Gun Rights: Do They Apply at Work?

February 28, 2016

When you’re at work, the last thing you are thinking about is whether or not your coworker is packing heat. However, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 23,000 injuries occurred due to assault at work in 2013 in the United States. During that year, 397 people were murdered while at work. Workplace violence is real. If you’re a Georgian, this is what you need to know about staying safe at work.

According to Georgia Code section 34-2-10, employers are required to “do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, health, safety, and welfare of … employees.” That could mean mandating correct procedures for using machinery in a steel manufacturing plant, providing safety masks and eye gear at a construction company, being protected from sexual abuse in an office, or— in the case that a shooter were on the premises— allowing an employee to have access to firearms.

For the safety of its employees, a Georgia employer can prohibit guns on work premises. An employer is not always held liable if an employee is injured in a gun related incident. However, according to Georgia Code section 16-11-135, no employer, private or public, can search the locked, privately owned vehicles of employees or invited guests on the employer’s parking lot. So, if you’re a Georgian and you want to have your handgun secured and out of sight in your car during work—you can.

In addition, owning a weapon and having it in your car at work cannot keep you from being hired—as long as the firearm or ammunition and/or both are locked out of sight. While your firearm cannot enter the workplace with you, it can stay in your car. If a shooter is on the premises, a firearm in your vehicle is a lot more useful than one still in your house.

If you have any additional questions about Georgia Code, gun laws, or employment laws—feel free to reach out to PCW Law Firm.

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