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.


  • @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.


  • 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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    1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

    2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

    3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

    4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

    5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.