Can a business say you can not possess a firearm in the parking lot?

This is a discussion on Can a business say you can not possess a firearm in the parking lot? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I work at a Mall that all of you have probably heard of. I work at a very large national brand department store. I work ...

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Thread: Can a business say you can not possess a firearm in the parking lot?

  1. #1
    Member Array USAFtrevor87's Avatar
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    Can a business say you can not possess a firearm in the parking lot?

    I work at a Mall that all of you have probably heard of. I work at a very large national brand department store. I work in Loss Prevention. The department store policy in a nutshell is... "No Manager, contractor, or employee can possess a firearm whether they're on duty of off duty. This includes sidewalks and parking areas". The Mall itself also bans guns on the premises and they post signs stating that. But the department store I work for has no such signs, and in a letter from the company that owns the mall basically says "stores that operate their own entrances to and from the mall have the right as a tenant to make their own rules and policies" But the parking areas are also public property because of the local Buses and Trams that come through there and make stops. So here is my questions...

    1. Can your employer tell you "you can not legally carry a firearm in a parking area"?
    2. Can your employer tell you "you can not carry in the store off duty"?
    3. What would you do?

    I guess the reason why I'm asking is because I park in the public parking area, unload my LCP, lock up the LCP, and put the mag in my pocket. I also had a knife pulled on me recently that has made me a little on edge. At another store about 10 miles away they apprehended a guy who had a loaded 9mm with one in the chamber on him.
    I was thinking about getting the smart carry, so if something happened I would be okay, but no one would ever know about it. I love my job and can't afford to quit, but I can't work if I'm dead. Thanks for the help guys.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    The laws on this vary by state. Florida specifically says that you CAN keep it in your car (even if you don't have a CWP)

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    This is my opinion and my OPINION only.

    My safety is of utmost importance.


    I had a job that drew rather unsavory characters to its doors. I literally felt unsafe at times. However, the company had a "No Firearms" policy for its employees.

    I have my Florida Concealed Weapons License. I made it my decision to carry while on the job. I hid it well even though it is a full size XD45acp. I used a good tuckable holster. I was required to tuck my polo style company shirt while at work so carrying was a bit difficult at times but I did it.

    Whenever I was off the job and was on the premises I still carried.

    I did this for almost two years and no one knew. Had I been caught I am not sure what the outcome would have been. It would have depended on just who found out I guess.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFtrevor87 View Post
    Can a business say you can not possess a firearm in the parking lot?
    State laws vary, of course. That said ...

    Can a business say something like that? Sure. Does it hold water legally? I'd be very surprised if your state's statutes acknowledge someone at a company to dictate the terms of your 2A to you.

    Now, does an employer have a power over you if you do carry (and they don't like it), or if they tell you not to and you do so anyway?
    Sure ... they can fire you for it.

    You simply need to decide what's more important to you: to carry anyway, or to risk being terminated by that employer if you choose to carry at that facility.

    The economic climate is rough, right now. Your decision to go to that facility off-hours while carrying might well have ramifications for you, if staff of that employer decide to make a point with you. Of course, having been through the "wringer" of background checks and whatnot, you're highly likely to be a far lower risk than any of their other employees. The staff who make the policies at that employer believe it's in that company's best interest to take this position (whether for insurance purposes, or due to the mall itself wielding some power over that company's lease status in regard to such things). As with many things in life, you rolls the dice and takes your chances. Or, you follow the company line and keep your nose clean. One option: simply shop elsewhere, and then you get to have your cake and eat it too.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  6. #5
    Member Array yamadog35's Avatar
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    Indiana just passed a law (went into effect July 1) that allows one to keep a handgun locked in their car on the employer's parking lot. Prior to that they could fire you for it. I did it anyway before that law was passed as I feel my safety is ultimately more important than the job. Keep it quiet and how would they ever know? It's possible I guess but not likely.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    In your car in parking area, some states can prohibit it and some can't. If your employer utilizes public parking, they may have a difficult time prohibiting it. If the store is not posted to the public, they may have a difficult time pressing you carrying while off the clock too. They could still terminate your employment and then you would have to press the wrongful termination case (of course, that depends on if it is an "at will" state). There are a couple of questions you must answer:

    1) What are your state's laws regarding your personal property rights to privacy relative to their property rights of the parking lot. That will take some research on your part regarding personal property and privacy rights. You may or may not have a right to privacy from a vehicle search perspective by your employer. The police can search your vehicle with probable cause, but your rights are only guaranteed from the government, not your employer. They may be able to terminate your employment if you refuse a search.

    **** There is a clever way around this IF your state does not establish your personal property rights from your employer. In such a state that they can search your vehicle, under Federal Law, they cannot search your mail even if it is located inside of your personal property that they have a right to search. Get a postage box and send it to yourself empty. This now becomes metered mail addressed to you that they can't search. Place your firearm inside of this box (or envelope) and use tape to seal it. If they search your mail, it is a Federal Offense and they have a much larger issue to consider. Lock the box or envelope inside of your car safe.

    Realistically, unless you tell someone you have a firearm in your vehicle and it is secured and out of sight, they would have no reason to search your car. If they do, tell them when they get to your mail that if they open it they are facing a Federal Offense and have your picture phone in hand.

    I had to study up on this issue in my state until I received a written authorization from my employer allowing me to keep a CCW locked in my car at work. Hopefully this helps.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    I've been through this already. I'm also in MN and this is the letter I sent my corporate counsel:

    "Company policy 9.13 states the following:

    “Weapons and contraband are not permitted in the ****** work environment. This means that workers may not have weapons or contraband: …In a personal vehicle while on company property.



    Workers, their vehicles (when parked on company property) and personal property…are permitted on company property based on the condition that they are subject to inspection.” (Policy 9.13, pp. 2-3)



    This policy is in violation of Minnesota state law which expressly prohibits an employer from prohibiting lawful possession in their vehicle in a parking facility or lot.



    Direct from the statute:

    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/...=s&num=624.714



    "Subd. 18. Employers; public colleges and universities.

    (a) An employer, whether public or private, may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its employees while acting in the course and scope of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may be invoked for a violation.

    (b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under chapter 136F or 137 may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the institution's property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a violation.

    (c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), an employer or a postsecondary institution may not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area."



    Please review the relevant law and change the policy as required. I would appreciate an update from you after the review is complete. Thank you for your consideration."

    After review by the lawyers, they determined that company policies in violation of State law were invalid.

    How far you want to push this is up to you. PM me if you need more help. IANAL.
    ‎An enemy of liberty is no friend of mine. I do not owe respect to anyone who would enslave me by government force, nor is it wise for such a person to expect it. -- Isaiah Amberay

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    New Member Array Charlie Xray's Avatar
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    My state says I can as long as company parking is outside of a company fenced area with a secured gate. If inside the gated area, the company can legally prevent me from having a gun in the car; outside they cannot. My company says I cannot anyway, and I am subject to search and dismissal if found with one. My parking is outside of any fenced or gated area but on company property. State trumps company. If they want to search my truck they will need to get a warrant before I will allow it. State says I win anyway.

    CX

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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Xray View Post
    My state says I can as long as company parking is outside of a company fenced area with a secured gate. If inside the gated area, the company can legally prevent me from having a gun in the car; outside they cannot. My company says I cannot anyway, and I am subject to search and dismissal if found with one. My parking is outside of any fenced or gated area but on company property. State trumps company. If they want to search my truck they will need to get a warrant before I will allow it. State says I win anyway.
    That's exactly how it is in my home state of Louisiana. If I'm parked on company property, surrounded by fence, then I must adhere to their company policy. However, I would never do that. I have even used my personal vehicle for work and have kept my handgun in my car. I've been told by credible folks and dependable websites that if I'm terminated for this, then I'm almost guaranteed to win a lawsuit; it has happened here before.

    The main thing is, in Louisiana, no one can search your car without your consent, unless the police have reason to do so.
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    Senior Member Array rljohns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Xray View Post
    My state says I can as long as company parking is outside of a company fenced area with a secured gate. If inside the gated area, the company can legally prevent me from having a gun in the car; outside they cannot. My company says I cannot anyway, and I am subject to search and dismissal if found with one. My parking is outside of any fenced or gated area but on company property. State trumps company. If they want to search my truck they will need to get a warrant before I will allow it. State says I win anyway.

    CX
    This is my understanding of Colorado law also. However, Colorado is a right to work state and they would just terminate you for no given reason. The only time a company would try the weapon on property road is to deny unemployment and make an example.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    This. It is also why I got the response from the lawyers; you can have the law on your side, but if they can terminate you for any reason, it doesn't do you any good. This way I can say that I had already received policy clarification.

    They could still come out and say basically that no matter what the law is, if they find out you are fired. Good luck fighting that in this state. Oh, and that mall can't legally ban firearms either, but your store can.
    ‎An enemy of liberty is no friend of mine. I do not owe respect to anyone who would enslave me by government force, nor is it wise for such a person to expect it. -- Isaiah Amberay

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK87 View Post
    [MN statute 624.714.sub 18(c) states] Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), an employer or a postsecondary institution may not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area."
    But nothing is indicated to prohibit an employer from firing an employee due to having found out about such "weapons." Are you aware of any specific cases in MN on the issue?

    Seems similar to the 2A, in a sense. Nobody can prohibit your ownership or possession, really; but that alone says nothing about their ability to have you removed from the facility for having possessed onto the property (given the property rights of the owners).
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #13
    Member Array Ramen's Avatar
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    KY has a long standing law that you are legally allowed to have a firearm loaded in your glove compartment in any parking lot. A company can't deny you that, if they fire you for having a weapon on their property under those circumstances they become civilly liable.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Interesting questions you pose.
    I am not a lawyer, just my opinion here.
    First thing I note is that the parking lot belongs to the mall, not the store you work for. This raises two questions. First you say the parking lots are "public property". Are they truly public property or are they what in some states is considered "public access private property". If they are not plowed by government trucks when it snows I would bet it is actually private property. If it is private property, can the property owner ( mall management company) ban weapons there? As they own the property, not the company you work for, any prohibition by your employer or equally against your employer from prohibiting weapons is irrelevent.
    And yes, if you work for a company you have to abide by their rules any time you are on company property (in the store) if you wish to keep working for them. If they can legally ban weapons in the store, and they find you with one and ban you from the property, how are you going to do your job?
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    It is complicated for a mall owner because the law does not allow a landlord to ban the lawful carry of firearms by the renters or their guests. That doesn't stop malls from SAYING that firearms are banned, or from mall security asking people to leave (even involving the police) if you are found. It hasn't been litigated yet to my knowledge.

    Even though the store isn't the owner of the parking lot, nothing prevents them from firing you if you violate their policy, even if it is in violation of state law. That is why I forced their hand to clarify their policy in writing, so I could properly contest a disciplinary action if started.
    ‎An enemy of liberty is no friend of mine. I do not owe respect to anyone who would enslave me by government force, nor is it wise for such a person to expect it. -- Isaiah Amberay

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