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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  |  9 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.

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