Weyerhaeuser, Guns, and Rights
This is a kind of old story, but I'll catch everyone up because there are some new and interesting developments.
We start with John Lott pointing us to a Wall Street Journal story (The full story is here) about the actions of Weyerhaeuser in October 2002. The company has a policy of no firearms in the workplace, and had recently extended it to the parking lot (although employees say they weren't aware of the extension. In what the story describes as a "surprise search," management brought in gun-sniffing dogs to check out cars in the parking lot. They then fired the employees who had guns in their cars.
Now this is in Oklahoma, where gun ownership is quite common. It's also in a rather rural area, where parking elsewhere isn't practical.
Shortly thereafter, the Oklahoma legislature passed a law specifically stating employees could keep guns in their cars, providing they were locked up. However, a few companies (Conoco-Phillips and Williams Cos.) have sued to stop the law from taking effect, and the law went to the federal courts. Then in February, the legislature passed another law that exempted businesses from legal liability if a gun in someone's car at work was used to kill someone. As it sits now, the Court has stopped the law from taking effect until the legal issues are sorted out.
This is interesting, especially when you think of the recent Weyco issue (you'll recall Weyco fired employees who smoked...). I have to say Weyerhaeuser has a point. They own the property, and they have rights stemming from that. Having a legislature in effect dictating what a property owner must allow onto his property is going down the wrong road, in my opinion.
But I do think Weyerhaeuser is being a little unreasonable in this too. Considering the facts on the ground, banning guns from people's locked cars on safety grounds is a little specious.
Well recently, the state Court ruled the law is criminal, rather than civil in nature. That pretty much means it stays in the Federal Court. It also likely means it will have some far-reaching implications when it comes to firearms rights in Oklahoma, and with a Federal Court ruling on the issue those implications could impact the country.
Posted by John Tant at April 6, 2005 07:24 AM
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|# April 6th, 2005 12:29 PM PureCognition|
|I think it's reasonable to consider someone's vehicle as being their own property, no matter where it's parked (as long as it's parked legally). Thus, I do have a problem with anyone telling the someone that they can't keep their guns in their own automobiles. |
|# April 7th, 2005 7:14 AM SpinDaddy|
|Does the castle doctrine apply in ones automobile?? Interesting, especially in light of the new law about to be signed by Jeb Bush in FL. The new law does not require retreat when threatened. This is consistent with ancient law regarding use of force in ones own defense. The more recent doctrine "duty-to-retreat" is a more recent construct foisted on an unsuspecting public. The new law corrects this fallacy.
So now Weyerhauser can be considered fully responsible for employee safety to and from the workplace since they have, in effect, banned their eployees from exercising their 2nd amndmnt rights if traveling to or from work?
|# April 7th, 2005 10:45 AM james|
|spindaddy, in florida, there is no duty to retreat if attacked in your car. this probably isn't technically called ||# April 7th, 2005 10:48 AM jonts||purecognition
"I think it's reasonable to consider someone's vehicle as being their own property,"
Im afraid that does not apply- when you are using a companies services or on their property they have a right to know exactly what they are letting on i.e. airline companies can search your bags, cases.
The overiding principle here is OWNERSHIP- if its my land i decide what comes on it i.e. a person AND that persons belongings.
|# April 7th, 2005 7:37 PM SpinDaddy|
|Jonts, I understand the property ownership here, also weyerhauser cannot force anyone to work there nor for that matter drive to or from work, or park in weyerhausers parking lot.
I pose the question toungue-in-cheek and rhetorically. With the rather broad latitude of contributory negligence we see in civil courts these days I can't help but wander how long 'til someone brings suit.
Go to the daily links page above and scroll down to the bottom to the "Guns"story and click on the link to read more of my take on it at my blog BumperStickerPolitix -Spin
|# April 8th, 2005 2:07 AM PureCognition|
|Jonts...If it's illegal, I agree. However, if it's legal then they need to step back and respect our rights as U.S. citizens. I would hate to think that someone else has rights to look inside me own vehicle, even if all they would find is trash, when there is no suspicion of me having any illegal substances. Especially if they aren't law enforcement. Once I take it out of my automobile it instantly would becomes their concern. Where would you like to draw the line? |
|# April 8th, 2005 7:36 AM james|
you have rights with respect to private property, true. but a private employer also has the right to condition your employment upon submission to searches of your person, your car, etc. basically, if you don't like it, don't work there.
i don't see this is a "line-drawing" problem at all. if a private company has a rule that says that all employees can't bring X to work, and that all employees much submit to searches, they're within their rights.
i'm not saying that it's right for am employer to do this - but it's not illegal for them to do so