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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A federal judge says Florida employees can keep guns locked in their cars while at work - for now.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle released a preliminary injunction Monday night on a law that went into effect July 1. The merits of the case still need to be heard in court.

The new law was challenged in federal court in Tallahassee by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation, who believes it compromises safety. Judge Hinkle heard arguments against the law in late June.

At the hearing, Hinkle said the law is so badly written it's "stupid."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FL_PARKING_LOT_GUNS_FLOL-?SITE=FLPET&SECTION=HOME

At the hearing, Hinkle said the law is so badly written it's "stupid."
Looks like Tallahassee has some work to do.
 

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Federal judge upholds guns-at-work law

Federal judge upholds guns-at-work law

posted by Aaron Deslatte on Jul 29, 2008 8:03:59 AM

A federal judge has dealt a major defeat to Florida's business lobby by upholding the main thrust of a new law allowing employees with concealed weapons permits to take their guns to work.

The so called "guns-at-work" law was the product of a three-year clash between the powerful National Rifle Association and the equally influential business groups that command attention in Tallahassee. Lawmakers last spring split the difference and passed a watered-down bill that only allowed employees with concealed-weapons permits to store their weapons in the glove-compartment of their vehicles. But huge businesses like Walt Disney have claimed they are exempt from the law.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, though, announced in his 39-page order late Monday that Floridians with concealed weapons permits had the right to take their guns to work and leave them locked in their vehicles. However, he ruled the new law was unconstitutional "to the extent it compels some businesses but not others—with no rational basis for the distinction—to allow a customer to secure a gun in a vehicle."

As a result, Hinkle granted the Florida Chamber of Commerce's request for a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the unconstitutional provision.

Both the Chamber and NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said Tuesday morning they were still reviewing the order.

Sen. Durell Peaden, a Crestview Republican who helped draft the law, said he was mildly surprised by the ruling but expects business groups to appeal the decision. "This is just the beginning of the process," he said.

Federal judge upholds guns-at-work law

Federal judge upholds guns-at-work law

posted by Aaron Deslatte on Jul 29, 2008 8:03:59 AM

A federal judge has dealt a major defeat to Florida's business lobby by upholding the main thrust of a new law allowing employees with concealed weapons permits to take their guns to work.

The so called "guns-at-work" law was the product of a three-year clash between the powerful National Rifle Association and the equally influential business groups that command attention in Tallahassee. Lawmakers last spring split the difference and passed a watered-down bill that only allowed employees with concealed-weapons permits to store their weapons in the glove-compartment of their vehicles. But huge businesses like Walt Disney have claimed they are exempt from the law.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, though, announced in his 39-page order late Monday that Floridians with concealed weapons permits had the right to take their guns to work and leave them locked in their vehicles. However, he ruled the new law was unconstitutional "to the extent it compels some businesses but not others—with no rational basis for the distinction—to allow a customer to secure a gun in a vehicle."

As a result, Hinkle granted the Florida Chamber of Commerce's request for a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the unconstitutional provision.

Both the Chamber and NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said Tuesday morning they were still reviewing the order.

Sen. Durell Peaden, a Crestview Republican who helped draft the law, said he was mildly surprised by the ruling but expects business groups to appeal the decision. "This is just the beginning of the process," he said.

Read the opinion here: Download guns_at_work_ruling.pdf
 

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The OK guns in parking lot has been upheld by the Tenth Cir. The district judge there was not a smart as the one in FL but the appellate Court straightened him out.
 

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As has been stated here many times .... it is called a "Concealed" Weapon License for a reason.

What I have locked up in my personal vehicle is no business of anyone else as long as it is legal according to Federal and/or Florida Law.

I have gone into businesses that have the "No Weapons" signs and ignored them. Why? Because they do not have the support of Florida Law. I have carried concealed and they have no idea that I have it, and they have no idea how much safer their establishment is while I am there, and I keep it that way.

When I was in Ohio I could not ignore their signs because their signs had the support of the Ohio Revised Code of Law.

I will carry my firearm anywhere I want to in the State of Florida, as long as it is not in violation of Florida law.

The only concern one has to have is being terminated by their employer. I am curious though to see what happens when someone is terminated because they have a legal firearm locked in their personal vehicle, and the terminated employee files suit against his ex-employer for violation of his Civil Rights under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, and Florida Statutes.

I am hoping for a big "pay day" for the wrongfully terminated person that will teach other businesses the lesson to NOT violate the civil rights of their employees.
 

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I opened the link so people can read the article.


http://www.miamiherald.com/business/story/877258.html

Fired worker's suit tests Florida's concealed-gun law

A Boca Raton man claims he was fired in violation of Florida law for keeping a gun in his car while at work.

BY PATRICK DANNER
[email protected]

Packing heat got Steven Collazo sacked.

The Boca Raton man now is suing his former employer, the Florida subsidiary of a national funeral-home company, claiming his firing last month violated a new state law that allows people with concealed-weapons permits to have their firearms locked in their cars on workplace property.

The case is believed to be the first in South Florida since the law took effect July 1.

In Orlando, a security guard sued Walt Disney World in July after he was terminated for having a weapon in his car at work. He later dropped the suit because it was too costly to pursue, his lawyer said in an interview.

Collazo, 36, is seeking unspecified financial damages over his firing by SCI Funeral Services of Florida, in a lawsuit filed in Broward Circuit Court. His primary job was removing and delivering human remains.

''He was fired from a job that he liked and excelled at, and needed,'' said Marc Wites, Collazo's lawyer. ''It shouldn't have happened.'' Collazo, who has since gotten a job as a limousine driver, declined an interview request.

A spokeswoman for SCI parent Service Corp. International said it's the Houston-based company's policy not to comment on litigation.

Here's what Collazo's lawsuit claims happened:

Two SCI managers told Collazo in late November that two unidentified people spotted him with a gun in his pocket on company property in Pompano Beach.

Collazo denied the charge and offered to show the managers the gun in his vehicle. The managers declined the offer. The weapon isn't described in the lawsuit, and Wites wouldn't identify it.

HANDBOOK SHOWN

About a week later, the managers showed Collazo an employee handbook that details the company policy prohibiting ''carrying unauthorized weapons (firearms, knives, explosives, etc.) on company-owned facilities, such as buildings, grounds, parking facilities,'' the suit says.

Collazo responded that SCI's policy violated his rights. The suit goes on to allege the SCI managers told Collazo the two unidentified accusers said his gun had a pearl-colored handle. At that point, the managers and Collazo went out to his car, where he showed them the gun -- which the suit says is black.

A short time later, the managers told Collazo the two accusers said the gun was black. The pair also said they had never seen a gun, only a ''bulge'' in Collazo's pocket that they ''believed'' was a gun. Despite Collazo assuring the managers he never removed the gun from his car, he was fired, the suit alleges.

Collazo's case serves a cautionary tale for Florida businesses to verify that their corporate policies don't contradict the new Florida law, said David M. Goldman, a Jacksonville lawyer who writes a blog about firearm ownership and possession.

''If they do [conflict], they need to modify their handbooks to comply with the Florida statute so that managers don't inadvertently rely on clauses in the handbook to terminate someone when it's not proper,'' Goldman said.

Some Florida companies aren't entirely bound by the new law. Disney, for example, took advantage of an exemption for companies with a federal explosives permit. Disney presents daily fireworks shows at its theme park. Insurer USAA in Tampa is exempt because it has a school on company grounds.

The attorney general's office can sue employers to enforce the law, but it hasn't filed any lawsuits, spokeswoman Sandi Copes said in an e-mail. The office has received 31 complaints since July.

Some business groups fought the law on the grounds that it conflicts with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to maintain a safe work environment.

RULING APPEALED

A federal judge in 2007 found the Oklahoma law ran afoul of the federal regulations. The ruling is being appealed. But two weeks ago, Thomas Stohler, then acting assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the Oklahoma and Florida laws didn't conflict with federal law.

''Gun-related violence is not a recognized occupational hazard in industry as a whole, under normal working conditions,'' Stohler wrote in a letter to an Oklahoma state representative. ''Therefore, state laws protecting an employee's right to transport and store firearms in a locked car on employer premises would not on their face impede the employer's ability to comply'' with the federal act.
 
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