Work Place Right to Bear Arms in Florida

Florida’s new law, officially entitled the “Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008,” will take effect July 1, 2008. This new law only applies to licensed concealed weapons holders and nothing restricts an employer from prohibiting non concealed weapons or those guns belonging to owners who do not have a valid permit.

The law also prohibits both public and private employers from restricting customers, employees,or invitees from “possessing any legally owned firearm when such firearm is lawfully possessed and locked inside a private motor vehicle in a parking lot.”

The law further prohibits employers from asking employees, customers and invitees whether they have firearms in their cars and prohibits them from searching the cars for firearms. Employers cannot take any action against customers, employees or invitees concerning the possession of a firearm stored in a car.

Employers are also prohibited from conditioning employment upon a prospective employee’s holding or not holding a concealed weapons license. They are also banned from conditioning employment upon the applicant’s agreement to keep his firearm somewhere other than on the employer’s premises.

Employers cannot prohibit employees,customers and invitees from bringing their cars into the employers’ parking lot because of a legally possessed concealed weapon. Employers cannot terminate or otherwise discriminate against an employee for “exercising his or her constitutional right to keep and bear arms or for exercising the right of self-defense” as long as the firearm is not exhibited on company property for anything other than “defensive purposes.

The law does provide immunity for employers for civil actions “based on actions or inactions taken in compliance with this section.” It also provides for a private civil action for “reasonable personal costs and losses,” injunctive relief and attorney fees, and costs for noncompliance with the law, and provides for Attorney General enforcement.

The law lists several places of employment excepted from the law’s requirements, including schools, correctional institutions, nuclear-powered electric generation facilities, national defense, aerospace and homeland security employers, and explosive materials employers.

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