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Thread: Major Victory for American Workers' Right to Self-Defense.

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    Major Victory for American Workers' Right to Self-Defense

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Fairfax, Va. – Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in support of allowing employees to store legally owned firearms in locked, private motor vehicles while parked in employer parking lots. This decision upholds NRA-backed legislation passed in 2004.

    “This is a victory for the millions of American workers who have been denied the right to protect themselves while commuting between their homes and their workplace,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “This effort was aimed at skirting the will of the American people, and the intent of legislatures across this country while eviscerating Right-to-Carry laws. This ruling is a slap at the corporate elitists who have no regard for the constitutional rights of law abiding American workers.”

    In March 2004, the Oklahoma legislature passed an amendment holding employers criminally liable for prohibiting employees from storing firearms in locked vehicles on company property. A number of corporations subsequently filed suit in opposition to the new laws, alleging they were: unconstitutionally vague; an unconstitutional taking of private property; and preempted by various federal statutes. The lower court ruled in favor of the injunction.

    “This issue was contrived by the gun control lobby who goaded corporations into doing their dirty work for them,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “However, this ruling is a vindication for every hardworking and lawful man and woman whose basic right to self-defense was taken away on a whim by corporate lawyers. NRA is prepared to defend this right and to ensure the safety of every American worker.”

    In October 2008, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Attorney General Drew Edmondson appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals the lower court decision to strike down the NRA-backed worker protection laws. Today’s proceedings handed down by Circuit Judges Paul J. Kelly, Bobby R. Baldock, and Michael W. McConnell reversed the lower court’s grant of a permanent injunction.

    http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/News....aspx?ID=12135

    __________________________________________________ _________________

    I just caught wind of this today and I am surprised I haven't seen or heard anything on here or maybe I just overlooked it? Thought this was also interesting due to the fact it was in Fairfax. So I guess some of us will see how our employers are going to take this.

    Edited to add I also found this:

    http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/07/07-5166.pdf


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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    This has really been off the radar.

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    Yeah that is kinda what I was thinking. I find it hard to believe it has not been mentioned here. The only other reference I could find was in the Nevada sub-forum and it is only a few post.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    I believe Fairfax is the location from which the press release was ... well, released. The Tenth Circuit appears to be out of Oklahoma, at least according to the .pdf document referenced. I didn't look up what other states it covers.

    If I recall correctly, usually these Circuit court rulings only apply to the locations over which they preside, which makes it unlikely to affect Virginia. This is from memory, and as always, IANAL.

    It can't be a bad thing though. I think I will send this link to my company security folks and ask them if they've heard anything on this. They might just push it up the line and make a few folks sweat for a minute or two.

    TFred


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    I think I would be nervous leaving my firearm locked in my car for 8 hours plus. I suppose if it were in a lockbox with a hefty lock that was bolted or tied to the car's frame with a cable or something, I'd settle down. Speaking of such, does anyone have any cost effective suggestions for something like this? Ammo can fitted with some sort of lock, screwed down with self tapping metal screws?

    Maybe that's just the I've been unemployed for several months and haven't been without my sidearm part of me talking though. This is still an achievement and something to be happy about nonetheless.

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    Regular Member CRF250rider1000's Avatar
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    The release was from NRA. The headquarters is on Waples Mill Road in Fairfax, VA. I used to go there all the time to shoot

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    curtiswr wrote:
    I think I would be nervous leaving my firearm locked in my car for 8 hours plus. I suppose if it were in a lockbox with a hefty lock that was bolted or tied to the car's frame with a cable or something, I'd settle down. Speaking of such, does anyone have any cost effective suggestions for something like this? Ammo can fitted with some sort of lock, screwed down with self tapping metal screws?

    Maybe that's just the I've been unemployed for several months and haven't been without my sidearm part of me talking though. This is still an achievement and something to be happy about nonetheless.

    I plan on adding this http://www.tuffyproducts.com/p-88-01...2-12-wide.aspxsecurity lock box in my 2003 Silverado. I have40/20/40 front seats and am going to remove my center seat with fold down back/arm rest/storage. I have purchased a floor mount for a Silverado with center seat without fold down back/arm rest/storage to mount the box to so I don't have to drill new holes in the floor. The current seat mount has a vertical post that will not allow the box to mount to it. I am also going to try to order mine with the lid opening from rear to front and unpainted. I also want to mount alocking mechanism to unlock when I use my remote entry system as the main lock in case I need my weapon in a hurry when entering and keep the existing lock for a secondary lock for places I may need additional security.

    Tuffy also makes other security boxes that will work with Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks, but most of their product line is specialized forJeep products.

    Here are some shortcuts fortruck console and truck bed products.

    http://www.tuffyproducts.com/

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    While the opinion appears to refer specifically to Oklahoma statute, it does set a positive precedent. It may be that VA needs to introduce legislation defending that right, as I am now in the process of refining with my employer.

    I have less (and only SLIGHTLY less) problem with being disarmed at the office, but if I cannot have my personal defense weapon in my vehicle in the parking lot, the company has effectively disarmed from my front door and throughout the day.

    That's what really gets me. Aside from it being unconstitutional, that is.:X
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    I work for Uncle Sam (in a VA facility) and obviously carrying into my work building is out of the question. Our parking garage is a separate building, do you guys think it would be OK for me to leave my pistol in my parked car in the garage or would the garage be considered a Federal facility as well?

    I haven't done so but always thought the garage should be OK, especially seeing that it is not restricted to employees but rather open to general public so anyone can drive in and park.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Here's another article on this, which lists Virginia as one state that is currently considering a parking lot law. This was news to me, and I've been watching the GA pretty close this term. Anybody know what they might be referring to?

    TFred


    http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayRe...051&EDATE=

    Employers Unnerved by Ruling Upholding the Legality of Guns in Workplace Parking Lots

    - Amid rising layoffs, federal decision highlights concern about workplace violence, attorney says

    NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new ruling by a federal appeals court means managers in a growing number of states must accept what, for many, is a troubling reality -- their employees have the legal right to keep guns in their cars at work, even with layoffs on the rise and economic tensions running high, said attorney James P. Anelli, an attorney in LeClairRyan's Labor and Employment Group.

    On February 19, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court ruling, thereby upholding an Oklahoma law that gave workers the right to keep guns in their locked vehicles. "This unanimous and clearly worded ruling has broad implications for managers in the several states that have passed laws like Oklahoma's," said Anelli, who is based in the law firm's Newark, N.J. office. "It also could embolden pro-gun lawmakers around the country to draft similar measures."

    The aim of the Oklahoma law, introduced with the support of the National Rifle Association, was to stop companies from banning guns in workplace parking lots. The rationale was that such prohibitions violated employees' constitutional rights to possess and carry firearms. In October 2007, however, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern issued an injunction against the enforcement of the state's legislation. The new law, he ruled, created an obstacle to employers charged with maintaining safe workplaces according to requirements issued by the U.S. Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA).

    In its 3-0 ruling, the appeals court cited evidence that OSHA does not regard the Oklahoma law as being in conflict with its workplace safety provisions. "The court pointed specifically to a January 16 letter by an acting OSHA official that signified OSHA's neutrality on the matter," Anelli noted. "Essentially, this ruling amounted to a clear invitation to states that have passed these types of provisions to feel free to enforce them. For employers who had hoped to see these types of provisions thrown out in court, this is a dramatic development."

    Indeed, several Oklahoma employers, including Weyerhaeuser Corp., Whirlpool Corp., and ConocoPhillips, had challenged the Oklahoma law out of safety concerns. In the wake of the appeals court ruling, Anelli said, human resources and legal teams in states where these pro-gun laws have passed may need to rewrite employee handbooks to include firearms policies specifically crafted to reflect the reality that guns could be present in the parking lot. States that have passed pro-gun laws similar to Oklahoma's include: Georgia, Florida, Alaska, Kentucky, Mississippi, Kansas and Minnesota. Similar measures are under consideration in the statehouses of Alabama, Louisiana, Montana, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.

    "I have never seen an employee handbook that had a firearms policy," said Anelli, who has 20 years of experience representing management in employment discrimination and labor litigation. "It is more than prudent to adopt policies on how firearms should be handled and to explicitly state, for example, that guns must stay locked in vehicles and cannot be brought into the workplace."

    Even as they draft such policies, however, employers must still provide a safe workplace and intervene where appropriate. For example, if an employee exhibits violent behavior there may still be a basis to take appropriate action to ensure that the workplace remains safe. In fact, some states allow employers to obtain court orders limiting the possession of firearms in parking lots even when the local law allows them if there is an indication of potential violence.

    Still, Anelli said, company executives in states that have passed such laws should remember that they have not been relieved of their obligation to keep the workplace, including its parking lot, safe. It is their responsibility to work with security professionals, attorneys and local law enforcement officials to defuse situations involving potential violence and the possible use of firearms. They can also take other steps to protect both their companies and employees. Some types of businesses, for example, may have been legally exempted from the applicable law and can therefore continue to enforce gun bans. Others might be able to carve out "secured parking areas" that are gun-free but still in compliance with their states' laws.

    Importantly, the Court also rejected the employers' arguments that, as a "property owner," they could regulate if firearms were stored in employee vehicles. The appeals court ruled, however, that the Oklahoma law could most accurately be "characterized as a restriction on Plaintiff's use of their property." In short, the appeals court ruled that the employer's property could be regulated in this manner and withstand constitutional "taking" arguments. Part of the ruling is based on the notion Oklahoma was expanding the rights of its citizens, as citizens, to store firearms in their vehicles as opposed to regulating employers or addressing employment, per se.

    Anelli added that if OSHA were to reverse course and declare such laws in conflict with its existing safety provisions -- perhaps after a policy review by the Obama administration -- or if other appellate panels were to issue conflicting rulings on the legality of firearms in workplace parking lots, the U.S. Supreme Court might take up the matter.

    About LeClairRyan

    Founded in 1988, LeClairRyan provides business counsel and client representation in corporate law and high-stakes litigation. With offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the firm has more than 300 attorneys representing a wide variety of clients throughout the nation. For more information about LeClairRyan, visit http://www.leclairryan.com.


    SOURCE LeClairRyan


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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    "I have never seen an employee handbook that had a firearms policy," said Anelli, who has 20 years of experience representing management in employment discrimination and labor litigation.
    Where the heck has this worked in twenty years? Every company I have ever worked for has had a "firearms in the workplace" section in the employee manual.

    Anelli added that if OSHA were to reverse course and declare such laws in conflict with its existing safety provisions -- perhaps after a policy review by the Obama administration -- or if other appellate panels were to issue conflicting rulings on the legality of firearms in workplace parking lots, the U.S. Supreme Court might take up the matter.
    It still would not trump the Constitution. OSHA, as an illegal federal alphabet agency not operating under the limitations, provisions and enumerations of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, has no standing to INFRINGE on our rights.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
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    Chuckles wrote:
    I work for Uncle Sam (in a VA facility) and obviously carrying into my work building is out of the question. Our parking garage is a separate building, do you guys think it would be OK for me to leave my pistol in my parked car in the garage or would the garage be considered a Federal facility as well?

    I haven't done so but always thought the garage should be OK, especially seeing that it is not restricted to employees but rather open to general public so anyone can drive in and park.
    Would come down to if Feds own property no go. If property privately ownedshould be ok.
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    wylde007 wrote:
    It may be that VA needs to introduce legislation defending that right, as I am now in the process of refining with my employer.
    I was told by the president of my company to leave it in my vehicle, though I have expressed to him, among other things, that he's forcing me to walk from our office to my vehicle unarmed and vulnerable to robbery [of my laptop and possibly other expensive company property] and personal injury. And that while the gun is in my vehicle it could be stolen and wind up in the hands of a criminal.

    One night he was leaving late and felt a little vulnerable in the garage himself, he called me from his car to say that we may be able to come to an agreement that would allow me to carry concealed and unloaded into the office and store it in a safe under my desk. Then when leaving I could re-arm in a bathroom stall. The conditions under which I would be permitted to carry would have to be written into a contract between myself and the company.

    This is all still a long-shot because the property is leased and there may be a stipulation in the lease about firearms in the building. There are no signs on the premises that prohibit firearms, though.

    He's worried about three things (in no particular order):
    1) Another employee seeing that I have a gun and freaking out.
    2) Someone overpowering me to take the gun.
    3) An accidental discharge in the office.

    If I could resolve his fears of those three things, I may just be able to convince him to permit me to carry in the office at condition 1. That is, provided that the lease agreement does not forbid firearms.

    I'm shopping around for tasers to carry where firearms are prohibited. The ones that can shoot probes at a distance and have back-up point-blank-range probes. I've always thought it was silly to call the point-blank-range ones "stun guns" and call the ones that actually shoot something "tasers." It would make more sense the other way around, wouldn't it?

    As for the questions about safes, I have a Gun Guard DLX but have not yet mounted it. I'm a do-it-yourself'er, but I'd hate to mess up my vehicle (leaks, rust, insecure fasteners). I need to find a good custom auto guy/gal that could do it right and guarantee their work. Maybe that place "Trick Trucks". Does anyone know any other places that would be qualified for something like installing a safe in a vehicle?

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    I would think any custom audio guy worth his salt could do it right. They have to mount amplifiers and routers and CD-changers and all sorts of hardware inconspicuously, permanently and securely.

    Your safe shouldn't be much different in size from a CD changer or larger amplifier chassis.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    It is highly unlikely that the lease has a no guns clause and how would one be enforceable without notification?

    Insofar as rust potential to vehicle by way of installation holes, simply dab a little silicon gel on the nut/bolts and that will be eliminated with added benefit of making them vibration proof.

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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    virginiatuck wrote:
    He's worried about three things (in no particular order):
    1) Another employee seeing that I have a gun and freaking out.
    2) Someone overpowering me to take the gun.
    3) An accidental discharge in the office.

    If I could resolve his fears of those three things, I may just be able to convince him to permit me to carry in the office at condition 1. That is, provided that the lease agreement does not forbid firearms.

    I'm shopping around for tasers to carry where firearms are prohibited. The ones that can shoot probes at a distance and have back-up point-blank-range probes. I've always thought it was silly to call the point-blank-range ones "stun guns" and call the ones that actually shoot something "tasers." It would make more sense the other way around, wouldn't it?

    As for the questions about safes, I have a Gun Guard DLX but have not yet mounted it. I'm a do-it-yourself'er, but I'd hate to mess up my vehicle (leaks, rust, insecure fasteners). I need to find a good custom auto guy/gal that could do it right and guarantee their work. Maybe that place "Trick Trucks". Does anyone know any other places that would be qualified for something like installing a safe in a vehicle?
    Don't bother with tasers. You get one or two shots and the range has to be close...15 feet or so. The taser may not incapacitate the target or one of the barbs may miss. At that point, the criminal will be on you.

    Better to move and use a knife. Spend the $300 on ammo and training instead.

    Regarding this:

    1) Another employee seeing that I have a gun and freaking out.
    Don't screw up. Close your office door or go into a stall.

    Alternatively, get some sort of bag or briefcase and just leave the gun in there.

    2) Someone overpowering me to take the gun.
    Not an issue. This means the fight is already on and everyone will know it. If they get the gun, you go to knife and you stab the @#$% out the guy. Any two day knife fighting class will teach you most of what you need to know (you don't need to be a martial artist because the gun is the primary weapon). Learn the basics and that's more than most people know.

    3) An accidental discharge in the office.
    Again, don't screw up. Never operate the action for any reason while in the office.

    You can stack the odds in your favor by keeping the gun in the holster in the storage box. Keep it fully loaded, but with the trigger covered. Nothing will happen unless curious hands take it out of the holster. Just make sure to ALWAYS pick the gun up by the grip, not the holster.

    Paddle holsters are great for this, though I prefer to use a kydex IWB. When my gun is off my belt, within reach and not in the night stand, I keep it in the holster. The "gun in holster" is a "signal" that the gun is "on duty". Guns sitting out have their actions open.

    Carry at least one spare magazine. DeSantis magazine holders use a stout metal clip. You can easily add it to or remove it from your belt. With a paddle and DeSantis mag holder, you can just pop the gun and ammo on and off without having to fool around with your belt. Faster is better in this case since you're doing it on the sly.

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