Vaughan Food, OK City (courtesy koco.com)

Puffing on a Padron at Heroes & Legacies, the guys started talking about carrying illegally. No one would admit it publicly, but it was clear I wasn’t the only one who may or may not have carried a firearm where it was illegal to do so. Specifically (or not), CNN Headline News . . .

CNN’s younger, pacier sib started life in a cinder block building with no windows. There was one way in and one way out. But there were plenty of ways into the rest of Massa Turner’s electronic plantation on Techwood Drive. And the security guard at the employees’ entrance was as situationally aware as a narcoleptic can be. To paraphrase the gyro captain in Mad Max II, a smart man might have a weapon hidden while working there.

Then again . . .

I couldn’t have afforded to lose my job at CNN – despite the minimum wage pay. I’d moved from Boston to Atlanta for CNN. If Ted’s coke-sniffing execs had turfed me, my nascent media career would have pulled up to the bumpers, baby. So I didn’t carry a concealed weapon while panning camera number two left and right two inches for eight hours a day during 10-day shifts. Did I?

Fast-forward to today and I’m the proverbial blogger-in-his-pajamas. A guy who can strap on a gun in the morning and wear it all day, anywhere and everywhere – save those places where I can’t (e.g., my daughter’s school, the U.S. Post Office and bars with a 51% sign or businesses with a 30.06 sign). But I remember what it was like to work in a so-called gun-free zone, and I wonder how many People of The Gun secretly pack heat.

The reserve sheriff who shot an Islamic terrorist in Oklahoma City – after the bad guy killed and beheaded Colleen Hufford – worked in a gun-friendly environment. For him anyway. DGU hero Mark Vaughan is the Chief Operating Officer of Vaughan Foods, where the terrorist attacked. But what if it wasn’t? What if Vaughan Foods had been a so-called gun-free zone?

Perhaps Vaughan or one of his other employees would have been able to stop Alton Nolen with an improvised weapon of some sort. Perhaps not. And while we’re playing this game, what if Nolen had come armed with a handgun, rifle or shotgun, rather than just a blade? That would have been a much bigger, not to say bloodier problem for the food processing plant’s disarmed workforce. Unless someone wasn’t as disarmed as his or her gun-averse employer wanted them to be.

I understand the importance, indeed sanctity of property rights in common law. But practically speaking, U.S. employers can’t ban people from their business – or discriminate in their hiring practices – on the basis of color. Or religion. But they can prohibit people who are carrying guns from entering their premises. And they can refuse to hire someone who says they will exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms at work. It’s legal, but is it right?

What’s beyond dispute (although I hate it when people use that term): employers should train employees how to ID, counter and survive workplace violence/terrorist attacks. With guns, if they choose to bring them to work. To that end, two days before the OK City beheading, securitymanagement.com‘s Kenneth J. Miller wrote an article entitled A Policy For Guns In The Workplace.

Most states now allow employees to carry concealed firearms or to store guns in cars on company property. Corporations have the right to deny all weapons on their property, but this may not be realistic in today’s environment. Instead, companies should focus on employees who want to carry concealed guns in the workplace and ensure that they are responsible and capable enough to bear the responsibility. All employees will have a better sense of security if they believe that management has done their due diligence by ensuring the people who carry guns are not a threat to the company.

The reference to “today’s environment” signals a sea change (again before the OK City beheading). As does the exhortation to background check pistol-packing workers. Employers are beginning to recognize that lethal threats, and self-defense guns at work, are out there. These companies are taking responsibility for preparing for previously unthinkable violence. Sure it’s all about liability, but still…winning?

All employees must undergo the basics of violence prevention to include: understanding risk factors, recognizing inappropriate or problematic behavior, and reporting threats. This training must be mandatory and all new employees must complete the training sessions before they begin their assigned duties. All employees must go through sustainment training on this topic yearly, not only to reiterate the policy, but to advise on any changes or trends being noticed in the workplace. The most important aspect of the training program is to clearly walk through various situations and identify to each employee what response management desires from them during an incident of violence.

Shoot the bad guy, don’t get shot by the cops? Seriously. While companies are prone to over-thinking any potential legal liability, armed self-defense isn’t all that complicated. Nor is the underlying concept: the desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness doesn’t end where the workplace begins. If you have a choice, it’s best to work for/with people who understand, appreciate and implement that philosophy.

155 Responses to Random Thoughts About Carrying Illegally At Work

  1. I carried at my workplace where employees weren’t allowed to carry. There were no signs (which have the force of law in MA), so I was violating a company policy but I was not breaking the law.

    I figured that if I was made, I’d be fired. That wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t need the job, but I do need my life. So I made a choice. I’d make the same one today.

    When businesses ban firearms, they are revealing their desire to promote the myth that GFZs save lives. I have to ask — what other myths are those businesses selling us? Maybe the myth that their products don’t suck, or the myth that their prices are a bargain, or the myth that our credit and debit info is secure. Or the worst myth of all — the myth that the business actually gives a sh!t about us.

    • what other myths are those businesses selling us? Maybe the myth that their products don’t suck, or the myth that their prices are a bargain, or the myth that our credit and debit info is secure.

      Well, in the case of Shannon Watts at her former employer, it was convincing the American public that FrankenCorn® was goood for you…

      • Oh she hates when people point that out. Many of her supporters are also anti Monsanto. I am as well but only because of their buisness practices and lawsuits against farmers, not because of the bioengineering since it is essential to prevent crop failures, pests, and feed a world population of 7 billion people.

        Anyway, that’s beside the point. Most of her supporters have no idea about her previous career shilling for Monsanto. For awhile I was recently able to post a few facts and pro gun arguments on their facebook page. However, any mention of Monsanto and her role in the company was immediately deleted.

        • If there was ever a company that could be described as evil, Monsanto is it. GMO corn was developed so that farmers could spray corn plants multiple times with herbicide to kill off competing weeds so that more fertilizer could be used since corn like it’s relative lawn grass is a heavy feeder. The problem is not so much the so called Frankencorn as the nasty chemicals that get absorbed into the food you eat and concentrated further into the high fructose corn sweeteners that get used in the soft drinks people drink so much of. For a good example of why they should never be trusted, google “monsanto anniston pcb”

      • My old law school sponsors the annual Monsanto Lecture on Tort Reform. You can guess how Monsanto influences the speakers. I will not contribute to that school as long as Monsanto does. To me Monsanto will always be linked to Agent Orange.

    • i got “counseled” last year as I was overheard telling one of the legal assistants in the labor group, after she went on and on about no guns and no gun signs were sufficient and I was explaining the myth of a GFZ, “do you really think management gives a flying sh!t about you? If we got smoked at work, our replacements would here two days later.” While my boss agreed with me, he said I was scaring the help. 🙂

      • I agree. In most places, you are just a line item on the budget. You get killed on the job, the company’s professional liars (the PR staff/firm) will say a few pre-written platitudes to the press, i.e. “We at grieve for the loss of …” and a few days later there’s someone else at your cube. Maybe the company will provide a few counselors to the remaining staff to help them cope, but not out of a sense of compassion. Their whole idea is “continuity”. They’ll replace you and counsel the rest to keep the business going. Most major corporations have disaster planning which includes the possibility of losing people at all levels. CEO dies? There’s a plan for that.

  2. Amen. I spent a good part of thirty years either working in health care facilities where nobody was “allowed” to be armed, and driving around every kind of neighborhood as a visiting/hospice nurse… with absolutely nothing with which to defend myself except a fingernail file. Oh, and my wits and exceptional situational awareness, of course. Nurses (or anyone else) were not “allowed” to be armed at all when on duty, and any DGU we might have survived would have been the end of our career anyway. Great choices.

    Had guns at home, but was basically helpless all the time I was at work and in transit. Makes just so much sense.

    I retired in 2005, and I have not left the house unarmed since. Have not had to shoot anyone either.

  3. I won’t break the law but I might break an employer’s policy but then again I have a federal pension and a big bank account.

        • It’s funny how Libertarians sound so much like Marxists these days. When you go to work for someone you are making a contract with him. Part of the contract is that you do the job and follow his rules and he will pay you. If you break his rules you have broken the contract. It’s on you, not on him.

        • I happen to live on my feet and not on my knees like some folks. If I choose to consent to a contract with another person wherein my rights are limited, then yes you are supposed to follow orders like a good submissive sheep as defined by the contract. I wouldn’t ever place myself in that situation. I do not think so lowly of myself and am not dependent upon material things as some are to sign away my Constitutional rights. No man has any control over me that I do not explicitly consent to, but if someone were to lay claim upon my life, they would need to now the value of theirs, for that will be the cost of their error.

        • @tdiinva. Libertarianism has gone down the shitter. Most come across to me as spoiled brats who demand (what they conceive of) as their rights regardless of whether someone else’s rights get stepped on in the process. That comes from a fuzzy concept of what a “right” is IMHO. A sufficiently rigorous definition of “rights” would result in no, zero, zip nada, situations where rights can “conflict.” Though they might conflict with someone’s whim of the moment. (“I want to parade around on your property armed and you aren’t allowed to stop me.”)

          @Jason: You don’t want to ever have to be unarmed; OK, then don’t take the job. It’s not yours to demand, it’s the employer’s to grant. So don’t accept it if you don’t like the conditions. If you want to demand the job anyway without his pre-defined conditions, you are trying to force him to do something.

          What to do if no one will offer you the job on your exact conditions, well, that’s your problem. The world doesn’t owe you a living.

        • @steveinco- Nobody owes me anything in this life it is for me to earn my own keep how I choose. I obviously lost my point in translation that I don’t and would never work for anybody that fears a good guy with a guy. I would never work in a career field where I have to violate my moral code just to get a paycheck as so many do. I would never expect or demand a person to violate their morals either or force mine upon them. It is called freedom of association.

        • If that is where you are coming from, then in fact we have no quarrel. So long as you recognize other people might choose differently for themselves and leave them be (don’t, of course, let them choose for you).

  4. I have the opposite fell that Ralph up there has. My company building is pretty big. If an active shooter/stabber/whatever gets in, my odds of not dying are actually pretty good, so I’d actually rather not get fired for violating the company’s weapons policy.

    Mace (the spray, not the warhammer), on the other hand…

    • It’s a personal choice, and I won’t criticize yours. Each one of us will have to make our own decision. Which is, after all, the way it’s supposed to be.

      • We have a ” no weapons” policy where I work ( which I may or may not adhere to) but to piss of my employers, I brought in my ” tactical” hammer from cold steel. Since they want employees to do maintenance on our machines with our own personal tools, I pointed out that this was my hammer and if they had a problem with that, they could take it up with my union after they bought all the workers their own tools…….man they were pissed, but never bothered me again

    • @Khan–You have placed a monetary value on the lives of your coworkers and your own personal safety. Jobs can be replaced Your life can’t be. You are a coward as admitted by your own words. If a mental midget comes in shooting you are content with allowing coworkers to be killed in order for you to survive, which is disgusting. You stated as long as others die in place of you that is acceptable. Many folks in Nazi Germany had the same feeling as you.

  5. I think Congress should repeal the caveat in the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act that allows for businesses to deny off-duty or retired LEOs from carrying in their establishments or businesses. This is obviously a demonstration of the fact that a trained LEO can react accordingly in the event of an emergency and in line with the very soul of LEOSA.
    If we are to continue to allow people to make decisions based on public safety simply due to political opinions we are putting people at risk.

    • If they have the right to block ME carrying (which they do), they have the right to block a guy who used to be a cop. He’s a citizen just like me. He’s not even a phony non-civilian as he was when he was a cop. (Cops are civilians too, though they like to pretend they aren’t.)

      Cut the attitude that someone is special because he used to be a cop. I probably shoot better than he did.

      • All due respect to LEOs, they have a tough job, but yes, a scary percentage of them can’t shoot well. Department policies differ, but most cops only have to qualify twice a year, and the department doesn’t enforce training. You can “cram” at the range a week before qualifying and never touch your gun for another six months. I don’t know, if I got free range time and ammunition, I’d be shooting weekly.

        • Weekly? Geez, why so infrequently?

          But yes I should take this opportunity to clarify. When I said, I’m probably a better shot, that’s comparing me to the average cop who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about guns. Any of the LEOs here on TTAG could probably smoke me in a competition, and I don’t mind that, because the ones here have the right attitude instead of a sense of “I’m a better person than any non-cop.”

    • April of this year, Lebanon Indiana(just north of Indianapolis)
      I had just left a shippers property, Ryder to be exact. I didn’t have a load so I went to the truck stop Just across the road from the shipper. Big lot, pretty full. I had to set the truck near the back(few hundred yards from the building) run out of hours so Im doing my post trip for the night on the truck, just getting to be dark out. Homeless fella comes out from behind my trailer as I’m walking it doing my inspection. Asked me if I could spare some change so he could get a bagel. Told him I’m sorry I didn’t have none and then continued about my inspection.

      When I work my way around back to the passenger sidf of my rig near the sleeper window on my pete, he comes out from the front with a pair of needle nose held like he was gonna use it, he says to give him some food money or he was gonna take it.
      Bit chilly out being early April, I had a flannel shirt on covering up my firestar. I brushed it open and put my hand on it. Don’t remember what exactly I said but he just turned around and calmly walked away. Called Indiana state police, they get there bout half an hour later along with a local. Found the homeless guy trying to get someone to give him a shower credit inside. No evidence to support my claims, cameras didn’t go that far out…they let him go, never found the pliers.

      Never told my work(though safety dept caught me buying pmags in Dayton oh next to the terminal, they were already suspicious), but two days later I was at home voluntarily looking for new work. Got a local for the same pay in northern MI near the bridge.

      • Being a CDL drive for almost 25 years, the places you and I go as a necessity would make most CCL/CCW holders literally faint ‘dead away!’

        Bronx at 2AM…told by armed guards I was an idiot for coming at that time.

        Chicago…..San Fran….Miami….Dallas/Fort Worth…..New Orleans…et al…

        BTW, there are no federal regs that make carrying in a commercial vehicle a crime. FMCSA says they have no problem with you and I being armed at all.

        In your situation, I’d have not called the authorities……but the result was OK.

        • True about the FMCSA, however the carriers almost always cover their rears with tighter rules.

  6. I’ve made no secret (here) of the fact that I carry to work, against the rules but not against the law, every day. At work, I know for a fact that there’s one person that knows, and one person that probably strongly suspects. As for the rest, as far as I can tell they’re completely oblivious. There might be a couple that have their suspicions, but they’re discreet and play their cards close to the vest and have not broached the subject, which is fine with me. That is how would handle it if I suspected a fellow employee of being armed.

    • My last job was as Service Technician for a Japanese company with corporate headquarters in NJ, so you can imagine their weapons policy.

      “No weapons in the workplace.” I figured that my “workplace” was inside the customer’s place of business, not his parking lot. Furthermore, I refused to let company policy dictate what I could / could not carry in my POV.

      In case of disagreement, as my GF said, “Oh, well; you were looking for a job when you found that one.”

    • I carried, or at least kept a gun nearby, at pretty much every job I worked at after I got my law license, without regard to policy. I run my own business now, so it isn’t an issue.

      • The only law “firms” I have been in that have any sense of security are government offices–county counsel, district attorney, attorney general–and they all had electronic door locks and security glass at the receptionist’s desk. I used to work as a mail clerk at a large SF law office that was designing new space–and was the first to recognize that they had completely failed to provide a lockable entry on any of the three floors they would be moving into. At the last office I worked at, the stairways had locking doors, but the elevator had to be shut down to prevent unauthorized entry. Meaning that anyone could just walk in during business hours. Except for the accounting office no office had a locking door. There is no firm in town that I know of that requires a client or visitor to be buzzed through a locked door.

        • Pretty much worked for the state or county all the time myself, until I recently got out of the law biz entirely. The offices I worked for had very little of that “security” stuff, but some did have “no guns” policies. Which I essentially ignored.

    • At Lackland AFB in the 60s, every TI carried a locked and loaded hog-leg on his hip. They even had a special walk so that their hands on their gun side wouldn’t smack their pistols. You could always spot a TI when they were not in uniform because they did that same walk all the time.

      Now they’re disarmed, like everybody else except the enforcement and guard personnel specifically designated to carry.

      How is the country safer when the military is disarmed?

        • There are undoubtedly exceptions–who need to be encouraged since they are our future. Of course the system will do all it can to crush any exceptional mind in the student body. Anyhow, as I mentioned elsewhere, concealment must be perfect, all the time, especially where it’s not just against policy but actually illegal. I can only imagine the fecal typhoon that would ensue if a student found a teacher’s “hidden” handgun.

        • @ Steve: Interesting thing, my daughter just started teaching middle-school science at a gov’t school. She says they have a robust “gifted and talented” program but it seems to function most noticeably to racially segregate the classes.

  7. When I was still under Uncle Sam’s thumb, I realized long ago that military bases are, contrary to popular belief in the so-called lamestream legacy “news” media and the bleating sock-puppets of MDA and the like, so-called “Gun-Free” Zones.

    To conclusively prove this wellknown, widelyknown, unhidden, welldocumented, and long-standing fact, ladies and gentleman, may I present to you, Exhibit A: Fort Hood.

    Not just once.

    Twice.

    ‘Nuff said.

    I definitely can and will carry against any company policy that demands I be made defenseless by executive fiat. They won’t ever know, either, because concealed is concealed.

    • Then I hope you conceal well.

      That’s the downside of deciding to violate your employer’s rights, ahem, policy: You have to be flawless in your concealment, 8 hours a day, five days a week (or more!), never printing, never accidentally exposing, and it better be comfortable and fairly easy to get to.

    • This scenario is dicey—especially in Kommiefornistan. When I worked on a Joint/Navy base, the security was provided by rent-a-cops; didn’t exactly generate warm-fuzzy feelings. The base I work at now is decidedly different. It’s ironic that we have weapons out for exercises, training, various live-fire ranges, duty/watch-standers, and many weekly cleaning rotations, but are not allowed to carry personal weapons for defense. We can be trusted to make life-or-death decisions on the battlefield, but not back on the Homefront. It may be worth the risk in TX, but you’d better bet that CA would make an example out of us AFTER we’re hit upside our BHG by the UCMJ. I will say that, while I don’t carry, I have found a way to be ready if necessary. In the end, the weapons are generally out and available (to an extent), but the ammo is a little more difficult to come by unless you plan accordingly.

  8. I started a new job almost a year ago and the policy manual says no guns. I really like the work so I don’t carry.

  9. My company like many others has a no guns permitted policy in our employee handbook. Too bad HR forgot to have me sign the employee handbook so in my mind, I have never agreed therefore cannot be bound by the limitations. Thus I carry to work everyday, legally. And I wouldn’t stop even if I was forced to sign the handbook. Family, Freedom, Country. Work is nowhere in my top 100 of things I care about.

    • Same here, only I did sign long before I got into shooting. The handbook is a CYA thing. If it’s good enough for HR and Legal, then covering my ass is good enough for me.

  10. I’ve carried every day at work for the last 14 years. Been with three different companies in that time, and all of them have a ‘no weapons’ policy.

    The whole point of concealed carry is to carry in such a way that no one knows. For 14 years, no one has. If something ever comes up where I feel I have to draw my sidearm, then something very bad is happening and I’d rather deal with the consequences of violating company policy then not have a means of defense.

    Thankfully, the only time my sidearm has ever come out of the holster is when I put it on the nightstand at night, and when I clean the lint out of it from time to time.

  11. I have never lived in a shall issue state when it was shall issue. Now I live in Alameda county CA. No ccw for us serfs.

    I have carried, minus the permit, in every location I’ve lived in when I felt it was needed. Including job sites. No one has the right to demand that I be an unarmed victem.

    In the course of doing this for 40+ years I have been found out by 1 boss and 2 cops. I kept my job and gun when found by the boss and both cops looked the other way.

  12. As far as corporate policy, nothing will change unless or until they are held legally responsible for the safety of those they disarm. If an employee shoots and kills someone, even if that person is in dire need of being shot, the company gets sued for millions. If said bad guy walks around shooting employees the company is only out the cost of the clean up and hiring new employees. As long as that dynamic exists nothing will change. Corporations, like individuals, act in their own self interest.

    • more states need to have laws like wisconsin that make the employer liable if the worker is harmed off premises and the employer didn’t allow the employee the right to have the weapon in their vehicle. . . .

      I am working on my state legislature to do just that.

      • I’d love to see laws specifically making companies who ban firearms on premises liable for harm that befalls people on those premises.

        For me, I recently discovered that many of my company’s parking lots are exempted from my state’s “guns in company parking lots are OK” law since they have all three of: 1) a fence around them, 2) a security guard at the entrance and 3) a “no guns” sign.

        I made an informal request through the powers that be to have the sign on the guard gate removed (I have less angst about the signs on the buildings), but the word filtered back to me that it wasn’t gonna happen.

        Signs have force of law in my state, unfortunately.

    • Why is it that if any other right is allegedly violated, every lawyer in the country wants to file a civil rights violation case or the Federal government steps in to investigate, but when it comes to the RIGHT to keep and bear arms, when that right is clearly prohibited, no one lifts a finger. Yes there have been a couple recent cases decided in favor of guns but given the entirety of gun bans across the country, one would hope that our Constitutional right would be fought for more diligently.
      This is going to seem racist to anyone that can’t understand a simple analogy to make a point, but I will say it anyway. First I state a disclaimer that I do not endorse the following FICTITIOUS policies.
      Banning guns, in public places and private businesses that trade with the public, for safety is like banning Muslims from flying commercial airlines. How many lives would have been spared on 9-11-2001? How about banning blacks anywhere 51% of a businesses revenue comes from alcohol sales? Blacks accounted for 38% of violent crime in 2011 according to FBI crime stats even though blacks make up only 14% of the population.
      Those are clear examples of civil rights violations and yet the argument could be made that the public at large would be safer. Whereas carrying a gun is a right that is being denied in the name of safety yet there is no evidence that the public as a whole is more safe due to gun bans. Evidence may actually point out the opposite. At least several anecdotal cases exist where many people were killed because of the gun restrictions in place.

      • ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.’ – Benjamin Franklin

        A constitution and a bill of rights aren’t worth the paper they’re written on if the people don’t have the will to adhere to them.

      • It’s really frigging easy, Michael. You don’t have a right to be on that person’s property. They can toss you out for any reason. The only difference between commercial property and your house is that permission to enter is implicit (but revokable) on the commercial property and needs to be explicit (but again, revokable) on private property.

        Or they could if law made any sense. Now of course there are all sorts of rights-violating government mandated “carve outs” for religion, race, sexual orientation…but those don’t justify making another carveout for someone who wants to carry a gun and still go into peoples’ property regardless of those peoples’ wishes.

        They aren’t denying you your right to carry firearms, you are attempting to deny them their right to control their property.

        • ” Now of course there are all sorts of rights-violating government mandated “carve outs” for religion, race, sexual orientation…but those don’t justify making another carveout for someone who wants to carry a gun and still go into peoples’ property regardless of those peoples’ wishes.”

          That was my point. If by law, Denny’s has to serve blacks, Cracker Barrel has to serve gays, why as someone exercising a “protected” right, am I denied the same civil rights?

        • Rights apply to all, or they apply to none. My God given right to self defense supersedes all government created privileges.

          Here is a bit of wisdom, never give an order you know will not be obeyed. It undermines your authority.

        • If your point was to challenge hypocrisy, rather than claim a bogus “right”, then we are on the same page. (Sure looked the other way to me though.)

        • Bogus right? That is debatable, but I will let you have that one for now. The right to bear arms is infringed in public places as well. Can you say Shaneen Allen?

        • BS. If “they” invite others onto “their” property “they” have not rights that allow for depriving such guests of constitutional rights (or life/liberty). As you may recall these come from your creator. Not from the government or the landowner to whom the gov’t has allowed title.

          Your personal home/estate is a different story.

  13. I love Heroes & Legacies. Also, for bars, it’s the 51% sign, not a PC 30.06 Although one of my favorite bars ONLY sells alcohol and nothing else, and they have a the standard No Unlicensed Gun sign. Not the mandatory 51% or PC 30.06 sign.

    • Never could figure out why anyone rational was so worried about all this nonsense. There is no “law” in Wyoming prohibiting us from carrying into any bar, restaurant, liquor store or anywhere else except “federal property.” So far, we’ve managed to avoid Chicago shootouts in those places. (And yes, there are still restrictions on the books for those who CC… but nobody is going to search anyone absent some real TROUBLE to start with, so it’s pretty well a moot point. Insane to think that someone is going to act differently just because of his/her carry method.)

      Nobody here shoots anyone in much of any other place either. And when people do get shot, it’s for all the usual reasons and has nothing at all to do with how much or how little alcohol is sold in any particular place.

      How does 51% make it more dangerous to carry a gun than, say, 49 or any other percent? Makes absolutely no sense until you remember that these “laws” are not about safety… they are all about CONTROL.

      • Oh, I agree with you. Completely. The laws on the books, regarding guns and carry, are nothing more than because of feelings and imaginary lines. Hell, I even have friends who do like guns and who carry, albeit rarely,but agrees with gun bans in certains places. Even places like TOYSRUS and LIQUOR STORES (even though his state doesn’t prohibit in liquor stores). Not even bars, even though that doesn’t make difference, but liquor stores. His reasoning, guns booze and kids don’t mix. But I don’t he really understands what that means. It’s all just nonsense.

      • How does 51% make it more dangerous to carry a gun than, say, 49 or any other percent?

        Your gun will get a whiff of the alcohol fumes in the air, get drunk, and become violent.

        In all seriousness, the laws regarding guns near alcohol seem to be the biggest source of variance between states that are (otherwise) gun friendly. I had a convenience store owner tell me my gun wasn’t legal in her store because they sold liquor. Which in Colorado is simply not true, but since she claimed the liquor inspector had told her so, it was my word against the guy who could yank her license. I didn’t push it any farther, since I really wasn’t arguing with her, but with a guy who was not present and could kill her business if he got pissy. I can’t expect her to go up against that; she’s got no dog in the fight (though she should). Besides, it’s hard to prove that there isn’t a law on the boks that says x (which is why the burden of proof should be on the other guy).

        So I stopped shopping there.

      • Honestly, I don’t know how the 51% laws make a difference. What I do know is that for all the campaigning for everyone to have a DD, they don’t make it very easy. I think the DD should be the armed guard for all his buddies, too. If the whole point of the DD is to protect drinkers and others from DUI crashes, then why can’t they sit in the bar and have a Coke while carrying and protect themselves and their buddies from a knife wielding bad guy in the dark alley on the way back to the car? I mean my gun is like my magic talisman. When I am carrying, I have no desire to drink whatsoever, but when I leave it in the truck or at home, that demon water always seems to find a way through my lips….

        • Ah, well if you plan on drinking (as opposed to just being in a place where alcohol is served) the calculus changes significantly. I know my state has a law against being intoxicated. I don’t actually know the law about drinking at all. (It doesn’t matter to me because I don’t drink.) Even in the absence of such a law I’d leave my gun at home if I was planning to drink.

          Up to now (unless I am greatly mistaken) we were discussing laws about carrying into a liquor store, a bar, or a restaurant that serves alcohol (or variations) without actually drinking.

  14. I work in a place where having the gun on me is potentially hazardous because of the environment I’m working in. Steel mill, high heat, grease, dust, it’s hazardous enough without having a gun strapped to me. If I had an office job I’d carry every day.

    • I could imagine other jobs where the gun would get damaged. Imagine concrete work, for instance–unless the holster COMPLETELY covers the gun it will get splattered and you will be too busy to do anything about it.

  15. It’s all semantics….legislators scribing ink on paper, company policies, silly signage, workplace HR rules….ALL NONSENSE, because nothing accounts for a warped mind. The real question, in accordance with your paymaster rules, are you prepared to die? And should you protect yourself and fellow co-workers your subject to a swift kick to the curb. The only solution is a federal law stating everyone has the right of lawful self-protection. Otherwise, employers along with local, state, and federal governments get in line to sacrifice citizens lives.

    Just watch the Kenya mall shooting documentary, 61 killed and more wounded by 4 shooters subscribed to an iron age philosophy reenforced with modern weapons. Don’t think it can happen here…it will. No police force is ready for 10-30 disciplined armed men, bent on imposing their will onto others.

    Armed citizens immediately returning fire is the only thing that will stop or slow them down.

    • Don’t think it can happen here…it will. No police force is ready for 10-30 disciplined armed men, bent on imposing their will onto others.

      I’m still sticking with my statement that the Kenya mall shootings were a dress rehearsal for the same thing in the U.S.

      • The Kenya dirtbags did it right. They had one of their gang open up a store in that mall and that allowed them to stockpile weapons and ammo INSIDE THE MALL.

        Hmmm. Good thing there are no middle eastern shop owners in the
        USA. The Kenya mall attack would be an ideal model for a terrorist attack here.

  16. Not necessarily “illegal”, but often a “non-permissive environment”. I guess it’s better to be jobless, than lifeless. You can get another job. Another life? Well…

  17. I currently work in a hospital, and the company policy is “No Weapons”. I know of at least one employee who was written up for having a pocket knife clipped in their pocket, and one who was fired for having a convealed pistol that became inadvertently exposed…Neither of them was arrested, because its not against the law, only policy…I agree concealed means concealed, just be careful. I used to be open about my views, but wont discuss them anymore for fear of being “found out”.

  18. I did repo and collections for a rent to own company with a no carry policy, they were high if they thought I was unarmed in the ghetto carrying cash and electronics everywhere I went

  19. The foundation of the problem is tort law, which holds that an employer is liable for an employees actions when on the clock. This is why every major corporation with an HR department prohibits carry by their line staff even if they pay outside security; as when the security firm shoots a bad guy, THEY get sued by the miscreants family and not the main corporation.

  20. A “gun free” zone has far more symbolic importance than practical value. People who don’t like guns like the tangible evidence that “their” rule is in place. But, sometimes, adaptive strategies born of necessity begin to emerge. At my former school there were tacit understandings that some faculty members carried. Most of the guys in the criminal justice program, LEO’s, judges, lawyers, carried every day. But there were also some highly unlikely people who carried concealed handguns on campus. An prof who was being threatened by thugs came to school armed. A lot of his colleagues, including most of the admin knew about it, but there was a tacit understanding that this was something he needed to do for his own safety. My boss at the time, a petite woman of 110lbs, carried a Glock 19 in a false bottom of her purse. Our parking lots were dangerously under-patrolled at night and she needed the protection. She was also a dead accurate shot with that 19.

    Although it depends on the place and situation, I suspect there are similar discrete, tacit understandings being made in workplaces around the country. Like concealed carry it’s not something you talk about to just anyone, but I’ll bet it’s happening in a lot more places than we might expect. The rule probably works something like this: if you bring a gun to work, don’t show it to anyone, don’t talk about it, always keep it hidden, and always keep it on your person. If you know someone is carrying, pretend you don’t know about it, and never ever talk about it to anyone while at work. Generally speaking: STFU about guns in your workplace.

    • “The rule probably works something like this: if you bring a gun to work, don’t show it to anyone, don’t talk about it, always keep it hidden, and always keep it on your person. If you know someone is carrying, pretend you don’t know about it, and never ever talk about it anyone while at work.

      Yeah, as I noted in my other comment, this is what I think is going on with a couple of the folks with whom I work, with regard to my situation.

      • Well for it to work well, the admin has to be in on what’s happening. What they don’t what to do is to have to deal with the problem if it’s brought into the open. At that point they have to start enforcing policies and things get sticky. But, I think increasingly, people who work in organizations are beginning to realize just how vulnerable they are—and how counterproductive most official company policies are.. If what we think is happening is actually happening that’s a pretty significant change in American workplaces. This latest case in OK just serves has a pretty solid reminder. A gun in that workplace definitely saved lives.

        • Seems like commentators are collectively identifying a dilemma. Some supervisors are giving a wink and a nod to carriers despite corporate policy. How do we get more supervisors to seriously consider beginning to give a wink and a nod? Somehow, we have to start a “conversation” as Shannon would say. Yet, if those who advocate carrying – and might be carrying – are told to STFU, these leading-edge thinkers are inhibited from starting that conversation with their supervisors.
          Seems to me that the folks in gun-friendly States are in the best position to take the lead-dog position. Imagine a branch of a Japanese or British firm in OK. Most of the employees and supervisors on the floor can start the conversation. Once carry becomes commonplace in one location of this company it will spread to other locations of the same company in OK; and then to locations of that company in a less friendly neighboring State. Corporate headquarters will have a tough time doing anything about the practice. Any enforcement action they might try to do would leak to local management who would pass the word “Don’t bring your guns to work tomorrow.” The path of least resistance would be to “enforce” the policy on paper but do nothing to put teeth behind it.
          Snitches would be inhibited by being ostracized by other employees. Some employees wouldn’t carry but would appreciate the fact that their fellow carrying employees are protecting them.

  21. I carry 24/7 and if its just a sign on a window, generally Ill take my $$ elsewhere.
    I carry at work, and with the bosses knowledge.
    The few that know Im armed also know Im not there to protect the workplace. Or them.
    Im armed because I cant punch my way out of a wet paper bag anymore.
    I come 1st along with family……well some of my family..
    If and when some thing may pop up in the work place.
    Ill deal with it or not, depending on the given situation at that time.

  22. I like how it’s OK for people to sue firearms manufacturers and retailers in the event of a shooting but, no one sues the people/businesses that are responsible for disarming the victims.

  23. “… the guys started talking about carrying [firearms] illegally …” (emphasis mine)

    And Mr. Farago stated the problem right there. We are a common law nation. A person who simply possesses a firearm has harmed no one and there is no victim. If there is no victim then there is no crime. So what is truly “illegal” about possessing a firearm if there is no victim?

    Are there people who possess firearms in contravention to laws that legislatures passed? Sure. However, legislatures can declare anything to be “criminal”. It is the default method that tyrannical regimes use to criminalize their opposition an eliminate them.

    What is the saying … something like everyone commits at least one felony every day in our nation?

    • The difference is that stadiums wand or have metal detectors manned by police. Which means that if you carry illegally, you will have some ‘splainin’ to do…before a judge.

      • No it doesn’t. It just means you don’t go in. The difference in attitude I point out is that here, it is work places that don’t allow guns yet a lot of people are admitting to carrying anyway, yet when I stated that I had carried to three different MLB games at two venues, everybody but a couple chastised me for my actions. The hypocrisy is strong on TTAG.

  24. I recently retired after 30 years with a financial institution. I carried every day the last 10 years. Policy was no firearms on the premise. I had a 40 mile commute. Like Ralph I favored my life more than the job.

  25. Armed at work against employer policy? Let’s be honest: employers are businesses which are nothing more than a system to provide a product or service at a profit. Businesses are not people and have no capacity to care about anything. Which means the lives of their employees are meaningless and have no inherent value (from the business’ perspective).

    I feel no obligation whatsoever to honor a business policy which declares that my life is meaningless and has no inherent value. Such a policy is an abomination and deserves no respect.

    Saying it another way, it is wrong for a business to demand that its employees work in paint booth without respirators … and it is wrong for a business to demand that its employees be unarmed and totally defenseless while at work.

    • What about customers? Can they deny customer’s right to carry on the premises? You are going to get a lot of “pro gun” people on here “up in arms” over that argument. Isn’t that right Steve in CO?

    • Their property. Their job, making their product. Their money.

      They set the terms. Any rule to the contrary is a rights infringement by the government. If you want to be armed, well you don’t have to be there.

        • Foggy,

          There are major problems with the position that property rights are above all — the most egregious of which is that no one has any inherent human dignity or rights unless they are standing on land which they own.

          I will expose the flaw with a simple scenario. A toddler wanders onto a neighbor’s property and is physically incapable of returning home. Since the neighbor owns the property, they can deny access to anyone for any reason and insure that the toddler dies from exposure. But it is all okay since they own the property and did not kidnap the toddler, right? Oh, and just to add insult to injury, after the toddler dies, the neighbor can refuse to let anyone come and retrieve the toddler’s body as well, right?

      • SteveInCo,

        Common decency, respect for human life, and laws proscribe business policies which create or allow dangerous conditions for employees and patrons. For example construction companies cannot leave construction sites wide open — they must install fencing around a site. Hardware stores cannot have icy steps — they must salt them. Whether these requirements are undesirable to the business doesn’t matter. It is part of doing business.

        The facts of the matter are that unarmed victims have almost no chance to defend themselves from violent attackers, and violent attackers have seriously harmed or killed untold numbers of defenseless unarmed people at businesses. A business policy which prevents employees and patrons from being able to defend themselves creates a dangerous condition and is therefore wrong, just like any other business policy which creates a dangerous condition.

        • “Common decency, respect for human life, and laws…”

          Well yes, to the first two. And you forgot good business sense. I personally would love my customers to be armed, and so forth. But I am not violating their rights by specifying the conditions under which they may enter my property, since they are free to refuse to deal with me. I would be violating their rights if I *forced* them onto my property under those conditions, but I am not forcing anyone to do anything. They’re trying to force ME to do something however. They are not entitled to a place that meets all of their demands simply because they want them. (Isn’t that the sort of attitude we upbraid Moms Demand Action for?) They can make their demands. I can tell them to pound sand. No rights are violated.

          Now as to the laws, those laws, quite simply, violate rights. I certainly agree that they are there. I don’t agree that they are right and proper.

          Instead, if you don’t like the way someone runs their business, recognize they have a right to run it stupidly and refuse to deal with them. Straining really hard to get them to do what you want simply because of the fact you think it ought to be that way is a waste of your time. And it make you look like a petty scold.

        • SteveInCo,

          Re: “They’re trying to force ME to do something however. They are not entitled to a place that meets all of their demands simply because they want them.”

          Unless they are literally using physical force or are bringing the power of the state to bear, no one is forcing you to do something.

          Second Amendment supporters asking businesses to allow firearms is not “force” — it is a request.

      • SteveInCo,

        Let’s approach it from another angle. If you harm an innocent person, you have committed a crime, whether you harm the victim in a grocery store or in your yard. Similarly, if you restrain an innocent person and enable a violent criminal to harm that person, you have committed a crime, whether you restrained the victim at a grocery store or in your yard. Guess what? If you forbid a person from having a firearm, you have restrained them so that a criminal can attack and harm them. That is a crime.

        • Logic fail. Your first effort was better.

          You are conflating restraint as in holding captive with restraint as in not allowing them to do something on one’s property. They’re free to leave.

          This has to be about the weakest analogy I’ve read in quite some time.

      • This is the right answer, but commenters here tend to like it because the reality that individual liberty does not 100% mesh with their world view all the time is crushing to them. The fact is that you don’t have to work there, and we all make tradeoffs like this every day.

      • You keep coming up with this communistic/socialistic sh*t where YOU decide what my God given rights are. You are f**ked in the head. I will go armed where I decide to, which is everywhere. Don’t like that? F**k you.

        • You just declared your willingness to trespass on private property, against the desires of the owner. Private property is meaningless to you.

          Who’s the “f*cking communist?”

  26. I work security at a private religious affiliated university and always have a firearm readily accessible. Including myself, half the guys I work with are former LE or military. We sometimes have show and tell time during shift change, especially when someone has gotten a new toy.

  27. This is a non-issue article. One should not carry where it’s illegal to do so. Being caught doing so could be not only dangerous to one’s gun ownership rights (felony conviction, etc) but isn’t going to endear anyone to our cause. So, reasons why one should not carry at work where it’s illegal to do so:

    1) Because it’s illegal (felony conviction)
    2) Because it will hurt our cause (only going to make everyone think we’re gun-toting wackos)

    And lastly, if you’re a Christian, your God says (Romans 13) you should obey the laws. Not only would getting caught where it’s illegal make gun owners look bad, it would make Christians look bad.

    I hear you, Robert. I understand. I wish it was legal everywhere, 24/7. Sadly, it’s not. I cannot support those who carry illegally. Maybe instead carry a fighting knife? Something’s better than nothing.

    Let’s fight for our rights while obeying the laws of the land. I understand that the owners of businesses have the right to ban or allow employees to carry. I wish all employers understood freedoms and respected our rights, but sadly they don’t. Solution? For now, if you are a supporter of gun rights and you’re moving up within the company, keep moving up and try to make CEO or franchise owner, etc, get to a place where you can make the rules, then change them.

    I know how it is: I’m military. I find it painfully ironic that I am not allowed a weapon on base: I’m defenseless on a military base and I’m a military member. Sure, we have cops, but they can’t arrive in 5 seconds. Our supervision at the top does not support our right to start carrying. We rarely (in my specific job) get to carry, even in a war zone. I hope it changes, but I can’t change it myself.

    • TwinReverb,

      I appreciate what you are saying. Remember that you have to look at everything in its immediate context as well as the context of the entire Bible.

      Consider Romans 13 verse 3,
      “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

      How do we handle the situations where governments’ declarations of right or wrong contradict God’s commands and standards? In China it is a “crime” for a family to have more than one child. If a wife becomes pregnant with her second child, her government demands that she abort the child. Is she a criminal if she “rebels” and gives birth to the baby? Does she please God if she submits to her government and aborts her child?

      Looking at the Bible as a whole, I see no mandate to be obedient to government authority which violates the sanctity of human life.

      • “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”
        See, there is a problem right there. The “rulers”, government, are the ones doing wrong. Time to make them fear the righteous anger of the citizens. And until they face actual punishment, not just loosing an election, they will never be brought to heel.

    • TwinReverb,

      I think you are looking at this the wrong way in terms of image. Gun grabbers will always demonize us no matter what we do. We have to provide a better message. How about a message like this: we value innocent human life above laws passed by legislative fiat.

      Or take a slightly different approach. What is the purpose of government? It is to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When a government passes a law that takes innocent lives, they are no longer acting within their divine charter and their laws have no moral or divine authority. Thus, being armed to have the ability to defend innocent lives cannot possibly be a crime, period.

      While this second approach may not gain a lot of traction initially with the “nervous Nellie” types, I would argue that it will actually comfort them when they have time to reflect on it.

  28. The only places I don’t carry is government buildings with metal detectors. Everywhere else I carry. I am not some boofer begging for the right to live. Don’t like that? F**k you.

    • I’m the same way. If there are no metal detectors, I’m going to carry. And if there are metal detectors, well, I have a retired peace officer commission card that will get me around those. 😉

  29. “…save those places where I can’t (e.g., my daughter’s school, the U.S. Post Office and bars with a 30.06 sign).”

    That’s two different concepts you’re mixing with bars and signage. Let’s assume an establishment that derives 51% or more of its revenue from the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption. Call that a real bar, even if they do sell some incidental appetizers or give away free snacks. A restaurant that happens to have a bar area is not the same thing. Real bars like this, must post the so-called red 51% sign advising you of their status. It’s not their choice, it’s mandatory. You may not lawfully carry in real bars.

    A restaurant with a bar section, or any other establishment of any kind where concealed carry isn’t banned by statute, has the option to prohibit carry. If they choose to ban, they need to post the 30.06 sign.

    Don’t go looking for a real bar with a 30.06 sign, because you won’t it. Not finding it, however, does not mean you’re free to carry in a real bar, despite their not having a 30.06 sign. That’s not the relevant sign for real bars. The 51% sign is.

  30. 4 People have been killed at my workplace in the last 30 years by crazies with firearms. The crazies were not employees, but related to them in some way.

    The latest incident could have ended differently if Security had been allowed firearms and employees as well. Someone who did not have to die might be alive today.

    I carry everywhere except Police stations and Courtrooms, as those are usually places with plenty of armed folks. I will not put my life in the hands of people who think “no guns” signage and written policies against guns on property will prevent others who are intent on killing from doing what they are planning to do.

  31. My company has a very strict anti-weapons policy. We are restrictd from even having a pocket knife. The only knife we are allowed is a self retracting safety razor. I don’t, and won’t carry at work since the pay is excellent and it’s the best company I’ve ever worked for. Luckily though, there are plenty of local people scared to even come onto our work location (I work on a drilling rig).

  32. This is a very personal choice, balancing risk of needing a gun and not having one against the very real possibility of loosing your job. I am somewhat privileged in that as a retired peace officer I can carry just about anywhere.

    On those rare occasions where policy or the law (Social Security Office for example) prohibit carry. – I have chosen to do it anyway. I am very discreet with a selection deep concealment holsters that are very effective. Short of a thorough pat down or metal detector, my weapon is not going to be noticed unless I intend to use it on an attacker. If I get fired or face a jury because I saved myself or someone else from death, I am willing to deal with that.

  33. I live in Oklahoma. I’m a retired police officer working as an IT guy. I’m currently the only employee authorized to carry in the workplace because of my status as a police officer. I carry a Glock in an IWB holster and have an AR-15 in a case under my desk. I hope I never have to use them, but I’m ready to protect my co-workers from evil.

  34. Worked for an unnamed gummint agency that managed public lands, and had a “30 day suspension with pay or get fired” rule prohibiting the carry of any firearm without written authorization. Had a state carry permit, which didn’t matter to the agency. Worked in rural towns where I never felt the need to pack in the buildings, but I always carried a S&W .38 snubbie in an innocent-looking royal blue belt pouch when I was out in the field – by myself, in areas that were popular with meth labs and clandestine pot growing. If anyone asked, the pouch had matches, a Leatherman tool, a compass, emergency bivvy sack, and granola bars in it, right? (Plus the .38 and extra ammo, tucked away in an inconspicuous pocket.)

    There were several like-minded folks in my office who probably did the same, but our policy was “keep your mouth shut”. Figured, like most folks here, that you had to be alive for them to fire you for carrying iron.

  35. In the strictest sense, the 2nd Amendment is your permit.

    We all know that the courts have extended illegitimate deference to laws that burden the right, but it is still a right, and burdening it is WRONG.

  36. I used to work triage as a paramedic at a hospital that had me locked out of the emergency room at the front desk working alone with a lot of very angry patients. You bet I carried concealed there. The ER itself had a locked door. It was a violation of hospital policy for me to carry, but not illegal. It was a second job so if I got fired no big deal. I lost some play money. The ER director was also very pro-gun so it would have been more likely that I would have simply been told don’t get caught again.

    As for my primary job, firefighter/paramedic, I carry pepper spray and a good knife. I also have a radio that can summon law enforcement a lot quicker than a civilian calling in with my location already tracked by dispatch via satellite. I am also backed up by a crew of other large men, an axe and other tools that can double as weapons. I need this job. I know for a fact that other guys carry, but the consequence for getting caught would be immediate termination. There are also a lot of guns in personal lockers so anything that happened at the station there would be a firearm fairly handy.

    Years ago a guy got a Barrett .50 caliber and we all brought in our various AR-15’s. We had them all out on the table showing them off when someone knocked on the door of the station. Talk about a mad dash to hide some big guns!!

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