Employers, Property Rights and Guns


John P. Rodgers, writing at mondaq.com, has just noticed that ‘guns in cars’ laws are being considered by various legislatures around the country. Here’s a hot tip: he doesn’t appear to be in favor of them. Setting Rodgers’s opinion aside, however, let’s look at the businesses’ objections to the law. To wit . . .

The legislative push – largely backed by the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun rights groups – has met resistance from employers who argue the laws would make it easier for disgruntled employees to cause harm and infringes upon their private property rights.

Let’s take care of that last bit first, the part about property rights. Does this mean that if I hang signs on my business saying things like “Coloreds keep out” or “No Irish need apply” I can count on these property rights stalwarts to support me?

Thought not.

Now about those “disgruntled employees,” let me see if I can follow the logic Rodgers is using here. If states allow guns to be stored in cars, then some employee is going to fly into a murderous rage, stomp out to their Malibu, retrieve a weapon and go back inside to commit multiple acts of murder.

But, if guns are prohibited in cars, then that same employee is going to fly into a murderous rage, stomp out to their Malibu and drive home and retrieve their weapon. Then, rather than returning to work to commit multiple acts of murder, he’ll instead decide to stay home and make a ham sandwich.

Seriously?

comments

  1. avatar Cameron S. says:

    A “no guns in the parking lot” sign/policy would do nothing to stop someone from going postal. If an employee wants to shoot up the office, I don’t think they’re going to care/listen to an unenforceable policy.

    What’s up with antis and not being able to common sense things out?

    1. avatar William says:

      They believe if they wish upon a star hard enough, Tinkerbell will come back to life. It’s as simple as that.

      Now you can explain it to others.

      1. avatar APBTFan says:

        They also need to click their heels and say “make the bad things go away!”.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      They run on emotion. They have never been taught to think critically so they absolutely do not know how. I’m talking about people who can hold down white collar jobs. I know, I used to be one of them. I had to teach myself to think critically.

  2. avatar JoshinGA says:

    This is the thought process we are arguing against. Utterly moronic. Common sense was apparently the one thing these “highly educated” liberals didnt learn in school.

    1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      I find their thought process to be closer to:
      You: 1+1=2.
      Them: Check, got it.
      You: 2+2=4.
      Them: Still with you.
      You: Therefore, 1+1+1+1=4
      Them: ????????????

      My point being, they understand short strings of thought. Get them more than a couple steps in, chaos.

      1. avatar Cameron S. says:

        That is a perfect way of putting it. I have never been able to explain it as well as you just did. I am keeping that.

      2. avatar Josh says:

        Excellent analogy. The only trouble is that I’m not sure they understand 1 + 1. They’re not able to make any logical connections. As Thomas Sowell would say, they can’t think beyond stage one.

        1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

          Well, I agree with you, but then again, I don’t. On the whole, if you take away guns, then gun crime goes down. (Their theory, not mine). So, 1+1=2. When you argue that taking away guns CAN reduce gun crime, but overall crime will go up and criminals will still have guns, now we’re at 1+1+1+1=4. Then they lose it.

        2. avatar Josh says:

          Good point, Kelly.

    2. avatar Kat says:

      It should start at home. As kids, when we did something bad, my dad would ask “why did you do that?” And the “I don’t know” WAS not an acceptable answer. That is the start of developing not just critical thing skills, but thinking period!

  3. avatar HAVE GUN says:

    In Kansas, parking lots, open spaces are all open to conceal carry. Just gotta be careful on Federal property like P.O offices.

    1. avatar William says:

      What that law there about vehicles having to have lights that show their outline at night? More than four wheels? I never saw that anyplace else. Makes the highways more interesting at night; it takes a loooong time to get across Kansas!

  4. avatar gloomhound says:

    To my mind it all comes down to are cars property in the same vein as homes. If they are then business owners can chose to allow parking on their property or not, but they should have no say as to what an employee legally has in their car.

  5. avatar Mark N. says:

    So far at least–although if the banners keep at it this may change–gun owners are not a “suspect class” for the purposes of the anti-discrimination laws. Those laws state that you cannot be discriminated against because of your race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or sex, characteristics that are immutable. Gun ownership is not an immutable characteristic–you can leave your gun home and not be discriminated against. As a result, the right of private property owners to exclude those things not wanted, like guns, alcohol, etc., trumps the 2A. And finally, the 2A protects against government invasion, not an invasion by private persons. This is why it is necessary for legislatures to pass laws overruling the private property right, at least in “public” areas such as parking lots. I haven’t seen any proposals that would require businesses to accept gun bearing employees, and I doubt any such law would succeed.

    1. avatar William says:

      “And finally, the 2A protects against government invasion, not an invasion by private persons.”

      Ah, no. I’m gonna need some proof of that.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Try reading the Constitution. The first ten amendments makes clear that the described rights are kept by the States and by the People in their Sovereign capacity and not given to the Federal government. It used to be that these amendments were deemed to apply only to the Feds, not the States, until the 14th Amendment extended the People’s rights as preserved against state infringement or restriction. This is basic ConLaw–ask any lawyer. (IAAL, btw) This means that you have no right to bear arms on my property if I don’t allow you to. You don’t like it, you can leave.

        1. avatar Bob says:

          All of that is correct as I understand it. (I am not a lawyer, but have studied gun-rights issues extensively.) The problem with a ‘guns not allowed in your car in my parkung lot’ rule is that it prevents you from exercising your right to bear between your house and your work-place. Whenever a business has challenged a parking lot gun rights law in court, they always lose, because their rule would have effects far beyond their parking lot. The court states that the business may not take away your right to bear when you are NOT on their property, and that is what a “no guns in this parking lot” rule does.

        2. avatar theaton says:

          Mark N.
          Try reading the Constitution, it says nothing about States rights. Rights are retained by the people. The Constitution does not delegate rights. Rights are bestowed by our Creator. The Tenth Amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Ninth Amendment says “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Again, nothing about States.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I agree that your description fairly accurately describes the current situation as our courts see it. And I will explain to you why it is wrong.

      There is a hierarchy to rights: 1st life, 2nd liberty, 3rd property — in that priority. The best way I can justify that order is with two almost absurd examples.

      Example 1. If property rights are paramount, then a property owner can suddenly declare that any guests are subject to rape. Of course everyone intuitively recognizes that such a situation is not acceptable. And our laws bear that out.

      Example 2. If property rights are paramount, then a property owner can forbid a guest from rescue. Rescue could be in the form of using a fire extinguisher on site, a rescue inhaler for an asthmatic, or even an ambulance for a guest having a heart attack. Again, everyone intuitively recognizes that is unacceptable for a private property owner to prevent rescue.

      And think about the fact that a private property owner is liable for dangerous conditions such as icy steps or slippery floors. How can this be if private property rights are superior? The answer is that private property rights are not superior. Rather, our right to life is superior.

      For this reason, I believe it is wrong for a private property owner to restrain a person’s ability to respond to an attack. I would hope that everyone would agree that it would be criminal for a private property owner to physically restrain a guest enabling an attacker to successfully injure the guest. So how is it okay to virtually restrain a guest (prohibit personal firearms) and enable an attacker to successfully injure a guest?

      1. avatar theaton says:

        Well said uncommon. I can agree with all property rights up until the point the property owner invites the public onto said property. In other words, I agree with “posted: no trespassing. keep out” signs. Even then people have won lawsuits against property owners when they were injured on the property without being invited. When the owner invites the public onto your property you must give up some of your property rights in deference to the right to life and liberty of the public.

    3. avatar John L. says:

      Um, you can change your religion if you choose to do so, so…

      Oh, wait. Freedom of religion. Constitutionally protected right. Of course. But, um, if that’s the reason for not allowing religious discrimination, then…

      Oh, never mind. The folks here get it already, the banners would never see it.

  6. avatar speedracer5050 says:

    In the words of the Church Lady: “Ain’t that special”!!!! If I am a Concealed License holder and can legally carry a weapon in my vehicle anywhere I go then why would it be a problem having it secured in my car while I am at work??
    Been on my job over ten years and never had a problem with anything so why would it be problem now?? I understand about private property rights etc but come on!!

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      Two Dana Carvey references in one day? Shenanigans, I say!

      1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

        Well to quote another famous line: “What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is going on here?”
        Oh well: “Daddy love Ducky, Ducky love Daddy?!”

  7. avatar jwm says:

    Is the 2a a civil right? I believe it is. I’ve made this point a couple of times before about private business. If your doors are open to the public and it’s illegal to ban people of color or people of a different relegion or handicapped people, how can it be illegal to ban People of the Gun. I understand at a private residence a homeowner enforcing bans, but a public business?

    And because you’ve agreed to work for a business, does this negate your civil rights? Let a business owner announce he won’t hire blacks and see what happens. But can that same owner say he won’t hire People of the Gun and expect the same outrage?

    1. avatar anonymous says:

      > And because you’ve agreed to work for a business,
      > does this negate your civil rights?

      Yes.

      In 2008, the libertarian Reason magazine has argued that laws allowing employees to keep their guns in their cars violates the property rights of employers.

      the law doesn’t uphold gun rights. What it does do is infringe on property rights. The Florida Chamber of Commerce makes the obvious argument that there is no right “to have a gun in your car on someone else’s property” (my emphasis). But the law tells company owners they have no control over workers who insist on bringing deadly weapons onto their premises.

      Conceal-carry licensees complain that if they can’t keep their guns in their cars, they will have no protection on their way to and from work. That’s true. But what about employees who walk, bike, or take the bus? Since the law doesn’t give them the right to take their guns into the workplace, they have to leave them at home. Should the state force companies to let workers carry pistols into the factory, office, or day-care center?

      This is not a place where the government should substitute its judgment for that of the property owners.

      One law professor described Reason’s position as “repressive libertarianism,”

      where certain people who call themselves libertarians invariably side with property owners who want to limit other people’s liberties through the use of contract law. Property rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic clout) trump every other liberty. The libertarian defense of HOAs is the perfect example. The developer writes covenants and leaves. Everybody who lives there has to obey them forever, even if they lose due process of law and expressive liberties.

      As private corporations take over more functions of government, this position could lead to gradual elimination of constitutional liberties.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        So, Anonymous, we need the g to stop the private corporations from robbing us of our civil rights? Needing the g is probably going to be a tough sell for a lot of TTAG regulars.

        1. avatar Evan says:

          Most of these corporations only get as big as they do because they lobby government for special privileges. Take away the governments power to grant those privileges and the corporations will stop lobbying government. If government tries to supress corporations from going after influence, it won’t work. If government has the power, chronyism will find a way.

        2. avatar theaton says:

          Even,
          The government never had the authority to grant the privileges in the first place, we just let them do it.

      2. avatar mountocean says:

        Interesting. I assume a private employer would also be able to restrict the presence of a six pack, or a dirty magazine, or foul mouthed music cassette tapes or dark sunglasses in your car on their parking lot as well. Tyranny of the individual (property owner); a good reason for a government. To jwm’s point, G was needed in the 60’s civil rights movement.

        1. avatar William says:

          None of the things you mentioned have any effect upon protecting the employee’s life and limb. A gun DOES.

          I must be crazy. I see a distinction.

      3. avatar anonymous says:

        > So, Anonymous, we need the g to stop the
        > private corporations from robbing us of our civil rights?

        Where did I say that?

        > Needing the g is probably going to be a tough sell
        > for a lot of TTAG regulars.

        It is gun owners who are seeking government protection for their “rights”, so I’m not sure what your point — if you have one — is.

        PS – are you unable to spell out the word “government”, or is “g” some type of internet slang with which I am not familiar?

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I was referring to your statement about the private sector taking over more of GOVERNMENT functions, anonymous.

          As for the g I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you would be smart enough to figure it out.

          But apparently, that little g was enough to get you butthurt and snarky.

        2. avatar anonymous says:

          > But apparently, that little g was enough
          > to get you butthurt and snarky.

          You engage in projection too much.

          In what world is typing like a 13-year-old-girl supposed to be taken as a compliment? You are obviously a product of “publik skools” *, and probably a unionized government employee.

          * I spelled that out phonetically, because I assume you’re smart enough to get the joke. See how this works?

        3. avatar jwm says:

          And in what world is being arrogant and condescending to those who made a statement in answer to your comment proof of your intellectual superiority?

          I’ve looked over this thread and see no reason for you to be throwing your current hissy.

          As far as I’m concerned, it’s done.

        4. avatar anonymous says:

          > being arrogant and condescending

          Pot, kettle.

          But some people deserve to be treated in a condescending manner.

          > made a statement in answer to your comment

          Actually, you never answered my question. Instead, you decided to start a snark-fest you couldn’t win, and threw out words like “butt hurt”.

          Like the anti-gunners, you project your own feelings upon others.

        5. avatar theaton says:

          It is the duty of the government to protect the rights of all citizens. It is not the duty of the government or within it’s power to grant privileges to special groups.

    2. avatar William says:

      I think the point was that, Michael Jackson aside, black people stay black and white people stay white. Immutable, like the man said.

      But people convert from anti- to pro-gun all the time. Theoretically, at least, it could work in reverse. One is not born a “person of the gun”; it’s an acquired conviction.

      1. avatar theaton says:

        So gays have no rights? Many gays have hid their sexuality for most of their lives. When they decide to “come out,” do they automatically loose all of their rights? Humans are born with the right to self-defense. They may choose for a good part of their life not to use a gun for that defense or they may just be in denial that they are pro-gun. The right to self-defense is immutable just as much as the color of my skin.

    3. avatar Evan says:

      possibly yes…. This is why the part of the civil rights act about individual businesses not being allowed to discriminate was unconstitutional. It should have only granted equal protection under the law, and instead it violated business owners right to freedom of association. I’m not endorsing racism. Far from it. If a business is racist(just like if a online gun sales business decides to back down on the second amendment support) you boycott it and tell everybody what they really are and what they represent. but Saying you(private citizen) have to serve one group or another is unconstitutional. I don’t like my companies no gun policies, but at the end of the day, I don’t have to work there. Government on the other hand cannot discriminate. Government buildings should never be allowed to be gun free zones.

    4. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      While this event happened some time ago, I am reminded of walking into a Georgia diner with a two friends, one of whom happened to be black. We sat there for some time, no one even looked at us, I was to make a scene when my other buddy pointed out a sign which read ” We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone of our choosing”. In today’s day and age-Really? My boys and I rose and left, sadly I could hear the whoops and laughter as we walked out. The point I wish to illustrate is-businesses can more often than not, do what they wish with very little fear of repercussion, particularly when the environment they are in, or their clientele or workforce encourage this untoward behavior. Now imagine having the support of law.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        I have no reason to doubt your story, but the sign in and of itself is pretty standard fare for retail businesses.

        It’s just one of those ‘standard disclaimers’. Basically an excuse to kick out drunks, eh-holes, and that lot. But, if you were somewhere they were actually whooping as you left with one black dude in your group, that sign was the least of your worries.

  8. avatar Rambeast says:

    I wonder how castle doctrines play into this. In my state, my car is as protected as my home. My employer has this policy. I drive all over 3 counties supporting their satellite sites. A few are in bad parts of town. Unless they want to issue a Public Safety officer (they cannot carry a firearm either) to ride with me, then they can pucker up and play a game called “guess what I had for breakfast”.

  9. avatar ST says:

    The logic from businesses is based on liability.

    If a bad guy gets shot by an employee in the course of a robbery,in an ideal world the employee would get promoted.In our sorry excuse for one, the bad guy or his survivors would have the legal ability to sue the business ; even if the scumbag loses, the legal costs for defense can get expensive quick.

    By comparison, if the scumbag shoots up the office the company isn’t liable. There was a sign and corporate policy banning guns, so tough cookies victims. The only thing the company pays for in this event is the cost of replacing the blood-stained carpet.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      And the workers’ compensation to its employees, as well as, in appropriate circumstances, failure to provide adequate security for their customers.

  10. avatar OldLawman says:

    I ignore all such signs, rules, etc., such as at major shopping malls (otherwise known as target-rich environments). As long as I do not have to go through a metal detector, I pay them no attention. If I do have to go through a metal detector, such as at a courthouse or airport, then obviously I do not carry. Or avoid them altogether.

    You, and only you, are responsible for your own safety. I have carried concealed for over 30 years, and have never been approached because my gun was seen.

    1. avatar William says:

      You should change your handle to Old Scofflaw!

    2. avatar Brock says:

      In my state those signs do not carry the force of law. If you print and are asked to leave by the owner or their representative you must, or are trespassing, but you have not committed a crime by ignoring the sign. IN btw.

  11. avatar Josh says:

    You hit the nail on the head, Bruce. Yes, the lefties truly believe that if the guns are taken away, all the bad guys will turn into good guys. They truly believe that we are defined by things external to us. Change the surroundings, change the man. They’ve been pushing this line ever since the days of Rousseau, and they’re not going to let anything so petty as facts or logic stop them.

  12. avatar Dave says:

    I see a practical problem with guns in cars – thieves would know where to steal guns, in company parking lots. Otherwise, the more rights, the merrier.

    1. avatar theaton says:

      How would they know where the guns are? Is every car going to have a gun in it? I’ve kept a firearm in my car for years, it doesn’t have a magic sign on it that says gun in this car.

      1. avatar elnonio says:

        True for your cars, perhaps.

        But any car with an NRA, Glock, TEA party, Republican, and other stickers indicative of your stance on 2A would tell a thief that there is an increased possibility that a firearm is inside, particularly if the business also displays “no guns allowed” signs.

        Contrary to popular belief, thieves are not all stupid, can use their brains, and do profile victims.

  13. avatar Josh says:

    Lefties follow the same path in every area of policy. For example, they champion calling vagrants “the homeless” because they believe that if you give a vagrant a home, he will be transformed into a conscientious homeowner.

    They also believe that if we artificially boost the income of a fellow who can’t hold a job or manage his money, he’ll suddenly grow up and follow the straight and narrow.

    Hand out “free” condoms in school and teenagers will behave coolly and carefully, right?

    Yes, they really are that stupid, and their policies have been dragging down our society for decades.

  14. avatar Wiregrass says:

    My company has shit for security. I am a supervisor there. What about my right to defend myself from said disgruntled employee?

    1. avatar ExNuke says:

      Your company says you are out of luck. Piss off a lunatic and he decides to shoot you just hide under your desk.

  15. avatar Joshua says:

    I am conflicted on this. In CA, if you have a license to carry, there are almost no restrictions. You can conceal carry in a bar, you can conceal carry in a school (as far as CA law goes you can carry with permission of the superindentant even without a license to carry). There are no 30-06 signs like Texas. I mean, a store can put up a sign, but no law forces you to care.

    However, while there is no crime, employers can still fire you for carrying, or leaving it in your car. On one hand that strikes me as undermining my ability to defend myself…on the other hand, what about property rights? What standard do we want to apply to the limitations of property rights? Some limitation must exist, as with every right, but what is the standard…if they cannot say I cannot have a gun, what can they say?

    Perhaps there is a legal distinction that should be invoked here. I know in CA you can conceal carry without a license in your home, or in your business (defined as any place you have proprietary interest in) or with permission of the owner, provided it is not a public or semi-public area. By that is meant an area where the general public can freely enter without molestation, like the shopping area of a grocery store, but not the offices in the back. Or the sidewalk in front of your house, or your (unenclosed) front yard, but not your back yard. Perhaps we should say if they can only allow it in truly private areas, they can only forbid it there too. And hence is the parking lot is not fenced off with restricted access, it is semi-public and if you can legally carry or store a gun, then they cannot restrict you…by opening it to the public, they limit their claims. I think that would be a reasonable standard

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      I am conflicted on this. In CA, if you have a license to carry, there are almost no restrictions. You can conceal carry in a bar, you can conceal carry in a school (as far as CA law goes you can carry with permission of the superindentant even without a license to carry). There are no 30-06 signs like Texas. I mean, a store can put up a sign, but no law forces you to care.

      That’s because the current CCW laws in CA are structured around the assumption that if you are licensed to carry concealed, you are a member of a special class such as law enforcement. The fact that we have significant numbers of filthy commoners getting CCW permits these days (see: Sacramento) means they get to temporarily enjoy privileges reserved for the knighthood and the nobles, er, I mean CA LEOs and politicians.

      When California is forced by the courts to go shall-issue across the board, not just outside the coastal urban enclaves, I’m certain that the basis of our current CCW regulations will be re-examined and a whole new set of rules put in place. That will absolutely be part of the deal demanded by the urban-area legislators, to the maximum extent permitted by the courts and then 10% more.

      I’m just hoping they’ll do dumb stuff like precisely specify no-gun signage size, location, etc. so that we can safely ignore it any time it’s not posted properly. 🙂

  16. avatar eugene says:

    i like that ham sandwich bit…

  17. avatar Mat says:

    The weapons I own are my responsibility and if they ever leave my house I have them under my direct control at all times.

    My gun goes from my safe to my hip and at the end of the day from my hip back to my safe. The furthest my rifle goes is the 6ft or so from my drivers seat to the trunk as I drive to and from the range or whatever.

    Otherwise I don’t carry/ have a firearm.

  18. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    I am fighting this issue at work. They agree that a policy will not stop a disgruntled employee and haven’t fought state statutes in other company locations where the law allows it, but of course, the main thing they are worried about is being LIABLE when said employee goes postal. As long as they have an employer exemption, they are cool. think about that next time your boss tells you that people are our most valuable resource . . . .

    1. avatar William says:

      ” next time your boss tells you that people are our most valuable resource . . . .”

      Until the moment they cease to so consider you. Everyone knows how that goes.

  19. avatar Silver says:

    Businesses should have the right to set whatever rules they wish, just as customers and employees have the right to tell em to F off, as I frequently do for stores with no guns signs.

    Likewise, we can make the choice to ignore such signs altogether.

  20. avatar Robert Bub says:

    My employer disallows firearms (even lawful concealed carry permit holders) in the building but allows them to stay in employees vehicles. But think that it’s more out of concern that a discharged weapon could “potentially” ignite the flammable chemicals used in the building than “disgruntled” employees.

  21. avatar Texas Colt carry says:

    In Texas, employee parking provided by a business must allow the employee to keep their firearm locked in their vehicle with a very few limited exceptions. The vehicle is regarded as private property of the employee as well as its contents. The employer is not liable for the employees property.

    That said, I carry at work. Openly at that with the business owners blessing. I also interact with customers all day long and have yet to have a single negative reaction from anyone at all. Everyone sees it, yet its treated with about as much attention as a BIC pen in my shirt pocket. It is a IWB holster with a full size Kimber .45 with my shirt tucked in. I work in auto repair, not a bank.

    Actually way more common than admitted, guns in cars , employers and employees as well as customers carrying.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      Your experience SHOULD be everyone’s.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    I’m going to do this once, because those of you who want to understand probably do, and those of you who don’t want to understand probably never will.

    Second Amendment rights are Constitutional rights of the people against the government. The GOVERNMENT only. Not against private persons. Property rights are rights of the property owner against the world. That’s EVERYBODY.

    An non-governmental employer can violate your Second Amendment rights to their heart’s content because those rights don’t impact your employer, only governments. It’s not that their property rights trump your 2A rights. It’s that your 2A rights are rights against government, not your employer. Period.

    So, can states pass laws to take way property rights so that you can bring your gun where it’s not wanted? Sure. Is that the kind of law you want? Because if the state can pass a law restricting someone else’s property rights, it can do the same damn thing to you. And it will. You can count on it.

    Change your employer’s mind, or get a new job. Leave his property rights alone.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I respectfully disagree Ralph. Our rights are unalienable. See my post near the top for a full explanation.

      While our Bill of Rights were expressly written to limit government, our government exists to secure those rights amongst us citizens. Why do we have law enforcement? In theory they exist to secure rights. If a criminal takes our property, we the people have empowered law enforcement to intervene. If a criminal kidnaps someone or holds them hostage, we the people have empowered law enforcement to intervene. If a criminal is trying to murder someone, we the people have empowered law enforcement to intervene.

      The most important point here is that it doesn’t matter who or what — whether individual criminal, government thug, employer, or a corporation — attacks our property, liberty, or life, “We the People” have empowered government to intervene to preserve those rights.

      The only question is how do we handle apparent conflicts of rights. I explained in my post above that life rights take priority over liberty rights … which in turn take priority over property rights. Thus an employer or corporation is free to specify whatever they want on their property unless it infringes someone’s liberty or life. (Clearly an employer cannot hold an employee hostage for example or fire them for refusing to stay on site for 160 hour continuous shifts as absurd examples.) Then liberty and life rights take priority. At least this is the way it should be. What our courts do is almost certainly a different matter.

      1. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

        Uncommon_sense,

        I think you and Ralph are arguing two slightly different points.

        Ralph is describing (accurately) the law as decided by the Supreme Court. Since the founding, the Supreme Court has consistently held that the bill of rights serves only to limit the actions of the government.

        Uncommon S, you seem to be arguing for a different view of the law. Your approach seems to treat the rights of a citizen as a type of affirmative authority to take certain acts, rather than treating rights as just a limit on government. While that approach is supported by the Court, it is an interesting approach nonetheless.

    2. avatar Paul W says:

      Thank you.
      I don’t like the idea that we’re going to force property owners to allow guns.

      You have a choice; don’t carry or don’t shop/work there. I choose not to carry rather than go without a job at this point (jobs are hard to come by, at least ones better than flipping burgers).

  23. avatar Labman says:

    It appears the cooler heads in the Tennessee Legislature passed the “Guns in cars” law today. Got a message from a friend in Tennessee confirming it. Hope he’s correct.

  24. avatar spacecoaster says:

    I am curious, and this is a serious question.

    Does the owner of a parking lot have control over your 1st amendment rights too?

    Can they, for example, ban Obama bumper stickers, or those little chrome fishy Jesus ornaments? Just wonderin’…

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      or discriminate and have separate parking based upon color?

    2. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

      You are not thinking about it quite right. As Ralph described above, the only thing the First Amendment does is stop the government from interfering with your speech (and religion . . .)

      If the owner of the parking lot doesn’t like what you have to say, he can demand that you leave. Just like if someone were in your house saying something you disagree with, you can kick them out. That power to expel someone who annoys you is a key aspect of your property rights.

      Sometimes, however, the government will curtail property rights and thus limit the owners power to expel. For example, a law that prohibits an employer from kicking union organizers off their parking lot.

  25. avatar David says:

    You still have the right to free speech at work but it is commonplace that certain things cannot be said or done such as undo proselytizing, denigrating your chain of command, or bad-mouthing your fellow employees or company in general without getting fired. You can, if fact, say these things and the worst that will happen is being let go. Your right to kaba should extend everywhere you have a legal right to be regardless of the beliefs of the company for which you work over and above their property rights. And that goes double for government property since they are our SERVANTS and it is OUR property collectively. You should be able to kaba everywhere you go. Now if you talk about shooting your boss, wave your gun around, or have a ND then that would be grounds for termination. But not before.
    Cheers

  26. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican@yahoo.com says:

    TN House voted for bill sent from Senate that would allow people to leave their guns in the car when employer/property owner has no guns posted. Can’t bring your gun into office building, but is allowed to stay within the confines of your property to which you have privacy (your car). Before if your employer posted no guns you couldn’t leave them in car if parking lot was on that private property.

  27. avatar ChuckN says:

    I’m curious how many of those complaining qualify as small businesses and where they’re from?

  28. avatar IdahoMan says:

    Anti-discrimination laws and “guns in cars” laws are unconstitutional.

  29. avatar Gw says:

    Briefly as possible, and primarily confining the discussion to instances involving a privately owned vehicle:- regardless of where the vehicle is parked, that which is affixed to or contained within the vehicle which is the property of the owner, is well, exactly that. The property of the owner. In the case of a privately owned vehicle such as an automobile, regardless of where it’s parked — the employer’s jurisdiction over the contents of an employee’s vehicle ends at the exterior of the vehicle. The vehicle and whatever is contained within it is the property of the owner. (Also a bicycle, motorized cycle and etc., with affixed cases, bags or the like.)
    Any person attempting to gain access to the vehicle must be granted permission to do so by the owner, or be subject to laws regulating the violation of the inherent property ’Rights’ of the owner.
    If the employer suspects the vehicle contains something which under existing law is ’illegal’, the employer has the option of informing the authorities, in which case the authorities become subject to laws governing searches of a vehicle.
    Relative to firearms, the ‘Right’ to keep and bear arms predates and preexisted every form of government established in America. The keeping and bearing of Arms includes a fire-arm and is a specific ’Right’ declared and enumerated in most State Constitutions and the Constitution of the United States.
    The primary purpose for the institution of all government under a Constitutional Republic form is to ‘Secure Rights’.
    Having a firearm contained within a privately owned vehicle does not violate the ‘Rights’ of any other person.
    Violations of ‘Rights’ by employers who engaged in essentially illegal searches of vehicles, established rules banning possession of firearms in employee’s vehicles and terminated employees for simply having knowledge that a firearm was kept in their vehicle is what prompted legislators to begin enacting laws necessary to ‘Secure Individual Rights’.
    Peculiar and unusual as this may well seem to some, such actions on the part of legislators are exactly what they’re supposed to do.
    As a highly pertinent aside;- the carrying of a firearm — and most especially concealed — does not, in any way violate the ‘Rights’ of any other person.
    The employer may however, under terms of employment, restrict the keeping of a firearm ( or weapon ) by the employee on their person while in their place of business, while in a company owned vehicle, and in some circumstances while ‘on company time’ and be within their ’legal’ authority to do so.

  30. avatar JAS says:

    Florida Statutes 790.251(3):

    (3) LEGISLATIVE INTENT; FINDINGS.—This act is intended to codify the long-standing legislative policy of the state that individual citizens have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, that they have a constitutional right to possess and keep legally owned firearms within their motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes, and that these rights are not abrogated by virtue of a citizen becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of a business entity. It is the finding of the Legislature that a citizen’s lawful possession, transportation, and secure keeping of firearms and ammunition within his or her motor vehicle is essential to the exercise of the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the constitutional right of self-defense. The Legislature finds that protecting and preserving these rights is essential to the exercise of freedom and individual responsibility. The Legislature further finds that no citizen can or should be required to waive or abrogate his or her right to possess and securely keep firearms and ammunition locked within his or her motor vehicle by virtue of becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of any employer or business establishment within the state, unless specifically required by state or federal law.

    1. avatar spacecoaster says:

      This ^ makes me proud to live in the state of Florida. Legislature that actually makes “common sense”, and doesn’t just use it as slogan to justify bad laws.

    2. avatar BobS says:

      The only kicker to the Fla law is that some businesses ‘fudged’ the exceptions portion and banned guns in employee’s cars anyway. (cough, cough Disney, cough,cough)

      (7) EXCEPTIONS.—The prohibitions in subsection (4) do not apply to:
      (e) Property owned or leased by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials regulated under state or federal law, or property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit required under 18 U.S.C. s. 842 to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in explosive materials on such property.

      They declared that since they manufactured fireworks on just one small portion of their property, that they could prohibit ALL employees from leaving firearms in their cars ANYWHERE on their property. And since they pretty much own the Osceola Sheriff’s Dept they get away with it.

  31. avatar Rich Nascak says:

    Guns in cars is not so much a property rights versus gun rights question as it is a question of competing property rights. Can an employer dictate what an employee is allowed or not allowed to have in his car when it is parked on company property? Would it be lawful, for example, if an employer forbade Korans in vehicles? One could rationalize that a Koran is not inherently dangerous to other employees, but let’s consider an even more likely object – a spare container of gasoline. Is it dangerous? Yes, it has the potential of being so. Can it be easily retrieved and used as a weapon? Unquestionably. And most importantly, does the possibility exist that without it an employee might encounter increased risk while off company time and off company property? Again, yes.

    In my view, the entire concept of an employer being legally permitted to dictate the behavior of an employee while off the clock and off company property is inherently wrong-headed. Suppose that the employee must commute through a crime-ridden part of town, known for carjackings. Because of the employer’s ban on lawfully-owned firearms in the company lot, the employee is placed in a position of increased vulnerability from the time he leaves his front door until the time he returns home. This includes commute time, which occurs both off company time and company property. So one day he gets carjacked and killed or seriously injured in the process. Does the employer have any liability whatsoever, despite the fact that the employee’s lack of a defensive weapon is a condition for which the employer is completely responsible?

  32. avatar jbarr says:

    Who doesn’t love a good ham sandwich?!?

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