The "EDC" mindset quite literally means carrying every day and every time you leave the house. For many people this also includes carrying their gun at work. However, there is more that goes into the decision to carry your gun at work. There are many stories out there about men and women who have been put into unsafe situations either at their workplace, or while going to and from work. When making your decision about workplace carry, remember that each situation is unique - think about how workplace carry could be implemented in your life and in your particular employment scenario.
Why Carry at Work?
According to the CDC, there were over 20,000 incidents of workplace violence in 2018, of which 71% of victims were female. That same year, there were also 453 workplace homicide victims. Workplace violence can be broken down into 4 categories including criminal intent, customer, employee-on-employee, and personal relationship. Each of these categories can present a threat to employees and because of that, they should be ready and able to stop a potential threat.
Being at work most likely means that we aren't putting as much attention towards situational awareness. It is easy to fall into a state of comfort when you are in a location where you spend a great deal of time, like your office. Unfortunately, a lack of awareness and letting your guard down can increase the likelihood that you would be a target for workplace violence. Even if you are in a secure office, remember that violence between coworkers is one of the categories of workplace violence.
Anyone who carries their gun every day can usually testify to the fact that they do so because danger has the potential to strike at anytime, including between the hours of 9 to 5. Consider the daily activities of your job. Things like interacting with members of the public, meeting up with work acquaintances outside the office, and entering into other workplaces to meet with people you don't have an established relationship with, all have the potential to expose you to a dangerous situation.
Being able to identify a potential threat is one of the best ways to be able to effectively stop that threat. In addition to situational awareness in the traditional sense, there are warning signs of workplace violence and assaults. The list includes (but is not limited to) behavior such as changes in job performance, violation of employment policies, hopelessness or withdrawal, and the use of verbal threats or vindictive comments.
Tips for Carrying at Work
When deciding how to carry concealed at work, consider what a typical day looks like for you. What type of clothing do you wear to work? Do you spend your day sitting at a desk or up moving around? For people who need to wear business professional style clothing, like a suit, it is still possible to conceal your gun. Consider a low-profile option like our Kompis holster. This holster has the option to add an Ulticlip, which will allow your holster to be tuckable and secure while being used behind a belt, rather than over a belt. Tucking in your shirt, and covering your clip with a belt is a great way to maintain complete concealment in business attire. For individuals who may be moving around a lot throughout the day, the Valknut IWB holster is a comfortable holster that has many different clip options to keep it secure when moving around.
We highly recommend carrying on-body when carrying at your workplace. This will ensure that you are the only person who has access to your gun. While carrying in a bag or keeping your gun in your desk can seem tempting, it opens up the potential for a coworker or client to get possession of your gun. This is especially dangerous when that individual lacks proper training or has poor intentions.
Workplace Policy Considerations
Workplace or employment policies have the ability to limit your ability to carry at work. While these policies can depend on your location and your specific company, they are definitely something to be aware of. Private employers are generally able to create policies that restrict or prohibit the carrying of firearms on company property or while performing duties within the scope of employment. These policies may also carry ramifications for not properly following them, which could even include termination. However, these policies are usually not enforced by any Federal laws. This is where carrying at work can become a grey area. Deciding whether or not to carry at work comes down to finding a balance and understanding the laws that will apply to you. We always recommend fully understanding and following both Federal and state laws.
On the Federal level, there are certain places where it is illegal to carry. This includes places such as Federal buildings, courthouses, and airports to name a few. If you work in any of these places or visit these locations in the course of your work, you would face serious legal consequences for carrying there.
On the state level, laws and policies vary depending on where you are located. Some states have laws that prevent employers from prohibiting the storage of firearms in vehicles by employees, even while parked on company property. Some states have laws that require businesses to have a clearly posted notice of their firearm policy. The way each state enforces concealed carry policy is different so the most important takeaway is to know your state's laws and how they will apply to your company and your employment situation.
For information on Utah state laws regarding concealed carry in the workplace, check out this article.
*this is not legal advice, make sure to consult your local laws surrounding concealed carry