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http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_2491345

Workplace gun bans come under fire

By Stephanie Armour
USA Today

Salt Lake Tribune Ronald Honeycutt didn't hesitate.
The Pizza Hut driver had just finished dropping off a delivery when a man holding a gun approached him. Honeycutt wasn't about to become another robbery statistic. He grabbed the 9 mm handgun he always carries in his belt and shot the man more than 10 times, killing him.
Honeycutt faced no criminal charges, because prosecutors decided that he acted in self-defense. But the 39-year-old did lose his job: Carrying a gun violated Pizza Hut's no-weapons rule.
''It's not fair,'' says Honeycutt of Carmel, Ind., who has found another pizza-delivery job and continues to carry a gun. ''There is a constitutional right to bear arms. If I'm going to die, I'd rather be killed defending myself.''
Employers have long banned guns from the workplace as part of a violence-prevention strategy, but those policies are being tested as states pass laws making it easier for residents to carry concealed guns - in some cases, crafting legislation that strikes down employers' attempts to keep guns off company property.
That means employers, who have traditionally shied away from such politically charged issues as gun control, are filing lawsuits to preserve their no-guns-allowed rules. Gun owners also are fighting back, boycotting companies that ban guns or fire workers for having them.
''Are we promoting open firefights in the parking lot?'' says Paul Viollis, president of Risk Control Strategies in New York. ''For legislation to permit employees and contractors to bring loaded firearms to work in vehicles is blatantly irresponsible.''
In 35 states, practically any non-felon can obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Those states require law enforcement officials to issue a license to carry a concealed weapon unless the person is in a prohibited category (generally, a convicted felon). Employers still can generally ban guns inside the workplace as long as they post signs or take other clear steps stating that no weapons are allowed, legal experts say, but some legislators are calling for new laws that would take that ability away.

Gun bans challenged: The ability of companies to ban guns in their parking lots is coming under strong attack. In Oklahoma, a number of employers, including ConocoPhillips, are trying to overturn a law that allows employees to keep guns in locked vehicles on company property. The law was supposed to go into effect Nov. 1, but enforcement has been blocked as legal wrangling over the bill continues.
Gun-owner groups say employers who ban guns are stripping away workers' right to defend themselves on the job. Roughly 76 percent of all workplace homicides are robbery related, compared with 7 percent in the general population, according to an unpublished 2003 report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Having a gun is what Terry Pickle believes saved his life. In 2001, the owner of Pickle's Pawn Shop in Salt Lake City, was at work when two intruders broke in. They didn't ask questions or demand money. They simply walked in and opened fire.
But Pickle and his son, David, grabbed the loaded guns they carry and fired back, injuring one. The intruders fled, firing at a customer as they left. Pickle says he now knows firsthand that guns on the job can deter crime and keep employees safe. The two men were later caught and sentenced to prison, with one serving 10 years and the other serving 7 1/2 years.
''It saved our lives,'' Pickle says. ''We would have been shot, probably dead, had we not had the ability to protect ourselves. They came in shooting. No words, nothing.''

Employers assert rights: But others say laws that now allow guns in parking lots infringe on employers' property rights - endangering all employees and creating a situation in which a potentially violent worker who gets upset could have easy access to a firearm.
In 2003, Doug Williams, an employee at a Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, Miss., left the building, retrieved a shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle from his truck and returned, shooting 14 workers and killing six. The company bans guns on company property, but acquaintances said in news reports that Williams carried guns in his truck for target practice.
Impulse attacks, some employers say, is a major reason for banning guns on company property. In an average week in U.S. workplaces, one employee is killed and at least 25 are seriously injured in violent assaults by current or former co-workers, according to Department of Labor data. Most of those attacks involve guns.
''Do you want your mail guy or delivery guy carrying a loaded gun when he comes to the door?'' asks Patty Sullivan, a Pizza Hut spokeswoman. ''What if he's not happy with his tip?''
Sullivan says the company takes a number of steps to help ensure drivers' safety, including confirmation calls to new customers who place an order, limiting delivery hours in high-crime neighborhoods and training drivers never to go inside a home.
But as more states pass laws allowing residents to carry concealed guns, employers who haven't taken a stand regarding guns on the job are being forced to choose sides.
An Ohio law that went into effect in April in most cases allows employees to have concealed guns on company property except where explicitly banned by employers. If employers don't ban weapons, employees can bring guns onto the work site without informing their bosses.
''Employers have updated policies. Others have said, 'We don't want to raise the issue.' Businesses feel pressure from groups threatening boycotts (if they ban guns),'' says Jackie Ford, an employment lawyer in Columbus.
At Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, the law has brought discussion and debate.
''What if a plumber or truck delivery guy or Coke machine guy has a gun with them?'' says Howard Korn, campus police chief. ''The law is still being worked through. There's been a lot of discussion about this.''
And in Minnesota, a 2003 law generally allows employers to ban guns from their buildings if they post signs and inform visitors of the ban, but they can't restrict employees with permits from having firearms in their cars in the parking lot. The law is currently not in effect because a judge in July declared it unconstitutional; an appeal is pending. Many companies have responded by posting no-guns-allowed signs.
''Employers don't want guns on their property. The concern is for the hothead employee who has an altercation and heads out to their vehicle, and they have a gun there,'' says Mary Krakow, an employment lawyer in Minneapolis.

Employers get court backing: So far, some state courts are siding with employers who want to keep guns away.
At an America Online call center in Ogden, Utah, a security camera recorded three employees transferring guns from their cars. They were parked in a strip mall parking lot that included parking for AOL employees, lawyers say. The employees were off work and planned to go target shooting.
All three were fired by AOL for violating a workplace-violence-prevention policy that banned guns. The three fired workers sued, saying the policy violated their right to bear arms. Utah allows residents with a permit to carry a concealed firearm in a public place; you don't need a permit if it's not concealed.
But the Utah Supreme Court in July sided with AOL and said employers have the right to set policies banning guns in the workplace.

A matter of self-defense? Even as employers wage legal battles to ban guns, some state legislators say companies should have less control. They support legislation that would allow employees with proper gun permits to carry concealed weapons on the job, not just into the parking lot.
''Companies are prohibiting the rights of employees to protect themselves,'' Democratic Oklahoma state Sen. Frank Shurden says. ''I am in favor of letting a licensed permit holder carry the gun in the workplace. There's no reason to fear law-abiding citizens.''
Gun-owner groups say the real risk is that workers unable to have guns could be attacked and have no means of self-defense.
About two-thirds of employers have written policies that specifically address weapons in the workplace, the reporting of violent incidents and threats of violence or violent acts, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Large employers are more likely to have such policies.
Gun advocates also are pushing for laws that would make employers who ban guns liable if workers are injured in an attack on company property. ''We're fighting back,'' says Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Wash. ''Employers have rights. But if you don't allow an employee the means to protect themselves in the parking lot, there can be liability for the company.''

Defending yourself: Employees such as Robert Wisniewski agree. The 53-year-old nurse in Brandon, Fla., says he started carrying a gun in his car after he was the victim of an attempted carjacking when driving home from work.
But he stopped carrying the gun, he said, because he works at a veterans' hospital where weapons aren't allowed in the parking lot.
''When I go to work and hit that parking lot, I have to go unarmed, even though my state says I have the right to have a gun,'' says Wisniewski, who is also a firearms instructor. ''I'm not one of those gun nuts, but you should have a right to defend yourself.''
 

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Preacher said:
http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_2491345

In 2003, Doug Williams, an employee at a Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, Miss., left the building, retrieved a shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle from his truck and returned, shooting 14 workers and killing six. The company bans guns on company property, but acquaintances said in news reports that Williams carried guns in his truck for target practice.
sounds like he needed more practice....:confused: :dunno:

EDIT:
bad.... I'm sorry...
 

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Long Arm of the LAW
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One day some crazy will kill an employee of a anti gun company. Then the widow will sue them for preventing the deceased from exercising his/her rights and losing his/her life.

Then see how the corporate lawyers change their opinions.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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I was thinking along the same lines Chromebolt. Perhaps some greedy ambulance chaser that's been promting all the lawsuits in order to to take away our gun rights can turn it on those anti-gun companies.

File a lawsuit for several hundred million dollars against the employer of anyone murdered while working for a company that prohibited employees the right to carry a gun for self defense. Blame the company for that death, and make them pay thru the nose.

There are plenty of viable cases already.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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The tough cases are when two fundemental rights come into confict.

I have right to bear arms and self defense. As a property owner I have personal rights to control my property and I would also say a 1st amendment right to freedom of association.

Most of us would say the property owner wins when it is your home but for some reason deny those rights when it is the business owner's place of business.
 

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I know where you're coming from Custer. I've wrestled with that myself. I just get fighting mad at every attempt to take our guns. I can agree that the employer should be able to ban guns from the building if they so choose. But I've been in situations going to and from work that I've been really glad that I was packing. I think you should at least be able to keep a weapon in your car at all times. I also think that being told you can't have something in your vehicle is a loss of rights as well.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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I disagree with the policy of a company that doesn't allow their employees to possess firearms while on their property or in their employment, but I agree that they have a right to do so. However, in my opinion it then becomes the companies responsibility to protect their employees, in that they have required them to be disarmed.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Posted on Mon, Dec. 20, 2004

Relaxed gun laws haven't translated into demand for licenses

BY TIM JONES

Chicago Tribune


CHICAGO - (KRT) - Even as more states make it easier for people to carry handguns in public, citizen demand to legally carry a small firearm has lagged far behind expectations, according to law enforcement data from states that have recently relaxed their handgun laws.

Local sheriff's departments in states like Missouri say they have not been bowled over with demands from citizens wanting to pack heat. Missouri reported last week that in the first nine months since that state's new concealed carry law went into effect, demand for gun licenses is far less than expected.

"I've been somewhat surprised," said Norm Nielsen, chief deputy sheriff in Stone County, in Missouri's southwestern corner near Branson.

The same lower-than-expected numbers on gun license applications have come out of Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio, each of which has approved new concealed carry laws since 2001.

"They're down 30 percent (from projections)," said Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association in Columbus, Ohio.

The public response to new concealed carry laws has added a wrinkle to a consistently furious debate over gun rights and the effectiveness of laws regulating the use of firearms, especially handguns.

After years of intense lobbying efforts in statehouses aimed at allowing people to carry concealed weapons, many criminologists argue that the effect of state laws that allow people to pack heat has been negligible. They have neither contributed to a substantial reduction in crime nor have they resulted in Dodge City-type mayhem that the laws' opponents forecast, they said.

The National Research Council weighed in Thursday with a report that argued no one has conducted the proper studies to gauge the impact of gun ownership laws.

"The committee found no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime, and there is almost no empirical evidence that the more than 80 prevention programs focused on gun-related violence have had any effect on children's behavior, knowledge, attitudes or beliefs about firearms," the report said. The National Research Council is part of the National Academy of Sciences.

About 30,000 firearms-related deaths were reported in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 12,000 of those were considered homicides.

In legislatures across the country, so-called concealed carry or "right to carry" laws have been at the forefront of the gun rights debate, pitting firearm advocates against police organizations. Led by the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby has succeeded in convincing 28 legislatures in the past 15 years to repeal restrictive gun ownership laws.

Thirty-four states have right-to-carry laws that allow adults to carry concealed weapons, provided they clear legal hurdles and other requirements. About a dozen states allow citizens to carry concealed weapons only if they can prove a need for one. A handful of states do not allow citizens to carry concealed weapons.

The NRA's success coincides with steadily declining public support for gun control laws. The Gallup Poll reported in October that 54 percent of Americans think laws covering the sale of firearms should be strengthened. That's down from 78 percent in 1990. At the same time, though, more Americans - 46 percent - think having a gun in the house makes a home more dangerous, versus 42 percent who think a gun makes a home safer.

Frank Zimring, a criminologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said he is not surprised that applications for concealed carry licenses are lower than anticipated.

"This was symbolic legislation, this was all about gun owners rights, not necessarily owning a gun," Zimring said. "It's the same reason why you have 54-year-old women campaigning for the right to have an abortion - not because they want to have an abortion but because they believe in the principle."

Missouri adopted its concealed carry law after a huge political fight. Voters narrowly rejected a concealed carry ballot proposal in 1999. The legislature approved a new law last year but Gov. Bob Holden vetoed it. Lawmakers overrode the veto, but the law became effective only after court battles. Similar political and legal struggles preceded enactment of gun ownership laws in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio. Minnesota's law was declared unconstitutional this summer due to a legal technicality.

Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University, also said he is not surprised by the tepid demand for gun licenses in these states.

"These are states that are not as enthusiastic about gun ownership as states that adopted these laws earlier. The later they pass the less you would expect a huge rush," Kleck said. "Crime rates have also been declining since 1992. We have a much calmer environment."

Last week, the FBI reported that the number of murders nationwide dropped by nearly 6 percent during the first half of 2004, and that overall violent crime was down 2 percent over the same period last year.

Cornwell said the lower numbers in Ohio are due in large part to some of the restrictions attached to the law, covering public places and a requirement that guns in cars must be in clear view.

"People thought they could carry guns into a restaurant where alcohol is served. They can't," Cornwell said. "I think the appetite is there. But because of restrictions, many think it's just not worth the hassle to have the license."

In Missouri, Nielsen does not think the lower demand for gun ownership reflects a slackening appetite to carry a gun. Some people don't apply because of the cost of the permit and training, about $250, he said.

"I also think it's a matter of ... now that we have the right, I can exercise my option. Before I couldn't. If I want to I can," Nielsen said. "It's like a personal Bill of Rights."

---

? 2004, Chicago Tribune.
 

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This is an interesting case in point of how the Constitution protects us from the governmental power, but doesn't protect us from corporate power.

Some say that this is unfortunate, but that it was impossible for the Founding Fathers to have foreseen how powerful corporations would become.

Others say that corporations should be allowed unrestricted power, that any attempt to rein in corporate power only increases governmental power.

I think both perspectives are essentially correct, don't quite know what the answer is.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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A corporation is just a legal fiction in order to create a vehicle to raise capital and run a business.


As long as human beings are the owners, I don't know why I have to give up my constitutional rights because the left does not like business.

Property does not have rights. People have rights in property.

By the way, corporations existed in those days. In fact, one might say the country was founded by one. A good example was the Hudson's Bay Company.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Custer said:
By the way, corporations existed in those days. In fact, one might say the country was founded by one. A good example was the Hudson's Bay Company.
Yeah, but that was before ya had to get a second mortgage on your house in order to buy one of their blankets.

Custer, if you are buying everyone in this forum a Christmas present, a nice 8 point Hudson Bay blanket would be a great gift. :D
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Pogo said:
Yeah, but that was before ya had to get a second mortgage on your house in order to buy one of their blankets. :D
Yeah they are way up there. My wife and I have a Chief's Blanket (8 pointer) but it is one of the best things we have ever bought.
 

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Yep, there's a legal fiction that a corporation is a person, and thus has all the rights and responsiblities of a person.

They differ from people in two respects:

1. "A corporation does not have a conscience." The only people who don't have a consicence are psychopaths.

2. A corporation does not die after three-score and ten years.

With the legal fiction that a corporation is a person, we have created immortal psychopaths, Nietchze's superman, "Beyond good and evil."
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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No, Smeg, the people that own the corporation are persons.

Those persons have property rights.
 

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Custer said:
No, Smeg, the people that own the corporation are persons.

Those persons have property rights.
I don't think I ever said that corporations aren't owned by the people who are stockholders, nor that those people don't have property rights.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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No, but you act like because a human being or a group of human beings start a company that they somehow lose their rights.

You know Smeg, when you create big governement to control one part of human endeavor, don't be surprised when they decide to control it all. You can't cherry pick even though you think you have the ACLU or the NRA.
 

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Custer said:
No, but you act like because a human being or a group of human beings start a company that they somehow lose their rights.

You know Smeg, when you create big governement to control one part of human endeavor, don't be surprised when they decide to control it all. You can't cherry pick even though you think you have the ACLU or the NRA.
I quite agree. Apparently you missed this:

"Some say that this is unfortunate, but that it was impossible for the Founding Fathers to have foreseen how powerful corporations would become.

"Others say that corporations should be allowed unrestricted power, that any attempt to rein in corporate power only increases governmental power.

"I think both perspectives are essentially correct, don't quite know what the answer is."

What do you suggest as a resolution to the quandary? I, quite frankly, as noted above, am stymied. Ever since the days of Teddy Roosevelt we've known that unrestricted corporate power can result in the evils of monopoly capitalism. But enhanced governmental power isn't a good thing, either, something anarchists, libertarians, and conservatives have always known.

I think one resolution perhaps would be holding stockholders personally liable for the actions of the corporation in the event of a civil suit. Sort of the converse of a class action suit.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Let's see. I buy 100 shares of Delta airlines and the plane crashes due to faulty maintenance, you say I should wind up losing my house?
 

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Custer said:
Let's see. I buy 100 shares of Delta airlines and the plane crashes due to faulty maintenance, you say I should wind up losing my house?
Well, you've put your finger on why a corporation doesn't have a conscience. As a stockholder, your sole worry is the bottom line - the price of the stock and the size of your dividend. If the corporation maintains its profit level by irresponsible cutbacks on maintenance, it's not your problem so long as the cost of the lawsuits against the corporation remain within acceptable costs of doing business. Accordingly, the level of information that stockholders even have on the companies they own is the price of the stock and the size of the dividend - they, the people who own the corporation, haven't got a clue as to whether it's endangering people (or not) in the course of seeking profits.

Why should they care?

And if they don't care, why should - or could - the corporation act in any manner other than that of a sociopath? Not necessarily intending evil to anyone, simply driven entirely by its own needs.
 
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