Lawsuit tests Indiana's 'take your gun to work' law

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

New provisions of Indiana gun laws that allow people to keep guns in their cars at work and prohibit employers from asking about gun possession will get their first test in a lawsuit filed by an Indianapolis man.

Thomas Jordan filed suit against Camby-based ADM Enforcement Inc., accusing the company of violating the gun laws when it fired him Sept. 1.

Attorney Guy A. Relford says Jordan, 28, was showing an AR-15 rifle he had in his trunk to coworkers on July 6 while off-duty and not on company property. The weapon accidentally discharged, and though there were no injuries, Jordan received a written warning saying the AR-15 wasn't an "ADM authorized weapon."

The security company's owner sent an email the next day informing employees they could not have weapons in their vehicles while on duty and that supervisors' jobs could be at risk if their employees violate the policy.

Relford said Jordan removed the AR-15 from his car after receiving the email but he didn't announce he'd done so. A supervisor asked him a few weeks later whether he had a rifle in his car, but Jordan didn't answer directly.

"He is educated about the law, so he said, 'I may or may not, but that's protected by law. And you can't ask me that question,'" Relford told The Indianapolis Star.

Jordan was fired Sept. 1 and was told it was because he had in his vehicle a firearm not authorized by ADM.

ADM owner Anthony McClure could not be reached for comment.

Relford said the reason cited for the firing violates the 2010 take your gun to work" provision and that the supervisor's question violated a 2011 provision barring employers from asking about weapons.

Mark Ford, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law, said the statutes leave little wiggle room for employers concerned that weapons left in cars on company property could pose a security threat.

Employers can bar workers from bringing weapons into the workplace, but the "don't ask, don't tell" restriction prohibits them from asking whether employees have guns in their purses, Ford said.

However, state Rep. Mike Speedy said the fact that Jordan's gun discharged complicates the case, even though it wasn't cited in his firing.

"The right to possess is not the right to discharge," he said. "Even though it's not criminal, (the accidental discharge) is still negligent."


  • This dialogue is unbelievable
    The discharge of his gun is a "non-issue"...unbelievable that anyone could even say that with a straight face. All I ever hear from the gun lobby is "Firearms are safe if people are trained properly"...and all the time you have stupids like this guy in possession of a firearm that exceeds what he needs to protect himself and it "discharges accidentally". Firearms would be safe if we could keep all dumb people, and all people who use them as a substitute for small "manhood" away from them, but we can't do that unfortunately. Interesting that Mr. Relford says his client was "educated" about the law...too bad he wasn't "educated" about how to use the firearm that "discharged". Stories like this just make the anti-gun lobby's case for them...there are lots of criminals that have guns, and lots of really dumb and crazy people who have guns...good thing that he didn't kill someone "showing off" his gun. If he really wasn't on company property when this happened, how did management find out about it?...I think it is likely that one of the people he was "showing" his gun to decided if he wasn't smart enough to keep it from discharging, he didn't want him bringing it around the workplace...whoever informed management was trying to protect themselves and others from this guy, and I don't blame them.
  • Wrongful Termination
    I don't believe the accidental discharge is the issue as he was terminated only after he was questioned as to the whereabout of the weapon. This case will be very interesting to follow.
  • I agree
    I agree, this guy handled that gun irresponsibly!
  • mikesmith
    I had read part of a different article, but cannot find it now. It said something like he was in the parkinglot of his apartment, which is protected by the company he works for. He was off duty and at home, anyone know anything about this?
  • ?
    Can't companies fire you for anything now, and not give you a reason anyways???
  • Discharging a weapon
    Just because the guy had a AD/Neg discharge of the weapon, doesnt give the company the right to fire him for having or not having the weapon at a later date in his trunk. The discharge of the weapon in his trunk is a nonissue here, unless the police want to charge him with discharging a weapon within city limits.

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

    2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

    3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

    4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

    5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.