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Employee protection - how to get it

Posted: Wed May 23, 2007 11:15 pm
by frankie_the_yankee
After being victimized 2 sessions in a row by legislative variations on 3 card Monty I think it is time to open a "second front" in this battle.

With business interests opposed, they will just keep pulling more shenanigans like this every session. And we will lose again and again.

But consider this. Why are business interests opposed? Is it because TX businesses are run by a bunch of left wing anti gun, anti self defense elitists who hate guns and hate gun owners? Well, maybe, but I doubt it. Because even if that were true, those gun-hating leftists wouldn't lift a finger one way or the other unless they thought it would impact the bottom line.

The reason they oppose bills like SB534 has nothing to do with ideology, and everything to do with their lawyers telling them that having a "no guns" policy inoculates them against lawsuits in case someone goes postal and shoots the place up. This is because such a person would have to "violate the policy" to conduct their rampage.

Sure, I know that SB534 addressed this and provided employers with immunity, but who knows what angle a clever lawyer can come up with as an end around if the stakes are high enough?

So what we have to do is change the paradigm. Suppose lawyers started writing law review articles about novel new possible torts emerging in the growing number of shall issue states. What if Frankie gets jacked, for instance, on the way home from work - while unarmed because of his employer's no guns policy? Frankie ends up getting robbed/killed because the employer forbid him to carry a defensive weapon that the laws of the state of Texas allowed him to carry. Now while the employer prevented Frankie from defending himself while travelling to or from work, that same employer did nothing to protect Frankie from harm while travelling to or from work.

Sounds to me like there's a tort in there someplace. Sure, it hasn't happened yet. But that's just a numbers game. With 300 million people, and around 3 or 4 million CHL's nationwide, it's just a matter of time. And with both those numbers rising, such happenings will become more common with time.

If enough law review articles started to appear along these lines, corporate counsellors would likely start giving their client companies different advice. Maybe they would tell them that:

1) Having a "no guns" policy absent fully screening everyone going in or out leaves you open to suit if a rampage does occur, because you didn't do anything effective to prevent the rampage (though you could have - like screening everyone for instance).

2) Having a "no guns" policy even with screening leaves you open to suit if an (unarmed because of your policy) employee (who could have been armed otherwise) gets jacked/robbed/killed while travelling to or from work.

3) Not prohibiting guns doesn't change Case 1 above, (because a policy without screening is not a credible form of "protection") but it pretty much does away with Case 2.

Or something like that.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 5:37 am
by seamusTX
I agree with everything you said, but I don't know how to get lawyers to start making sense. I don't know any law professors.

- Jim

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 6:46 am
by frankie_the_yankee
seamusTX wrote:I agree with everything you said, but I don't know how to get lawyers to start making sense. I don't know any law professors.

- Jim
Neither do I, but someone must. Look at all the 2A legal scholarship over the last 20-25 years or so. Little by little, all these law review articles have pushed aside former Chief Justice Warren Burger's view (that the idea of a 2A individual right was "absurd", or a "fraud") and replaced it with we know today as the "standard model" - that the 2A does refer to an individual right.

That stuff didn't get written by accident.

Every year the NRA holds some kind of legal seminar where new developments in 2A law are discussed. It is intended for lawyers, though anyone can attend if they sign up and pay the ~$200 fee. Maybe that would be a place where people can start talking about this angle.

Heck, for all I know they've already been kicking it around.

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:09 pm
by pbandjelly
excellent commentary.

I'd volunteer to the cause, but, well, I don't really wanna get all shot up on the way home from work...

though there genuinely have been several close calls going to WalcrackMart :roll:

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:32 am
by TX Rancher
Is there also an insurance rate connection? Higher rates for allowing weapons would stop a company faster then the low potential of a law suit.

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:25 pm
by frankie_the_yankee
TX Rancher wrote:Is there also an insurance rate connection? Higher rates for allowing weapons would stop a company faster then the low potential of a law suit.
I don't know.

But if the right kind of law review articles get written, that could change also.

Any current rate differentials cannot be based on sound actuarial methods, since no one can show that "having a no guns policy", in itself, makes shooting rampages less likely. Indeed, what stats there are seem to show that "gun-free zones" tend to make such shootings more likely.

So that means that if any insurance companies are currently charging less for declared gun-free zones, they are only doing it on emotion and/or gut feel. And those things can be changed with the right kind of legal argument.

Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 11:06 am
by anygunanywhere
I have been wondering along these same lines myself.

I am not certain how to go about influencing attorneys to take legal action because we the people are prevented from legally defending ourselves. There are plenty of legal wranglings like the SCOTUS decision that LEO's are not legally bound to protect us.

Sounds like a good route to take.


Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 7:02 pm
by Renegade
Law review articles need to be based on actual cases - until disarmed CHLs start getting mugged, start suing, and start winning big claims, nothing is going to get written.