With 464 US mass shootings year-to-date, they are becoming a part of our country’s fabric. And since people spend most of their time at work, the need to feel safe there has also increased.
For some, purchasing and carrying a handgun into their place of employment has become the solution. For others, the presence of a gun in their midst compromises their comfort and safety.
Where does this leave the employer – especially in this tight employment market?
Open and transparent communication between the organization and staff is essential when addressing this extremely sensitive issue.
New Ohio Law
Effective June 13, Ohio Senate Bill No. 215 states a qualifying adult can legally carry, possess, or conceal a handgun without a license, background check, or training requirements.
A qualifying adult means a person 21 or older, not legally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm under federal or state law, and satisfies various criteria listed in Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) 2923.125.
What if Your Company Have No Written Gun Policy
Under Ohio’s new law, because all qualifying adults have all the same rights granted to individuals who have been issued concealed handgun licenses, employers will not be permitted to enforce rules prohibiting individuals, including those without concealed handgun licenses, from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in their car or bringing these handguns into the workplace.
Employers Have Rights
The employer is burdened with writing and communicating their policy, while employees are required to comply.
Employers are free to implement a policy that:
- Prohibit all firearms and other weapons inside their buildings and vehicles.
- Prohibit all firearms and weapons other than handguns on their premises, including the parking lot.
- Discipline employees not qualified to possess handguns that violate SB 215 or other rules permitting carrying a gun.
“As laws restricting gun possession are now less restrictive, more of the burden on regulating firearms in the workforce lies squarely on employers. Employers must revisit and potentially revise their firearms in the workplace policy to ensure the current policy conforms with the employer’s goals and obligations to provide a safe workforce,” stated Tim Dimoff.
Address Guns in the Workplace with a Clear Policy
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services Inc. can help your organization establish clear, concise policies and procedures for Weapons, including Concealed and Open Carry. Contact us to speak with one of our Human Resources Specialists today.