In less than two weeks, Ohio law regulating the carrying of concealed handguns will drastically change. This change stems from Senate Bill 199, which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly on December 8, 2016 and signed by Governor Kasich on December 19th. The most notable part of this bill is the prohibition on private employers to enforce a policy that would prevent people with a concealed carry license to store their handguns in their own vehicles on employer property. The question you may want to ask is whether your employment policies are up to date and in compliance with the law to address these changes?
The current law on this issue allows a private employer to prohibit concealed handguns on the employer's premises, including in vehicles. However, effective March 21, 2017, this will no longer be the case. Employers will not be able to prohibit a person with a concealed carry license from storing a handgun or ammunition when: (1) each firearm and all of the ammunition remains inside the person's privately owned motor vehicle while the person is physically present inside the motor vehicle, or each firearm and all of the ammunition is locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the person's privately owned motor vehicle; and (2) the vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be. Overall, this means an employer must permit employees to keep handguns in their cars while on the employer’s premises.
Senate Bill 199 also expands the types of places a concealed handgun is permitted, such as airports, colleges/universities, and child care centers. Nevertheless, there is a catch to this provision of the bill. In regards to premises owned or leased by a private/public college, university, or other institution of higher education, the institution's board of trustees or other governing body must authorize a policy for the carrying of a concealed handgun on the premises. A similar provision is in place for government facilities.
This change will influence many employers and private entities across Ohio. Subsequently, now may be a good time to reconsider your employment policies and practices to ensure that your business is following all the requirements of the new law. At Lardiere McNair, we will take all the necessary steps to ensure that your business is in compliance with all the relevant law. Give our office a call to learn about your rights and responsibilities in an employment policy dispute or simply to consider and/or revise your employment policy handbook.
Alexandria Nagel is a Law Clerk at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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