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It’s your right! Prohibit guns in parking lot

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in Human Resources

As the economy falters, there are reports that attendance at gun shows is way up. In fact, the gun industry is one of very few experiencing robust growth.

What does it mean? Well, chances are now greater that one of your employees will bring a gun to work—and that could be a threat to employee safety.

But there is good news. A recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision has specifically upheld the right of Ohio employers to ban guns in locked cars on company property. You can and should have a clear policy prohibiting guns at work and in the parking lot. You can discipline employees who violate that rule.

Recent case: Gary Plona, a UPS employee in Cleveland, parked his car in the company parking lot and locked it. Plona had signed a company policy that clearly stated guns were not allowed on any company property, including in locked cars in the parking lot.

When police became aware of suspicious activity in the parking lot—activity unrelated to Plona—they asked for permission to search Plona’s car. He consented, and police found a loaded gun under the front seat.

UPS fired Plona, and he sued the company, claiming that Ohio public policy allowed him the right to carry a firearm. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and upheld the discharge. (Plona v. UPS, No. 08-3512, 6th Cir., 2009)

Final note: Gun laws differ across the country. Another federal appeals court recently upheld the right of an employee in Colorado to keep his gun in his locked car at work. That case was based on a specific state law allowing people to store guns in their locked cars—even at work.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

nicholas campbell January 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

To address the excellent points raised by Justin, Ohio does not have gun registration. The only firearms requiring registration are NFA or classIII weapons/ordnance(short barrel shotguns, short barrel rifles, sound suppressors and select-fire/fully automatic weapons etc). Weapons, ordnance, and equipment. Legal ownership of which requires an ATF(NEW NAZI) tax stamp. Finally, I believe that would Plona have had a concealed handgun license, the outcome would be the same. The gun registry stuff is cutting edge policy in the absolutely incessant anti liberty campaign. All that stuff is so unamerican that I find direct correlation between the anti gun nonsense, with it’s desired reliance on big government and big law, rather than self reliance and individual responsibility, and the notion that the unconstitutional prohibition of semi automatic firearms and the restriction of magazine capacity can prevent an alleged “mass casualty incident” caused by someone’s personal freakout. What can prevent these things from happening, hasn’t changed. Personal responsibility, self reliance, and the enforcement of current laws.


nicholas campbell January 29, 2014 at 11:19 am

For the sake of honesty and integrity, if not for the sake of posterity ( re:those responsible for false/embellished information contained in the above claim), I am compelled to note that the firearm found in Plona’s car was not only unloaded, but also disassembled. Furthermore, I feel it’s imperative that I add to this comment, for clarity and impartiality, that said firearm was removed from the residence of an unstable person, in an attempt to prevent them from making good on threats of violence. These items, represent subjectivity. The policy for an employer to prohibit firearms anywhere on company property, is objective. On a personal note, in lay person’s terms, I’d like to submit to the potential reader of the information; the guy lost his case. Do you really need to publish bad info to help employers contribute to a nationwide crackdown on liberty? People, park across the street.


Justin December 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm

The thing I find interesting, is that in the Ohio case, Plona did not have a concealed carry license and the gun was not registered to him… So, he was actually in illegal possesion unless it was stored. Would the result be different if the gun was registered and he had a concelaed carry permit, which seems to represent more effectively “public policy” allowing him, or entitling him to have the gun.


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