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Thread: Guns to Work law: effect on Pizza Delivery Workers

  1. #1
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    First off, I'm talking about 790.251 Protection of the right to keep and bear arms in motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes; prohibited acts; duty of public and private employers; immunity from liability; enforcement.

    I'm sure everyone's heard of it...it's the one that lets you keep your firearm locked in your car while at work, and keeps your employer from taking action against you when/if you do (unless they're Disney).

    My question is, how do you think this law effects the Pizza Delivery profession in the State of Florida, seeing as all the major pizza chains appear to have, at the corperate level, no-weapons policies?

    The paragraph/section that seems to be the most important, in my initial review, is:
    (e) No public or private employer may terminate the employment of or otherwise discriminate against an employee, or expel a customer or invitee for exercising his or her constitutional right to keep and bear arms or for exercising the right of self-defense as long as a firearm is never exhibited on company property for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes.
    Would that mean, as long as you lock your gun in your car when you walk into the shop to pick up your next delivery, you would be legal to carry it (with permit as provided in law) everywhere else in the performance of your duties, and any termination of employment resulting in you using it in self defense would be illegal?

    I know, I'm asking everyone to play board lawyer here...but it's an interesting question that would apply to any employer that allows/requires you to use your personal vehicle off work property.

  2. #2
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    That paragraph, isolated and by itself, seems to include concealed carry - beyond 'leaving it in your car'.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    That paragraph, isolated and by itself, seems to include concealed carry - beyond 'leaving it in your car'.
    Yes, but your employer can have a "no weapons" policy/term on which is part of your employment (as is the case, to my knowledge, with most the major Pizza establishments)...This law is meant to allow employers to enact a "no firearms/weapons in the workplace" ruling, yet allowing the private citizen to defend themselves as soon as they leave work...
    2. Any agreement by an employee or a prospective employee that prohibits an employee from keeping a legal firearm locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle in a parking lot when such firearm is kept for lawful purposes.
    Above is another paragraph, legalizing "no weapon in the workplace" policies...at least, that's how I'm reading it.

  4. #4
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    Lezchap wrote:
    First off, I'm talking about 790.251 Protection of the right to keep and bear arms in motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes; prohibited acts; duty of public and private employers; immunity from liability; enforcement.

    I'm sure everyone's heard of it...it's the one that lets you keep your firearm locked in your car while at work, and keeps your employer from taking action against you when/if you do (unless they're Disney).

    My question is, how do you think this law effects the Pizza Delivery profession in the State of Florida, seeing as all the major pizza chains appear to have, at the corperate level, no-weapons policies?

    The paragraph/section that seems to be the most important, in my initial review, is:
    (e) No public or private employer may terminate the employment of or otherwise discriminate against an employee, or expel a customer or invitee for exercising his or her constitutional right to keep and bear arms or for exercising the right of self-defense as long as a firearm is never exhibited on company property for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes.
    Would that mean, as long as you lock your gun in your car when you walk into the shop to pick up your next delivery, you would be legal to carry it (with permit as provided in law) everywhere else in the performance of your duties, and any termination of employment resulting in you using it in self defense would be illegal?

    I know, I'm asking everyone to play board lawyer here...but it's an interesting question that would apply to any employer that allows/requires you to use your personal vehicle off work property.
    Well, it does say company property, so it can go a couple different ways. If you use it in self defense at the store it would be illegal for them to fire you (...lawful defensive purposes.) but if you use it in lawful self defense during a delivery not on company property, I still don't see how they could fire you for that. of course there is the story of that dude in, where was it, Iowa? Pizza hut, I think, fired him for having a gun after he used it in self defense. I'll have to look it up. I don't think we'll get a definite answer until there's a test case.

  5. #5
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    Here is what Gutmacher says in a recent blog entry:
    Friday, October 17, 2008
    Guns in Parking Lots -- Florida Statute 790.251

    I recently received an e-mail from a citizen who is a delivery driver in Florida. He was told by his employer that he would be fired unless he signed an agreement that he would not carry a firearm in his personal vehicle during working hours. He asked me if this was legal, and what should he do. My reply follows. It points out some of the huge problems with the drafting of this statute, and how it fails to protect employees because of bad drafting and shortcomings on thinking it through. Here's my response:

    "First, you should know that this law is terribly drafted, and therefore is unclear in many areas. Secondly, it was primarily meant to cover parking lots, although it likely extends to "locked" carry in a personally owned vehicle outside of those lots. Thirdly, it is unclear whether it would allow an employee to carry a firearm "locked in a vehicle" while driving on company business if such was against the employers policy. Last, it puts the employee at a huge (and impossible) economic disadvantage in testing the law as he pays attorney fees of the employer if he loses the case -- and obviously, he or she must also pay the fees of his own attorney. Plus, there is a real question whether a citizen can challenge adverse employee action by injunctive relief - or whether this is reserved to the Attorney General. Thus, unless the employee has the financial backing of a large organization -- there is little real ability to finance a case unless the Attorney General will take it. And last -- if you challenge the actions of your employer, they will take adverse employment action against you as a result. Therefore, while I agree with you that the law, as written, likely covers you while you are working so long as the firearm is "locked" within the vehicle (requires a key or combination lock or such) - your only practical hope of testing your theory is if the Attorney General will take the case, or you can get the NRA, GOA, or some other organization to bankroll you. Plus, if you don't get a temporary injunction issued immediately -- you'll be looking for a new job, as well. Unfortunately, I have little faith in the Attorney General, as I believe he is more worried about re-election and campaign contributions than protecting the rights of the citizens of Florida. Likewise, if you have to "lock" the firearm - it is a real disadvantage to being able to use it quickly for self defense purposes.

    While the passing of this law was important -- its drafting was terrible. Moreover, the Legislature put in exceptions that are totally unnecessary, and made the remedies a financial impossibility for almost all Florida citizens when facing most employers. There was little insight into what the law didn't include, and how it would work in a practical world. For the most part, it doesn't work.

    Sorry -- but I didn't draft this thing.

    jhg

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    Unless they are making my car payment they will not tell me what I can have/carry in my car. What they don't know want hurt them and if I had to use itfor self defence I would rather loose my job then my life. JMO















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