Every day, more and more working Americans are applying for a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit. With everything that is going on in the world, many people are choosing to carry concealed in the work place.
Of course, it’s not always possible to carry a weapon. Despite the fact that all 50 states have laws protecting your right to bear arms, and states have made it easier for people to receive concealed carry permits, there are some rules, regulations, and policies you should take into account before taking a concealed firearm to work.
Can I Bring My Concealed Carry to Work?
When it comes to the topic of taking a concealed gun to work, you need to consider federal and state laws as well as zoning laws, employee safety laws, and workplace policies.
These not only change from state to state, but from one workplace to the other. Sometimes, a concealed carry can be a double-edged sword. Even if you are completely within your rights to have a gun at work, your job may depend on whether you bring it to work or if your employer knows about it.
You will arguably spend the majority of your day at work, so whether you already have a firearm or are thinking of getting one, you have likely already considered taking your weapon to work.
The question is… can you?
When it comes to concealed carry, you need to consider a few factors:
- State and Federal Laws
- Federal Workplace Safety Laws
- Company Policy
- Office Regulations and No-Gun Zones
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always come down to the second amendment. Regardless of how you feel about guns and safety, there are some nuances when it comes to carrying a weapon to work that you need to consider.
Concealed Carry at Work: State and Federal Laws
While all 50 states allow certain individuals to carry concealed weapons, what qualifies as a weapon and where you can carry varies drastically from state to state.
For instance, in Florida, you need to get a concealed carry permit in order to have pepper spray for personal defense reasons.
You need to look at how your state restricts and allows concealed carry weapons. The basis for this practice includes:
- No Issue or Restrictive May-Issue
- May Issue
At the end of the 20th century, many states wouldn’t issue permits for concealed carry weapons; however, regulation quickly changed at the turn of the century, and states either adopted a May-Issue or Shall-Issue stance.
- May-Issue states require that you pass a basic set of requirements, which then gives the issuing jurisdiction power to give you a permit.
- Shall-Issue states have more defined limitations and guidelines you must follow in order to receive a permit or license.
Knowing local laws and regulations can mean the difference between keeping and losing your job.
This article will not go over the laws in each state, so make sure you do proper research before getting a concealed carry weapon. Instead, we will focus more on concealed carry in the workplace and what are the norms surrounding this practice.
Federal Workplace Safety Laws
While your right to bear arms and defend yourself is protected by the federal government, when it comes to the private sector, companies get to make some important decisions.
Under OSHA, companies can define what constitutes as risk and can ban concealed carry firearms or weapons of any kind.
Moreover, if your weapon discharges by accident and causes physical or emotional harm to anyone in the office, not only can you be justly terminated, but you will likely face criminal charges.
That's the case when concealed carry is allowed. If, for some reason, you decide to carry your weapon to work when you have been explicitly told not to, your employer is going to face some heavy punishment.
The last thing employers want to do is deal with the risks associated with having concealed carry weapons in the workplace.
Large companies are concerned with their bottom line, which is why many large businesses don’t permit concealed carry on their property.
Employers don’t want to worry about rising insurance rates, which exponentially spike up in workplaces identified as being “high-risk.”
Not to mention, many businesses are under the impression that violence is a common occurrence in the workplace and don't understand that adding concealed carry weapons is going to help.
Of course, some companies openly embrace concealed carry! Ok, that may be a bit of a stretch, but a lot of businesses don’t mind you bringing a concealed carry to work. For example, some casinos in Vegas and most restaurants and bars across the country allow it, but again you need to review local laws and regulations.
Your company policy is crucial to your ability to carry a concealed weapon to work, and the courts are usually going to side with the private sector when it comes to this issue specifically.
Of course, the law is also on your side, meaning that companies are required in many states to explicitly warn that carrying of firearms and concealed weapons is not allowed.
However, if your company explicitly asks you to leave your weapon at home, then you are entirely liable if you get caught breaking the rules. So plan accordingly.
Office Regulations and No-Gun Zones
The last thing you need to consider is the physical office location you work in. Some offices include multiple units and large lots, which make the rules and regulations concerning concealed carry all the more confusing.
No gun zones are becoming more and more common. With the fact that the vast majority of gun crimes occur in these zones, many people want to remain protected. Just make sure you know when and and where you can have your firearm, as well as the risks that come with carrying in a forbidden location.
It is a good idea to get legal protection that comes with training materials. I am a member of USCCA and love the peace of mind of knowing I have great legal protection and advice.
By no means are we saying you should carry a concealed weapon to work if it is explicitly prohibited, but let's assume that carrying a concealed weapon at your place of work.
You don’t know how your employers and coworkers feel about guns. It is best to keep this information to yourself. The whole point of "concealed" carry is that is hidden from others.
It’s a tough call to make. You should by no means break the law, but sometimes you are left with a decision of being safe and at risk of losing your job, or unprepared to defend yourself and others from harm.
Hopefully, you never have to face a situation in which you would need to use your carry weapon, but it’s always good to be prepared for the worst.
Check out this video for more info on carrying in the work place.