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Thread: Indiana Firearm Question

  1. #1
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    Indiana Firearm Question

    Hi everyone, new to the forum. I have a question that I hope one of you can answer.

    I know Indiana law states that an employer cannot ask an employee if they have a firearm in their car/truck but does the employee have a lawsuit against the company for just asking? I read Indiana gun laws and it does not specify if legal action can be taken. I can elaborate on the specifics if needed. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Seems like a very tricky question. Here is the text of the law with the relevant portion highlighted:

    IC 34-28-8
    Chapter 8. Disclosure of Firearm or Ammunition Information as a Condition of Employment

    IC 34-28-8-1
    "Firearm"
    Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "firearm" has the meaning set forth in IC 35-47-1-5.
    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-2
    "Political subdivision"
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "political subdivision" has the meaning set forth in IC 36-1-2-13.
    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-3
    "Private employer"
    Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "private employer" means:
    (1) an individual;
    (2) a partnership;
    (3) a firm;
    (4) an association;
    (5) a corporation; or
    (6) a nonprofit organization;
    that employs or offers to employ one (1) or more individuals in Indiana.
    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-4
    "Public employer"
    Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "public employer" means:
    (1) the state; or
    (2) a political subdivision;
    including, but not limited to, a department, agency, board, commission, institution, authority, or instrumentality of the state or a political subdivision.
    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-5
    "Public official"
    Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "public official" means an elected or appointed official in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the state or a political subdivision, as well as an individual acting on behalf of a public employer, whether temporarily or permanently, including but not limited to, members of boards, committees, commissions, authorities, and other instrumentalities of the state or a political subdivision.
    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.
    IC 34-28-8-6
    Disclosure of firearm or ammunition information to employer or potential employer
    Sec. 6. A public or private employer doing business in Indiana may not:
    (1) require an applicant for employment or an employee to disclose information about whether the applicant or employee owns, possesses, uses, or transports a firearm or ammunition, unless the disclosure concerns the possession, use, or transportation of a firearm or ammunition that is used in fulfilling the duties of the employment of the individual; or
    (2) condition employment, or any rights, benefits, privileges, or opportunities offered by the employment, upon an agreement that the applicant for employment or the employee forego the:
    (A) rights of the applicant or employee under this chapter; or
    (B) otherwise lawful:
    (i) ownership;
    (ii) possession;
    (iii) storage;
    (iv) transportation; or
    (v) use;
    of a firearm or ammunition.

    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-7
    Civil action by employee or potential employee authorized when required to divulge firearm or ammunition information
    Sec. 7. (a) An individual aggrieved by what the individual believes is a violation of section 6 of this chapter may bring a civil action in a court with jurisdiction against a public or private employer or a public official that is alleged to have violated section 6 of this chapter.
    (b) If a person is found by a court in an action brought under subsection (a) to have violated section 6 of this chapter, the court may do the following:
    (1) Award:
    (A) actual damages;
    (B) court costs and attorney's fees; and
    (C) in the case of a knowing and willful violation, exemplary or punitive damages;
    to the prevailing plaintiff.
    (2) Enjoin further violations of this chapter.

    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-8
    Tort claim exception; when not allowed
    Sec. 8. IC 34-13-3 does not apply whenever:
    (1) a public employer or public official is sued for civil damages; and
    (2) the civil action arises out of a violation of section 6 of this

    chapter.
    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.

    IC 34-28-8-9
    Regulation or prohibition of firearm possession or carrying a firearm by employee; when authorized
    Sec. 9. Notwithstanding section 6 of this chapter, this chapter does not prohibit a public or private employer from:
    (1) regulating or prohibiting the possession or carrying of a firearm by an employee during and in the course of the duties of the employee on behalf of the employer or while on the property of the employer; or
    (2) enforcing a regulation or prohibition adopted under subdivision (1).
    However, a regulation or prohibition adopted under subdivision (1) may not apply to a firearm stored or transported in accordance with IC 34-28-7.

    As added by P.L.17-2011, SEC.2.



    The way I read it, the first part I put in bold says that the employer may not ask if you have a firearm in your car, even on company property.

    The second part that I put in bold says that if you believe you have a grievance you may bring a "civil action" (this means lawsuit) and if you win you may receive actual damages (lost wages, etc), court and attorney's fees, and punitive damages if the violation was knowing and willful. The third part is very difficult to prove. So is the first part, unless they terminate you and give you a letter that says they fired you because you told them you keep a firearm in the car. If they know you have a firearm in your car and they fire you because you're a lazy employee, you have no case.

    The third section I put in bold gives exceptions, such as the prohibition of carrying firearms while you are actually engaged in working for them.

    That's just my reading.

    You might contact Guy Relford, Esq. in Indianapolis for actual legal advice. I believe has litigated under this chapter as well as under 35-47-11.1.

    PM me if you need more info.

  3. #3
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    Thanks CC! Long story short, someone at work stated I threatened them with a gun and told them I had a gun in my car(false of course). With my supervisor, union rep and HR present HR questioned me in a meeting during which HR said " May I ask if you have a gun in you car?". I do not like to lie and felt if I did not answer the question I would look guilty and be terminated. I reminded her of Indiana's law and my union rep agreed. I was suspended during further investigation. HR and the union president conference called me, HR said I could either be terminated or evaluated. I could have filed a grievance but honestly, the union didn't seem like they wanted to deal with it. I went with the evaluation because I knew after that was done I would be brought back to work. I go back to work tomorrow but I feel that they may terminate me at a later date over something stupid. Even though I like my work I have been thinking of changing employers for awhile now because of the politics there. I feel that HR asked "the" question knowing it was against Indiana law but thought I would not know about it. I am not a vengeful person BUT I think this case could set an example for future cases. Thanks!

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    I would take the accuser to court for defemation of character.

    Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, or traducement—is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation. Most jurisdictions allow legal action to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism.

    Under common law, to constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and have been made to someone other than the person defamed.[1] Some common law jurisdictions also distinguish between spoken defamation, called slander, and defamation in other media such as printed words or images, called libel.[2]

    Similar to defamation is public disclosure of private facts, which arises where one person reveals information that is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person. "Unlike [with] libel, truth is not a defense for invasion of privacy."[3][not verified in body]. False light laws protect against statements which are not technically false but misleading.[4]

    In some civil law jurisdictions, defamation is treated as a crime rather than a civil wrong.[5] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights ruled in 2012 that the criminalization of libel violates freedom of expression and is inconsistent with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[6]

    A person who defames another may be called a "defamer", "famacide", "libeler" or "slanderer".

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyroman View Post
    I would take the accuser to court for defemation of character...
    This.

    If they claim you threatened them with a firearm, they will be on the defensive in explaining why there is no police report. It is often very easy to get an admission of exaggeration ("well, I know he owns guns, therefore...") that will have them in hot water in a hurry.

    Record all your conversations to the extent allowed by your laws.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  6. #6
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    I don't know if what you have is worth going to court over.

    I think at this point it would be best to let it go and either start looking for new work or stay there and keep your mouth shut.

    Though a lawyer would know better than I.

    If you bring a lawyer in, plan on looking for new work. You might not be terminated, but your working relationship with your employer will likely be over.

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