Weapons in the Workplace
The Minnesota Citizens' Personal Protection Act allows public and private employers to bar guns from their workplace, i.e., a building, structure, or portion thereof that is owned, leased, controlled, or operated by an employer (MN Stat. Sec. 624.714). A property owner cannot bar a tenant from allowing guns on leased premises.
Employers cannot prohibit carrying or possessing firearms in a parking lot or parking area or in vehicles. Religious institutions are exempt and may prohibit guns in parking lots. The carrying of firearms on lawn areas or areas immediately outside of buildings is not specifically addressed in the Act.
Policy considerations. The law provides that a public or private employer may establish a policy that restricts an employee from carrying or possessing a firearm while "acting in the course of and scope of employment" inside or outside of facilities. The policy should set out obligations specific to the workplace, disciplinary measures for noncompliance, which can include termination, and how the policy relates to other company policies. Separate distribution of the policy to employees and other constituents, electronically or in hard copy, would also be prudent.
Penalties. Entering or failing to leave a posted establishment while carrying or possessing a firearm is a petty misdemeanor. A gun cannot be taken away from someone in a posted building, even by police; however, the person can be arrested for trespassing. Only police are allowed to request to see a gun permit.
Exemptions. On-duty police officers and security guards acting in the course of employment are exempt. Off-duty police officers are not exempt from provisions of a private establishment.