This is one part in our series of articles about reasons why those with a concealed carry permit stop carrying concealed. Please visit this introductory post to learn more about this series of articles.
There are 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. That is a total of 168 hours per week. If you sleep 8 hours each night then you are asleep for 56 total hours per week. That leaves 112 hours per week and if you work 40 hours per week that represents about 36% of your waking hours at your job. Add to that the hours you spend getting ready for work and getting to and from work and most of us give up about half our our awake time to our employer. If your employer doesn't allow you have your firearm with you at work that could be a legitimate reason for us to stop carrying a concealed firearm.
Get Clarity on Your Employer's Ability to Enforce Their Policy Per the Law
Circle back with your attorney and get clarity on the following:
-Criminal or Civil? If you go against your employers policy could you be arrested and face charges from the government? Criminal consequences include jail time and fines and leave a permanent mark on your record. In most states however, ignoring the policies of your employer is not a criminal offense and thus you could not face charges.
-What About the Parking Lot? Ask your attorney if your employer has the right to restrict you from keeping your firearm in your car in the parking lot. Most states protect your right to conceal your firearm in your vehicle regardless of where it is parked and the policies of the private property owner of that parking lot.
-Understand the Worst Case Scenario. Ask your attorney what the absolute worst case scenario would be if you ignore the policy of your employer as it relates to not bringing a firearm to work. Depending on your state you might find that the worst case scenario is that you would lose your job. That might not be so bad…
Ask for An Exception and Get Involved in Emergency Planning
If you work for a small to medium sized business you may have access to and a strong relationship with the business owner or policy maker. Approach them directly and express your desire to follow all the company policies but also your reasons for wanting to see a change in the policy or at very least an exception that can be made for you. Have in mind a few different potential exceptions that you would be happy to accept. For example your boss may not be willing to completely give you a pass on the policy but maybe they would be open to giving you a pass under certain circumstances. Ask for the Stars but be prepared to land on the Moon.
If you work for a large organization there is likely a corporate emergency plan that dictates the course of action to be taken in the case of a fire, earthquake, power outage, or similar disasters. Ask HR if you can sit on a committee to help make this plan stronger. Expressing your desire to be involved may lead to you having some influence specific to the firearm policy.
Get in the Habit of Carrying Outside of Work
Despite the amount of time we do spend at work we still spend far more time outside of the workplace at home, shopping, dining, recreating, etc. You can and should consider how you can create a habit of re-arming yourself when you get home from work and putting the firearm on first thing in the morning on weekends or other non-work days. If you create a system around it and work hard for a few weeks at following that system you will create a habit.