Concealed Means Concealed
At the doctor’s office:
“Mr. Johnston, if you will please have a seat, the doctor will see you in a few minutes.”
“A few minutes? Like the last time when I waited an hour?”
“He is very busy, I will let him know you are waiting.”
“Gee, maybe if you knew I had a gun on me I might get better service!”
At the gun range:
“Cops come for my guns, they better bring body bags.”
“All I’m saying is that if they start sending cops to homes to round up guns, I’m not going down without a fight.”
“So, you are going to shoot at cops?!?”
“Well, not if they are not trying to take my guns.”
“Mr. Franklin, I heard your wife works at a tactical training facility.”
“That is so cool! Do you train there as well?”
“I do! I received my CCW permit from them.”
“That is awesome! I am thinking about getting one too. Glad to know that we have someone here that can protect us.”
So, the first two conversations (real ones, I might add) are obviously egregious and highlight the fact that stupidity is legion. The last one, though, might seem fairly benign, and I dare say one that many of you might have had (minus the fact that your wife works at a training facility).
All are problematic!
We hear stories each month of CCW holders having conversations that, at the very minimum, expose the holder to potential issues and, at worst, might trigger law enforcement contacts. As a general rule, though, most CCW holders are circumspect when it comes to discussing their status as a permit holder. It is easy, though, to get wrapped up in a conversation…especially at work… however, that could have, at the very least, employment implications.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
Many of you have met Angelica.
She works at our front desk, manages our HR, and if you have called in for an appointment during the day, you probably talked to her on the phone. She also coordinates our Church and Synagogue security training. We unofficially call her the head of our “God Squad”. A deeply religious person herself, she is married to a gentleman named Jason. Jason is an ordained pastor and, up until recently, a district sales manager at a large company.
Jason has had a CCW for years. Most of the time he carried was as a Florida resident, but he received his California CCW a number of years ago.
As is typically the case, people at work talk about their spouses. Jason is no different. It became known that Angelica works here at Artemis. In fact, Jason brought in members of his company for a corporate team-building event at Artemis. It also became known that Jason has a CCW.
All was good until someone in the company became disgruntled with Jason. It could have been an employee Jason soon would have to terminate or a peer who was threatened by Jason’s success in the company.
As information tends to travel organically throughout an organization, someone decided to use the fact that Jason has a CCW against him. A call was made to the corporate headquarters in North Carolina.
The HR gentleman asked Jason if he currently had a gun at work. Jason replied, “No, sir.” (He had not been carrying at work for about a year.) He then asked Jason if he currently had a gun in his car. Again, Jason replied, “No, sir.”
They then asked him if he had ever carried his gun to work.
Jason (remember, man of God) answered affirmatively. During his onboarding (which was a little over a year ago) in his current position, Jason had carried his gun to work. As a CCW holder, Jason carries daily; this was his normal routine. The company, however, has a “no-gun policy,” but does not, and did not, communicate that policy to Jason. Jason carried his gun until, while reviewing some HR documents, he discovered the policy. From that point forward Jason left his gun at home while at work.
Jason was instantly put on administrative leave, pending an “investigation”.
He told HR that once he discovered the policy he stopped carrying.
They terminated him the next day.
I would have advised him to answer that he is under no duty to disclose to his HR whether the Sheriff has specifically given him permission to carry a firearm outside of his home. In fact, doing so would be a violation of policy, and that he maintained himself consistent with the HR manual that was provided.
If they pressed him on the issue, I would have asked him to politely query:
“Are you investigating aspects of my personal life outside the scope of my employment?”
That would have probably shut it down.
Folks, we live in a world where people have an irrational fear of firearms. Many live in denial. It is unfortunate, but we have to deal with the empirical, not the normative. No one is entitled to information about your sex life, your marital arrangements, or your financial affairs. Likewise, no one is entitled to information about how you provide protection for you and your family.
As my law partner, Major Taormina, is fond of saying, “When dealing with the State (or an employer), remember the acronym S.T.F.U.
Steven Lieberman and Sandy Lieberman are the owners of the Artemis Defense Institute. A tactical training facility headquartered in occupied California. (www.artemishq.com). Mr. Lieberman is also one of the founding partners in the Law Offices of Lieberman and Taormina LLP. Their law firm specializes in use of force, and Second Amendment defense and litigation.