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Can you prohibit your employees from bringing firearms to your workplace? You may think the answer is yes, but it’s more complicated. Recent state laws on gun rights have raised questions regarding guns at work. Here we will try to boil it down for you.

New State Gun Laws Generally

A few states have recently introduced laws about firearms, although not specifically about guns in the workplace. For example, Alabama’s 2023 concealed carry law allows individuals to carry a concealed firearm on public property without a permit. The law also allows individuals to carry a firearm in a vehicle without a permit. There are various limitations on where someone can take the gun without express permission from the person with authority over the premises, such as courthouses and facilities hosting athletic events. People must also declare, if asked by police, that they are carrying a concealed gun or a gun in a vehicle.

Similarly, in Louisiana, starting July 4, 2024, individuals may carry a concealed weapon in public as long as they are at least 18 years old and may legally possess a firearm, even without obtaining a permit. There are some prohibited locations, like government buildings, places of worship, or any location where “No Firearms Allowed” signs are posted. There are also some prohibited circumstances, such as when a person is under the influence or a convicted felon.

What This Means for Employers in Alabama and Louisiana

You might ask, what does this mean for my workplace? Can I prohibit employees from bringing firearms to work? This will depend on state law.

Sticking with the two states mentioned above, Alabama employers can prohibit employees from bringing firearms on property or while engaged in their employment duties. However, you cannot prohibit Alabama employees from keeping guns in their cars at work. Specifically, Alabama employees are allowed to keep “lawfully possessed” firearms in their privately owned vehicles “while parked or operated in a public or private parking area” if:

  • The vehicle is in a location where it is permitted to be;
  • For a vehicle attended by the employee, the firearm is kept from ordinary observation within the person’s vehicle; and
  • For a vehicle unattended by the employee, the firearm is kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment, container, or in the interior of the vehicle or in a compartment or container securely affixed to the vehicle.

If your Alabama employees have hunting guns (i.e., not pistols) in their vehicles at work, they must meet the above requirements and a few more:

  • The employee must possess a valid Alabama hunting license;
  • The weapon must be unloaded at all times on the property;
  • It must be during a season in which hunting is permitted by Alabama law or regulation;
  • The employee has never been convicted of any crime of violence, convicted of other certain crimes, or subject to a domestic violence protection order; and
  • The employee has no documented prior workplace incidents involving the threat of physical injury or that resulted in physical injury.

If the employee has satisfied these requirements, Alabama law explicitly prohibits employers from taking adverse action against the employee for having a firearm in their privately owned vehicle.

Of course, there are some exceptions in the Alabama law:

  • If you believe an employee presents a risk of harm to themselves or others, you may ask whether the employee has a firearm in his or her vehicle. You can also report that to law enforcement.
  • If you believe that an employee’s vehicle contains a firearm prohibited by law or any stolen property, you can report that to law enforcement.
  • You can prevent an employee from bringing a firearm on your grounds if the employee has intent to do bodily harm.
  • If “the transportation, carrying, storing, or possession of a firearm or ammunition [is] prohibited by federal law,” then federal law prevails.

In Louisiana, the new concealed carry law explicitly gives employers the right to prohibit firearms on their property if they post a sign to that effect. However, like in Alabama, Louisiana law permits employees to carry a legally owned and lawfully possessed firearm in their personal vehicle, even while on employer property. You may be able to restrict guns in cars, however, if (1) access to the property is restricted or limited through the use of a fence, gate, security station, signage, or other means of limiting general public access, and (2) you provide facilities for the temporary storage of unloaded firearms or provide an alternative parking area reasonably close to the main parking area in which employees may transport or store firearms in locked, privately owned motor vehicles.


Workplace violence has become more common in recent years, and some states have even enacted laws in response to that trend. (For more information on Texas and California laws to protect employees from workplace violence, see our previous blog). So, new laws loosening the reins on firearm restrictions generally may raise safety concerns for the workplace. As always, you want to make sure your employees know what to do if violence occurs in the workplace. As you formulate those policies and procedures, be thoughtful of any state law that protects an employee’s right to have a firearm on your premises, or that gives you the right to place restrictions on firearm possession.