Friday, August 05, 2005

This is going to the supreme court

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.

cube

7 comments:

Dave Justus said...

Private Property should trump Gun Rights.

You have a right to carry a gun on public property, and a right to have a gun in your house, but I have a right to say no guns in my house (or place of business, whatever)

You can of course choose not to come to my house if that bothers you enough.

Cubicle said...

"but I have a right to say no guns in my house"

Yes, but these guns are in cars, which are on private property. Which in all reality you have no choice but to park you car at your employers lot.

We are not talking about bring guns into places of work (if that was the case, it would be clear cut).

We are talking about leaving the gun in your car when you go to wal-mart, work, or the bar.

If places of work and prohibits guns in their parking lot in my car, then all the laws which were passed for conceal and carry really mean nothing.

Is the right to defend you life your life trumped by private property rights?

I would come down on the side of the gun owners in this case, because your car should be treated like you home, and you should have the same privacy protections there as you would at home.


I would also like to point out that you are saying personal property rights should trump state law also. Which in some cases it should, and some cases it should not.

Yishai said...

I agree with #1. The employers have a right to ban guns from their entire property, even the parking lot, if they choose. The second amendement does not trump a person's right to control what goes on on their own private property. If it would, it would be negating the entire principles behind the second and many other ammendments, namely, that the public is free to choose what they (we) want to do and have done on our property.
The company has no right to infringe on a person's right to bear arms. But they do have a right to make you excersice that right elsewhere, and not on their property.
I am personally affected by a similar company policy. There are no weapons allowed on the entire company property, and I really would want to have my gun - at least in my car. But until this case gets decided, I won't risk my employment.

Cubicle said...

"The company has no right to infringe on a person's right to bear arms. But they do have a right to make you excersice that right elsewhere, and not on their property."

The companies are not just making you "excersice" your rights some where else, they are by default prohibiting you from having the means to defend yourself before and after you leave work.

They are also taking away your right to self defense. If you have the right to life and the pursuit of happiness, then you also have the right to defend that life.

Yishai said...

Crap, you're so right cube. Because I can't store my gun in my car, I am forced to go to school at night (another no-carry zone) and travel to and from work less defended. That sucks.
Your last point, though, I disagree with - an individual's pursuit of happiness is allowed as long as it does not infringe on another person's rights. A person's basic right is to say what goes on on his personal property. Your pursuit of happiness can not infringe on that right.

But the companies are being jerks, though. They should work with the employees and understand their personal need for defense and try to accomodate it. Maybe allow weapons only in a locked safe within a car, or have another secured parking lot, or something. The companies should work with the employees for a solution.

Personally, (and I'm sure you'd agree, cube), the workplace is safer with employees carrying weapons. But that is a different discussion for a different time, and I'm sure I'd be preaching to the choir anyways.:)
Thanks for the soapbox.

Cubicle said...

"an individual's pursuit of happiness is allowed as long as it does not infringe on another person's rights."

The issue is not happiness, it is your life we are talking about here.

"A person's basic right is to say what goes on on his personal property. Your pursuit of happiness can not infringe on that right."


Just because you enter onto another's person property, does not mean that you give up your right to defend yourself.

That arguement could be worded diffently which a deference given to the right of selfdefense.

A person's basic right to defend oneself is not limited in any capatiacy by where that person resides.

Cubicle said...

"But the companies are being jerks, though. They should work with the employees and understand their personal need for defense and try to accomodate it. Maybe allow weapons only in a locked safe within a car, or have another secured parking lot, or something. The companies should work with the employees for a solution."

Well the companies do you have much of a choice because the state in OK passed a law saying it was OK for employees to keep the guns in their car.