22 States Now Say Businesses Can NOT Ban Guns on Their Property

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Across the country, employers are grappling with new laws that bring guns closer to the office.

Starbucks Corp. SBUX +1.83% made headlines recently when its chief executive asked customers to keep guns out of company cafes. His appeal thrust the company into local and nationwide debates about the role of private business and public gun laws.

Today, some 22 states have passed laws that limit property owners’ ability to ban firearms in vehicles in parking areas, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a San Francisco-based gun-control advocacy group.

Details vary by state, but under most so-called Bring Your Gun to Work laws, employers can keep firearms out of offices and factory floors, but they can’t ban weapons in the parking lot.

Some companies have taken the changes in stride, but others are rewriting their human-resources policies, training employees to detect early signs of employee aggression and considering extra security for tense situations like termination meetings. Law firms specializing in labor and employment say managers are bombarding them with questions about adapting to the new measures.

Many big employers, including FedEx Corp.FDX +2.96% , Volkswagen AGVOW.XE +1.48% , Caterpillar Inc.CAT +0.56% and Bridgestone Corp.5108.TO +0.71% , have fought the laws, arguing that their right to maintain a safe workplace—and set the rules on their property—should trump the right to carry a gun.

“Much like a private homeowner is able to tell his guests whether they can bring a gun into his yard, FedEx should have the right to decide what it will and will not allow on its private property,” Mark Hogan, vice president of U.S. security for FedEx Express told Tennessee lawmakers last year. Tennessee considered—and eventually passed—a law allowing guns in parking lots.

Gun-rights advocates counter that such laws increase worker safety, and say that workers have a right to protect themselves during their commutes. The National Rifle Association has flexed its lobbying muscle to push the laws, garnering the support of Republican state legislators, and even some Democrats.

This year Illinois became the latest state to pass a concealed-carry law. Expected to go into effect early next year, the law will allow workers to bring guns to the office parking lot.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has held several sold-out seminars on how employers should prepare for the new law. At the Chicago office of labor lawyers Ogletree Deakins, attorneys are recommending clients overhaul their violence-prevention policies to explicitly define unacceptable behavior. Since a concealed-carry permit won’t show up on a background check in many states, they are also advising employers to require staff with handgun permits to report them to human resources, said Tobias E. Schlueter, a shareholder at the law firm.

That rankles gun advocates. “I don’t think it’s any of their business. Period,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. Concealed-carry permit-holders undergo stringent background checks, he said.

Last year 375 workers were killed in shootings on the job, according to the Labor Department, and in recent years the number has been lower than pre-recession levels. A 2005 North Carolina-based study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that workplaces that allowed guns were about five times more likely to have a worker get killed on the job compared to workplaces that prohibited all kinds of weapons.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

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  • SirGregor

    The next time there’s a workplace shooting in any of these businesses which ban guns … the families of the victims should sue the #*&A% out of them for not providing proper security and for not allowing employees to defend themselves.

    Once these businesses start losing millions in lawsuits, they’ll change their stance.

    • George

      Gun free zones of any sort are just targets. These businesses say they want to make it a safe workplace. That just is not true. As for telling your employer that you have a carry permit, not going to happen. None of their business. If my gun is not welcome in your place of business, you don’t get any of my money, I’ll shop elsewhere.

    • Gunluvr

      Not really since some states indemnify businesses against such suits and a jury will probably reach the same conclusion.

    • splitshot

      I am a retired worker of an Ohio business. I have had a CCW permit from the very beginning of approval. I raised the question to elite management personal about what their stance was concerning CCW. Their stance was and still is that weapons discovered anywhere on company property would result in on the spot termination of employment. They claimed that their 1 man security is sufficient to handle any problems. Okay. We have one security guard that we depend on to protect us. His only weapons of determent to workplace violence is a Bic pen, and an Epipen, due to his issues with diabetes. Poor sole is in his 70’s. So there we have it. Issue? 5 workers down due to disgruntled employee. Security guard corners the perp and threatens with epipen. Security guard has heart attack. Perp takes down 5 more employees. Cops been called yet? Nope. Management running for their lives. My point is not to carry in the workplace. But should the situation arise, I can garner some hope in my vehicle in the lot. But that raised another question. Even as a CCW permit holder, I am left unprotected traveling to and from work because of the stance my employer took banning weapons on company property. Something wrong here.

      • dirtybird

        Don’t like it? THEN GET ANOTHER JOB!

        There is no right to be employed that supersedes the private property rights of property owners. People who don’t own a property do not get to dictate terms of behavior to the person that owns that property.

        • Justin Kinser

          So businesses can invalidate individual rights?

          • dirtybird

            No, the owners of businesses can assert THEIR property rights, instead.

            Don’t you see that if you force a property to allow you onto his or her property against his or her wishes then it is YOU that is attempting to invalidate THEIR individual rights?

            Did you forget about the right to property?

            If you take away a property owner’s right to decide what is or is not allowed on his property, then you have stripped that person of his property rights.

            You do NOT have an individual right to invade another person’s property against his or her wishes. Don’t you understand this?

          • Justin Kinser

            A business is a legal entity with its own rights and legal standing. The Individual Rights of a living, breathing human being are not to be superseded by a legal entity. If you open your business to the public, you cannot exclude people for merely exercising their rights in a reasonable manner that does not directly interfere with your ability to do business.

          • dirtybird

            That business is OWNED by a “living, breathing human being” and you are basically saying that person has no rights.

            If I own a piece of property, then it is MINE! Not yours. Not anyone else’s. MINE. I have the ONLY right to determine what is or is not allowed on MY PROPERTY.

            If I don’t want you carrying a weapon on my property then it is my absolute right to enforce my wishes and desires upon my property. Why? Because it’s mine, that’s why! I own it.

            If you don’t like the rules that I create and enforce for my property, THEN STAY OFF MY PROPERTY!

            Do you understand the concept of property ownership?

            Oh, and for your information, I can, as a matter of fact, “exclude people for merely exercising their rights”.

            If I, as a business owner, do not like what you have to say, then it is my absolute right to BAN you from my business and my property. I have no requirements to meet before I can ban you from my property. All I need to legally ban you from my property is the will to do so. If I will it, then it is so.

            You don’t have a right to exercise your rights on other people’s property.

            Exercise your rights all you want ON YOUR PROPERTY. Just stay off of mine!

          • Justin Kinser

            Private property and commercial property are two different things, especially when that commercial property is made accessible to the public. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for denying someone service but denying service based on race, origin, nationality, sex, gender, sexual orientation or any other inborn trait (as well as religion) is nothing more than arbitrary, prejudicial discrimination. No matter how much you overuse capital letters, such discrimination is harmful and that’s why courts have consistently ruled against regressive business owners who think they can punish people for being different. Welcome to Democracy.

          • NCBrian

            you didn’t understand his argument at all.
            the rights people have that flow out of the constitution address what congress can or can not do. a right isn’t something that’s given but rather something that can not be taken away without due process.

            to that end government can make laws that restrict your rights, but it isn’t a restriction of your rights for a property owner to exercise his or her rights.

            A property owner banning guns from private property is no more a violation of anyone’s rights than banning people from peacefully assembling on his property, eg trespassing.

          • inorganicmolecule

            I don’t think that YOU understand the concept of property ownership. You don’t own anything, really.

          • dirtybird

            A property owner has the absolute right to ban the carrying of weapons by visitors to his property.

          • inorganicmolecule


          • inorganicmolecule

            The only rights you have as a property “owner” are the rights that the municipality and state you live in allow you. You have no inherent “rights” to any part of your land.

          • dirtybird

            Your beliefs make you a COMMUNIST.

        • inorganicmolecule

          Uh – what about the city where the business is located? Are you making the ridiculous assertion that the laws don’t apply to businesses?

          • dirtybird

            No government entity has the authority to require that property owners allow visitors to carry weapons on their property.

          • NCBrian

            i agree with everything you’ve said. banning guns from private property is no more a violation of your second amendment right than kicking you out of my house for saying something i don’t like is a violation of your first amendment right.

            i am 100% in favor of the second amendment and i think private gun-bans are stupid – but at the end of the day you either believe in freedom or you don’t. and property rights are just as sacrosanct and inalienable as the right to bear arms.

          • NCBrian

            he’s absolutely right. and no – that’s not what he’s asserting at all. think about it this way, banning guns from private property is no more a violation of your second amendment right than kicking you out of my house for saying something i don’t like is a violation of your first amendment right.

            it might not be a smart policy, but i can not see how it’s unconstitutional. not allowing private businesses exclusivity rights of their property on the other hand…

      • inorganicmolecule

        You say elite like it’s a dirty word. The word “elite” refers to people of superior ability and intelligence. Or are you simply envious?

  • Bradley Gill

    SirGregor.. The problem is lawsuits will go both ways.. If you allow guns you can get sued… So that won’t be reason enough..

    • freedoms

      The problem with this argument is when you have a LAW ABIDING concealed carry person or an off duty police officer/military person that could have prevented their loved one from being killed or hurt but couldn’t because they were LAW ABIDING citizens and left their weapon in a safe location due to a business not allowing them to carry their legal concealed weapon then that business should be and could be held liable for those injuries or the loss. I would think that the business would/could be held responsible for the injuries….they are supposed to have liability insurance after all… and if they fail to provide reasonable security ( an armed guard perhaps) for the protection of their patrons…..I would think that businesses would think about this kind of stuff of they do not want to allow legal concealed weapons carriers then they might need to hire PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED and VISIBLE guards to keep their patrons safe….this ought to add at least another $50,000. to their payroll and more than that to their total insurance cost per year.

      • WATSON

        It is your right to carry your gun, just like it is your right to chose where you spend your money. Therefore you cannot sue due to a violent shooting where you were unarmed. You had every right to go to a different business that offered the same services as well as allowing you to carry. The choice is yours.

    • milehisnk

      There are multiple lawsuits filed against Century Theaters for the Batman shooting for not providing adequate security in a business that doesn’t allow patrons to provide their own. And I agree with them fully for that lawsuit, they deserve it. Fortunately, Colorado state law says that “no guns” signs do not specifically hold the weight of law unless there are measures in place to ensure no firearms can get in, including searches and metal detectors at all entrances.

    • Justin Kinser

      //If you allow guns you can get sued.//

      On what basis?

  • Shirou Zhiwu

    Your car is private property. A land or business owner has no right to know or control what is in the personal cars of visitors or employees.

    • Jaaagggg

      Hell yeah they do. It’s private property same as your home and they are people like us. Want to keep your rights? Respect other’s. Driving your private car on someone else’s property in violation of their rules or without consent is trespassing.

      • freedoms

        No one has the right to see what is in a private car the same way that no one has the right to go look in cabinets, desk drawers/kitchen drawers or closets…..Everyone needs to respect the privacy of the other …Homeowners/business owners need to respect the rights of the people coming into their homes and businesses the same as the ones coming into said places should respect the owners rights to not nose around inside private places in the home/businesses!

      • milehisnk

        No, they don’t. Would you approve of a company that only allows drivers of Japanese cars to park their cars in the lots? Or only cars less than 5 years old? How about only compact cars, so if you drive an SUV, too bad? Oh, and no car seats, that means you have kids, and kids make your car look messy, and they don’t want messy cars in their lot. Guess what? Too fckin bad. In 38 states, your car is an extension of your home, and thus a business or land owner has NO rights to restrict what you keep in it, that’s called Castle Doctrine.

      • Bonnie Blue Kennel

        then by that way of thinking I should be able to tell any officer to remove his gun before coming on my property

        • Ryan Krizen

          Yes you should – it’s YOUR property. You should be able to do whatever you want with it as long as you aren’t causing harm to someone else. It’s yours, you make the rules there. Otherwise, property belongs to everyone and everyone gets to do whatever they want on everyone else’s property.

          No if they are coming pursuant to a search order or with reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed that is something completely different.

      • Shirou Zhiwu

        They have a right to whether they come on your property, but not what they have in the car. The driveway and walkway to the front door may be an exception as it is your houses public access point, but otherwise you either trust the person or not.

  • Jan

    Do any of you remember the violent shooting at a Luby’s Cafeteria several years ago? The gunman plowed thru the front window with his car and then opened fire on everyone – I forgot how many were killed that day. Did you know that there was a Law Enforcement Conference going on at the same time in the building tied to the Luby’s? They weren’t allowed to bring their guns in to the conference room so they were all locked in their cars. By the time they were able to get to their cars and retrieve their gun – it was all over and several people were dead.
    We *should* learn from these tragedies, but we don’t.

    • Bonnie Blue Kennel

      and those numbers that were killed there were included in the workplace numbers.. they skewed the numbers

    • Kathy Young

      Yes. One woman was in the restaurant with her parents. They were shot and killed in front of her. Her weapon was in the car b/c it was “illegal” (unConstitutionally) for her to bring it inside. This was at a Luby’s in Killen, TX. Look it up.

      • Jan

        Thanks, Kathy! My memory is so bad these days. I knew it was in Texas but couldn’t remember the detailed information. I have heard the daughter talk of her experience and about her having to secure her gun in her car and therefore, couldn’t try and defend the victims.

      • Nicole Ar

        That’s where the Army base is… Ft Hood?

  • Eric Smith

    I am Pro-Second Amendment as well as being Pro-Property Rights. My right to keep and bear arms ends at your Property Line if you so choose to ban guns on YOUR property. Any property owner, Corporately or Privately, has the right to dictate what is not allowed on their property. This is just simple common sense. Guns, just like cocaine, can be a problem in the work place. Ask the last guy who got fired what he’d have done if he’d have had a gun in his car. Many would have used them or at least have been tempted. Especially, if they thought that the firing was unjustified in their eyes. How many more killings would there have been? Yes, corporations have a responsibility to provide a reasonably safe working environment, and part of that is to limit access to guns on THEIR property to anyone, outside of law enforcement. Could they hire armed security? Sure, but are you willing to forego that next raise or bonus to help pay for it? Honestly speaking, most of you will say NO!. Being rather blunt, most gun owners have never taken a gun safety class nor even marksmanship training. Let’s face it, there are some people who just should not be allowed to own a gun. We all know someone like that.

    • Sam Morgan

      I believe the laws address concealed carry, which, in Texas, requires that you be proficient with the weapon you carry and includes gun safety class in the training.

      • WATSON

        In Ohio we also have to take a proficiency course, legal course, and safety course all tied into one weekend program, yet I honestly believe over half of the people in the program I completed should have been failed on all three counts. These courses are not adequate by any means.

    • I don’t believe that law enforcement should have any rights that are different than the citizen. we are the ones who ask for law enforcement therefore we are the law enforcement. and we all have a civic duty to act appropriately. I am tempted to choke people out on a daily basis for stupidity but I don’t act on it. just because someone could be tempted is not reason enough to take my rights away. sorry this means exactly what it says. “shall not be infringed”. no victim no crime. stop trying to control by legislation what cannot be controlled to beginwith.

    • Robert Paul Doran

      “Guns, just like cocaine, can be a problem in the work place.” -Eric Smith

      This is BY FAR the stupidest non sequitur/straw man, anti-gun argument I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Forget about comparing apples and oranges. Let’s compare guns and cocaine!

      “Ask the last guy who got fired what he’d have done if he’d have had a gun in his car. Many would have used them or at least have been tempted… How many more killings would there have been? ”

      Who are you talking about? Do you think legal gun owners are law abiding citizens… UNTIL they get fired from their job. At which point they turn into raving lunatic ‘gun-toting-zombies’ who run to the nearest gun and shoot everyone in sight.
      THAT is exactly what you are saying!
      Do some research. What was the political and religious affiliation of all of the mass shooting perpetrators? All liberal, atheist, socialist, Muslim or otherwise left wing nut jobs.
      By contrast, every gun owner I know and meet are sober minded, circumspect and conscientious. Never met anyone otherwise. They are reasonable, intelligent and resourceful. More often than not, they’re College educated, dependable, grounded people with families. They are moms and dads, brothers and sisters, regular people with friends and an active social life. In short, they have A LOT to loose by going off and shooting people indiscriminately. That would just be stupid.
      And yet you claim in your broad brush comment that none of those character traits mean anything in the wake of getting fired from a job. Seriously?!? So they just lose all ability to think rationally and examine cause and effect? They can no longer differentiate between right and wrong? Getting fired is an action that warrants and justifies the use of lethal force… on everybody in the workplace?
      I’ve been laid off twice since 1987. I’ve been fired once in 1984 and ‘let go’ before the end of my 90 day probation period once in 1995. For the record, I was laid off in July 2008. I had a gun in my car that day. Nobody died. I went out and found another job. Because that’s what people do.
      The job is not life. There is only one life. But there are lots and lots of jobs.

      You say you are pro Second Amendment. Do us all a favor, don’t speak on our behalf anymore.

      • Bonnie Blue Kennel

        Havent you figure it out that he is talking about himself.. people usually judge others by themselves… So in all probability he shouldnt own a gun

    • freedoms

      Cars are private property no one has the right to tell a person what he/she can or cannot carry inside their PRIVATE car. Just like people should not start going into PRIVATE places inside the home/businesses….such as desk/kitchen drawers, storage areas, closets, cabinets, etc. Everyone needs to learn to respect the right to the others privacy period. A gun in a locked car is no more dangerous to the people inside the home/business than a medicine cabinet full of prescription pain pills/drugs in someones private medicine cabinets….Both pain pills/drugs and guns can be used to hurt people if they are used in the wrong way by a person.

      • Bonnie Blue Kennel

        so can a tire iron, baseball bat, any number of things
        heck the car itself could be a weapon if someone was inclined that way, so we ban everything?

    • Ron Spencer

      “Guns, just like cocaine, can be a problem in the work place.”

      Guns are nothing like cocaine. Guns if legally in your possession are not against the law. Guns do not impair your ability to think clearly.

      “Ask the last guy who got fired what he’d have done if he’d have had a gun in his car. Many would have used them or at least have been tempted. Especially, if they thought that the firing was unjustified in their eyes.”
      How can you say this? Would you be worried about the last guy that got fired coming in with a bow and arrow? How about a ball bat? A bottle of booze that he could light up or a gallon of gas? It appears that you have a problem rationalizing what law abiding means. Just because a person has a gun does not mean he is going to shoot someone anymore than a person with a pocket knife is going to stab someone. Please think this through, most people with guns practice with them. They shoot targets and lean the gun. They bought the gun to protect themselves if it is in the car and want to be able to use it if something happens. It seems that all the anti gun people think those of us that have firearms just go buy them and run around looking for a fight and that is just simply not the case.

  • what 22 states? I’d like to know

  • Robert Paul Doran

    wait… WHAT?!?
    “…Since a concealed-carry permit won’t show up on a background check in many states, they are also advising employers to require staff with handgun permits to report them to human resources, said Tobias E. Schlueter, a shareholder at the law firm.”

  • Robert Paul Doran

    “Guns, just like cocaine, can be a problem in the work place.” -Eric Smith

    This is BY FAR the stupidest non sequitur/ straw man argument I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

    “Ask the last guy who got fired what he’d have done if he’d have had a gun in his car. Many would have used them or at least have been tempted.”

    Who the hell are you talking about? Do you think legal gun owners are law abiding citizens… UNTIL they get fired from their job. Then they turn into raving lunatics who run to the nearest gun and shoot everyone in sight.
    THAT is exactly what you are saying!

    You say you are pro Second Amendment. Do us all a favor, don’t speak on our behalf anymore.

  • Personally, I’m armed as much as possible at all times. But if they wanted, all employers have to do is make it a company policy that employees sign as a condition of employment, and if they have guns on-site, in the building, parking lot of wherever, they get terminated.

    • Bonnie Blue Kennel

      if i was told to sign something at work..that i didnt agree with … I always add beside or under it the words…… under duress

      • I understand your intent in doing so, but in most states if an employer sets this as a company policy and if you don’t follow it, then they simply terminate you.

      • dirtybird

        And if I, as the manager, see that you added such a ridiculous stipulation to the signed document, then you would be fired on the spot for insubordination.

  • Mac

    Ok lets be open minded shall we ? You car is your property though it’s parked on the property owned by the people you work for it’s still “your” car ! As long as you leave the fire arm tucked out of site in your car it shouldn’t be an issue. If you forget you’re still wearing it by the time you make it to your desk, find an excuse to go back to your car and secure the fire arm and go back to work. It’s that simple !
    Now as for letting HR know you are a CCW permit holder….. HELL NO ! It’s none of their business that you own a gun of any kind. Other than what you do for them on their property from 9 to 5 they have no right or reason to know ANYTHING about what you do or do not own as a private citizen !

    • Nicole Ar

      Yep, when I was in my 20s and I would make enough at a job to treat myself to say a new cell phone, they would f-in fire me and I know a co worker said that after I was fired they were saying just that that since I had money to buy a phone I didn’t need the job. How stupid! It’s best to never tell people your business and keep to yourself.

  • freddy t

    I am an NRA Firearms instructor and really need to know which States they are!!!!!

  • freddy t

    I am an NRA Firearms instructor and really need to know which States they are!!!!!

  • Randall Shrader

    Funny how private property owner rights trump the 2nd amendment. Yet if the same was done on race, religion, or limit what you may speak about there would be cries of violating their civil rights. I do not want to hear that there are laws against that. No other laws trump the US Constitution.

    • Tin

      Martial Law trumps the Constitution – just ask Obama.

  • AM

    Tell us what states! That’s common sense. If you are making a claim in an article, back it up with specifics!

    • Nicole Ar

      Yeah, but an article from Yahoo’s home page… they never follow good journalism and grammar.

  • Denison Native

    You know, I really don’t have a problem with no guns in the actual workplace. There was one place I worked at that had a weapons restriction. The bad part was that in order to get to work, I had to travel through some pretty rough parts of the city. I was packing every day I went to work. I just kept my mouth shut about the weapon in my vehicle. Nobody knew any different and all was good. I think that people who possess a carry permit, or if state law doesn’t require a permit, SHOULD be able to protect themselves, if need be, on the way to & from work.

  • Sandy

    I think this link will take you to a map of the states..http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303983904579095532026750354

  • John Phillips

    And then the NRA bans weapons from it’s meetings.

  • James Elliott

    The travesty of the laws related to the workplace is the mindset of “gun free zone” which doesn’t work. Of those who died from office shootings, if a person had a gun in their car, they would have to go out, retrieve gun and face the perpetrator in order to stop the shooting; however, by that time the carnage has already been done. It is too late to rectify the situation. Security guards are not cheap and they cannot be everywhere at once in order to stop a shooting in the workplace. The best and cheapest solution is to certify employees in their workplace with guns,

  • alicestar6

    New Mexico has held strong that a persons vehicle is an extension of their home effectively making your vehicle your own piece of sovereign personal territory no matter where it is parked or operated. that means while you are in your vehicle you can conceal carry or open carry a loaded firearm on your hip or tucked into your seat and its ok! I have no Idea how such a liberal state has such awesome basic human rights like this but we do so come down to New Mexico, We could use a few more supporters of the constitution to hit our voting poles to help keep these laws this great!

  • dirtybird

    A private business may not be able to pursue criminal trespass charges against an employee that keeps a gun in his or her car in the business’s parking lot, BUT, that same private business may, however, add a “no gun on premises” clause to the terms of employment or the employment contract. If the employee violates the terms of employment or contract, then the employee can simply be fired for cause at that point.

    Private property is private property. The owners of private property should have the absolute right to determine what other people are allowed to do or not do on the property.

  • Bonnie Blue Kennel

    If a business has a full compliment of armed guards. With metal detectors. And so on.. then and only then can they take the responsibility of my safety. If they choose to fire me then by all means, I would welcome a lawsuit… Against them.. All guns are welcome on my property, keep them holstered, unless requested otherwise, drawing a weapon for no proper reason. Will be taken as a act of aggression. PERIOD!! Also unless posted or fenced off, there is a legal right of way. To your front door… And yes your entitled to sign under duress on anything u are being forced to sign, under threat.. which is what companies are doing when they mandatory, your signature

  • John

    What’s next? A law telling home owners that they can’t tell guests that they can’t bring guns with them?