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Employers mull legal challenge to new state gun law

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The state’s top business advocate said he would support a challenge to a new state law that took effect Thursday allowing workers to keep guns out of sight in their locked vehicles while parked on their employers’ property.

At least a dozen members of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce are interested in potentially pursuing a legal challenge, though no specific plans of action exist, Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said.

Brinegar, an outspoken critic of the new law, said his organization would not lead any legal challenge but instead would defer to its members.

“The question is whether employers can prohibit employees from bringing guns on their property,” he said. “Many employers feel very strongly that this is their right and should remain their right.”

One of those is steel producer ArcelorMittal USA in northwest Indiana.

The company sent a memo to workers at its mills in East Chicago and Burns Harbor telling them officials would strictly enforce its firearms ban because federal law supercedes the state law, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Ice Miller LLP labor lawyer Paul Sinclair predicted businesses will force the General Assembly to justify why some are companies are exempt from the new guns-at-work law and others are not.

Schools and day cares are exempt. So are pharmaceutical companies and refineries.

“The question is, why is it that we carve out some employers and say they’re protected from all of this, but not other employers?” Sinclair said.

Several business groups concerned about workplace violence opposed the measure as the Legislature was weighing the measure earlier this year.

For more, go to IBJ blog NewsTalk.

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  • @CK
    With respect, please don't pigeonhole law-abiding citizens as demonic mass-murderers. This law was passed to regain previously lost ground on Constitutionally provided rights.

    What's more, any one of the shootings that instilled your (sensational, albeit understandable) fear of an active shooter could* have been proactively ended, de-escalated, or even completely avoided, had employees been allowed to securely stow a means to defend themselves.

    For one, assailants in those situations are only so brazen in gun-free zones that provide them a feeling of "security"... until law enforcement arrives. Historically, most buckle at the first sign of resistance. Knowing that any number of cars in the parking lot may contain equally effective resistance can act as an effective deterrent for such cowardice.

    Secondly, citizens with CCW permits do not go through the process (including background check, finger-printing, endorsements, etc) to *hurt* people. They do it to help protect people.

    * - I'll fully admit this may be considered a long-shot, though I would argue its less of a long-shot than your hypothetical disgruntled Dilbert turning his "hunting gun" into a weapon of mass murder, While my example would require an individual to *return* to the scene they just fled, that is EXACTLY what so many of our former soldiers and law enforcement officers, now living regular lives in regular jobs, have been trained to do. I'm not an odds-maker, but I'll gladly wager that ANY sampling of Indiana employees will contain more folks of THAT variety (ready, willing, and courageous enough to protect their fellow man), than the emotionally weak/disturbed cowards capable of causing headlines by inflicting the indiscriminate damage we've read about in headlines.

    Put more faith in your fellow Hoosier. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

    Cheers,

    CS...
  • What Federal Law?
    What federal law is this company talking about? I am not aware of any federal law that prohibits the state law that was passed.
  • Guns
    It is still amazing that all of the things this state needs to deal with and the politians moved this law to passage without listening to employers in the state. How long before an upset or recently fired employee goes to his/her car, retrieves his "hunting gun" and starts firing. Mitch and the rest will have blood on there hands.

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