The Utah state legislature is the latest battleground over whether or not employers will continue to determine their own policies regarding weapons on company property. Ten state legislatures are currently debating proposals that would require employers to allow workers to bring weapons to the workplace. As the result of letter writing campaigns by SHRM’s Utah members and other business groups, Utah lawmakers decided to “kill” the bill for this year.
The issue of property rights vs. firearm rights has been heavily debated in Utah, where a 2004 Supreme Court decision (in Hansen v. America Online, Inc., 96 P.3d 950, 2004 UT 62) found that property owners have the right to restrict firearm possession on their own property.
Utah State Senator Ross Romero (D-Salt Lake City), who led the opposition to the weapons-in-the-workplace legislation, noted that property owners can, under current law, choose to allow firearms on their property — and that many in Utah do. Romero argued that this legislation basically says to private employers 'You have to allow guns on your properties.'
SHRM has advocated throughout this debate that employers should have the ability to determine for themselves the rules that govern their workplaces.
For more information about these and other public policy issues, please visit www.shrm.org
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