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

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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."

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  • 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.

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