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Guns in the Workplace/Concealed Carry Laws

Update on Federal and State Laws: In November 2011, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 822 (the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011), which would authorize a person with a concealed firearm carry permit in one state to possess or carry a concealed firearm in another state in accordance with the restrictions of that state (currently, every state except for Illinois has a concealed carry law). Forty-three House Democrats joined almost all of their GOP colleagues in passing H.R. 833; however, in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the bill did not see the light of day.

At the state level there continues to be an erosion of employer rights to restrict employees from keeping guns in their vehicles on company property. Sixteen states have enacted various “parking lot gun laws” (with Tennessee likely to become the latest). In April 2012, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that an employee could sue his employer for wrongful discharge for being fired in violation of the Kentucky “parking lot gun” law.

Additionally, there is a growing movement in the states to allow for concealed weapons to be brought on college and university campuses.   Currently in five states—Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin—concealed weapons are allowed on campuses. In several of those states specific laws were not passed to allow guns on campuses, but courts ruled that only the state, not a university, could restrict where guns could be carried, so the existing state concealed carry law overrode university policy. In 2012, sixteen states introduced bills to allow concealed weapons on campuses.