eTrends - Employers Can Continue to Prohibit Concealed Weapons on Workplace Property

The North Carolina General Assembly considered legislation this past session that would have required private employers to let their employees keep firearms and ammunition locked in their cars, trucks, and other vehicles on workplace property. One of several gun initiatives that was proposed in House Bill 650, "Amend Various Gun Laws/Castle Doctrine," would have allowed employees to sue their employers to enforce this new right of possession.

Several of North Carolina's top business lobbying groups and many corporations opposed the provision allowing guns in the workplace. In the end, that provision was removed from House Bill 650, which passed the Legislature on June 16, 2011. By a vote of 59-57, the House amended the bill to provide that employers and restaurant owners may continue to forbid employees and customers from bringing firearms onto their property.

As adopted, the legislation does not change an employer's right to prohibit concealed weapons on workplace property. To bar concealed weapons, the employer/owner must post conspicuous signs stating that concealed weapons are forbidden on the property. The new law does expand the "Castle Doctrine" by providing that an occupant of a home, motor vehicle, or workplace is presumed to have had a reasonable fear of death or harm when using defensive force against an intruder in certain specified circumstances. Governor Beverly Perdue signed the bill into law on June 23, 2011 and it will become effective on December 1, 2011.

Please contact Susan Parrott with any questions.

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Smith Anderson publishes eTrends periodically as a service to clients and friends. The purpose of this eTrends is to provide general information about a significant legal development in the field of employment law. Readers should be aware that the facts may vary from one situation to another, so the conclusions stated herein may not be applicable to the reader’s particular circumstances.

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