Minnesota Law Changes Workplace Weapon Policies

June 16, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - If Minnesota companies want a weapon-free workplace, they are going to have to adopt a policy specifically banning their presence following the passing of a new "conceal and carry" law.

The law that took effect at the end of May – the Citizens’ Personal Protection Act of 2003 – changes Minnesota policy regarding carrying concealed handguns to a “shall issue” policy. This makes it easier, as a general rule, for many adults to obtain concealed weapon permits to lawfully carry a gun in most public places, which means public and private property that is open to or made available for use by the public, according to a report by Commerce Clearing House .

Therefore, under the letter of the new law, if a Minnesota private employer does not want its employees to carry concealed handguns in the workplace, a policy must be established that specifically prohibits employees from carrying or possessing firearms while acting in the “course and scope of their employment,” including while driving a company vehicle or using a private vehicle for company purposes.

However, under the Minnesota law, an employer may not prohibit the carrying or possession of weapons in company parking lots. Additionally, if the company is open to the public, it may only prohibit customers, vendors, or others who visit the premises from carrying concealed weapons if it posts a notice banning guns at every entrance to the facility and personally informs individuals of the posted request.