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Workplace violence meet “Guns-in-Trunks” states.

February 5, 2018

Given the active shooter climate, businesses might wish to establish written workplace violence prevention policies prohibiting anyone save armed guards or law enforcement from entering any part of the property with firearms.

 

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On January 12, 2018, a Texas automobile dealership manager was shot in his office.  Authorities say a dispute over a employee's working hours preceded the active shooter episode. The employee has been charged with aggravated assault.

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However, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and many other states have “Guns-in-Trunks” or “Parking Lot” legislation on their books.

 

Generally speaking these laws make it illegal for businesses to forbid their permit-holding employees from possessing firearms in their vehicles that are parked in the employer-owned parking lot or parking garage.

 

These laws also include sections which spell out how these firearms are to be stored within the vehicle in question. 

 

For instance according to Code Ann. Section 39-17-1313 of Tennessee law, an employer may not terminate or take other disciplinary action against an employee who has a firearm in his vehicle parked in the company’s parking lot or garage so long as that firearm is stored in a manner that is consistent with 39-17-1313(a). 

 

Business owners are urged to consult with counsel before adopting employment policies to ensure they do not violate state and/or federal laws.

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