Safety and OSHA News

Another state allows guns in employees’ cars at work

About a month from now, a 14th state will allow employees to store legally owned firearms in their locked, privately owned vehicles while at work.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed the bill into law. It takes effect Sept. 1, 2011.

“A worker’s individual and constitutional right to self-defense does not end when they drive onto their employer’s property,” said State Senator Glenn Hegar (R), the bill’s sponsor. Hegar calls the measure “good policy that provides workers with a means of viable self defense while commuting between their homes, their workplace and anywhere in between.”

Hegar says he sponsored the bill in response to a number of instances in which employees had been denied the right to protect themselves while traveling to and from work because their employers adopted “overly restrictive policies.”

“When an employer bars firearms on company property … they rob their employees … of their right to safety,” Hegar said.

The new law will protect employers from any lawsuit resulting from the use of a firearm stored on their property. Companies can still forbid an employee from carrying a firearm in company-owned vehicles or their offices.

The other states that have similar laws are: Oklahoma, Alaska, Minnesota, Kentucky, Mississippi, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Utah, Montana, Idaho and Arizona.

What do you think about these laws? Do they make workplaces more or less safe? Let us know in the Comments Box below.

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  • NancyNew

    We have a similar company policy in place–employees can bring firearms to work if properly stored and locked in their cars. We’ve never had a problem with it. No one here would bat an eye over it.

    I would be more concerned about this in a state with very loose gun laws–like Arizona–where you don’t, for example, need any special permitting for concealed carry.

  • http://N/A Steve

    In the United States this shouldn’t even have a need to be discussed. Did everone forget about the constitution that allows all true blooded Americans the “Right to bear arms”

    Employers who forbid firearms in their employee’s vehicles are likely the same unfair and unjust people who fear they will get caught some day and shot.

    Any employee who truley cares about their employees well being would surely support the employees right to carry a firearm for protection while traveling to and from the workplace.

  • JD

    Ok – is the State of Texas REALLY going to protect the employer if a disgruntled employee goes out to his car and takes his legally authorized gun out and comes back into the plant to ILLEGALLY shoot his co-workers? How does the company protect itself from the lawsuits from injured/killed employees & bystanders; say – well we didn’t have the right to protect you? If that would really work, why don’t we have a law that says the company isn’t responsible for your injury or death from not following safety training that says, don’t put your hand in there. Industry could save millions on machine guarding if that would be the case.

    I have worked at several plants where we had a policy of no firearms/weapons on plant site. Now I didn’t have to go out and check everyone’s car every day to make sure they didn’t have their deer rifle & camo in the trunk of their car or behind the seat of their truck; we depended on common sense. We did however tell people with open or concealed carry licenses that their right didn’t exend to our private property and leave their guns at home. Seemed to work fine for most folks.

  • EM

    Ok..I am in the south. Most all of the employees in my company are hunters including our President. About 1/3 of us have conceiled weapons permits and we do carry…there is a reason we took the course and train during the year. A few of us are former LEO, and others of us in various service outside of our company. Actually everyone in our comapny feels very safe with all of us because we do it the right way, and we do it for the protection of our family’s and co-workers. Simply…a loaded gun does not kill anyone. The person behind it does. Its about accountability and responsibility.

  • Jon B

    As someone who recently had a deranged man charge at me threatening to kill me because I called the cops on him for threatening to kill his (in)significant other in the middle of the road, I am very glad I had the option to defend myself. Congratulations to Texas and all of the other states who have realized that the police cannot be everywhere at all times to stop these mad folks.

  • Ginger

    The majority of people who have gone through the training to get a permit to carry have a better sense of when to and when not to use a firearm for self defense than your normal ciitizen, and are much less likely to use that form of defense unless it’s absolutely necessary. Unfortunately the public is led to believe that just because you own a gun and carry it you must be a crazed lunatic looking for an outlet. Criminals are called criminals because they don’t obey laws and they cause harm. A rule or law limiting an employee’s ability to have a gun in their car on company property won’t stop the criminal that is bent on doing harm.