On November 1, most provisions of Wisconsin’s new “concealed carry” gun statute will go into effect. The law, which Governor Scott Walker signed in early July, establishes a licensing process that allows Wisconsinites age 21 and older to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon anywhere except school zones, police stations, penal institutions, courthouses, government offices with screening devices, and areas of airports beyond security checkpoints.
The statute affects workplace policies involving employees and weapons, so you should revisit those policies. Under the new law:
- You may prohibit employees from carrying weapons while they are working (on-site or off-site).
- You may not prevent employees from having weapons in your parking lot or in their personal vehicle, even if the vehicle is used for work.
- You may not require an employee to stop carrying a weapon as a condition of employment.
The new law does allow the owner of a nonresidential building or grounds or the occupant of a leased building to prohibit weapons on the property by prominently posting a sign no smaller than 5″x7″ at all entrances or access points where people can be reasonably expected to see it. Where the signs are posted, entering with a weapon is considered trespassing.
The new rules are covered in more detail in the August 2011 issue of Wisconsin Employment Law Letter.
Jessica E. Ozalp is an attorney with Axley Brynelson, LLP, in Madison. She can be reached at (608) 283-6744.