Employers seeking to bar firearms from their property won support in the Utah Supreme Court, which unanimously rejected the appeal of three former America Online Inc. employees who were fired for violating the Internet company’s no-firearms policy, says the Salt Lake Tribune. At issue was whether AOL’s property rights trumped the constitutional right to bear arms when it came to the workers transferring guns between their vehicles in a parking lot outside their place of work.
“The big picture here is that an employer has the power to control its premises whether it owns or leases them, and to decide what happens on its premises,” said Michael O’Brien, a Salt Lake City attorney who filed a brief for the Utah Society for Human Resource Management, the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah and several business groups. “We must be vigilant next legislative session to make sure employers and private property holders do not lose the right to make this important choice, he said. In the opinion, Justice Ronald Nehring cited “an evolving discussion about the role of firearms in our society.”