Do You Need A Workplace Weapons Policy?

Employers may be concerned about company violence and the presence of guns. One of the deadliest U.S. workplace shootings occurred at a Wal-Mart in 2019, in which 22 people were killed and another 26 injured. Do employers need a workplace weapons policy? And if so, how can they ensure compliance?

Workplace Weapons Policies and Their Relevance

A workplace weapons policy refers to the rules employers establish to guide employees or customers on using firearms on company premises. Companies should have written policies about workers’ access to guns at work.

A weapons policy can further emphasize the employer’s position on whether employees may bring guns to work, given the current trend of states passing laws that expand Second Amendment rights. Here’s why workplace weapon policies are relevant.

Limit Shooting Accidents

Workplace shootings have increased in frequency in the U.S. recently. Many states permit concealed carry of firearms, while others, like Texas, encourage open carry. However, no state completely forbids businesses from enacting restrictions preventing employees from bringing guns to work.

Regulate Public Activities

Suppose the workplace is accessible to customers, clients, and the general public. In that case, as required by law or regulation, the employer must post suitable signage outside the facility, informing visitors if guns are not permitted inside.

Employees’ Protection

Employees must be encouraged to comply with workplace weapon policies and be informed about their importance to the company. Businesses should give new workers a copy of their policies and review them after actual or threatened acts of violence.

If your weapons policy bans firearms, companies should also place signs throughout the facility informing workers they are not allowed to carry weapons.

5 Tips for Creating a Workplace Weapons Policy

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to maintain a safe workplace and will cite those that do not.

Workers’ compensation may be available for people shot at work, and employers may also be liable for negligence if someone is hurt due to gun violence. Here’s how to create a workplace weapons policy:

  • Acknowledge state laws: State laws vary, making developing a workplace weapons policy challenging. A company must be aware of the laws that regulate firearms in the state it is operating.
  • Give room for self-defense: Whether or not your weapons policy allows firearms or other weapons, many people may feel less secure without minimal personal defense. Making exceptions, such as allowing unloaded firearms in locked vehicles, can help workers feel protected and cared for.
  • Consider other non-firearm weapons: Guns typically come to mind when people talk about weapons in the workplace, but other weapons exist and must be equally addressed.
  • Provide information about weapons policies: Consider when and how to inform clients and staff about policies regarding weapons at work. If your policy is a large shift from previous rules, consider explaining the reason for the change.
  • Consider parking lot laws: Twenty-four states have passed legislation allowing weapons to be kept in employee parking lots when certain conditions are met. Additional states, including Iowa and Michigan, are in the process of adopting similar legislation.

Create a Workplace Weapons Policy

Employers should consider an overall evaluation of workplace weapons policies and examine whether adjustments are necessary. This entails consulting with an insurance agent to confirm the proper emergency plans are in place in case of an active shooter situation. The most important thing to keep in mind is everyone’s safety.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

Posted in Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *