Regardless of the State we live in, knowing and understanding the “location” of your guns at any point in time can help keep you out of jail. Most gun owners I talk to don’t fully understand the impact of many of our local laws as it relates to “location” of their firearms.
Take for example the recent discussion of the issue in Tennessee around the “Guns in Trunks” law that is currently under discussion. If you aren’t familiar with it, in 2013 Tennessee enacted this law that allowed people to keep their guns locked in their trunks while at work if they had a permit. But the way the law read, if an employer didn’t allow guns on their property, they could take disciplinary actions against the employee…even though the guns were locked in their trunks and they had the appropriate permits.
Now, effective in July of 2015, this will no longer be the case. Now, employers can’t take disciplinary action against an employee that has their firearms locked safely in their trunks while on the property of their employer. And if they do, they have the opportunity to take legal action against their employer for discrimination.
The key issue, regardless of whether or not someone lives in Tennessee (which we don’t) is if you know the laws of our state for possession of firearms while at places, such as your place of employment, that might not allow guns on their premises? Most don’t. There are published lists of places (mostly retail) that don’t allow guns on their property. But what about your employer? What are their guidelines or policies about having a gun on their premise?
While you might know whether or not you can carry a concealed weapon into your place of employment, do you know if there are restrictions about keeping your firearms in your car on their premise? Most don’t. I would encourage you to fully understand what your employer allows or doesn’t allow as it might save you some angst and potential legal troubles. And the same would go for retail establishments. Do you know what their policies are for weapons in their parking lots?
To some this might sound trivial…but it’s their right and the law will support them if there is ever an issue. Having the privilege of carrying a firearm (on person or in a vehicle) carries responsibilities as well…such as knowing the law and the policies of the places you go. As the popular phrase goes, “Ignorance is no excuse for not following the laws.” Save yourself some grief and potential criminal charges by understanding the laws of the business you are visiting. It’s their right to act within the law…as it is for every gun owner.
And the simple rule is this…if you don’t know, don’t carry. And if you do know and carry, make sure you are compliant with the laws and policies of the establishment. They set them for a reason and it is the responsibility of gun owners to both understand and comply.