By: Alyssa Peters
Constangy, Brooks, and Smith, LLP
On April 23, Georgia Governor Nathan deal signed House Bill 60 into law. Entitled the “Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014,” the bill expands gun carry rights and specifically defines where permitted Georgia residents can carry weapons. Under the bill’s provisions, licensed gun owners can bring firearms into bars, churches, and some schools and government building. According to the governor’s press release, roughly 500,000 Georgia residents have obtained a Georgia Weapons Carry license, approximately 5% of the population. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2014, and raises some potentially problematic issues for Georgia employers.
Shortly after the bill was signed, GEA received an inquiry from one of our members regarding implementation of a “Weapons in the Workplace” policy. Alyssa Peters of Constangy, Brooks and Smith has provided two sample policies that are appropriate to private Georgia employers:
Sample Policy #1: “Weapons in the Workplace”
Employees are prohibited from carrying a handgun, firearm, or dangerous weapon of any kind onto the premises, whether or not the person is licensed or permitted to carry the weapon. Possession of a weapon of any kind on [Company Name] property is grounds for immediate termination.
To safeguard the property of the company, and the property and safety of its employees and customers, [Company Name] reserves the right to question employees and all other persons entering and leaving the premises and to inspect any packages, parcels, purses, handbags, briefcases, lunchboxes, or any other possessions, belongings, or articles carried to and from the company’s property.
In addition, [Company Name] reserves the right to search any employee’s office, furniture, desk, drawers, files, locker, vehicle, or any other area or article on the company’s premises. All offices, furniture, desks, drawers, files, lockers, and similar items are the property of the company and may be used by employees only in connection with their work for [Company Name]. Inspections may be conducted at any time at the discretion of the company.
Sample Policy #2: “Weapons in the Workplace”
The possession of any weapon on your person, in your property, or in your vehicle is strictly prohibited while on [Company Name] property. You do not have a right to carry a concealed weapon on [Company Name] property, even if you are licensed to do so under state law.
An editable Word document is available for download here. Georgia Employers’ Association recommends that companies always check with their labor and employment attorney before implementing any policy.