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New Gun Law to Affect Ohio’s Employers

A recent amendment to Ohio’s carrying a concealed gun law, R.C. §2923.1210, effective March 17, 2017, now prohibits a private business entity from having a policy that prohibits a concealed handgun licensee from transporting or storing a firearm in the person's motor vehicle while on company owned parking facilities. This amendment will require Ohio’s employers to revisit their employee handbooks, manuals and other policies concerning the carrying of concealed weapons.

Specifically, the new law provides that a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when both of the following conditions are met: (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.

Ohio law provides immunity to business entities, property owners, and public or private employers from liability in any civil action for damages, injuries, or death resulting from or arising out of another person's actions involving a firearm or ammunition transported or stored inside the person’s privately owned motor vehicle including the theft of a firearm from an employee's or invitee's automobile, unless the business entity, property owner, or public or private employer intentionally solicited or procured the other person's injurious actions.

As a result of these new amendments, it is wise for any employer to amend their employee handbooks, manuals or other policies to provide: “Unless otherwise authorized by law, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall knowingly possess, have under the person's control, convey, or attempt to convey a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance onto these premises.”

Should you have questions regarding the any employment related matters of the civil justice system in general, please feel free to contact Scott D. Simpkins at 216-621-8484.