumstances.

Helpful_Cub
01-14-2011, 9:09 PM
I still don't see how a company would be liable here. They aren't condoning or supporting unsafe handling, or any other form of weapons use. They would simply allow the carrying of weapons as a self defense tool.

i.e., where I work now, if someone came through the door to my office I'd have no way out. My only choice would be to either hide under my desk, or confront the attacker. Without being armed, my survival chances of either choice I make are low. While being armed, I'd say my chances are 50/50 or better depending on circumstances.

Your thinking way to hard about this. The company has money and much deeper pockets than the employee in question. If someone is suing, they will go after the company even if it is a small chance of winning because if they win, its a big win (millions).

locosway
01-14-2011, 9:11 PM
Your thinking way to hard about this. The company has money and much deeper pockets than the employee in question. If someone is suing, they will go after the company even if it is a small chance of winning because if they win, its a big win (millions).

So, it seems that there needs to be something done about limiting companies liabilities in regards to employees actions, correct?

meaty-btz
01-14-2011, 9:15 PM
Exactly

Helpful_Cub
01-14-2011, 9:15 PM
So, it seems that there needs to be something done about limiting companies liabilities in regards to employees actions, correct?

That is possible but it would require legislation; and they aren't to friendly towards gun usage at the moment.

G-forceJunkie
01-14-2011, 9:16 PM
The answer is simple as has been pointed out: The legal occupant or the the owner of the buildings insurance company will make them pay more for liability insurance if they have a policy that allows firearms on the premise. You voluntary choose to obey their rules by taking the job. Their house, their rules kind of thing. You can't sue them because you voluntary gave up your rights. Your options are to follow the rules, brake the rules, or don't work there.

locosway
01-14-2011, 9:17 PM
That is possible but it would require legislation; and they aren't to friendly towards gun usage at the moment.

Firearms never have to be mentioned. You simply pass a bill that makes companies not responsible for employees actions (unless they're following a company procedure). And the rest can be worked out later.

locosway
01-14-2011, 9:19 PM
The answer is simple as has been pointed out: The legal occupant or the the owner of the buildings insurance company will make them pay more for liability insurance if they have a policy that allows firearms on the premise. You voluntary choose to obey their rules by taking the job. Their house, their rules kind of thing. You can't sue them because you voluntary gave up your rights. Your options are to follow the rules, brake the rules, or don't work there.

I think you're misunderstanding what this thread is about. I understand what the rules are, and I choose to follow them. However, I'd like to start thinking about working on changing the rules. There's nothing wrong with doing this, and to simply say, "deal with it or move on" is silly.

jpigeon
01-14-2011, 10:17 PM
The ACLU will be happy to make sure they are liable...

Window_Seat
01-14-2011, 10:53 PM
I am also experienced in letter writing to companies, as well as for companies, and I can tell you from experience that writing letters to a company (whether they are chasing the all mighty dollar, or operating as activists) to get them to change a policy will not persuade them change a policy if it is not convenient for them. Allowing employees to protect themselves isn't even convenient for the Government, and if you think that a corporation is going to make a change that puts the employee in charge of their personal safety... It takes a pro-2A Legislature to make it happen only in the parking lot, and in company vehicles (See Utah Code 34-45-103).

Something has to happen (like an event, which could be the result of a policy change in another company that was the result of something that happened, like an event) to actually affect the company in a way for them to effect a policy change. I assure you, that in my industry, companies are nothing like the Legislature; they don't just make feel good decisions because they wanted to go home to have 2 things to feel good about. They do it only if it affects the company in the way that is convenient for the company.

I hope that wasn't too confusing. :eek:

Erik.

locosway
01-14-2011, 10:58 PM
No, it makes sense. It's about money, and I know that. This is why I was wondering if there was a way to show the company would be liable if someone was unable to defend themselves. I'm really surprised that this has never been challenged anywhere, or has it?

N6ATF
01-15-2011, 12:21 PM
At the very least, the company should be liable for defending against the suit. Even if it fails. If you don't have inside counsel, this is expensive.

Fight lawyer with lawyer, have yours send a letter of intent that says something like:

"This firm represents one of your employees who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of termination. We are aware you have a victim disarmament policy, so that in the event of a criminal attack, your employees will be completely at the mercy of suffering violence up to and including death. In this event, our firm intends to sue you for wrongful death by intentional and complicit negligence, requesting $5 million in punitive damages for the families of each employee we represent that loses their life. To obviate such a lawsuit, you may wish to add life insurance for all your employees, or simply rescind your policy enabling criminals to act with impunity. Sincerely, Legal Eagle, LLC"

Maintaining that level of life insurance (all employees, $5 million each) would be so much worse than simply dropping the VD and taking the practically non-existent risk to insure one (if that).

dantodd
01-16-2011, 8:54 PM
LCAV or their member firms have been known to send out nastygrams to companies that they feel aren't anti-gun enough. They warn the company that in their expert legal opinion if a company employee "goes postal" that the company could be held liable if they don't have adequate policies to prevent firearms etc.

The only real way to deal with this, IMO, is just as was mentioned above. Get a powerful attorney or firearms organization to write letters on behalf of employees saying that they desire to protect themselves and if they are prevented from doing so by company policy they fully expect that the company is assuring their safety at all times when they are required to be disarmed due to their policies. Which would include on the way to and from work when they park in an unprotected garage plus any normal incidental stops along the way such as shopping or buying gas etc.

zhyla
01-16-2011, 10:05 PM
I don't think (office) workplace shootings are prevalent enough to talk a company into letting their employees be armed from a "just in case" argument. And when you weigh it against the hassle of getting their lawyers to figure out the liability thing, it's just not going to happen unless someone at the top is pro-2A.

The most productive thing you can do is know where all the exits are.

locosway
01-16-2011, 10:07 PM
I don't think (office) workplace shootings are prevalent enough to talk a company into letting their employees be armed from a "just in case" argument. And when you weigh it against the hassle of getting their lawyers to figure out the liability thing, it's just not going to happen unless someone at the top is pro-2A.

The most productive thing you can do is know where all the exits are.

There's one door coming in and out of this side of the building. If someone comes in this door I have no way out except to progress past an attacker.

locosway
01-17-2011, 12:13 AM
I don't think (office) workplace shootings are prevalent enough to talk a company into letting their employees be armed from a "just in case" argument. And when you weigh it against the hassle of getting their lawyers to figure out the liability thing, it's just not going to happen unless someone at the top is pro-2A.

The most productive thing you can do is know where all the exits are.

Also to note, I just read an article about workplace violence.

According to the US Labor Department's Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, homicide is now the third-leading cause of occupational death for all workers, exceeded only by motor-vehicle incidents and falls.

Perhaps shootings aren't high on the list, but homicide is homicide. And, the old adage of never bring a knife to a gunfight rings true. If the person has any sort of weapon at all, and I have nothing, I think I've lost the battle before it's begun. My only chance is for the attacker to do something wrong which would give me the upper hand.

zhyla
01-17-2011, 6:30 AM
Also to note, I just read an article about workplace violence.



Perhaps shootings aren't high on the list, but homicide is homicide. And, the old adage of never bring a knife to a gunfight rings true. If the person has any sort of weapon at all, and I have nothing, I think I've lost the battle before it's begun. My only chance is for the attacker to do something wrong which would give me the upper hand.

Being the 3rd most likely cause of death doesn't actually make it frequent. Here's some actual data:

http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/osar0014.htm

In 2008, a total of 526 workplace homicides occurred, or 10 percent of all fatal work injuries.

This is more common than I expected, but still a drop in the bucket compared to the overall homicide rate (off the top of my head, around 15k/year). If you consider how much time you spend at work vs everywhere else, statistically it's a pretty safe place.

Of course that doesn't help you if someone actually does shoot up your place. It doesn't hurt to have something handy to rush someone with when they're reloading (knife, bat, whatever).

It's unfortunate that bringing this topic up with an anti-2A supervisor can be detrimental. "You own guns?!?" etc. I'm lucky to work in a place with no weapons policy, but unlucky to live in a place with no CCW. A knife and quick feet will have to do if that day comes.

locosway
01-17-2011, 6:35 AM
Yeah, I'm allowed to carry my EDC surprisingly. Only problem is there's a lot of straight lines in the office. Overtaking an attacker who is using a ranged weapon would be challenging at the least.

dantodd
01-17-2011, 6:38 AM
Of course that doesn't help you if someone actually does shoot up your place. It doesn't hurt to have something handy to rush someone with when they're reloading (knife, bat, whatever).


The other problem is that many people work where it is not simple (or even possible) to park off company property so these people are not only screwed at work but to-from work and at any necessary intermediate stops.

At one place I worked, once we got big enough to hire an HR professional and put together an employee handbook it had this same prohibition and in the first employee orientation I asked about guns in my car saying that I occasionally go for target practice after work. You would of thought that I had just slapped the HR guy. After he picked his jaw up though, he just said that as long as it is legally stored and doesn't get taken out of the car he wouldn't do anything about it.

stix213
01-17-2011, 7:48 AM
Violating company policy isn't a crime. You could just ignore the policy.

If you then ever encounter the disgruntled former employee situation, or any other situation where the use of your firearm saves lives, your career is almost certainly safe.

locosway
01-17-2011, 7:50 AM
Violating company policy isn't a crime. You could just ignore the policy.

If you then ever encounter the disgruntled former employee situation, or any other situation where the use of your firearm saves lives, your career is almost certainly safe.

Aye, but if I LUCC at work, and someone gets tipped off that I like firearms, the company can search my belongings at any time. If I'm caught, I'm out a very good job.

Sure, this consequence is less than dying, but it's a consequence none-the-less.

stix213
01-17-2011, 7:54 AM
Aye, but if I LUCC at work, and someone gets tipped off that I like firearms, the company can search my belongings at any time. If I'm caught, I'm out a very good job.

Sure, this consequence is less than dying, but it's a consequence none-the-less.

That's certainly a risk for sure.

GettoPhilosopher
01-17-2011, 8:09 AM
Purely practical question: What are the chances of your employer ever finding out you keep a handgun in your car?

I mean, if you're really in a bad enough neighborhood, why not? It's not like your supervisor is going to announce random spot checks of employee vehicles for contraband.

GrizzlyGuy
01-17-2011, 8:17 AM
Aye, but if I LUCC at work, and someone gets tipped off that I like firearms, the company can search my belongings at any time. If I'm caught, I'm out a very good job.

Sure, this consequence is less than dying, but it's a consequence none-the-less.

Yup, and per the article (http://www.sgrlaw.com/resources/trust_the_leaders/leaders_issues/ttl13/869/) that meaty-btz linked to above, firing you might be the only reasonable option from a legal liability standpoint:

In other cases, are the signs as clear? They can be. Generally speaking, a violence-prone or destructive individual will display some or all of the characteristics listed below:

* Highly impatient; hypersensitive and hyper-reactive to even the smallest issues
* Unreasonably judgmental; has rigid and righteous standards by which everyone else will fall short
* Highly suspicious (bordering on paranoid); often has an “it’s me against the big, bad world” attitude
* Preoccupied by a need to control everything around himself or herself
* Creates unrealistic goals and timeframes
* Believes he or she is entitled to break the rules and, therefore, should be immune from consequences
* Engages in intimidation of others through extremely aggressive behavior or by constantly ridiculing or demeaning others
* Has sharp and dramatic mood swings
* Constantly allows himself or herself to be bullied and picked on by others
* Has history of violence, substance abuse or problems dealing with authority
* Is preoccupied with or owns a large number of weapons
* May have been subject to a recent traumatic event, such as an adverse employment action or domestic violence, or to recent or frequent disputes with supervisor or co-workers


Unfortunately, the second part of the second one that I bolded ("owns a large number of weapons") probably fits the majority of CGN members, and the first part ("Is preoccupied with") could fit a bunch of members as well.

wellerjohn
01-17-2011, 9:38 AM
I am also experienced in letter writing to companies, as well as for companies, and I can tell you from experience that writing letters to a company (whether they are chasing the all mighty dollar, or operating as activists) to get them to change a policy will not persuade them change a policy if it is not convenient for them. Allowing employees to protect themselves isn't even convenient for the Government, and if you think that a corporation is going to make a change that puts the employee in charge of their personal safety... It takes a pro-2A Legislature to make it happen only in the parking lot, and in company vehicles (See Utah Code 34-45-103).

Something has to happen (like an event, which could be the result of a policy change in another company that was the result of something that happened, like an event) to actually affect the company in a way for them to effect a policy change. I assure you, that in my industry, companies are nothing like the Legislature; they don't just make feel good decisions because they wanted to go home to have 2 things to feel good about. They do it only if it affects the company in the way that is convenient for the company.

I hope that wasn't too confusing. :eek:

Erik.

Well said. Would think when you raise your concerns and request the ability to carry at work, they will deny your request. After that they will be scrutinizing you all the time to see if you have a gun, now they know you carry off site. If your concerned of your safety at work then carry discretely such as the http://www.smartcarry.com/ , or find another one.

stix213
01-17-2011, 12:00 PM
Unfortunately, the second part of the second one that I bolded ("owns a large number of weapons") probably fits the majority of CGN members, and the first part ("Is preoccupied with") could fit a bunch of members as well.

Crap, now I find out I'm a violence prone person.... :p

locosway
01-17-2011, 3:45 PM
Purely practical question: What are the chances of your employer ever finding out you keep a handgun in your car?

I mean, if you're really in a bad enough neighborhood, why not? It's not like your supervisor is going to announce random spot checks of employee vehicles for contraband.

It's not random checks I'm worried about. I'm worried that someone else may pickup on me being a firearms owner/enthusiast and this gives them a reason to believe I'm armed at work. Once this happens I'll be scrutinized more closely all the time.

I'm careful now, but if my gun magazine fell out of my bag while I was leaving, or I mention to another co-worker who's firearms friendly that I'm going to the range and some anti hears it, well... They could figure it out kinda easily.

Wulf
01-17-2011, 6:08 PM
Self-Employed is the way to go.

Companies dont give a feces about you.

I worked at an office....this was before 9-11. Some guy, happened to be of some muslim/arabic extraction, in another department got canned. He didn't take it well. Made a threat to come back and blow the place up. The scuttlebutt went around the office in about 2 minutes. It was a full 24 hours later (close of business the next day) before they held a meeting to let us know there was a threat. The management was perfectly happy to have us ignorant to the threat through a full days work.