A collection of relevant and timely media clips and resources.
Posted on February 15, 2006
Should people who lawfully possess firearms be able to leave them locked in their motor vehicles, on business property? Common sense would say, "yes." All 50 states allow the transportation of firearms in motor vehicles for all lawful purposes and 48 states allow the carrying of firearms in vehicles for personal protection, in some manner.1 More than one of every four of America`s 65-80 million gun owners carries a firearm in his or her vehicle for protection.2
The U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of 46 states protect the right to arms and/or self-defense.3 And since 1986, federal law has protected the right to transport firearms in vehicles interstate.4
However, over the last few years disagreements over the right of people to leave firearms locked in their vehicles on business property have arisen. As a result, five state legislatures have passed, and during their current legislative sessions additional states are considering passing, laws to protect that right.5
The issue began in 2002 in Oklahoma, when the Weyerhaeuser corporation fired employees for having guns in personal vehicles on company property. The Oklahoma Legislature responded, unanimously in the House and by a vote of 92-4 in the Senate, by prohibiting "any policy or rule" prohibiting law-abiding people "from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle."
Arguments raised against the right of people, particularly employees, to leave firearms in locked vehicles on business property are unconvincing:
1. Only Illinois and Wisconsin do not have such laws.
2. USA Today/CNN/Gallup National Poll, Dec. 17-19, 1993.
3. The constitutions of the United States and all states except California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York protect the right to possess firearms for protection, recreation, sports, hunting, and other lawful purposes. Iowa and New Jersey`s constitutions protect the right to self-defense in general terms.
4. 18 U.S.C. sec. 926A.
5. In 1998, Kentucky`s Attorney General determined that state law prohibits employers from prohibiting people from having firearms in their vehicles. Minnesota`s Right-to-Carry law (2003) prohibits employers from prohibiting carry permit holders from having firearms in their vehicles. Laws protecting the right of any lawful possessor of a firearm to have a firearm in a personally-owned vehicle were passed in Oklahoma and Alaska in 2005, and Mississippi in 2006.
6. "Violence in the Workplace, 1993-1999," Dec. 2001 (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/vw99.pdf). The study also noted, the highest percentage of work-related murders occur between 8p.m.-12 a.m., when most businesses are closed.
7. "Violence in the Workplace," July 1996 (www.cdc.gov/niosh/violhomi.html).
Workers Protection and Private Property
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