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Debate Grows Over Gun-Owner Rights In The Workplace

Published by on June 13, 2012

An under-the-radar topic — gun-owner rights — has started to receive increasing (negative) scrutiny from the press and law professors.  The debate sets the hot button issue of workplace violence against the Second Amendment and state concealed carry laws.  More after the break. A recent decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court is one item that […]

An under-the-radar topic — gun-owner rights — has started to receive increasing (negative) scrutiny from the press and law professors.  The debate sets the hot button issue of workplace violence against the Second Amendment and state concealed carry laws.  More after the break.

A recent decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court is one item that has provoked debate about the extent to which gun ownership is a “right” in the employment setting.  Professor Bainbridge has a lengthy post on the case, in which he expresses his view that “only truly fundamental social goals like ending race discimination ought to trump the principle of at-will employment.”  Workplace Prof Blog has a post that follows from Professor Bainbridge’s commentary.  Of course, Professor Bainbridge’s position begs the question of what is a “truly fundamental social goal.”  (He has a post back in 2005 discussing the issue as well.)

The other front in the debate is taking place in legislatures.  For example, the Missouri House has passed a bill making it unlawful for an employer to fail to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an employee because that employee “has a concealed carry endorsement or uses his or her firearm for lawful purposes.”  The outrage and mockery over the bill was swift.  Oklahoma’s concealed carry law takes a different approach and specifically allows employers to ban firearms on their premises.

The Delaware Employment Law Blog also has a post on the issue here.

As more states enact concealed carry legislation, and Congress considers reciprocity legislation for concealed carry permits, one thing is certain — the debate will only become more intense.

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