Skip to comments.Safety and Security Organizations Join Brady Center's Brief... [Barf Alert]
Posted on 02/29/2008 8:26:04 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two major safety and security organizations -- the American Society of Safety Engineers and ASIS International -- joined the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in filing a "friend of the court" brief urging the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a 2007 federal district court ruling striking down Oklahoma's 2005 guns-at-work law as unconstitutional.
In a suit filed by ConocoPhillips and others -- ConocoPhillips v. Henry -- the lower court held that the law, which made it a crime in Oklahoma for employers to bar guns from company property, impermissibly conflicted with the general duty under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act for all employers to provide workplaces free from recognized hazards. Brady, the ASSE and ASIS filed their brief yesterday afternoon.
"Our workplaces need to be free from gun violence, and that is most likely to happen when they are free from guns," said Brady Center President Paul Helmke. "Employers, and the professionals who assist them, take seriously their responsibility to keep workplaces safe, which is why nearly 90 percent of them have policies against weapons in the workplace. To turn business owners into criminals, as the Oklahoma law tried to do, for protecting their employees and customers from workplace violence, was just wrong in addition to being unconstitutional. The real crime would be to let the National Rifle Association undermine workplace security by forcing guns into places they don't belong."
In 2005, after the NRA launched a "fifty-state" campaign to pass guns-at-work laws modeled after Oklahoma's and tried to initiate a boycott of ConocoPhillips because it dared to challenge the Oklahoma law, the Brady Center published "Forced Entry: The NRA's Campaign to Force Businesses to Accept Guns at Work" and established a web page to alert the business community nationwide of the threat and provide hard data on how these laws threaten workplace safety (http://www.bradycampaign.org/action/workplace/). Because of the business community's strong opposition, the NRA's campaign has met with defeat after defeat of these "forced entry" laws in states like Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, Utah and Texas.
The brief filed today supports the lower court's finding that it could "imagine no other 'condition' on company property that more significantly increases the risk of death or serious bodily harm to employees in a situation involving workplace violence [than the presence of firearms.]" A May 2005 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that workplaces where guns were permitted were 5 to 7 times more likely to be the site of a workplace homicide compared to workplaces where guns are prohibited.
The groups joining the Brady Center brief include the American Society of Safety Engineers, a global society of 32,000 professionals who assist employers in protecting their employees from workplace safety, health, and environmental risks, and ASIS International, the preeminent organization of professionals responsible for security at corporate and government facilities. The law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery LLC prepared the brief, with assistance from the Brady Center's Legal Action Project.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a national non-profit organization working to reduce gun violence in America through education, research and legal advocacy. Through its Legal Action Project, the Brady Center provides pro bono legal assistance to gun violence victims and public entities seeking to establish legal principles that will reduce gun violence. The Brady Center complements the legislative and grassroots mobilization efforts of its sister organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters.
So if the gun banners get their way can we sue Conoco, OSHA, and the Brady bunch if we get shot or robbed at work OR on the way to and from?
IMO, Sarah Brady is one of the most disgusting individuals on the face of the planet.
I do not believe in the “guns at work” laws as currently enacted. However, I do believe that we need civil / tort law that holds an employer liable for any incident where a reasonable person would conclude that an armed employee could have protected themselves from harm.
Boycott Conoco just like patriots should boycott Citgo.
Let this idiotic law firm know your views.
McDermott, Will, & Emery
Quite simply, property rights. If I own a property (my house, place of business) I have the right to specify the behavior of individuals on my property. However, such an action comes with the associated liability.
Conoco/Phillips is a publicly-traded corporation.
Aren’t they the owners of the property? It is still private property. Can't they put up a fence and post "no trespassing" or "authorized personnel only"?
So, if you want to have a stairway with specifications that do not meet the local building codes, you have a right to do so?
No more than you have the “right” to commit murder, rape or any other crime on your property. Yes you can do it but you also are subject to the consequences.
In your particular example, you can build it, but the city may make you tear it down.
Now I will also acknowledge that there is a debate on what exactly a city can or can not tell you to do with your property. My position tends to be very limiting on the restrictions that the city may place on you.
I would tend to draw the line at controlling what "corporations" are allowed to do.
There is no natural right to form a corporation. Such legal entitities are entirely the creation of man and their legal positions are entirely subject to legislative definition.
There are distinct economic advantages to being able to form corporations and there is a price to pay in additional taxation for the legal privilege of forming a corporation.
I would modify corporate law to specify that the Constitutionally-protected, individual right to keep and bear arms will not be infringed by any corporation. Any corporation unwilling to abide by this legal requirement will simply have to be taken private and lose its legislatively enacted "limited liability".
Private enterprises would quickly decide that there is no competitive advantage, but rather a competitive disadvantage, to infringing the right to keep and bear arms of its customers.
I am disgusted by the attitude of anti-gun liberals that it is permissible to dictate practically any behavior whatever of a business, but then suggest that "private property" is somehow sacrosanct with regard to the right to keep and bear arms.
The anti-gunners want businesses to bar weapons because they believe that weapons are unsafe, not because they believe that businesses should have the right to decide for themselves.
Didn't Oklahoma include a liability exemption for businesses with regard to employee-owned guns?
I’m convinced now you’re simply a gun-grabber.
And your private property rights argument is both specious and transparent in that it exposes you as one of Sarah’s handmaidens.
A law abiding citizen should be permitted to pack heat anywhere at all. Period.
What part of this do you not understand?
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
And there’s no “Congress shall make no laws...” line there, so this means what it says. NO ONE has the right to infinge my right to bear arms.
Oh-every gun law ever passed is unconstitutional. There is no compromise on this issue.
Any property owner should be able to specify the acceptable behavior of any person on their property or, if they do not abide by those rules, have those individuals removed from that property and/or charged with trespassing. If a person does not want someone to carry (open or conceal) on their property, they have the right to refuse their entrance. Likewise, someone has the right to not enter.
Any law abiding citizen should be able to carry in public or on their own property. And “public” ends at the sidewalk on my property.
The Constitution (actually the bill of rights) says (see the 5th amendment) "....nor shall private property be taken for public use.....". When the State forces private owners to accept others onto their property, they are preventing that owner from their rightful private use of that property. That is a "taking" under the law. Just as you have the right to free speech, you do NOT have the right to come onto my property and plant campaign signs or paint messages on my walls, your right to free speech is limited when you come onto my property.
However, there is a Constitutional right for the private ownership of property. Under current law, a publicly traded company still retains all rights of ownership just as if a citizen owned the property in question. Be it land, buildings, vehicles, or patents.
If the State can take from a company the free exercise of the rights of ownership of property, and forcing a company or a private citizen to give up their property rights if favor of someone else’s rights .... say their right to speech is not acceptable to me.
Consider this scenario. A person, without your permission, walks onto your property (away from the public sidewalk or public access entrance), say into your lawn and puts up a Hilary Clinton for President sign.
Yes that person has the right to free speech but they do not have the right to use your property to exercise their free speech.
There can exist no "private property" belonging to a corporation without corporate law allowing the creation of such corporations. I don't think it unreasonable to limit such "private property" such that employees and perhaps other law-abiding visitors cannot be disarmed.
There are plenty of limitations already on such "private property". Just try to design a parking lot for such "private property" without including parking spaces reserved for the disabled.
In Colorado, we assert the castle doctrine where a property owner has the right to defend their property and as such, have the right to say who can come on their property and restrict their activities once they are on the private property.
Since you can't seem to see the difference between "private property" and the human-created benefits, including the limited financial liability, that comes from the artificial distinction that constitutes a "corporation", then we aren't going to agree.
Without the benefits to the non-owners, there would be no justification to permitting the limited liability of incorporation and such laws would not exist.
I, for one, support changing corporate laws so that corporations are prohibited from denying me the right to keep and bear arms at work that I presently enjoy at home.
There is no constitutional right to form corporations and enjoy limited financial liability. It's not a natural right and my right to defend myself from harm is.
What I want to see is to allow a corporation to exercise it’s private property rights in not allowing weapons on its property .... however, it now carries the RESPONSIBILITY for protecting it’s employees and as such, now carries the LIABILITY for failing to do so.
Which is exactly the kind of circumstance that corporations were designed to prevent. The liability that extends to the corporation itself is LIMITED to only the corporation. Those whose private property consists of the corporation are protected from any liability whatever.
You're proposing something that already exists; that is, corporations are responsible for their negligence. But unfortunately, most juries do not view disarming the law-abiding as negligence. They just aren't going to assess damages UNLESS we define disarming people as "negligence".
Instead of giving corporations the option of behaving negligently in this case, I simply propose to prohibit this type of negligence outright.
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