Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ohio looks to put enforcement muscle behind workplace concealed carry law

It’s been six months since Ohio made it illegal for employers to prohibit employees (or anyone else for that matter) from storing a firearm in their vehicles on the employer’s property. This law, however, lacks any specific statutory teeth (sort of). If Ohio legislators get their way, this omission will soon change.

Am. Sub. H.B. 49 proposes to add the following language:
A business entity, property owner, or public or private employer … may be found liable in a civil action for injunctive relief brought by any individual injured by the violation. The court may award injunctive relief it finds appropriate.
I’m not in love with this statute authorizing injunctive relief (especially when I’ve heard multiple clients balk at the original law). Yet, it’s a whole lot better than the original amendment, which proposed an award of compensatory damages, costs, an attorneys’ fees for a violation.

While I remain convinced that a law permitting employees to store firearms in their cars parked at work is a horrendous idea, it is the law, and it is about to have some enforcement teeth behind it. So, instead of complaining about it and threatening non-compliance, now is the time to invest in implementing an Active Shooter / Emergency Action Plan, so that your business knows how to respond in the event this evil enters your workplace.