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Thread: Getting "parking lot carry" without becoming a target

  1. #26
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    Here is a link to the NRA/ILA article on the Oklahoma parking lot gun law
    http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/News....aspx?ID=12135

    This took a long time to grind through the mill.
    It started as mentioned above when a group of Weyerhaeuser employees were fired after the company got local law enforcement to search private vehicles parked in a public lot. The law was not retroactive so they received no relief.

    After the law was enacted a group of companies filed suitagainst it and got a judge to get an injunction based in large part on OSHA rules.
    http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/20..._opines_on.php

    Tenth circuit overturned the lower court and the law is now in force here in Oklahoma.
    Since then several states have passed similar laws and amzingly enough the streets have yet to run with blood.
    Probably the most annonymous way to get what you need is legislatively.
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  2. #27
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    Thanks RoadKing... I had deleted the email out of my box, but I had a copy of it at work. Thanks for picking me up...

    WT
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadkingLarry
    Here is a link to the NRA/ILA article on the Oklahoma parking lot gun law...Tenth circuit overturned the lower court and the law is now in force here in Oklahoma.
    That makes it clear. The court decision was based on an Oklahoma statute. So the bad news is that it has nothing to do with some broad, "...absolute right to have a gun in your car at work...", at least absent a state statute.

    But the good news is that if there is an applicable state statute, it'll be harder for an employer to try to get out from under it.

  4. #29
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    I can understand your desire to keep your job and avoid termination.

    But...you disagree with the people who have control over your life (they don't really, but in this case, you're giving them that control). So how do you carry the fight to them without becoming their target?

    Go to your representatives, write letters to the editor of the newspaper, write to the sheriff and other local officials, make your voice heard on the topic without picking a fight with your employer. If you're not going to fight directly, then you have to get others to fight for you or carry the fight through indirect means.

    At some point or another, when it comes down to it, we all have to answer the same question - is this fight worth fighting?

    Just remember, someday you or one of your heirs may have to shed blood to regain ground that you gave up because it was too inconvenient to fight over at the time.

    Pick your battles wisely, choose the terrain for the fight and the timing. Don't fight for the sake of fighting, fight to win.

    Good luck and stay strong!

  5. #30
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    If a car has never been searched what do you think the chances are of your car being the first one to be searched?

  6. #31
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    If a car has never been searched what do you think the chances are of your car being the first one to be searched?
    I believe my chances of being singled out, and have my car searched or worse, increases exponentially with every step I push the issue with my employer. Given the topics of our recent "policy refreshers" it would seem that the issue of an armed encounter with a disgruntled employee is on someone's mind. If I express the intention of keeping a weapon in my car, out of the same concern, I think that someone might get the wrong idea and consider me a potential "disgruntled employee".

    So far my concerns of workplace safety has been kept between me and a few of my co-workers. I'm thinking of diplomatic means of opening the discussion with my management. This training might just be the path. I think I'll have to get a better gauge of support from my co-workers before I take any step I cannot reverse.
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  7. #32
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    That makes it clear. The court decision was based on an Oklahoma statute. So the bad news is that it has nothing to do with some broad, "...absolute right to have a gun in your car at work...", at least absent a state statute.
    But the good news is that if there is an applicable state statute, it'll be harder for an employer to try to get out from under it.
    The trick a lot of corporations like to try is to use the OSHA laws to invoke company rules "to provide a safe workplace", but it's just as dangerous for you not to be able to access a gun to protect yourself as it is to take one and assault a fellow worker. Like school districts and "special tax districts" who seem to think they're independent countries, and can ignore the constitution, corporations like to use their premier existance as some kind of grounds for infringing on employee rights under the constitution.

    We have a law in South Carolina that says an employer cannot fire someone for a political opinion, but they can fire you for insubordination if you fail to agree with them on a policy issue... even though it's a constitutional violation. So in this case, they could fire you for insubordination for refusing to allow your car to be searched, but since there is no law broken by keeping a gun in your car, it by default means that they are firing you for a political opinion because you refuse to surrender your rights against search and seizure. Where that would get sticky, is that there is a criminal penalty attached to firing someone for their political opinion, so it could get quite dicey in court.

    Personally, I think all constitutional rights trump any "company regulations", so anything that forces me to surrender those rights violates the law if I was to get fired for some infraction that is nothing more than a political opinion being enforced by the corporate organization. If there was a record of violent actions, drug abuse, or some such behavior, there might be reasonable cause to ask the police to search the car, but barring that... I think it's "sue city" when the corporate hacks fly into your business.

    WT
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...The trick a lot of corporations like to try is to use the OSHA laws to invoke company rules "to provide a safe workplace", but it's just as dangerous for you not to be able to access a gun to protect yourself as it is to take one and assault a fellow worker....
    It's hardly a "trick." OSHA vigorously enforces its rules and "safe work place" requirements, and employers have a legitimate interest in proactively avoiding OSHA enforcement actions and fines. A court decision like the one in Oklahoma clarifies the rules and helps assure that the employer will not be walking into an OSHA problem by complying with a state law.

    Large employers with the money to do so will frequently pursue litigation to clear up a gray area. Often they don't particularly care how things turn out as long as they wind up with clear guidance on which they can rely.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...but they can fire you for insubordination if you fail to agree with them on a policy issue... even though it's a constitutional violation....
    It is absolutely not a constitutional violation. The Constitution regulates the conduct only of government -- not private parties. The conduct of a private party can not violate the Constitution because the conduct of a private party is not constrained by the Constitution. An employer in the private sector is a private party.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...they could fire you for insubordination for refusing to allow your car to be searched, but since there is no law broken by keeping a gun in your car, it by default means that they are firing you for a political opinion because you refuse to surrender your rights against search and seizure....
    Not even close.

    [1] Since the employer, as a private party, is not subject to the Constitution, absent a statute prohibiting it from doing so, it is free to make consent to a search a condition of employment.

    [2] So your refusal to consent to a search at the request of an authorized representative of the employer will not be seen by a court as a "political opinion." It is simple insubordination.

    [3] If there is a company rule against having a gun in your car, the employer may also prohibit guns on company property, at least unless there is a state statute prohibiting him from doing so. It doesn't matter if it is legal for you to have a gun in your car. If your car is on company property and having the gun in your car violates company policy, the employer will be fully within its rights to terminate your employment.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...Personally, I think all constitutional rights trump any "company regulations", so anything that forces me to surrender those rights violates the law if I was to get fired for some infraction that is nothing more than a political opinion being enforced by the corporate organization....
    You may think that, but you are wrong. The Constitution does not regulate the conduct of private parties.

  9. #34
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    Fiddletown, if the employer is a corporation, which is basically an entity approved by the federal government for a particular tax and regulatory status, then is there any merit to the argument that since the federal government is (or should be) restricted by the constitution, then it's creation (the corporation) should be also?

    Parker

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by catspa
    Fiddletown, if the employer is a corporation, which is basically an entity approved by the federal government for a particular tax and regulatory status, then is there any merit to the argument that since the federal government is (or should be) restricted by the constitution, then it's creation (the corporation) should be also?
    Nope, no merit at all.

    First, it's incorrect to say the a corporation is "...basically an entity approved by the federal government for a particular tax and regulatory status..." The corporation is one of a number of ways in which a business can be organized. The corporate form itself is several hundred years old. There were corporations well before there was a United States.

    Second, the corporation is not a creation of the federal government. Corporations are formed by individuals or groups of individuals following certain formalities. One formality is filing certain documents with a state government official. A corporation may be formed in any state, and the details of the formalities that need observed by the persons forming the corporation are determined by the laws of the state in which they choose to form the corporation. The federal government has nothing to do with the creation of a corporation.

    Corporations are private. They of course are subject to various laws, just as you and I are, as individuals, subject to various laws. Corporations must get governmental licenses or approvals to engage in certain business activities, just as you and I must get governmental licenses or approvals to engage in certain business activities. The corporation is no more a creation of government than you and I are creations of government.

    ETA: And under the law and court decisions, corporations are treated as private entities.

  11. #36
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    Under that scenario, your employer should be able to walk into your house, search for anything they find objectionable and fire you for it. Right? I don't think so, and I don't really think you think so either.

    Corporations don't buy your total being simply because they're paying you a salary... they pay you for your work... nothing more. Can they have rules of conduct... absolutely. Can they violate your constitutional rights with those rules of conduct... seems the guys at Weyerhauser proved to them that they cannot do that with impunity.

    The courts stay full of cases where employers violate laws in the conduct of their business and workplace rules are nothing more than a pattern of workplace behavior. If it has been determined that you have a constitutional right to have a gun in your car, how exactly does your employer assume the authority to tell you that you do not?

    Case law has determined that your car is an extension of your residence in many states, and firearm transport laws are clear in most of them that you have a legal right to have a gun in your car. If you're saying that a company can simply say that because they're a private organization, that the law doesn't apply, then why don't pharmaceutical companies tell the federal government to kiss off and simply produce whatever they wish and market it? If they only sold it in one state, they should be able to completely ignore the FDA and all it's regulations... right?... Oh, that's right... it's that sticky situation of being a "taxable entity" that keeps their hooks in there isn't it?

    Consider you work at a company and someone comes in and shoots workers... the company would be liable for "failing to provide a safe workplace", right? Suppose they have unarmed security personnel on site... same thing, right? Now, suppose you have a gun in your car, and escape to your car and protect yourself... if you lose your job for having a gun in the car, can you still sue the employer for failing to provide a safe place to work?

    What about "after work" and "before work" scenarios... if you normally carry a gun in your car, but your employer says you're fired if you bring one on their property... what happens if you leave work and are injured in an assault you could have stopped had your firearm been in the car? Remember, only survivors get to sue anybody... and corporations depend on that in many cases.

    You could come up with dozens of scenarios where the corporations would be liable for their conduct and "rules" regarding firearms and their employees. If I remember correctly, they get sued for all kinds of workplace discrimination based on age, race, religion, etc., so how do they suddenly escape recrimination for violating your constitutional rights in other areas, such as your 2nd amendment rights?

    To be honest, I don't necessarily disagree with you on some of those issues, but it's not as simple as the "company is always right". They might make the rules, but sometimes they have to pay for them too.

    WT
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  12. #37
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    I believe the point that catspa is getting at is that a corporation is an artificial person, a legal construct created by the laws of a state or federal government. Since this corporation is a legal construct it exists with the blessing of the government and therefore could/should be limited in its rights and powers since its rights and powers are derived from the government.

    It is true that a person cannot, legally, be charged with constitutional infringements like a government can. However a corporation is only a "person" in law. That "person" can be dismantled for any of a number of reasons and does not have a right to be like a natural person does. One logical extension of this is that a person, being a creation of the government, cannot have the power to infringe on the right of a natural person just as the government may not infringe on the rights of a person. If a corporation can infringe on a natural person's rights then that allows the government to infringe on our rights by proxy.

    The existence of a corporation is already dependent on things like minimum wages, fire codes, and other employee protections. It would follow that the protections of the employees would extend to the tools of self defense.

    As it stands right now there is no protections from the government when it comes to having weapons in the car on company property in Iowa. The court case in Oklahoma was over the constitutionality of the law prohibiting the firing of employees because of the secure storage of firearms in a vehicle. The court ruled that the Oklahoma law can stand. Iowa has no such law, and the court being in a different federal district the precedent may not apply.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    Under that scenario, your employer should be able to walk into your house, search for anything they find objectionable and fire you for it. Right?...
    Don't be silly. They may, and usually do, require that you, as a condition of employment, consent to a search of your office or work area, brief cases or other containers you bring on to company property and your car when parked on company property.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...Can they violate your constitutional rights with those rules of conduct...
    Since private parties are not constrained by the Constitution, this is a nonsensical statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...The courts stay full of cases where employers violate laws in the conduct of their business ...
    Correction: where employers are charged with violating the law. And individuals are also found in court charged with violating the law. And sometimes corporations, and individuals, lose; but sometimes they win and are exonerated.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...If it has been determined that you have a constitutional right to have a gun in your car, how exactly does your employer assume the authority to tell you that you do not?...
    If your car is parked on company property, the company has that authority because it is the company's property and you are parking your car there with the company's permission and subject to the company's rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...Case law has determined that your car is an extension of your residence in many states, and firearm transport laws are clear in most of them that you have a legal right to have a gun in your car. If you're saying that a company can simply say that because they're a private organization, that the law doesn't apply,...
    No, I'm saying that absent a statute that prohibits the company from doing so (such as in Oklahoma and Florida) the company can tell an employee that he can't have a gun in his car parked on company property because the car is parked on company property.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...why don't pharmaceutical companies tell the federal government to kiss off and simply produce whatever they wish and market it? If they only sold it in one state, they should be able to completely ignore the FDA and all it's regulations... right?...
    Actually, the FDA regulates only the interstate commerce in drugs and medical devices. There are indeed some small companies producing drugs solely for intrastate commerce that can do so outside FDA regulation. The major players, however, in that business simply don't do so because it doesn't make economic sense for them to thus restrict their markets.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...Consider you work at a company and someone comes in and shoots workers... the company would be liable for "failing to provide a safe workplace", right? Suppose they have unarmed security personnel on site... same thing, right? Now, suppose you have a gun in your car, and escape to your car and protect yourself... if you lose your job for having a gun in the car, can you still sue the employer for failing to provide a safe place to work?..
    It would be interesting to see what a court would do with such a lawsuit. However, even though there have been a number of such workplace shootings in recent years, AFAIK no one has sued the employer.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...What about "after work" and "before work" scenarios... if you normally carry a gun in your car, but your employer says you're fired if you bring one on their property... what happens if you leave work and are injured in an assault you could have stopped had your firearm been in the car?...
    That's an argument for changing the law and no doubt one of the arguments that was advanced in support of the enactment of the laws in Oklahoma and Florida preventing an employer from prohibiting employees from having guns in cars park on company property. But this doesn't affect the law as it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...Remember, only survivors get to sue anybody... and corporations depend on that in many cases....
    Nonsense. Haven't you ever heard of a wrongful death lawsuit. The family of a person killed as a result of the legal fault of another can also sue.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...If I remember correctly, they get sued for all kinds of workplace discrimination based on age, race, religion, etc., so how do they suddenly escape recrimination for violating your constitutional rights in other areas, such as your 2nd amendment rights?...
    Because there are federal and state statutes expressly prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. When an employer is sued alleging such discrimination, it is on the bases of such statutes -- NOT on the Constitution. It was necessary to enact those statutes to be able to deal with such discrimination, because the Constitution does not constrain the actions of private parties.

    Quote Originally Posted by wristtwister
    ...but it's not as simple as the "company is always right"...
    Who said that the company is always right. And in any case the company isn't always wrong either.

    Fanciful notions of what the law is won't get anyone anywhere. In fact they will get people into trouble. But we need to understand what the law actually is so that if change is appropriate, change can be pursued in a proper and effective manner. In this case, the way to effectively assure that employees can have a gun in their cars parked on company property is to get state legislatures to enact laws, like those in Oklahoma and Florida, preventing an employer from prohibiting employees from having guns in cars park on company property.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...Since this corporation is a legal construct it exists with the blessing of the government and therefore could/should be limited in its rights and powers since its rights and powers are derived from the government...
    But the fact is that is not the case. If someone thinks it should be thus, he will need to write his legislature.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...It is true that a person cannot, legally, be charged with constitutional infringements like a government can. However a corporation is only a "person" in law. That "person" can be dismantled for any of a number of reasons and does not have a right to be like a natural person does....
    That may be your opinion, but it is not the law. Indeed the courts have recognized corporations as having most of the rights a natural person has.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...The existence of a corporation is already dependent on things like minimum wages, fire codes, and other employee protections....
    Actually, all employers are subject to minimum wage laws, fire codes, and other employee protections. Not all employers are corporations. An employer could be an individual, i. e., a business operated as a sole proprietorship. An employer could be a group of individuals, i. e., a business operated as a partnership.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...It would follow that the protections of the employees would extend to the tools of self defense...
    You're of course welcome to try to get a court to agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy
    ...As it stands right now there is no protections from the government when it comes to having weapons in the car on company property in Iowa. The court case in Oklahoma was over the constitutionality of the law prohibiting the firing of employees because of the secure storage of firearms in a vehicle. The court ruled that the Oklahoma law can stand. Iowa has no such law, and the court being in a different federal district the precedent may not apply....
    Of course the precedent is of no help whatsoever in Iowa, because Iowa doesn't have a statute like the Oklahoma statute found to be constitutional by the 10th Circuit.

    The Oklahoma statute drove the result -- assuring employees in Oklahoma can have guns in their cars parked on an employer's property. You need to focus on getting a similar statute adopted in Iowa.

  14. #39
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    Wristtwister and Fiddletown...
    Under that scenario, your employer should be able to walk into your house, search for anything they find objectionable and fire you for it.
    That is EXACTLY what is happening with "health care reform" and the like...Smoking is now banned where i work ON CO PROPERTY AND failure to take a cessation course when offered can be used against you down the line with health claims if they are deemed to be smoking related.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronE
    ..Smoking is now banned where i work ON CO PROPERTY AND failure to take a cessation course when offered can be used against you down the line with health claims if they are deemed to be smoking related...
    Not quite the same thing, but another thorny issue. Smokers aren't a real popular group these days, and there doesn't seem to be anyone helping stand up for their rights.

    Health care is going to be messy in the next few years. Once upon a time, folks paid for their health care with their own money. When we started to rely on third parties to pay the bills, things started getting a whole lot more complicated.

  16. #41
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    Parking lot carry is a horrible idea. Forcing companies to allow you to keep weapons in their parking lot is unconstitutional and it violates the most fundamental of property rights. I think we should work against this as it can be used to destroy our society if we allow it to reach the point where the government can override property rights whenever they want.

  17. #42
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    Oldskoolfan, at first I thought you were being sarcastic but it seems you were serious. Please explain what part of the Constitution is being violated by forcing an employer to allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles while on the company parking lot.

    Also, the solution to my problem does not mean a law has to be passed. While a law protecting my right to be armed while off the company property (since the firearm would be kept in the car a person is not necessarily armed while on the company property) would be one solution there is the option of convincing the company that it is in their best interests to to respect their employees' property rights.

    Oldskoolfan, can you give an example of where your fears have come to fruition? I can give a number of examples of how unarmed employees ended up dead because of company policy. I can also give a few examples of how people that had firearms in their vehicle prevented a bad situation from getting worse.
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    IA farmboy, what about having people from a forum write to the company you work for suggesting that it could be a liability for them if they continue to force law abiding people to leave their personal protection tools at home. You could pick and ask certain people on that forum to write something gently worded to point out that it is to the companies advantage to allow the unknown people who want to carry in their vehicle to do so. You could PM the people you choose, that way the companies name wouldn't be tossed all over the internet. But I know that you would be taking a huge chance trusting people you never met, not to some how aim a finger right at you. I didn't take the time to read all the posts so maybe someone else had a similar idea in another post. I was just brain storming, of course my brain storms wouldn't blow out a birthday candle. I hope things work out quickly for you.

    Milo H.

  19. #44
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    The bill is before our governor right now here in Indiana to force companies to allow workers to have guns in cars in company parking lots.

    As for as the op, sometimes we have to make a sacrifice to eventually win the war. If you are the nail sticking up waiting to be pounded by a car search then simply don't give them anything to find in such a search -- ever. Be the good corporate worker bee as far as behaviour goes... but still agitate as much as you feel you can get away with and keep your job.

    Let them waste energy (and face) trying to prove something that you are too smart to fall for.

    Now... if they bring the dogs out you can begin to have some real fun. I know a kid who's high school parking lot was regularly being checked by the drug dogs. Since hemp grows pretty wild here along side the farm roads it is not too hard to find a plant or two. He simply passed thru the teachers parking lot on the way to the buildings being sure to brush a plant alongsides the teachers' cars. After a dozen or so teachers/adminstrators kept being hit on by the dogs the practice ended.

    I am sure a little gunpowder could do the same.

  20. #45
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    I am not my bosses property. He just rents me, he does not own me.

  21. #46
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    Orginally posted by Sheik Yerbouti:
    Have your attorney send the company a letter stating that since their policies conflict with your desire for self defense that you are hereby notifying them that you are holding the company responsible for your safety and well being while on the job.
    They generally are. And if someone comes in with a firearm they will say that their policy is the protection.

    Not to mention that the original poster states that he knows the rules of the company. They can easily ask why he did not pursue a different place of employment as this one was so rife with danger. And I agree with them.

  22. #47
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    I have to ask if it is taking the high road to suggest someone break their word. The man agreed to follow the rules when he took employment even though he didn't like them. Surely it is taking the low road to break your word and disobey the rules you agreed to follow. Wouldn't you agree?

  23. #48
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    The part of the Constitution that implies we have teh right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The fact is that these kinds of laws (Parking Lot laws) are regulations of private businesses. What other things can they say the company must do? And shouldn't you as a property owner be able to decide what items and who is allowed on your property?

  24. #49
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    I have to ask if it is taking the high road to suggest someone break their word. The man agreed to follow the rules when he took employment even though he didn't like them. Surely it is taking the low road to break your word and disobey the rules you agreed to follow. Wouldn't you agree?
    NO

    The company you work for has no business inside your personal vehicle.

    Property rights have nothing to do with access to a quasi-public parking lot. A property owner has legal recourse if you lease or rent the property and you try to assert control over it. They have the right to that property, you do not.

    The word "right" in this case is not the same as the "rights" you enjoy as a sentient being with opposable thumbs. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

    Property right only deal with what you can do with an asset, not what happens on or with that asset. The OP is asking for the government to assert and recognize that he can do something and seeks legal protection for a lawful act. I personally support this as the most prudent act. However, if there is no law against carrying where you work or securing a weapon in your vehicle then you can go ahead and do it.

    You haven't broken any law. You haven't even violated the terms of a handshake. Your employer has no right to ask you to die.

  25. #50
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warlocke
    ...The company you work for has no business inside your personal vehicle...
    Noble sentiment, but not legally true.
    Quote Originally Posted by fiddletown, post 25

    ...in general an employer can require that as a condition of employment an employee shall have been deemed to have consented to a search of his work area, bags or briefcases, and his car while parked on company property. The employer would generally require no suspicion or probable cause, and the employer would have no need to charge the employee with a crime. Nor would the employer need to have the police do the search. An employee's refusal to allow a search would usually be grounds for termination of employment....
    At least that is the situation absent a statute to the contrary. There are statutes in a number of States that prohibit an employer from taking adverse employment action against an employee for lawfully have a gun in his car. But otherwise, the law in general is as I've outlined.

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