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If your state allows concealed carry, then firing an employee who is licensed to carry, just because he or she keeps a gun in the car while parked at work, may invite a wrongful discharge suit.

April 28th, 2012  |  Lorene Park  |  13 Comments

On April 26, the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed summary judgment in favor of an employer that fired an employee for keeping a gun in his car (Mitchell v University of Kentucky). In finding that the employee’s wrongful discharge claim should have been allowed to proceed, the court pointed to Kentucky statutes that preclude employers from prohibiting individuals with concealed carry licenses from storing firearms in their vehicles, even while on property owned by the employer. Although the case involved a public employer, the Kentucky statute applies to private employers as well. Further, it provides that an employer that fires an employee for lawfully storing a gun in his or her vehicle could be liable for civil damages.

Although most states which allow licensed individuals to carry concealed weapons also give property owners the right to ban firearms on their premises, Kentucky’s exception to this general rule is not unique. Indeed, a growing number of states are passing laws where the right to ban firearms does not extend to vehicles in employer parking lots. Although there are variations among these states, the laws typically provide that an employer may not prohibit an employee who has a valid concealed carry permit from keeping a firearm in the employee’s vehicle as long as the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible. Some of these states also provide that an employer is not liable in any civil action for damages, injury, or death resulting from another person’s actions involving a firearm transported or stored pursuant to the gun law, such as the theft of a firearm from an employee’s vehicle. States with these types of laws include Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.  Employers can expect to see additional state legislation on this important topic.


  1. deborah roy says:

    July 15th, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Just fired for this exact case. I’m a nurse which has concelled weapons permit. Terminated today.

  2. Larry says:

    January 7th, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Same here – got fired because I had it locked in the car at the client site.

  3. wilfried kaelin says:

    August 30th, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Im a vet just got fired cause mine in my truck at lot and im working 100 miles from it..what can I do

  4. DJ says:

    September 28th, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Has anyone here sued the employer for wrongful termination? My husband was fired for having a gun in his vehicle. He works in a rented office space and he has a concealed weapon permit. How can this be legal to terminate him? The gun laws in our state say otherwise.

  5. Ryan howard says:

    January 18th, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    I work at Marathon oil refinery in catlettsburg kentucky. They state that if a firearm or even a bullet is found in your vehicle which is parked in a lot at least 2 miles down the road they will terminate that employee on the spot. I have a ccw and I don’t see how they can do that. Are they legally allowed to do that?

  6. Stacey P says:

    October 27th, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I was terminated today for keeping a firearm in my car. Though I do not have a concealled weapons permit, I have vuolated no laws of Florida.

  7. David A says:

    April 8th, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I am from Texas and work for a company in Virgina. Can a company that leases 4 floor of a building ban what I have in my car from the parking garage that is a separate structure?

  8. Scott M says:

    July 28th, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Terminated with cause today – I am a CCW carrying lawfully in my vehicle.

  9. Jeremy says:

    September 8th, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I am not a lawyer but have this to say if your state has a law that states if you have a concealed weapons permit and there is a law on the books in your state that makes it legal to carry a concealed firearm in your car and you get fired i would contact a 2nd amendment attorney. and file suit aganst that company and get my your job back that is what i would do.

  10. Hank says:

    November 1st, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I was separated from employment at Honda of America manufacturing in Marysville Ohio . I have my CCW permit and my weapon was locked in my car while parked in the parking lot.someone overheard me and another guy talking about our CCW and told human resources that I had a weapon in my car. On October 17, 2016 they called me to the office and asked me if I had my CCW ,I said yes and asked me if I have my weapon in my car and I said yes .security went to my car and got my weapon out of my locked car and escorted me off the property . One week later on October 24, 2016 human resources called me at home and said that I would be separated from employment after 25 years ! perfect attendance. I always did a great job ,25 years ! My weapon was in a holster under the steering column and in my locked car ,I’ve had my CCW permit for many years. I just don’t understand . They said they separate at me because I was a severe threat ! Wow! Unbelievable!

  11. Jay T. says:

    November 5th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    So here is an interesting question. I live in Kentucky where employer can’t stop me as a CCDW permit holder from storing my firearm in my vehicle.

    Here is my quandary – My position affords me a Company Car for which I am allowed to use for personal use and am charged for personal use from each paycheck. Commuting to work is considered personal mileage. My company is a multi-national company who has a policy of no firearms even if I’m on vacation. Does KY’s law protect me in this case.

    In the past I had a liberal boss who didn’t like my conservative sticker on the window. I successfully argued with the support of HR that my personal use charge combined with not using the vehicle in direct transportation for work allowed me to do this. My HR department stood by my personal use assertion. I don’t want to try it with firearms as the company has taken the PC tactic of putting “No” guns signs at all of our offices.

  12. Tony says:

    April 16th, 2018 at 9:20 am

    My wife was fired for the same thing today. She works in the inner city crime infested area. Once she was told that she could not have it in the office she was made to sign a paper. From that day fwd she left it in the car since she gets off of work around 10pm and she’s alone.

  13. Nelson E. Coleman says:

    May 4th, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Can a person who works for an at will federal employer be fired for mistakenly bringing their conceal carry on the premises?

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