Imagine a person who feels compelled to buy a handgun and get a carry permit (permission to carry a handgun on their person) after receiving death threats. He wants to carry it on him to and from work, storing it in his locker while working.

However, management won't allow employees to bring firearms onto the premises. An employee could easily bring a firearm to work without being detected. However, employees are required to pass through a metal detector when leaving the building.

So, is there a law that requires an employer to make an exception for an employee who has to carry a firearm for self-defense?

EDIT: Someone pointed out that the words "has to carry" may be a source of confusion. I'm not sure if I should reword that or not. I don't think many CEO's would let an employee bring a gun to work just for the fun of it. Therefore, my question probably should focus on someone who can demonstrate a legitimate need for carrying a handgun. Of course, what constitutes a legitimate need - and how one would prove such a need exists - is a topic for another discussion.

Also, my original question specified Washington State, but I accepted an suggested edit to remove "Washington State" from the title.


There is no law that prohibits the owner of private property from controlling access to their property, with respect to firearms, so anybody other than the government can prohibit firearms on their property. This is affirmed in Chan v. City of Seattle, 164 Wn. App. 549, Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association v. City of Sequim, 158 Wn.2d 342 and Cherry v. Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, 116 Wn.2d 794, there municipalities attempted to contravene state law and prohibit firearms on public property, claiming a proprietary right to exclude firearms (local government cannot pass more restrictive law regarding firearms). The courts affirmed that proprietary right to exclude weapons (which is superseded by the preemption statute). There are various statutory restrictions on firearms, and exceptions to restrictions, for example police are allowed to carry firearms when ordinary citizens cannot. There are laws restricting concealed carry, which do not apply in a person's abode or place of business. This is not a complete listing of laws about who can have firearms where, for that see RCW Ch. 9.41.

  • 1
    If I understand your answer, you're saying that the owner of a company/corporation has the final say in such manners. Even if an employer can document the need for personal protection (e.g. death threats), the CEO can still say, "Sorry, no guns on the premises." Is that a correct summary of your answer? – David Blomstrom Oct 24 '19 at 1:51
  • 31
    Yes, that is the owner's right. – user6726 Oct 24 '19 at 4:35
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – feetwet Oct 25 '19 at 19:17
  • 1
    The Right to Bear Arms in the Constitution prevents the government from restricting guns, not people or companies. – Keltari Oct 27 '19 at 1:58
  • 1
    If one of my colleagues felt so threatened that they need to bring a firearm to work, I would hope that my employer doesn't let them anywhere near the premises, because that danger to the colleague would also be a danger to me and everyone else. – gnasher729 Oct 27 '19 at 12:50

This link may help: https://www.northwestfirearms.com/threads/washington-state-frequently-asked-questions-about-gun-carry.34323/

4) Can I carry in a bank, grocery store, church? They are all private property and may impose their own rules. The Federal Government may own shares of a bank but they DO NOT function as Federal Property.

The worst they can legally do is fire you, and only if that is somewhere in their policy. Also depending on their policy, you could probably get management to make an exception.

  • 1
    Actually, they can fire you just because they want to. As long as it's not race, religion... – user6726 Oct 25 '19 at 19:30
  • It would be interesting to fight a case on the basis of gun ownership being a religion. To an outsider from the UK that's what it looks like! Do the NRA ever invoke 'God-given' rights? – Laurence Payne Oct 26 '19 at 13:29
  • 3
    @Laurence It wouldnt be too far from reality. Sikhs carry a knife as a part of their religion. – Matt Oct 26 '19 at 13:52
  • @user6726 They would also have a very good reason to keep you away from the business. You wouldn't want to risk armed gangsters coming to your business, putting the other employees and customers into danger. If OPs fear is realistic, then I wouldn't want to be anywhere near them. – gnasher729 Oct 27 '19 at 12:54
  • Of course, the gun-head argument would be that the gun INCREASED everyone's safety. When Trump recently visited the UK, perhaps we should have temporarily relaxed our gun ban. All those fine citizens with guns would have made him feel SO safe! – Laurence Payne Oct 27 '19 at 19:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.