Recent tragedies in the U.S. have made workplace safety and gun safety a central focus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2006 to 2010, an average of 551 employees were killed as a result of work-related killings. Further, gun violence accounted for 78 percent of homicides at work.
When it comes to those who are licensed to carry a gun, 5.2 percent of adults in the U.S. have a gun permit and the number of concealed gun permits has dramatically increased from 4.6 million in 2007 to nearly 13 million in 2015.
In 2015, some 1.7 million new gun permits were issued — a 15 percent increase from the previous year. Suffice to say, more and more citizens are shopping for a firearm. With this in mind, employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment and adhering to guidelines that lay out safe concealed carry laws today more than ever before.
Rules are Not Hard and Fast
Employers must recognize that some of their employees may be licensed gun owners with concealed carry permits. So it is key to be knowledgeable about the importance of signage and other methods that clearly state carry policies and that guns or weapons are permitted on the premise.
Legal experts say there are no federal laws that regulate weapons at private workplaces, but some states have instilled “guns at work” laws, which protect staff members’ rights to carry concealed firearms at work. And while there are no federal laws that say it is an employer’s duty to prevent violence at work, employers do have a responsibility to provide an environment that is safe under the OSH Act.
Proper PrecautionsVarious states have different laws and require specific signs to be posted in the workplace regarding concealed carry rules. Further, many states have passed laws that prohibit workers from keeping firearms on the premises, even in a locked car.
Experts suggest that if you own a business where a Bring Your Gun to Work law has not been passed, you should continue to prohibit your employees from bringing firearms to work. Weapons policies should be clearly outlined in an employee handbook, as well as specific punishment for violation of the policy.
If your state does have a Bring Your Gun to Work Law, review the law to learn about your obligations and outline these in your company policies, signage and handbook. Remember, it is important for employers to protect the safety and the rights of all employees. And education is often the best first step.
- For a more detailed look at the laws in your state regarding guns at work, visit concealednation.org.
- Browse a wide variety of weapons signs at ComplianceSigns.com.