Concealed-carry gun law in effect Thursday

By John Eckberg (Cincinnati Enquirer)

The Cincinnati Enquirer

A new Ohio law that allows people to carry concealed weapons might give some soon-to-be-armed individuals a greater sense of security - but itís creating headaches for many employers.

The measure, which goes into effect Thursday, already has forced hundreds if not thousands of Ohio companies to remove or rewrite rules that prohibit or regulate weaponry in the workplace.

"Every client who has called - and thatís several dozen - every one wants to know how to bar weapons from their workplace," said Jackie Ford, a partner at the law firm Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease.

"We have yet to hear from a client who says, ĎHow can I have concealed weapons in the workplace? Please, that would be great.í

"This is legislation that has been written on a napkin."

The law allows concealed weapons to be brought into every workplace - except government buildings, day-care centers, airports and bars - unless employers notify visitors and employees at the entrance that a weapons ban is in place.

Sponsored by state Rep. Jim Aslanides, a Republican from Coshocton, the law allows sheriffs to issue gun permits. Among the requirements, Ohioans must not be felons and they must complete a criminal background check and a safety-training course and pass a test.

Gun-free zones

Last month, Procter & Gamble Co. sent an e-mail to all its employees to notify them that the concealed handgun law was signed into law and would go into effect April 8.

The companyís workplace violence prevention policy prohibits workers or visitors from bringing weaponry onto P&G property.

That policy will not change.

"We reminded our employees of the longstanding principle we have of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for individuals," P&G spokesman Terry Loftus said.

The company will not post signs about weaponry. Instead, P&G will post on visitor cards and sign-in sheets the policy against concealed handguns on company property.

Loth MBI Inc., which provides workplace solutions and sells office furniture and accessories at its Sharonville headquarters, will ban weapons at the facility and prohibit employees from taking them to clientsí workplaces.

"We intend to post signs - probably in the employee lounge and on the doors at employee entrances," said Joe Elfers, chief financial officer for Loth MBI, which employs 110.

That is likely to be the approach, too, at Clark DD-A, a Sharonville-based distributor of industrial engines and transmissions.

"It has long been our company policy to prohibit handguns, and thatís not going to change," said George Wunderlich, customer support manager.

Executives at Clark DD-A are debating how to notify visitors of the ban. "We will probably post a sign," Wunderlich said. "Thatís probably the only way to advise first-time customers."

A workplace safety policy is in place at SS&G Financial Services, which employs 25 people at the Montgomery office, and it bans concealed weapons in the workplace, said Rebecca Osborne, director of human resources for the public accounting firm.

The office has not yet decided whether the ban will be posted to alert visitors.

And at Terry Lee Chevrolet in the Kings Auto Mall in Deerfield Township, general manager Mel Lehrner said a handbook for the 85 employees has been amended to reflect the new law and the old policy against handguns.

"We will post on our doors that we donít want people in our establishment who are concealing and carrying weapons," Lehrner said. "We want to protect our employees and customers. If (customers) have a gun, they can leave it out in their car."

Sense of security

Among the workplace implications for the Ohio law:

. Employers will decide whether they want guns on their premises and whether they want someone who brings a gun onto their property to face criminal liability.

. Employers who operate company parking areas will have to decide whether to allow employees to have guns in their cars.

. Retailers and others whose businesses are open to the public may have to post signs if they do not want armed individuals on site.

. Employers may have to negotiate with unions regarding any changes to current policies.

. Employers have immunity for injuries caused by an individual who brings a licensed handgun onto property unless the employer acted with "malicious purpose" in the incident.

One workplace that is not going to post signs or notices banning weapons is Madisonville-based Cincinnati Motor Car, which specializes in repairing cars made by BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

"I think the law will reduce the crime rate," said John Brindle, 56, who owns Cincinnati Motor Car.

"Crimes of opportunity may be reduced. The perpetrators might have to think twice. There will be less crime when people have second thoughts."

On a personal note, Brindle said, he will feel safer walking his Alaskan Malamute, Misby, at night in his Hartwell neighborhood. He and his dog were attacked in 2001 by a loose pit bull named Sweet Pea, which he could have shot had he been allowed to carry a gun.

"You talk about feeling defenseless. It almost killed my dog - and I have a very big dog," he said. "I had my hands in the pit bullís mouth that night. Thatís not a very safe feeling."

Handguns at Cincinnati Motor Car are out of sight but commonplace, said Brindleís wife, Sharon, the companyís office manager.

In fact, the Brindles worry about legalities if they decided to ban weapons from workers, customers or visitors.

"If a person had to leave his gun in a car and is harmed because of that, wouldnít he have a great lawsuit?" she said. "Iíd think the shop owner would be wide open to litigation."

While the Ohio measure goes into effect Thursday, Kentucky passed a law in 1996 that offered permits for residents to carry concealed weapons.

Brian Hendricks, 32, of Campbell County, does not own a weapon, but he doesnít worry about others carrying weapons to work.

He is a drywall installer and says that as long as there is a Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he would not be surprised if people around him at work were armed.

"Every American has the right to protect himself," Hendricks said.

Subject: [caepv] Digest Number 208

Date: 8 Apr 2004 10:38:54 -0000

From: caepv@yahoogroups.com

To: caepv@yahoogroups.com

There are 3 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. ESC Wary of Beefing Up Safety After Shooting

From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>

2. Some Workers Pack More Than Lunch (OHIO)

From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>

3. Workplace Violence Expert W. Barry Nixon Discusses How to Create a Safe Workplace

From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org> 

Message: 1

Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 08:04:47 -0500

From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>

Subject:ESC Wary of Beefing Up Safety After Shooting

ESC wary of beefing up safety after shooting

By Kerra L. Bolton, STAFF WRITERApril 6, 2004 10:45 p.m.

(Source: CitizenTimes.com)

HENDERSONVILLE, NC- Officials with the N.C. Employment Security Commission said Tuesday they are reluctant to install metal detectors, plexiglass or other security equipment in the aftermath of a fatal shooting at its Hendersonville office.

An angry client, upset about unemployment benefits, last week shot and killed manager Letcher Beatty and injured another employee, Ronald Piercy, police said. Memorial services for Beatty will be held today.

The shooting was the first at an agency office in the ESCís 70-year history. The ESC has 91 local offices across the state and deals with 450,000 people a year.

Harry Payne, the agencyís chairman, said the ESC must balance security concerns with carrying out its public mission.

"Our offices are set up to be part of the community," Payne said. "People know each other. They come in with a lot of emotion when theyíve lost their job, been laid off or donít like their job and want another one."

Thatís why Melissa Yost of Hendersonville thinks the offices should install screening and security devices. Yost said she was in the Hendersonville office when William "Billy" Case opened fire last week. Since then, Yost said sheís suffered panic attacks and has had trouble sleeping.

"They have metal detectors all over Hendersonville, but not in an unemployment office where so many people come in there upset," she said.

Case was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder and is being held without bond in the Henderson County jail.

State administrators said the ESC will reinforce its safety policies, which include recognizing the signs of potential violence, notifying local law enforcement of problems, being aware of circumstances inside and outside of the facility and working on the best way to deliver bad news to people.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, people are used to going through metal detectors and other security measures at public places like airports, courtrooms, and government office buildings, said Steve Kaufer, co-founder of the Workplace Violence Research Institute. The Florida-based company provides consulting and training for organizations that want to reduce their potential for workplace violence.

"Most places donít want to go to those extremes because it creates an adversarial relationship," Kaufer said. "At least (with increased security) the people coming in to meet with you donít have a weapon. But they could cause harm."

But agencies face the problem of paying for increased security. They have to hire armed personnel to staff a metal detection point, for example, just in case anyone brings a weapon inside the building. And finding money for increased security could be difficult as states across the country grapple with budget deficits, Kaufer said.

South Carolinaís Employment Security Commission reinforced its safety policies after hearing about the Hendersonville shooting. But like their northern neighbor, South Carolinaís security policies donít contain metal detectors or other security equipment. The agency doesnít have any immediate plans to install them, said James Horton, an agency administrator.

"Itís difficult to prepare for every possible situation," Horton said. "Everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. Weíll do whatever is necessary

[This message contained attachments]

Message: 2

Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 08:11:00 -0500

From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>

Subject: Some Workers Pack More Than Lunch (OHIO)

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Some workers pack more than lunch

Concealed-carry gun law in effect Thursday

By John Eckberg (Cincinnati Enquirer)

The Cincinnati Enquirer

A new Ohio law that allows people to carry concealed weapons might give some soon-to-be-armed individuals a greater sense of security - but itís creating headaches for many employers.

The measure, which goes into effect Thursday, already has forced hundreds if not thousands of Ohio companies to remove or rewrite rules that prohibit or regulate weaponry in the workplace.

"Every client who has called - and thatís several dozen - every one wants to know how to bar weapons from their workplace," said Jackie Ford, a partner at the law firm Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease.

"We have yet to hear from a client who says, ĎHow can I have concealed weapons in the workplace? Please, that would be great.í

"This is legislation that has been written on a napkin."

The law allows concealed weapons to be brought into every workplace - except government buildings, day-care centers, airports and bars - unless employers notify visitors and employees at the entrance that a weapons ban is in place.

Sponsored by state Rep. Jim Aslanides, a Republican from Coshocton, the law allows sheriffs to issue gun permits. Among the requirements, Ohioans must not be felons and they must complete a criminal background check and a safety-training course and pass a test.

Gun-free zones

Last month, Procter & Gamble Co. sent an e-mail to all its employees to notify them that the concealed handgun law was signed into law and would go into effect April 8.

The companyís workplace violence prevention policy prohibits workers or visitors from bringing weaponry onto P&G property.

That policy will not change.

"We reminded our employees of the longstanding principle we have of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for individuals," P&G spokesman Terry Loftus said.

The company will not post signs about weaponry. Instead, P&G will post on visitor cards and sign-in sheets the policy against concealed handguns on company property.

Loth MBI Inc., which provides workplace solutions and sells office furniture and accessories at its Sharonville headquarters, will ban weapons at the facility and prohibit employees from taking them to clientsí workplaces.

"We intend to post signs - probably in the employee lounge and on the doors at employee entrances," said Joe Elfers, chief financial officer for Loth MBI, which employs 110.

That is likely to be the approach, too, at Clark DD-A, a Sharonville-based distributor of industrial engines and transmissions.

"It has long been our company policy to prohibit handguns, and thatís not going to change," said George Wunderlich, customer support manager.

Executives at Clark DD-A are debating how to notify visitors of the ban. "We will probably post a sign," Wunderlich said. "Thatís probably the only way to advise first-time customers."

A workplace safety policy is in place at SS&G Financial Services, which employs 25 people at the Montgomery office, and it bans concealed weapons in the workplace, said Rebecca Osborne, director of human resources for the public accounting firm.

The office has not yet decided whether the ban will be posted to alert visitors.

And at Terry Lee Chevrolet in the Kings Auto Mall in Deerfield Township, general manager Mel Lehrner said a handbook for the 85 employees has been amended to reflect the new law and the old policy against handguns.

"We will post on our doors that we donít want people in our establishment who are concealing and carrying weapons," Lehrner said. "We want to protect our employees and customers. If (customers) have a gun, they can leave it out in their car."

Sense of security

Among the workplace implications for the Ohio law:

. Employers will decide whether they want guns on their premises and whether they want someone who brings a gun onto their property to face criminal liability.

. Employers who operate company parking areas will have to decide whether to allow employees to have guns in their cars.

. Retailers and others whose businesses are open to the public may have to post signs if they do not want armed individuals on site.

. Employers may have to negotiate with unions regarding any changes to current policies.

. Employers have immunity for injuries caused by an individual who brings a licensed handgun onto property unless the employer acted with "malicious purpose" in the incident.

One workplace that is not going to post signs or notices banning weapons is Madisonville-based Cincinnati Motor Car, which specializes in repairing cars made by BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

"I think the law will reduce the crime rate," said John Brindle, 56, who owns Cincinnati Motor Car.

"Crimes of opportunity may be reduced. The perpetrators might have to think twice. There will be less crime when people have second thoughts."

On a personal note, Brindle said, he will feel safer walking his Alaskan Malamute, Misby, at night in his Hartwell neighborhood. He and his dog were attacked in 2001 by a loose pit bull named Sweet Pea, which he could have shot had he been allowed to carry a gun.

"You talk about feeling defenseless. It almost killed my dog - and I have a very big dog," he said. "I had my hands in the pit bullís mouth that night. Thatís not a very safe feeling."

Handguns at Cincinnati Motor Car are out of sight but commonplace, said Brindleís wife, Sharon, the companyís office manager.

In fact, the Brindles worry about legalities if they decided to ban weapons from workers, customers or visitors.

"If a person had to leave his gun in a car and is harmed because of that, wouldnít he have a great lawsuit?" she said. "Iíd think the shop owner would be wide open to litigation."

While the Ohio measure goes into effect Thursday, Kentucky passed a law in 1996 that offered permits for residents to carry concealed weapons.

Brian Hendricks, 32, of Campbell County, does not own a weapon, but he doesnít worry about others carrying weapons to work.

He is a drywall installer and says that as long as there is a Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he would not be surprised if people around him at work were armed.

"Every American has the right to protect himself," Hendricks said.

E-mail jeckberg@enquirer.com

[This message contained attachments] 

Message: 3

Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 08:08:11 -0500

From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>

Subject: Workplace Violence Expert W. Barry Nixon Discusses How to Create a Safe Workplace

Workplace Violence Expert W. Barry Nixon Discusses How to Create a Safe Workplace: The Complete Hiring Process to Screen for Potentially Violent Individuals (Note: Barry Nixon and his organization are members of the Corporate Alliance)

Preeminent workplace violence expert, W. Barry Nixon, Executive Director, National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc., will present a workshop devoted to "The Complete Hiring Process to Screen for Potentially Violent Individuals", Monday, April 19, 2004, 1:00-2:15 p.m., at the Employment Management Associationís 35th Annual Conference & Exposition in Washington, DC. The presentation will focus on how to create a safe workplace by identifying the components of a systematic selection process to assess an individualís propensity for violence.

LAKE FOREST, CA (PRWEB) April 7, 2004 -- Preeminent workplace violence expert, W. Barry Nixon, Executive Director, National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc., will present a workshop devoted to "The Complete Hiring Process to Screen for Potentially Violent Individuals", Monday, April 19, 2004, 1:00-2:15 p.m., at the Employment Management Associationís 35th Annual Conference & Exposition in Washington, DC. The presentation will focus on how to create a safe workplace by identifying the components of a systematic selection process to assess an individualís propensity for violence.

Media will be interested in attending the workshop to get an update on how the emerging issue of workplace violence is forcing a renewed emphasis on the hiring practices of organizations; not only to avoid negligent hiring suits by injured persons and/or their surviving relatives, but also to avoid the high cost and devastating impact that a serious violent incident can create in the work environment. Estimates place the cost to US employers between $4.2 and $36 billion annually.

Topics include:

Complete details and a full review of workplace violence issues can be found at www.workplaceviolence911.com, or by calling W. Barry Nixon at 949-770-5264 or emailing wbnixon@aol.com.

Mr. Nixon is Founder and President of the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence. He is a recognized expert in Workplace Violence Prevention, a sought after speaker, an accomplished writer and has appeared on major news shows including ABC, MSNBC and NBC. He is also the host of the popular radio show "Workplace Violence Today". Nixon serves as the Workplace Violence consultant for the State of California as well as many other organizations in both the public and private sector. A partial client list includes Gillette, Canon, Beckman Coulter, Caltrans and Southern California Ediso

[This message contained attachments] 

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