Discussion of FLA ruling on guns in parking lots
A clear discussion, at last, in the St. Petersburg Times. The ruling apparently upheld rights of employees to have guns in parked cars, but not the right of customers to. The latter was keyed to how the legislature worded the statute, so they can amend it to cure the problem.
In the meantime, I wonder how a company would enforce against a customer anyway? They can always demand to search employees' cars with threat of firing them, but a customer has a right to tell them to go to. I doubt any commercial establishment that actually searched customers' cars as a condition to coming into the store would be in business very long.
Maybe they'll just ask to search cars with NRA stickers on the side?
This is the reason I think the law is really a solution in search of a problem... current Florida law gives no legal weight to "no guns allowed" signs. That means, as a customer, I can still carry my firearm onto a business's property either in my car or concealed on my hip. The only way I could face prosecution is if the owner discovers my firearms and I fail to leave upon their request.
So this is really a non-issue.
Posted by: Gregory Morris at July 31, 2008 07:37 PM
I have had a chance to read the entire opinion in this case. It is a VERY well written piece, and preserves the core of the original legislation - CCW holders may keep guns in their cars on their employer's parking lots. (The original bill allowed ALL employees to keep guns in their cars, but before final passage this was cut back to CCW holders only, presumably for internal political reasons.)
The part of the opinion that deals with businesses being able to keep CUSTOMERS from having guns in their cars is, as I read it, an (intellectually) accurate but (practically) irrelevant excursion into statutory and constitutional analysis. It is based on the very specific statutory definitions of the terms "employee" and "employer," which the judge observed "do not comport with ordinary English usage nor with the terms' commonly applied legal definitions." These definitions would have made sense when the law applied to all employees, but they became irrational (and were not changed) when the law's coverage was cut back to employees with CCW permits only.
There is little if any opposition in Florida to guns in cars. I have visited Florida at least once a year for the past 30 years and have never seen a parking lot posted against guns (for that matter, I haven't seen a business posted, either.) So the judge's decision that a business MAY forbid guns in customers' cars in its parking lot probably will have zero effect on the ground.
Posted by: wrangler5 at August 1, 2008 12:00 PM