Governments restricting employees from carrying

Discuss issues regarding concealed carry.

Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby Wrangler_dave9 » Sat 24 Sep 2016 3:43 am

Can a government entity (think county or city) restrict an employee of said entity from carrying concealed with a valid permit or open carry while on "company" time? Could a city write up a policy and enforce it through standard disciplinary actions such as verbal warning, write up, and finally termination?

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby manithree » Sat 24 Sep 2016 7:44 am

Wrangler_dave9 wrote:Can a government entity (think county or city) restrict an employee of said entity from carrying concealed with a valid permit or open carry while on "company" time? Could a city write up a policy and enforce it through standard disciplinary actions such as verbal warning, write up, and finally termination?


They can, but it's against the law. Since there is no penalty specified in the law, several municipalities, the DWR, and IIRC a school district, or two have tried it. Usually it takes either a reminder or threat of a lawsuit to get it fixed.

https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title76/Chapter10/76-10-S500.html

76-10-500. Uniform law.
(1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right, the Legislature finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state. Except as specifically provided by state law, a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien shall not be:
(a) prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping any firearm at his place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in his possession or lawfully under his control; or
(b) required to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm.
(2) This part is uniformly applicable throughout this state and in all its political subdivisions and municipalities. All authority to regulate firearms shall be reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities. Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms.


and:
https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title53/Chapter5A/53-5a-S102.html

53-5a-102. Uniform firearm laws.
(1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right under Article I, Section 6 of the Utah Constitution, the Legislature finds the need to provide uniform civil and criminal firearm laws throughout the state.
(2) Except as specifically provided by state law, a local authority or state entity may not:
(a) prohibit an individual from owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping a firearm at the individual's place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in the individual's possession or lawfully under the individual's control; or
(b) require an individual to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm.
(3) In conjunction with Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5, Weapons, this section is uniformly applicable throughout this state and in all its political subdivisions and municipalities.
(4) All authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities.
(5) Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.
(6) As used in this section:
(a) "firearm" has the same meaning as defined in Section 76-10-501; and
(b) "local authority or state entity" includes public school districts, public schools, and state institutions of higher education.
(7) Nothing in this section restricts or expands private property rights.


ETA: For completeness, according to 10.8.47:
the municipal legislative body may regulate and prevent the discharge of firearms, rockets, powder, fireworks or any other dangerous or combustible material;


So, they can limit where you can shoot. But not where you can carry. Only state law can do that.
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby Wrangler_dave9 » Sun 25 Sep 2016 9:03 pm

To follow up on this, I work as a 911 Dispatcher. The Dispatch center is housed in the same building as one of the local Police Departments. Without going into too much detail for OPSEC, the dispatch center is well secured from the rest of the building with access limited to dispatchers/Dispatch admin staff and Police Admin. There isn't a sign on the exterior door going into the center that designates it as a "Secure Area".

There is such a sign on the exterior door for police officers that goes into a separate section of the building, as well as the door from the lobby area into records/admin offices.

Would carry in the dispatch center be illegal?

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby DaKnife » Mon 26 Sep 2016 3:40 am

That would not qualify as a secure area. There is no reason to secure it. If you look at the specified secure area's they all have one thing in common. The presence of persons specifically prohibited from possession and often of a mindset to go to any length to obtain one and use it illegally to make their escape. Prisons, jails, secure mental wards, and the non-public sections of police stations where arrested individuals are held and processed. The courts also have imposed their own secure areas by judicial fiat of ignoring the legislated law. But their reasoning is for similar causes.

Just because they have restricted access does not make it a qualified "Secure" area. And if they want it to be they must provide for secure storage.

Otherwise they cannot legally prohibit carry, they are an entity of the state and are subject to pre-emption.
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby JoeSparky » Mon 26 Sep 2016 12:16 pm

I think for security reasons it is wise to not have an exterior door leading into the dispatch center labled. I presume the interior of the dispatch center is otherwise secured and not accessible by the public without otherwise entering the secure and labled portions of the building. As such I'd say IMO the employer is meeting the legal requirements allowing the government employer to limit firearms. Especially if the exterior door is not unlocked or operable by the public from the outside.

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby DaKnife » Tue 27 Sep 2016 2:37 am

So here is the code: UCA 76.8.311 does it meet the criteria? It doesn't sound like it to me. As described it sounds like it is failing two criteria, A: secure storage and B: a sign designating it as a secure area. Other areas are properly signed (do they also provide secure storage?) but this one is not. They don't need to say why it is secure, but it does need to be posted as a secure area as the other posted areas are.
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby JoeSparky » Tue 27 Sep 2016 7:40 am

Is it publicly accessable without 1st entering the labled and identified secure part of the station. Are there lockers available as required?

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby Wrangler_dave9 » Tue 27 Sep 2016 10:50 am

JoeSparky wrote:Is it publicly accessable without 1st entering the labled and identified secure part of the station. Are there lockers available as required?

You don't need to know what kind of device or tool was used to send this

Generally, there is no public access to the dispatch center. Access is restricted to members of Dispatch staff and Police Admin (Sergeants and above), and a few other limited parties (custodial, HVAC, IT). The lobby area of the department does provide storage boxes and there is signage that you are entering a secure area once you enter the Offices portion of the building from the lobby. There is a door from the Offices section into the dispatch center, but this door is secure and access is limited to the above mentioned parties.

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby gravedancer » Tue 27 Sep 2016 2:07 pm

Wrangler_dave9 wrote:
JoeSparky wrote:Is it publicly accessable without 1st entering the labled and identified secure part of the station. Are there lockers available as required?

You don't need to know what kind of device or tool was used to send this

Generally, there is no public access to the dispatch center. Access is restricted to members of Dispatch staff and Police Admin (Sergeants and above), and a few other limited parties (custodial, HVAC, IT). The lobby area of the department does provide storage boxes and there is signage that you are entering a secure area once you enter the Offices portion of the building from the lobby. There is a door from the Offices section into the dispatch center, but this door is secure and access is limited to the above mentioned parties.

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In that case I would guess they will argue that it is a secure area (since you cant get into it without going through the posted secure area).
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby Wrangler_dave9 » Tue 27 Sep 2016 7:28 pm

gravedancer wrote:
Wrangler_dave9 wrote:
JoeSparky wrote:Is it publicly accessable without 1st entering the labled and identified secure part of the station. Are there lockers available as required?

You don't need to know what kind of device or tool was used to send this

Generally, there is no public access to the dispatch center. Access is restricted to members of Dispatch staff and Police Admin (Sergeants and above), and a few other limited parties (custodial, HVAC, IT). The lobby area of the department does provide storage boxes and there is signage that you are entering a secure area once you enter the Offices portion of the building from the lobby. There is a door from the Offices section into the dispatch center, but this door is secure and access is limited to the above mentioned parties.

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In that case I would guess they will argue that it is a secure area (since you cant get into it without going through the posted secure area).

You can though, by entering directly into the dispatch center through an exterior door that does not have any "Secure Area" signage.

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby JoeSparky » Tue 27 Sep 2016 8:09 pm

Wrangler_dave9 wrote:You can though, by entering directly into the dispatch center through an exterior door that does not have any "Secure Area" signage.

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Is that specific door unlocked so anyone can use it (public) or secured requiring either a key, or use of a keypad, or push of a button by someone inside to enter through this door (not a public entrance)?
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby Wrangler_dave9 » Wed 28 Sep 2016 9:51 pm

JoeSparky wrote:
Wrangler_dave9 wrote:You can though, by entering directly into the dispatch center through an exterior door that does not have any "Secure Area" signage.

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Is that specific door unlocked so anyone can use it (public) or secured requiring either a key, or use of a keypad, or push of a button by someone inside to enter through this door (not a public entrance)?

It's secured.

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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby JoeSparky » Wed 28 Sep 2016 11:20 pm

While the dispatch center may not be on the list from the legislature since it is NOT intended to be a publicly accessible area and can only be accessed by the public after passing through a secure door, with appropriate signage, and storage lockers.... I don't have too much grief in my heart over this. I really suspect if it were to become an issue the State legislature would add the dispatch center to the "approved locations".
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby gravedancer » Thu 29 Sep 2016 11:32 am

JoeSparky wrote:While the dispatch center may not be on the list from the legislature since it is NOT intended to be a publicly accessible area and can only be accessed by the public after passing through a secure door, with appropriate signage, and storage lockers.... I don't have too much grief in my heart over this. I really suspect if it were to become an issue the State legislature would add the dispatch center to the "approved locations".



Yep, and possibly some other locations while they were at it. I dont think this is a fight we could win.
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Re: Governments restricting employees from carrying

Postby Wrangler_dave9 » Thu 29 Sep 2016 6:31 pm

Thanks for the input, guys. Much appreciated, as always!

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