Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FAQ: Can I Leave My Firearm In My Vehicle In My Employer's Parking Lot?

Ask The Michigan Firearms Instructor

Q: What are my legal rights for carrying at a place of employment with a public parking lot? As in, if I was to be fired for carrying in their parking lot, am I protected in any way? I understand we are in an at will employment state, so they could fire for any reason, but I'm curious about vehicle searches, unemployment, and all things in between.

A: Your employer's facility and his associated parking lots are NOT public property; they are his private property. As such, he has private property rights which allows him to make the rules as long as he doesn't violate the law. If your employer declares his property as "gun free," then you are obligated to respect his wishes, as an employee.

In contrast, customers or other visitors to the property can carry concealed on those premises if they are licensed and there are no signs forbidding the practice. If you, as an employee, are discovered to be carrying a firearm without permission, you could be discharged or disciplined.

As for vehicle searches in your car by your employer for guns or any other contraband deemed forbidden on your employer's property, that could only happen with your permission. Of course, you could be subjected to reprisals for failing to do so, however, you may be able to seek relief via the legal system.

I would advise consulting an attorney with experience in that area of expertise for specific advice. Moreover, by asking this question you are probably concerned about your safety on your way to work and your later departure on the way home. One practical solution is to not park your vehicle in his lot or on his property.

You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.

About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.7404

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