Posted on / Updated on / in Blog & HR Policies /

On March 18, 2010 Indiana House Bill 1065 was signed into law by Governor Mitch Daniels. The new law permits anyone who is legally authorized to own and carry a firearm to take a firearm onto company property, public or private.  Now, before you get too incensed about what this might mean for the safety of your employees, let’s stop and review the stipulations of Indiana House Bill 1065.

1) This only applies to individuals who have legally obtained and registered firearms. It does not provide rights to anyone else.

2) The law does not permit individuals to bring the firearm inside your premises.

3) The firearm must be kept out of plain sight and inside the individual’s locked vehicle. This applies at all times.

4) The law does not apply to the following institutions:
a. Private residences (homes)
b. Schools
c. Post-secondary educational institutions
d. Child care facilities
e. Emergency shelters
f. Group homes
g. Prisons
h. Federal buildings
i. Homeland security sites
j. Utility companies

So does Indiana House Bill 1065 Mean for Indiana Employers?

If you currently have a policy that prohibits firearms from your premises, the language in your Employee Handbook will need to be amended. You CAN still prohibit firearms from coming inside your premises, but effective July 1, 2010 you will be required to permit individuals to have firearms on your property, provided that they are legally owned and stored out of sight in a locked car.

Specifically, Indiana House Bill 1065 prohibits employers from firing employees who safely and lawfully store a firearm in their privately owned, locked vehicle while on an employer’s publicly accessible parking lot.

Also notable, though not related to employee relations, is that this law also prevents state or local government authorities from confiscating lawfully owned firearms during declared states of emergency, such as occurred in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Is There a Way to Know Which of Your Employees Has a Registered Firearm?

Not anymore, as a result of Indiana House Bill 1068 that was also passed in Indiana this month. This law ensures that the names, addresses, and other personal information of Right to Carry holders won’t be available to the media or anyone else who files a Freedom of Information Act request.

Indiana House Bill 1068 actually provides considerable protection to many employees. Many other states around the country have adopted similar measures after the personal information of gun owners appeared online. In Ohio, Florida, Virginia, South Dakota and elsewhere, the names and addresses of Right to Carry holders have been made public for all to see, which has allowed former parolees to show up announced at the homes of parole officers, and abusers to locate the new homes of victims of domestic violence seeking a new life.

Under this law, the media still has access to general information about Right to Carry, such as the number of licenses in any given community or county, but the privacy of individual gun owners will remain intact.

So What Should You Do Now?

For those employee handbooks that prohibit firearms on the premises of their organization your employee handbook will need revisions. Review your written policies regarding firearms on company premises, and revise to include language regarding what is and it not permitted in the context of this law. Bear in mind that if your policy is specific, an individual will be in violation of the policy and subject to discipline if the firearm is not registered, if it is in plain sight, and if it is not in a locked vehicle.

Also bear in mind that your policy on workplace violence should be explicit about threats of violence and their consequence; your Workplace Violence Response Plan should have a procedure in place regarding threats, implied and inferred, regarding firearms stored in vehicles on company property.

You Don’t Have a Policy on Workplace Violence or Don’t Feel Comfortable Making Revisions to Your Employee Handbook?

In that case, you should Contact Us immediately. We can assist with the development of plans, as well as with onsite education and training for managers to create their own plans.

We hope this article has been helpful to you.  If you have questions please leave us a comment or send us an email.

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about the author: Amy Letke

Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success.