If you employ more than 10 people and you don't have a gun policy in your office, it may be time to write one. There are 88.8 firearms per 100 people in the United States, according to The Huffington Post, meaning that it's possible someone in your workplace owns a gun.
The time to deal with whether employees can have guns in the office isn't when a conflict comes up; by that point it's almost too late. A gun policy allows you to be proactive which can protect your company.
Just like a dress code or Internet-use policy, a gun policy gives employees a heads-up about acceptable behavior and stops potential issues from becoming real problems.
When making a gun policy, take into account the kind of work people do around the office and what hours they work.
Stressful jobs where tempers run high may not be a good match for a permissive gun policy. But allowing guns on late-night shifts in a quiet or lightly traveled area may make employees feel safer.
Once you have an idea about whether you want to allow guns at work, it's important to make a clear policy that covers a variety of situations.
At a minimum, a gun policy should cover what shifts or types of employees are allowed to carry guns, if any, and what kinds of guns are permitted in the office. Rationales for these policies may also be helpful so employees understand that the decision isn't arbitrary.
Local and state gun laws may also affect how you write your gun policy. If you don't write it with an attorney, at least make sure an attorney looks it over before you finalize it.
Without legal guidance, you won't know if the policy is enforceable given existing laws. It's never good to find that out in the midst of a lawsuit.
Keep in mind that your personal feelings about gun ownership shouldn't be the focus of a worplace gun policy. Make sure that you focus on keeping your employees safe rather than pushing a personal agenda. The former is more likely to be held up in court.
- Guide to Creating Employee Handbooks (FindLaw)
- Yes, You Can Still Prohibit Guns in Your Workplace (FindLaw)
- Gun Stores: New California Ammunition Law (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)