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May 18, 2021

Understanding Guns-At-Work Laws

By Bridget Minner

Nobody in modern office with big window and desks with computers and mugs, covid-19 concept

Have you ever brought your child to work? Or perhaps your pet? What about your gun? While children and pets accompanying employees at the office is rather common, bringing a gun to work is not unheard of. Reading this might remind you of workplace shootings that have occurred in recent years, but there’s more at play when it comes to guns at work. In fact, it is a legal right in at least half of U.S. states. Guns-at-work laws, also known as “guns-in-trunks” laws, permit employees to keep firearms in their personal vehicles on company premises during the workday. Several states including Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and more have passed such laws in the past 20 years.

Source: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/1117/pages/guns-in-the-workplace.aspx

These laws have slight differences across states, but the general rule of thumb states that the firearm should be out of sight, legally owned, and in a locked vehicle. State legislatures have experienced mixed feedback from individuals and corporations for passing such laws. Some feel that having a gun in their car offers them self-defense in case of a parking lot attack or threats that may arise during their commute. Some believe these laws enable disgruntled employees to have access to a deadly weapon. Meanwhile, others feel those who want to harm people will do what they want to do regardless of the law. 

In light of these laws, the question for employers becomes how can you create a secure office environment? There are some obvious first steps. First and foremost, develop a clear policy that prohibits violence of any kind in the office. Secondly, it is still legally permissible to prohibit firearms inside of your office. Ensure you have the proper policies and response protocols in place. If you already have these basic policies in place, focus on evaluating your security technology. Here are a few tips to consider when evaluating your physical security protocols around your corporate campus:

  • Install surveillance cameras in key interior and exterior locations such as lobbies, workspaces, parking lots, and pathways. 
  • Implement an access control system if you do not already have one. Access control systems will require employees to scan their personal badge at the entrance in order to be granted entry into the building. This ensures that no unauthorized individuals make it into your building. 
  • Utilize lockdown technology to close off specific sections of your building during imminent threats. 
  • Keep exterior spaces well lit.
  • Set up intrusion alarms to immediately notify everyone when an active threat from an intruder is underway. 

If you’re looking to tackle the threat of gun violence head-on, check out Acoem’s gunshot detection technology known as ATD. To learn more about ATD and our other smart security solutions for corporate campuses, please visit acoematd.com.