Concealed Carry in the Work Place
Donald L. Bowles
February 27, 2014
Concealed Carry in the Work Place
With the increase in violent crimes over the past few years, employees should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on their person if they are licensed to do so or at a minimum in their privately owned vehicle. This is a complex topic with many factors which may affect one’s freedom or employment, and possibly one’s life. Through an examination of articles and peer-reviewed journals this paper will attempt to describe the handgun laws of West Virginia, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, Article III 3-22 of the West Virginia Constitution, and some of the reasons for and against carrying concealed at work from an employer’s perspective. In the current climate of today’s political system, both in West Virginia and the United States in general, the topic of concealed carry carries with it an air of horrific events, scare tactics, and an entire myriad of other emotions. By looking at the facts presented in law, the West Virginia Constitution, and the United States Constitution one can surmise various meanings of the documents, but through referencing the thoughts and ideas of those who wrote them one may understand the intended meaning. Articles, both peer-reviewed and those written by subject matter experts, give another basic view of the issue and, possibly, alternate views one may not normally consider. Finally, by looking at the sum of the information presented, a fairly accurate guess may be determined for the reasons an employer looks at to determine the justification to approve or disapprove the carrying of concealed handguns on the property of the business to include the parking lot. The case for an armed citizenry has been debated and fought for since the beginning of the fight for the dream of the United States of America. In the words of Alexander Hamilton, “Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped” (Hamliton, 2014). The provision for armed citizenry has been enshrined in both the West Virginia Constitution, Article 3-22 (Bastress, 2010); then in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution (Congress, 1789) solidifying the preservation of ones’ Creator, or God given, right to both self-defense and defense of the State. Defending one’s self, it seems, has become a very large topic in the societal prospective. During the tragedies in Aurora, Colorado, and again in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, brought to the forefront the topics of gun control and gun rights. In Aurora, Colorado, a man by the name of James Holmes was alleged to have murdered 12 people and wounded 70 others in a movie theater, which prohibited the carrying of concealed firearms. Then, on December 14, 2012, a 20 year old Adam Lanza is said to have entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and “murdered 20 children and six adults” (Faria Jr., 2013) in a “Gun Free School Zone.” These horrific events, as tragic as they may be, may have been prevented by armed, licensed personnel had been present. This is the theory behind legislation being proposed by Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) (Bannister, 2014). Representative Stockman has introduced a bill to repeal the “Gun Free School Zones Act” of 1990 and its amended version the “Gun Free School Zones Amendment Act” of 1995. House Resolution 35, or H.R. 35, is designed, “To restore safety to America's schools” (Stockman, 2014), and is based on the research for the duration of time, 22 years, the “Gun Free School Zones Act” of 1990 has been law and the preceding 22 years of information on gun violence in and around schools. With this information in mind one, as an employer, must consider the probable benefits and costs of allowing employees to carry concealed firearms at work, or at a minimum in their privately owned vehicle. In...
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