Some firms consider ways to allow guns in workplace for safety

published in The Oklahoman | September 30, 2014

Just days after a recently terminated employee at a metro Oklahoma City workplace killed one co-worker and seriously wounded another, some Oklahoma employers have already expressed an interest in updating their weapons policies to allow firearms on their premises. Nathan Whatley, a labor and employment attorney with McAfee & Taft who has counseled employers on weapons policies, was interviewed by The Oklahoman on this topic.

“Versus no weapons across the board, they wanted to know how they can take away some prohibitions for employees who have licenses to carry weapons,” said Whatley.

According to Whatley, Oklahoma law provides employers with significant flexibility in determining who can carry firearms and who cannot, as well as where and how those weapons may be kept on their premises. For example, an employer can ban guns in some of their facilities but allow them in others.  Likewise, they can choose to grant permission only to licensed employees who meet certain criteria, such as the completion of specific training. Most importantly, he said, companies retain the right to rescind that permission at any time, for any reason.