Tennessee has joined 21 other states that allow employees to leave guns in their cars at the office parking lot. NPR says the laws have left many employers debating how best to ensure safety at work. After Georgia passed its law allowing employees to keep firearms in the parking lot, Sally Roberts installed a sign on her door, “No Weapons Allowed.” A job candidate once threatened her, says Roberts, of Morris Communications. “She did become violent and I’m very thankful she did not have a weapon.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 700 people a year are killed in workplace homicides, most by firearms. A 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management showed more than one-third of employers reported violent incidents at work. Private employers used to create their own rules about guns on their property. In 2004, Oklahoma changed its law so that private employers could no longer ban workers from storing firearms in locked vehicles at work. In the legal fight that followed, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals sded with gun owners and the National Rifle Association, and more states began adopting these “parking lot” laws. Kevin Michalowksi of Concealed Carry Magazine believes businesses would be safer — and face less liability — if they permitted firearms beyond the parking lot.