|September 28, 2011|
Previously published on September 26, 2011
LD 35, An Act Relating to Concealed Firearms Locked in Vehicles, will become effective on Wednesday, September 28, 2011. This new law prohibits Maine employers from banning concealed guns in vehicles on workplace property.
What do Maine employers need to know about LD 35?
This law states that an employer may not prohibit an employee from keeping a firearm in his/her vehicle, if:
- the employee has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm
- the firearm is kept in the employee's vehicle and is not visible; and
- the vehicle is locked.
LD 35 also provides employers immunity from liability for any damages, injury or death involving the use or theft of a firearm that has been transported and stored on the premises as permitted by this new law.
Does LD 35 change Maine employers' rights to ban weapons on work premises?
Yes. Many employers have written policies that prohibit employees from bringing any weapons on workplace premises. Because employers can no longer prohibit employees from keeping concealed weapons in locked vehicles on company premises, employers with such policies will have to review and revise them to make sure they are consistent with this new law.
However, because the law addresses only concealed firearms kept in a vehicle, it does not affect employers' rights to ban employees from carrying weapons into work, or from having any weapons other than concealed firearms (with a valid permit) anywhere on workplace premises. Additionally, by its own terms, the law does not require an employer to authorize an employee to carry a firearm in a place where carrying a firearm is otherwise prohibited by law.