Guns in the Workplace

Those of you who follow the world of sports may have noticed that NBA player Gilbert Arenas is in a bit of trouble for bringing several guns into Washington D.C., storing them in his locker and bringing them out or brandishing them depending on which media sources you believe.  For those of you who do not follow sports, Mr. Arenas plays professional basketball for the Washington Wizards, formerly known as the Washington Bullets [insert your own wisecrack].  The legal issues raised by this situation are governed by the strict D.C. gun laws and NBA rules, which were apparently violated.  Mr. Arenas has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA and criminal charges may be filed against him as well.

If your business only operates in states with strict gun laws like D.C., you may not see this as a priority.  Also, you may consider this a simple issue — if someone brings a gun to work, it’s an easy termination decision.  Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple.  If you have a significant number of employees, it is likely that at least some of your employees own guns, have concealed carry permits, or maybe even carry guns without permits.  Do you have any policies about bringing guns to work or storing them in vehicles in your parking lot or garage?  Were you aware that some states (e.g. Florida, Georgia) have laws that specifically allow individuals with concealed carry permits to store their guns in their vehicles at work and prohibit employers from taking any action against them for doing so?  It is easy to point the finger at yet another misbehaving professional athlete but notice that the NBA has a policy on guns.  If you have not considered the issue of guns in your workplace, you should take some time to do so.

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