Source: "The dispute in Oklahoma stems from a crackdown at Weyerhaeuser against employee drug abuse. A company spokesman, Bruce Amundson, said trained dogs sniffing in the parking lot of the paper mill in Valliant found a dozen cars with rifles, shotguns, handguns and some automatic weapons, violations of a new policy banning weapons in cars. The gun owners, including contract workers for Kellogg Brown & Root, were fired....
In response to the firings, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill that would bar property owners from restricting those without felony records from keeping firearms in a locked vehicle. But that measure, to take effect in November, has now been blocked by the companies' lawsuit."
I doubt that there were automatic weapons in the employees cars. Semi-auto, yes. Full auto, I really doubt it.
I have always wondered how that company in OK had figured out it's employees had guns in their cars.
The gun owners in this case have several points on their side. If their cars are treated like their home, then the law in OK would only be reinforcing that law, else I would think the company has a shot.
Secondly, maybe search and seizure laws, which that is weakened by two facts. One they are on private property and two the supreme court has ruled that cops can go on fishing expeditions with dogs. If cops can do it, then a company on it own private property should be able to even if the searches were random and without a target in mind.
They could also make the argument that the second amendment trumps the right of personal property in some cases, this example being one.
The companies have one major point their side. The whole private property issue, which has been weakened by a recent Supreme court decision, Kelo vs London. If the OK government says that it is in the "public's" interest to have employees allowed to carry guns, that argument might have flown with the early 2005 court.
The companies have lots of money. This is not just ConocoPhillips, but several other companies in OK. This is another one that I read about being involved in the lawsuit (source here).
Overall, I think the company has a strong case, but the Gun owners have more points of logical attack.
It is unfortunate that ConocoPhillips decided to push this because if you ask the gun owners if they should be able to keep guns (unloaded and locked) in his car, they would say yes. I have a feeling that many would agree. When considering unlocked and loaded guns (which mine that is how mine is in my truck as we speak), the issue is a little bit different, from a polling perspective.
In Ok we are considering both cases because OK has shall issue gun permits. I am sure if you asked those who have the permits if their right to carry trumps the right of a company to tell them what they are keeping in their car, they would come down on the side of the 2nd amendment in their eyes.