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Last month, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 286, which expands Alabama gun rights. The primary expansion of those rights by SB286 is made by the provisions allowing employees to store firearms in their vehicles on their employers' premises. The law goes into effect on August 1, 2013.

Nineteen states have now passed similar laws, with varying restrictions on employers' rights to restrict firearms on company property.

The law details the types of firearms employees are permitted to keep in their locked vehicles while at work, where the employee first obtains a concealed weapons permit ("CWP"). Those firearms include pistols and long guns (shotguns or rifles). Though it cannot ask its employees if they are carrying concealed weapons in their vehicles, an employer can restrict its employees from keeping firearms in their vehicles at work if the employees don't have CWPs,don't have an Alabama hunting license, have been convicted of a violent crime, are subject to a domestic dispute restraining order, have previously been committed to a psychiatric hospital, or have documented incidents of workplace threats or violence.

The law also details the public places where citizens and employees cannot carry concealed weapons, which includes government buildings, courthouses, schools, city council chambers and county commission meetings.

It is a lengthy law, and employers are wise to study it and train their administrative and executive staff on its requirements and prohibitions. If an employer violates this law, either by asking about concealed weapons or taking adverse action against an employee solely based on the presence of a lawful firearm, the employer is subject to being sued in an Alabama court. The employee can potentially recover lost wages or other remuneration and benefits, and can reverse any demotion precipitated by the employer's conduct in violation of this law.

In contrast, employers are shielded from liability stemming from the firearms their employees are storing, which is a valuable provision for employers in light of Alabama's rank as third in the nation for gun violence.

This wide-reaching bill also amends some of Alabama's criminal statutes, including those governing "disorderly conduct," at 13A-11-7, and those prohibiting the carrying of a pistol on private property without a CWP, at 13A-11-52.

Governor Robert Bentley:


  1. Gravatar for John Hopkins

    Thank God for modern day governors like Governor Bob Bentley. The good governor claims to be a lover of the constitution, but it seems clear he has not carefully read the 2nd amendment, which does not "guarantee" the right to own guns. In addition, given the very constitutional foundation of separation of church and state, it seems interesting to have invoked God in the same sentence as the guarantee of certain constitutional rights. I might remind the good governor that Christ spoke about giving unto Caesar that which is Caesar's...

    But, above all else, why does anyone (other than law enforcement) feel compelled to bring guns to work. OK, so you are going hunting on a Friday after work, but other than that, where is the need that motivates a state law be passed.

    I guess we should feel lucky that the law was provisioned to except out those who have threatened workplace violence. What about the close proximity of a firearm to that guy who is already right on the edge and is told he is fired? Fortunately, Governor Bentley had the foresight to shield the employer from any liability.

  2. Gravatar for Mike

    I have heard the why question many times and it is a good question to ask. Many of us have no other way to work except to drive through crime-ridden neighborhoods. Having a .45 and a K-bar in my car gives me a fighting chance when my number finally comes up, and it will, when some ghetto, gold-toothed thug tries to kill me over a damn car. It has happened to so many law-abiding citizens, and so many children are without parents because of these ghetto thugs that car-jack you, it is about time we are allowed to defend ourselves.

    All laws should be written to protect the innocent and those that abide the law. Those that do not need to suffer the penalties. I have no remorse for violent criminals - they live by the sword and we should be allowed to protect ourselves and make them die by the sword.

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