Restoring Public Employees’ Ability to Defend Themselves

During the last hundred years, the legal ability of public employees to carry defensive weapons has been eroded along with the rights of ordinary citizens. Originally intended to prevent minorities and immigrants from being armed, the philosophy of a disarmed population was put in place through work rules at all levels of government. Much of this was resisted by people with a long cultural affinity for arms, and, as with the general prohibition on concealed weapons, was selectively enforced against minorities . . .

I recall my father taking a pistol along while working as a state employee in charge of a surveying crew in the 1960s. Even in the early 1970′s, I organized informal pistol matches while working for a federally sponsored forest improvement project in Wisconsin that employed students during summer break. No one blinked or considered that it might be improper. This was three years after the passage of the infamous Gun Control Act of 1968.

As the decades rolled by, more and more work rules forbidding firearms at work were put in place. Many of these were pushed as “model” codes that erroneously claimed to limit the liability of employers, based on non-existent evidence that restricting employee 2A rights reduced workplace violence. People who pushed such policies never considered self defense or that agencies that restricted employees from protecting themselves could be found liable for those employees’ protection.

With the spread of shall-issue concealed carry permit laws across the nation, that trend is being challenged and reversed in some places. Several states have passed laws to ensure that employee Second Amendment rights will be respected during travel to and from the job, with laws enacted allowing legally-owned firearms in their vehicles on company parking lots.

Many private companies now allow or even encourage their employees to be armed. But some of the last bastions prohibiting employees from exercising their RKBA on the job have been federal, state, and local governments.

Now, the trend is for local governments to embrace those reforms, too. From a recent article from hayspost.com:

Employees of Saline County who wish to carry a concealed firearm for personal protection must have a concealed-carry permit, as required by law. Employees who wish to carry must keep the concealed firearm on their person at all times. Employees also are prohibited from storing or leaving a firearm in bags, coats, purses and briefcases while not on their person.

Nor is Saline County the only county in the state to do so. In Harvey County, Kansas, from thekansan:

Commissioners approved a change to county policy 6.16 in the employee manual — the policy on workplace violence/weapons/concealed carry.

Under the policy, non-law enforcement or security personnel will be able to carry a gun with them if they have a conceal and carry permit from the state. A copy of their permit must be on file with human resources, part of the employee’s sealed personnel file.

And from North Carolina, blackmountainnews.com:

MURPHY — Cherokee County leaders are taking North Carolina’s expansion of gun rights a step further by allowing legal concealed weapons in most county offices.Anyone, including county employees, may carry a concealed handgun with the proper permit.

Cherokee county isn’t the only county in North Carolina to do so.

Alamance County, between Greensboro and Durham, also repealed its 1995 ban on concealed weapons in most county buildings in December, County Manager Craig Honeycutt said.

From Michigan, we have Jackson County in 2012, from mlive.com:

“Our constitution tells us we should have this right and we should exercise our rights. It’s our privilege as an American,” said Phil Duckham, Jackson Co. Commisioner.

Duckham says right now, county employees can’t have a weapon, but licensed carriers can bring a weapon in. He says if a county employee is threatened, they should have the means to protect themselves to the extent the law allows.

In Texas, a city has made the same move, from The Aransas Pass Progress quoting Police Chief Blanchard:

“People need to understand the average response time for police is 5 minutes.  That means people have to fend for themselves until police arrive on the scene.  It takes 3 minutes for an active shooter to create massive destruction.  I believe any good, honest, God fearing, America citizen should be armed.”

Some people argue that a city worker may take another path and suddenly start shooting inapropriately.  Blanchard stated, “Any person can go crazy at any time.  If a city worker went crazy and started shooting, I would hope another armed city worker standing nearby would subdue that threat.”

A law in Kentucky restores firefighters ability to have defensive firearms on duty.   From usatoday.com, hardly a second amendment friendly source:

Additionally, because special districts are not covered under the separate law that allows cities to ban concealed weapons, they also must allow those with permits to bring guns into their buildings.

That includes firefighters on duty — something that has been met with mixed reaction among fire chiefs.

Bucking the trend is McHenry County, Illinois.  Illinois was the last state to pass a concealed carry permit system, something it  did after being required to do so by a federal court order.

In the wake of concealed carry taking effect in the coming months, the McHenry County Board is setting down rules forbidding employees who are not law enforcement from carrying handguns during their official duties….

At least one state lawmaker in Kentucky is looking to the future. State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township) has introduced a bill to restore the right to carry to most public employees in Kentucky.  From cincinnati.com:

State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township) introduced House Bill 236 that will allow all non-federal, public sector employees with a concealed carry license to carry into all non-federal and non-secured public buildings.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

63 Responses to Restoring Public Employees’ Ability to Defend Themselves

  1. avatarExcedrine says:

    The tide is slowly turning in some areas, but still going out in others.

  2. avatarBigred2989 says:

    Still waiting for Florida to do it. I won’t lie but the police are fast were I live, but when a drunken customer at the club I work at gets angry about being kicked out and threatens to get a gun out of his car I want to be able to respond faster than the cops can get here.

  3. avatarSteve says:

    As a Paramedic, it sucks not having the option to carry if I want; half of my coworkers also have permits and most would carry on the truck if they could.

    Sharp knives will have to do until that day.

  4. avatarScottlac says:

    While Texas has the hype, Kentucky has the firearms freedom and the tide is growing.

  5. avatarjwm says:

    Where’s Chris Mallory’s comment denying constitutional rights to government employees?

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      Dude hasn’t shown up in awhile. He must have found better things to do.

    • avatarChris Mallory says:

      Citizens should have rights, not government employees. Government employees should be barred weapons, the right to assemble, and the right of free speech. If you want full rights, then don’t live off the sweat of the honest citizens. Pretty simple.

      • avatarjwm says:

        Makes you the thing you claim to hate, chris. A rights denying statist douche. Selective denial of basic human and constitutional rights is wrong. That’s why we fight for our 2a rights, amongst others.

        You, like any good dictator would deny large swaths of citizens their basic rights.

      • avatarsagebrushracer says:

        A narrow minded view, IMO. I believe that a armed citizen is the best way to prevent abuse by a armed government employee. The sad reality is that a disarmed government employee is subject to the armed ones, just as much as a disarmed citizen. And in my experience people who really enjoy abusing that power and privilege generally seek employment in those areas.

        Now, as a California citizen, and government employee (disarmed) who works in a Gun Free Zone, the layers of BS I get to wade thru are truly EPIC. Not to mention anyone angry or unstable enough would have no problem sneaking a trunk load of weapons or bombs through “security”.

        I still believe that the laws need to apply everyone equally, and the fight for the protection and recovery of our individual freedoms is of the highest priority. Along with educating those who would seek to disarm specific group based on personal prejudices. SO GET EDUCATED!

      • avatarAaron says:

        government employees do not lose their citizenship when they get hired, Einstein.

        And there are plenty of “dishonest” people that are not government employees, so your comment about living off the sweat of honest citizens just seems immature and whiney.

  6. avatarPaelorian says:

    I won’t take a career that prohibits me from defending myself, from carrying the means to effectively defend myself, or limits the exercise of my civil rights and human rights.

  7. avatarGregolas says:

    People often ask, ” But what about the property rights of the employer? ” Fair question. ” I reply that my right to life supersedes their property right as an employer. They employ me. They do not own me. Without life, I have no other rights, so my right to self-defense is inalienable and takes precedence over any other right.

    • avatarjwm says:

      A person’s private residence they can make rules as they please. But a business, no. All sorts of barriers against mistreating employees and customers based on gender, race, religion, etc. Self defense is just as much a right that needs legal protection as any other.

      • avatarChris Mallory says:

        Private property is private property. If a property owners wishes to abridge your rights, then you have every right not to enter his property.

      • avatarEvan says:

        No that is a misinterpretation much of which was perpetuated by the civil rights act. If they are on your property they have to abide by your rules. I hate that my employer does not allow to carry, but that is their right to tell me I can’t on their property. Similarly it should be their right to say we don’t want minorities to work here. That would be incredibly racist and stupid(bad for business), but that is freedom of association for you. The only entity that cannot discriminate is the government.

        • avatarAaron says:

          the government discriminates ALL THE TIME. They discriminate in favor of veterans in hiring actions (as a veteran myself, I would prefer prospective employees compete on the basis of their skills and abilities). They discriminate in favor of minorities with various contract set-asides such a the “8a” program. They strongly influenced discrimination in favor of minorities in college admissions standards, but I don’t know the impacts of the latest court rulings that seem to roll that back some.

      • avatarScottlac says:

        Kentucky state law has parking lot storage protection with teeth. Yes, the property owner has rights, but his right does not extend off his property for my entire 45 mile commute from home. I have a civil right to self-defense. The place where my civil right meets in the middle with his property right is in MY car in HIS parking lot.

        KY says I can sue and win if he does anything about it.

    • avatarMarcus Aurelius says:

      You know, that’s a good point. No one would accept a company policy that mandated what sort of underwear employees wore under their dress code specified clothing. To use employer property rights to deny concealed carry is to use a double standard to treat firearms differently from other items.

      • avatarJim at the NSA says:

        Actually my employer does bar certain underwear types. Nothing but cotton. Synthetic fibers tend to melt when exposed to high enough temps. Cotton just burns and turns to ash. Polyester will melt into your skin. But I work in a steel mill. We have those high temps to deal with.

        • avatarMartin B says:

          How does that affect the right to CC? If those hot temps suddenly invaded your concealment device, wouldn’t the risk of detonation outweight the right for personal protection?

        • avatarJim at the NSA says:

          Unfortunately, our HR guy is an anti gun, bunny hugging Kannuck. Also the company is based out of Sweden. So the whole property has been declared a gfz. If you want you can keep it in your vehicle, but if you get caught. You lose your job. I’ve never seen them check.

  8. avatarpyratemime says:

    I wish they would restore the rights for military. All the antis insist only policecand military are qualified yet policies remain in place where I am not only disarmed at work but to and from since I can’t carry on base. It sucks and needs to change.

    • avatarAaron says:

      yep. And those gun restrictions didn’t help the Soldiers at Ft Hood – in fact, Hasan knew they would be unarmed victims.

  9. avatarGyufygy says:

    Wooooo NC counties! 98 to go!

  10. avatarBob says:

    Well, it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s offensive and demeaning to have to ask permission (permit) to be able to defend oneself.

  11. avatarjdb says:

    Yeah, the “no carry” policy for the military is really lame. Reminds me of the Russian Penal Battalions on the Ost Front in WW2 – unreliable troops would be marched under guard to their section of the front in preparation for an assault. They would then be armed. Once the assault was over they would be disarmed and removed, again under guard, to their camp area. Hmmm.
    I guess Washington DC doesn’t trust the soldiers that fight so hard and risk so much to defend our nation – but then, maybe that’s what they are afraid of – men that want to defend their nation.

    More on topic – our volunteer fire service allows handgun carry with a permit. Next we need rifle carry – I’m not kidding, but there’s places in our county I’m not going to without a carbine.

    • avatarBillC says:

      Yeah pretty much. A long time ago when I was a young private in the army, I found a handgun at the local gunshop I was searching high and low for. I immediately bought it, but because I was living in the barracks at the time, our personal firearms had to be stored at the base armory, the same one the military police use. To even get my personal firearm in there, I first had to essentially register my gat and tell the Battalion Commander and get his John Hancock. If it sounds a long, roundabout process, it is. When I was telling him why I got it, because he asked, he then stated, “Now just promise me once you put it in the armory, you won’t ever take it out again until you leave here.” (as in until my year of training at the base has concluded.). Dick. I took that thing out every other weekend to shoot it at the local range.

  12. avatarSamuel Leoon Suggs says:

    Do meme era of the armed services factor in too the public servent label? If so I support this message.a

  13. avatarIng says:

    I hope this kind of sanity breaks out in my state.

    I do have one quibble, however: public employees aren’t suffering the effects of stupid gun restrictions along with ordinary citizens — because they are ordinary citizens.

    I guess you could call me a public employee (I work for a state university), and when it comes to citizenship I am pretty darn ordinary. For the most part, public employees are doing the same kinds of jobs as everyone else…just with lower salaries and better health benefits. And probably more of us are disarmed by law in our workplaces.

    It’s only the police that have been designated super-citizens by our progressive overlords.

    • avatarChris Mallory says:

      As long as you are living off money taken by force from honest citizens, you are not an “ordinary” citizen.

      • avatarIng says:

        I pay the same taxes you do.

        Universities are among the few things I’d willingly be taxed for even if we were all able to opt out. (I’d recommend that you attend one, but education only helps those who don’t want to remain ignorant — and unfortunately, there’s still no cure for stupid.)

  14. avatarClem says:

    Federal buildings in Chicago don’t yet have ‘No weapons’ signs.

  15. avatarMarine 03 says:

    In Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, a civilian can own any caliber size handgun they desire, with any size magazine capacity they desire, and openly carry it in public. A little known fact. I just felt like mentioning that to illustrate that Americans aren’t as free as some in the UK under current US laws.

    • avatarjwm says:

      A cursory google search of gun laws in Northern Ireland doesn’t back this claim. The official government website claims that gun laws in Northern Ireland are stricter than in England.

    • avatarMartin B says:

      And anyone willing to abruptly end their lives can test this theory. They might even get on the news. Recommended only for those with terminal cancer or about to start a life term in prison.

  16. avatarKCK says:

    Wisconsin state offices including the Capitol OK.
    Wis allows both open and concealed but employees must conceal (with ccw permit)

  17. avatarjay says:

    Public employees SHOULD be disarmed, they should have fewer rights than us – let them be the first not last, to be sacrificed on the alter of liberalism that THEY HELPED CREATE.

    • avatarChris Mallory says:

      Nothing but the truth.

    • avatarjwm says:

      So, Jay and chris, you 2 are all for scrapping the constitution and the bill of rights. Did you both volunteer to serve at the FEMA camps also? Or just at the railroad stations?

    • avatarChad says:

      This is quite possibly the most ignorant statement I have ever read on TTAG. Public employees don’t make laws, politicians do. The average federal/state/county/city employee is a simple hard working American who is just trying to put food on the table for his family. The demonization of public employees is something that has been forced on America by the same media that has made gun ownership the ultimate evil. If you fall for their divide and conquer tactics, you are just another sheep in the slave state of Amerika.

      • avatarIng says:

        Exactly. They probably see themselves as defenders of the Constitution and all that is just, but th whole concept of natural human rights, let alone civil rights, seems to have sailed right past these two dinguses.

      • avatarAaron says:

        good reply.

        seems like a couple of wackos have mistaken a gun website for their favorite secessionist anarchist website.

    • avatarAaron says:

      so the dude in the control tower guiding aircraft to land safely should “fear” taxpayers?

      the dudes or dudettes developing weapons systems, or researching cancer, or surveying levees, or delivering mail should all have to “fear” taxpayers?

      no country in the world operates without public sector employees. One may hold the opinion that we have too many, or they are overly compensated, or whatever. but they are essential to any society.

  18. avatarJerry R says:

    “Bucking the trend is McHenry County, Illinois.” Correct except for an exemption for themselves. All elected officials can carry without penalty. Our government at its best.
    The irony of this exemption was protested loudly by residents. To no avail.

    • avatarRandy Drescher says:

      Yeah, Illinois will be cleaned up though, one moronic law at a time. When the lawsuits get too costly they will come around, Randy

  19. avatar45acp says:

    I work on a military base. I go through two checkpoints to get to my work place. If I were caught with a gun at one of those checkpoints, especially the second one, I would be in big trouble.

    The Navy Yard isn’t too far from me, and I think about that often as I drive into my gun-free (sic) workplace. I also think of the Fort Hood shooter every year when I have to take my powerpoint active shooter training.

  20. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I hope I live to see the day where 75 percent of the people at the mall are open carrying. Personally, I’d like to see people with rifles on their backs, everywhere. If nothing more than to knock the grabbers out of their nanny state world./// It’s moving in the right direction, untill the chief idiot grabber fires off more EO’s. Randy

  21. avatarChris Mallory says:

    Government employees should be disarmed. If you work for the government, then you should fear the citizens who pay your bloated salaries.

    • avatarjwm says:

      Little man syndrome. Classic.

    • avatarMartin B says:

      I worked for the government in my country and frequently had to deal with biker and other gangs, and occasionally conducted an interview with a firearm held on me while we spoke. If I’d had a concealed weapon and had been tempted to draw it, it might not have ended well. Luckily I have immense personal charm, and nobody did me any harm.

  22. avatarJordan says:

    My day job is in local government, where I’m technically not even allowed to carry a knife. I then work nights as a range safety officer at an indoor range where I both open and concealed carry. I’d love to see restored carry rights for government employees; it sure would save me time changing clothes in the bathroom.

    And for those railing against anyone working for the government, ease up. You have potential allies in many government employees, but not if you demonize us for trying to make an honest living. The vast majority of us are honest, good people who make a good bit less than our private-sector counterparts.

    • avatarRichard says:

      Chris Mallory,
      Lots of my friends work for small local governments that run in the black with low taxes. Tell me exactly how is driving a snow plow is “living off the sweat of honest citizens”?

  23. avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

    The company that I work for from time to time has an odd firearm policy. Some employees do field work in remote locations. Locations with bears. So company policy allows the carrying of firearms in certain circumstances. However, for the more likely scenario that I might be attacked after working late while walking to my car in the parking deck, sorry no can do on the firearm front.

  24. avataralanhinMN says:

    Will MDA boycott those county offices?

  25. avatarIdahoPete says:

    Interesting progress in the “paradigm shift” of arming civilians. When an unnamed friend worked for an unnamed land managing agency 20 years ago, their regs prohibited employees from carrying guns unless the employee worked in bear country and had written approval to carry a 12ga. Didn’t matter.

    Those employees who spent a lot of time out in the boonies by themselves (with no help closer than 2 hours, and the occasional Mexican cartel- protected marijuana grow site or camp-trailer meth lab to find), always carried a handgun in an innocent-looking belt or fanny pack. They figured a 30-day suspension without pay, or being fired, was better than being dead. And yeah, a .357 or .45 wasn’t the ideal choice for self-protection from someone with an AK, but it sure beat praying. At least they could spoil the perps’ aim while they ran away.

  26. avatarAaron says:

    The strict gun control laws and security checks at Ft Hood did not protect a bunch of unarmed Soldiers against the self-proclaimed jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan.

    The strict gun control laws at the DC Navy yard did not protect the federal workers there from an episode of workplace violence by their whacked-out co worker, Aaron Alexis.

    The strict gun control laws on federal installations and post offices do nothing to protect the ordinary, law abiding public sector employee from the nut case in the next cube. But they ensure the dangerous nut case knows where to find unarmed victims.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.