Sample Weapons Policy to Put in an Employee Handbook

Check the Legal Requirements at Your Location First

Handgun weapon concealed in employee handbag in a workplace
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In every workplace, managers and Human Resources staff need to spend time thinking about how they want to deal with concealed weapons in the workplace. Concealed weapon permit (CWP) laws and even the name of the permit differ from state to state and country to country. For example, in Michigan, the CWP is known as a concealed pistol license (CPL).

So, you need to be aware of the laws at the location in which your employees want to carry a gun or knife. Concealed carry is legal in some jurisdictions and you may also want to set up different expectations for your workplace.

Additionally, recognize that the reason why you might adopt any concealed carry guidelines is to keep your employees safe and comfortable. People have a wide range of familiarity and experience with weapons and knowing that a gun is carried on the hip of their colleague in the next cubicle may exceed their comfort level. Employers also want to avoid the unnecessary risk of intentional or accidental shootings. 

Many Employers Ban Concealed Weapons at Work

Consequently, many employers have adopted a ban on concealed weapons at work even when their carry is legal as in the case of an employee who has a permit to carry hidden, loaded handguns. As a result, a number of states have adopted laws that prohibit an employer from banning weapons. Other states allow weapons that are locked in cars in the company parking lot as well.

This does infringe on the rights of the concealed weapon permit holder but honors the comfort level of the greater community. Weapons are not allowed in many public places and in venues with the capacity to hold over a certain number of people such as conference centers and concert halls.

As with any policy that infringes on the rights of some employees or is likely to draw legal concerns and criticisms, you are advised to run any concealed weapons policy that you want to adopt by your employment law attorney. He or she can check the verbiage and determine whether the policy is legal and permitted in your jurisdiction.

Before you create a policy that restricts employees who are legally carrying from bringing guns to work, you will want to check the laws in the jurisdiction in which your organization resides. Increasingly, state laws are honoring the rights of people with legitimate concealed weapons permits. If you are located in several states or have worldwide locations, gun laws are likely to be very different. This is an excellent resource to check your state's laws.

It is also important that you provide employees with a copy of the policy and provide training so that you know that they are aware of and have agreed to abide by the policy. In fact, some jurisdictions have specific rules about what and how an employer must publish the policy in addition to the employee handbook.

It is always important to train employees on a new policy but especially in cases where legal concerns may exist. It is also important that employers obtain the employee's signature acknowledging that they have read and understood the policy.

Concealed Weapons Sample Policy

Following is a sample policy.

Employees may not, at any time while on any property owned, leased, or controlled by Your Company, including anywhere that company business is conducted, such as customer locations, client locations, trade shows, restaurants, company event venues, and so forth, possess or use any weapon.

Weapons include, but are not limited to, guns, knives, or swords with blades over four inches in length, explosives, and any chemical whose purpose is to cause harm to another person.

Regardless of whether an employee possesses a concealed weapons permit or is allowed by law to possess a weapon, weapons are prohibited on any company property. They are also banned in any location in which the employee represents the company for business purposes, including those listed above.

Possession of a weapon can be authorized by the company's president to allow security personnel or a trained employee to have a weapon on company property when this possession is determined necessary to secure the safety and security of company employees. Only the president, or his designee, may authorize the carrying of or use of a weapon.

Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including employment termination. The employment termination would be characterized as a termination for cause.

The Sample Policy Is a Starting Point

As with every sample policy in this Human Resources content at TheBalanceCareers, the sample policy is the starting point for your own policy development. This site serves readers in every state and in countries all over the world and cannot possibly anticipate and reflect all of the local, state, or regional differences in their laws.

In Florida, for example, "Florida law allows gun owners to conceal firearms within their privately-owned motor vehicles in an employee parking area."  In Kentucky, it is legal to keep a legally owned weapon in a locked automobile on company property. In reference to people with a concealed carry permit, "No person or organization, public or private, shall prohibit a person from keeping a loaded or unloaded firearm or ammunition, or both, or other deadly weapon in a vehicle in accordance with the provisions of this subsection."

Thus, this sample policy would need to be rewritten to reflect this fact.

Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and ​employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.