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North Carolina General Assembly Considers "Bring Your Gun to Work" Bill

    Client Alerts
  • March 18, 2011

The Republican takeover of both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly has resulted in a wave of legislative proposals that had been stymied by previous legislative leadership. Among these proposals is a bill that would prevent employers from prohibiting employees from possessing licensed firearms in their personal vehicles on company property.

This so-called "Bring your Guns to Work" law is modeled after similar legislation already in place in Florida, Georgia and several other states. Its proponents claim that the law would provide added security to workplaces by allowing employees quick access to firearms in the event of criminal activity.

Business advocacy groups led by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, oppose the bill on two general grounds. First, it limits companies' rights to control activities on their private property, which is seen as an intrusive measure by government. Second, employers are concerned over employee safety and possible liability issues arising from employees who may resort to violence in the course of a workplace dispute. The proposal contains measures immunizing employers from civil liability for lawful use of firearms on their premises, but this protection may not extend to certain employee actions.

Given Republican majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, this bill has a good chance of passing this session. Governor Perdue has not indicated her position on the legislation, and a veto could block the measure from taking effect.