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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ohio legislature considers permitting weapons in cars

Yesterday, the Ohio House passed a bill that would allow legal gun owners to carry their weapon in a car. Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Senate is expected to follow suit, and Governor Strickland is expected to sign this measure into law.

The bill both allows people with a license to carry guns in parking garages, and prohibits landlords from barring tenants from owning or carrying guns. One question that remains unclear is whether employers will be able to prohibit employees from keeping guns parked cars. Employers can lawfully prohibit guns from entering the workplace. An employee's ability to store a weapon in his glove box will have significant implications on workplace violence issues.

While Ohio has permitted the concealed carry of handguns for more than 4 years, employers can still lawfully prohibit guns (and other weapons) from entering the workplace. Under the current concealed carry law, employers also can prohibit guns in vehicles parked on the business' property. It remains to be seen if the proposed revisions affect this latter restriction.

As the Ohio Senate takes up this law for consideration, let me suggest that it takes the effort to make it very clear that businesses can still choose to prohibit the transportation of firearms onto their property in vehicles. Otherwise, we might be left with ambiguities that could cause confusion.

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