So…in Ohio, a law passed in December 2016 that allows people with concealed carry permits to bring their guns onto private property regardless of the individual policies or opinions of the company or owner of the property.
That bill was Senate Bill 199. The law did not include any penalties that did not comply. In other words, companies or property owners who continued to disallow guns on their premises. Gun rights advocates have long since called for penalties to be added, otherwise there is little to no incentive for the companies to permit the guns. So…the penalties are being considered by the Ohio Senate and now the business community in Ohio is rallying in opposition to what they say is the possibility of them being opened up to lawsuits by employees or others who bring guns onto the premises. If the guns are on the premises, they must remain in the gun owners vehicle. (And not a company vehicle.)
That means the businesses can’t stop their employees or visitors from bringing the guns onto the property, but it doesn’t force the businesses to allow the gun owner to carry the gun through the door. As others have pointed out, the businesses who don’t comply are sometimes “harassing” their employees who do choose to bring their guns by making them prove they have a concealed carry permit. In effect, “outing themselves” as concealed carriers, which they should not have to do since the law clearly allows them to have their guns on them.
The Dayton Chamber of Commerce vice president Chris Kershner said that it’s an employer rights issue, not a gun rights issue.
The Ohio Senate is working on a state budget that would create liability for the employers and property owners who try to prevent permitted concealed carriers from bringing their guns onto private property. The Senate budget would allow the business or property owner to be sued in civil court. The plaintiff would be awarded compensatory damages, injunctive relief, costs and attorney’s fees if they won.
This only seems fair. After all, permitted concealed carriers who bring their guns onto private property are following the law. The business need to follow the law too and allow the guns there. There can’t be a “law for you but not for me” situation.