Had CCW Incident @ Work . . .(Long)
This is a discussion on Had CCW Incident @ Work . . .(Long) within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have had my CHL for almost 9 months now, and like many on this forum, I carry 16/7 wherever legally possible. One of the ...
November 13th, 2007 02:25 PM
Had CCW Incident @ Work . . .(Long)
I have had my CHL for almost 9 months now, and like many on this forum, I carry 16/7 wherever legally possible. One of the only places that I do not carry is my 2nd job that I work at part-time on nights and weekends. I have a choice on where I chose to work, and this electronics retail company of course has a no weapons policy. In the employee handbook it states "employees are prohibited from carrying weapons onto company premises"
I of course, do not enjoy having to disarm too work, but as long as I am clocked in and and working for this company, I do what they say. Because the company does not have a list of prohibited weapons, I decided that I will use the state of Texas's list of illegal weapons as my benchmark, so I still carry my Kershaw and a can of OC while at work (but leave my spears and dirks at home ). If I go into my store to just shop or pick up my schedule, I always still carry, because I am off the clock and this store is not posted with a Texas 30.06. When I do work, I usually just change into my work khakis and blue polo in my car, and secure my G26 in the trunk before I go in . . . but this past Sunday was a little different.
On Sunday I was in a situation that was a little different than usual in that I was about to use my 2 door civic as a changing room once again, but being a Sunday there was quite a bit of traffic that kept walking right by my car. Instead of trying to do calisthenics trying to get my pants on with tons of people walking by, I figured I will just take my uniform in the store, change in the bathroom, and just bring my clothes and G26 back to my car.
As soon as I was finished putting on my khaki and tucking in my work shirt, I folded up my rig in my jeans and started to walk back to the front exit. As I get closer, I realize that there is a brand new Loss Prevention guy at the door who is checking everyones receipts, and actually causing a line at the exit.
At this point I was about to turn back around and reexamine my exit, but the line at the door just cleared up and the LP guy gave me eye contact and I knew it would look awfully suspicious if I turned back around and headed to the bathroom . . . so I tried the walk out with confidence where I gave him the head nod and just kept walking to the door. Of course he says "hey, need to go through your jeans real quick before you take off."
I told him "ok, but need to have you come over here for me," as I motion to one of the empty registers where I can have a bit of privacy. He walks over and I say "I have no problems that you need to go through my clothes, but I need to make you aware of something that I have," I pull out my CHL and tell him, that I am legally carrying and that I do have a firearm in a holster secured in the clothes, and that I am go to move it discreetly out of the way so he can check for product. I move the rig aside while keeping it covered from anyone's view, the guy pats down my clothes and says "ok, good to go." I refold my clothes and smile at him and he asks how long I had been carrying and do I carry everywhere. I told him that I had my license for about 9 months or so and that I carry everywhere I legally can. I then said to him, "for security reasons, I need you to please keep this on the down low, that for many reasons I don't like people to know that I have a CHL." He says "sure" and I head out to my car, lock the G26 in the trunk, and thought, well that went ok I guess . . .
About 15 minutes later I have the Manager on Duty walk up to me on the floor and asked that he talk with me for just a minute. He walks with me to a back room and he asks "do you have a firearm on your person?" I tell him that no I do not. He then asks "did you bring a firearm into the store earlier today?" I told him that I had been carrying one legally before the beginning of my shift, and that it had been discussed at LP as I was walking out of the building. He then starts by saying "you can't bring that in here", "we carry cash, you aren't able to carry here", "what if it had fallen out and gone off?" I explained to him that I was carrying before my shift, that the state of Texas legally allows me to carry here, and that I had been acting and handled everything in a safe manner. He then mentions that this company has a no weapons policy and that I was violating company policy. I said yes, the company does have a no weapons policy, but I was not clocked in and working for the company at the time. He then started to talk about how if he was outside of work he could carry his Beretta around anywhere he wanted, but that you can't bring one inside the store. I started to again explain how legally I could, and started to go into a bit of detail about the rules, where he promptly cut me off and said he wasn't here for an education, he just wanted to get some answers from me. I told him that was fine and headed back out onto the sales floor to sell a few more TV's . . .
Another 45 minutes passed and the MOD walks up to me again, with another manager this time as well, and asks to speak with me again. I am thrilled because obviously this news is going to spread and the whole damn store is going to know I CCW. I walk with them again to the back room and he puts down two sheets of paper on the table, thankfully he seems much more calm and collected this time. He has a copy of the employee handbook that I had signed and highlighted the "employees are prohibited from carrying weapons onto company premises". He had a written warning next to it filled out and said "here is company policy you signed off on, here is the write-up that you were violating company policy". He mentioned that he had called HR to verify and that I was in violation. I asked him how am I violating policy when I am not clocked in and working for the company? He asked if I had been in my work shirt when this had happened, and I said yes I was, and because of that reason I will go ahead and sign this write-up. I was able to make a note on the page saying that alleged company policy was violated while employee was off the clock, I signed it without any further resistance. I then said, so obviously I don't carry at work and I won't make the mistake of having a work shirt on like that again, but I am still able to carry when I come into shop off the clock and out of uniform. He said "at no time can you carry weapons on the premises". I asked him to define a weapon, because the HR lawyers had such a vague interpretation. He said according to the state of Texas. I said fine, I know that list quite well and rattled off a few of the illegal weapons. He even tried to but in and say knives over 3" as he glanced at my Kershaw, and I corrected him and let him know that in Texas it is 5 1/2 inches. After that, I apologized to both managers for any type of misunderstanding or making anyone nervous. I told them that at no time was I aware I was breaking any rules, and that my interpretation of the rules I still believe I did nothing wrong. I then reassured them that at no time do I carry at work, and they have nothing to worry about, and that I will take extra caution in the future to make sure nothing like this happens again. We left the room and that was that . . .
One other note on this, I worked again on Monday, and while I was bringing product to the front, a different LP rep said to me, "so you brought a gun into the store yesterday?" I immediately stepped close to him and asked that he lower his voice a bit and said "I have a CHL, and I did have my carry with me yesterday, but where did you hear that from?" He mentioned that he had heard it from the other LP reps (so much for discretion). I asked him if anyone else knew, and he said no it should just be the LP guys and the store mangers (about 10 people). I told him fine but make sure that this information stays quiet. Turns out this LP guy was not military but had a job that has quite a bit of similar training, and his Dad is an LEO, so he we talked for about 15 minutes about various things, and he was real cool about it. And a different manager that was on duty that night came up while I was at the desk and I asked him if he had heard about the incident last night, and he said, "yeah, but you have your CHL right . . .?" Turns out that he was CHL, but let it lapse last year, and he asked me what I carried, and said that he thought it was no problem to carry off the clock in the store, but having my work shirt on was the problem.
Monday Morning Quarterback :
There are a few things that I wish I had done differently . . .
1) In hindsight, it was probably easiest just to secure my G26 in the car initially and not carry in the store merely to change clothes. I believe I should carry every possible second that I am allowed, because we never know what might happen, but sometimes this might not always be the smartest of ideas.
2) I also could have gone to the trouble of just wearing my rig out of the store IWB as usual, with my undershirt untucked, because I know for a fact that LP can't touch or frisk you at the door.
3) I should have been aware of the new eager LP guy at the door and noticed with enough distance to turn around and explore other options.
4) I should have not really said anything at all to the MOD, just let him talk and say fine, and sign whatever he needed me too . . . this manager is just a middle man and doesn't have any immediate power, and I should have just dealt directly with the store General Manager or the HR department.
All in all, I think it will turn out ok . . . I wish I had done some things different, but I think things went as well as they could have.
I was hoping for thoughts and opinions from everyone on what went well, or what could have been handled differently. Sorry again for the length, I know I don't write as well as Lima of Janq, but I tried to give enough details to tell the whole story.
Glock 26 w/ CTAC IWB
"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far" - Theodore Roosevelt
November 13th, 2007 02:40 PM
Sounds like bull crap to me but then again I know a Police Dept where they are not allowed to wear there uniform shirt off duty with out it being covered cause someone complained.
"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
-James Earl Jones
November 13th, 2007 03:10 PM
hmm. quite unfortunate. at least you didnt get fired.
i would have locked the gun up in the car, then gone in to change.
it sounds like from their policy wording that you may not bring a gun into the store at any time if you are an employee, not just when you are working.
November 13th, 2007 03:15 PM
They may also consider the parking lot to be property. Too bad ya got made. Hope you don't get more trouble from this than you have so far.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
November 13th, 2007 03:22 PM
Sounds like it all worked out well in the end - you accept that you choose to work there, and follow the rules as you understand them. I must, however, agree with friesepferd - it sounds like the rules prohibit you from carrying in the store whether or not you are clocked in. You are still their employee and on their property, so it would seem like this is a legitimate (if ridiculous) rule.
Congrats on not getting worked up under what must have been a pretty stressful situation.
A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.
November 13th, 2007 03:23 PM
Maybe there are better part time jobs out there....
November 13th, 2007 03:24 PM
Well, your policy doesn't say anything about 'whilst performing your duties', or does it?. If not, as long as you are on their payroll, you are an employee. Hence no carry on or off duty. Your manager is correct in his interpretation there.
Many employers have different rules for employees who are on their premises off duty than they do for regular customers. In fact, some will not let you even patronise the establishment off duty. I've seen that also.
Now, it doesn't make it right or moral, but it is what it is.
And I think you know you shoulda left it in the car. I think they went pretty easy on you compared to what some places would have done. They must like you I guess.
November 13th, 2007 03:29 PM
You're in the mens room and he wanted to search your jeans?
I know a US Senator that didn't even go that far that wound up in jail.
I would have called the cops or punched him out.
If you're off the clock LP has no more authority over you than any other customer.
And that's none!!
You want to detain me call a cop. You touch me and it's battery.
Either way a cop is coming.
Have a talk with a lawyer. It doesn't cost anything.
Gun control is hitting what you aim at
November 13th, 2007 03:31 PM
I'm glad it's worked out so far for you.
While I certainly can understand the argument for carrying on premises while not working, if the agreement says "employees are prohibited from carrying weapons onto company premises," it certainly appears that you are SOL even when not working. You are an employee even when not actually clocked in and in dress code.
Do you get an employee discount for purchases there? If so, don't you get to utilize it even when you're not clocked in?
From now on, I'd consider myself lucky to have just gotten a warning. I'd not to have my cake and eat it too. Don't carry into the store where you work even when on personal time. Sure, they can't detain and frisk you legally to determine just if you might be carrying, but how much are you willing to risk?
November 13th, 2007 03:40 PM
This would likely have just brought even more attention to the issue. Even if the cops came and sided with nova, do you really think the carry weapon would have stayed completely hush hush with the store/LP manager.
Originally Posted by AirForceShooter
What is the gain here? The cat is out of the bag. Nova consented to the search, the company found out, decided he violated policy, and is apparently graciously letting it slide. IMO, nova is not clearly in the right. He could spend good money on a lawyer, have a high likelihood of losing his plight, and get fired in the end over the original policy violation simply because he caused the company further grief.
Have a talk with a lawyer. It doesn't cost anything.
November 13th, 2007 03:40 PM
Nova - welcome to the forum. Its interesting that they don't have an issue with CHL's coming into the store to spend money but as an employee you can't protect yourself. Gotta love lawyers. Glad they didn't go overboard and can you.
BTW - where do you go to shoot around Frisco?
"Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon
November 13th, 2007 03:56 PM
It is very clear, based on what you wrote about how you were treated, that you work for a bunch of .
In my view, you are practically begging them to mistreat you, suspect you, write you up, act as though you are a dangerous, rule-breaking criminal, and just in general spit upon your right to carry.
I honestly cannot figure out why you would continue to work there, much less apologize to them.
You say that you are in control of where you choose to work, and yet despite the fact that you say that you take every opportunity to carry wherever you can, you chose to work at a place that you know discriminates against your right to carry.
First of all, if you weren't trying to be such a well-behaved model rule-following employee, this would not have happened. And what I mean by that is, the very fact that you were trying to take the gun out of the store is what got you bagged in the first place! And then, these people to whom you pay so much respect and deference go and treat you like a criminal misbehaver, even though you were "doing the right thing."
So they have a policy that prevents you from being able to defend yourself. They have managers who don't know the law. These same managers believe that the cash business was in danger from a guy honest enough to take his gun back out to his car so he wouldn't be in violation of company policy by having it... Do you need a lot more justification for telling them where to stick this job?
For what it's worth, I would carry in a SmartCarry at that job. No one would EVER KNOW, and you could be just as... "respectful" to them as they are to you... by carrying a gun even as you smile and tell them, "No, as a matter of fact, I'm not."
November 13th, 2007 05:33 PM
I would work somewhere else
November 13th, 2007 09:09 PM
The manager that first approached you sounds like he might be on a bit of a power trip. I may or may not have given a reprimand, but whatever was done would have been in a calmer manner.
Now, just a quick rant:
Does anyone else hate "Loss Prevention" practices? I don't shop anywhere where I must prove that I am not a crook (Good-bye Costco and Circut City. Best Buy has never tried to stop me, so I still go there for the time being).
A little while ago, here in Ohio, a man was detained by Circuit City personnel because he refused to allow someone to look through his bag. He actually had to call the police because the store clerk and manager would not.
When did stores gain the right to search, seize, and detain at will?
Ok, I'm done....for now.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
NRA Life Member
November 13th, 2007 09:21 PM
I think after that load of crap was force fed to you, I'd go off and find myself a new part time job.
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