It may seem like an obvious misstep to many of us; however there are plenty of companies that refuse to see any advantage to their employees carrying firearms on the job. In my much younger days, I worked for a large nationally known cell phone service provider. In the hiring packet was a list of the typical corporate America rules and regulations most people only glance through. If you were a normal person who behaves in a rational manner, none of the rules would ever be an issue. However, one little glaring regulation stood out like a flagrant line of non-freedom-loving text. Absolutely no firearms allowed on company property, whether concealed or not, regardless of carry permits. This included firearms in your vehicle. The only time a gun would see the inside of that building was if it was on a police officer’s hip.
Really—they want to regulate what is in my personal vehicle? The building where I worked was a retail location with a steady stream of unscrupulous looking individuals ready to grace us with their presence. I’m not sure how much time you’ve willingly spent in a cell phone store, but loud and elevated arguments between customers and employees happen regularly. There was more than one occasion where police officers had to remove angry patrons who were threatening employees with physical harm. The stores were open well into the night and there was more than one instance where I would have felt much safer if I had access to a weapon. I never broke their silly rules and there were times when I hoped the police would arrive before some angry customer went out to their vehicle to grab a gun. I felt like I was at the mercy of the general public and it wasn’t a good feeling.
In 2010, an elderly customer walked into a competing store in another state and shot an employee. The kid was just at work on his computer, like I did everyday. The angry customer had written down the names of employees he had dealt with in past; presumably he was there to murder everyone on his list. The cell phone store had banned him from the premises and the state revoked his concealed carry permit. In this case, litigation didn’t stop the man from illegally carrying a firearm and using it to attempt multiple homicides. Incredibly, a brave off-duty law enforcement officer happened to be in the store at the time of the shooting. The officer spun around, drew his weapon and killed the man on the spot. The employee survived his injuries after spending time in critical condition. Later, officials decorated the officer for his valor.
After the incident, employees raised questions and the what if’s started emerging. What if that officer wasn’t in the store? How many employees would he have been able to murder? What if the employees had access to a firearm? These familiar questions surface after every shooting but many major companies still refuse to address the issue. At the time, I was glad to be out of the business and even more glad I was working for a company that allowed me the freedom to protect myself while on the clock. We spend nearly 12-20 percent of our lives working. The Second Amendment recognizes our right to bear arms. It doesn’t say anything about that right only applying occasionally.
However, individual companies do indeed have the right to impose whatever regulations they want. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to work there. It ultimately falls on us as citizens to choose for ourselves what environment we work in. If you want to carry at work, remember to check your employer’s rules to find out when you may or may not carry. It would be a shame to lose your job because you chose to exercise your right to defend yourself. I for one feel much more comfortable walking to my vehicle armed when my shift ends.