Carrying at the office

Now, if you want a hot-button issue, bring up using your CCW to carry at your place of employment.  I have known some pretty staunch “pro-gun” people who draw the line at carrying at work; and I know some equally staunch pro-gunners that insist that carrying at work is a good thing.

I don’t carry at work, although I could.  Our dress code is pretty relaxed, to the point where if I wanted to conceal my Taurus .45, it wouldn’t be a problem.  Despite that, I don’t.  I worry about that one mistake – if someone saw my gun, if something happened and it was revealed that I was armed, it would most certainly cost me my job.  So, I don’t carry at work.

I don’t leave it in the car, either – the thought of my car getting stolen out of the lot and inadvertently arming some scumbag is something that I can’t really deal with.  So, I don’t carry at work.  Which means I don’t carry on my drive to or from work, and I’m not carrying in the event that I have to run some errands on my way home.

My problem with places that prohibit employees who have the proper licenses from carrying at work is that sometimes people try to kill you where you work.  Who hasn’t seen a coworker get fired and leave angry, then wonder in the back of your mind if they’re going to come back and try to “get revenge”?

I dislike not being able to carry where I work, and I don’t like leaving a gun in my car, either.  All around, it’s a bad situation for lawful gun owners.

What are you thoughts on office/work carry?


  1. I can’t carry at work, either, nor can I leave it in my car (I work on a Federal Installation).

    If I could, I would, even if it was my .32 derringer in my pocket.

    If I had a job where carrying in the office wouldn’t be feasible, I’d leave mine in the car. I’d also never mention it to anyone.

  2. Wish I could, but don’t. Even thought have thought about carrying a pocket pistol from time to time. No one would know, but then again for the same reason as you mention, I don’t. I do keep my gun, locked in a steel box in the trunk and hidden away. Gotta parking on the upper level, where there are fewer eyes, to put in there. Then drive down to the lower level and park, so the car will be on camera all day long.

  3. I’m suddenly reminded of a friend of mine, from several years ago, who always carried a butterfly knife or something similarly pointy. Fewer legal issues (I think) and easier to conceal. The only time I ever saw it come out was when he had to open a box or something. Admittedly, he was also big and imposing, but I can’t help but think that even a knife is generally superior to nothing at all.

  4. My company does not have a written policy about carrying (at least not that I know of…It has never been provided amongst the reams of company policy that I have been required to acknowledge) and I firmly believe in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rules of engagement.

    If they discovered me carrying and fired me, I think I would have good grounds for a lawsuit. At worst, an incident like that would probably prompt them to issue a written policy forbidding it…at which time I’d have to re-evaluate my behavior. In any case, I’m imminently employable so I’m not overly concerned about unemployment.

    In general, i think carrying at work makes as much sense as carrying anywhere else. For most people in average jobs, the odds of workplace violence happening anywhere near them are slim to none, but that one time that it does happen, I would rather be able to shoot back rather than have my two choices be charge into gunfire with my bare hands or cower under a desk and pray for God’s intervention.

    With said, just like any other decision, it is a matter of a cost-benefit analysis. What are the chances of needing to be armed in the workplace versus the personal hardship that would be incurred were you to be fired?

    For people employed in certain high risk industries…food delivery drivers, convenience/liquor store clerks, cab drivers etc…carrying contrary to company policy is understandable (and, IMHO, laudable).

    On the other hand, the hardship should you lose your job may outweigh the benefits of carrying if you work in a low risk environment.

    In other words, I think it is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves based upon their own personal circumstances. But anyone who carries contrary to company policy needs to be prepared for the very real possibility of being fired should they be discovered. All decisions have consequences.

    As I said before, I firmly believe in the premise of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. As long as my company has no policy of which I’m aware, I’m not going to ask them for permission…that virtually guarantees that they’ll forbid it…I’m just going to assume that no policy is good policy and carry. But I’m perfectly willing to accept the consequences of that decision should it turn out badly.

  5. In the interest of complete honesty…I work for a government contractor and much of my job involves being on a military base. I can’t and don’t carry there…I live close to the base so I can swing by the house and drop my pistol off on the way.

    When I’m at the office or out and about town, however, I’m armed…on or off the clock.

  6. Kal, on the knife thing – I do carry a knife to work, and although I could use it for self-defense, its greatest and most frequent use is for cutting apples or cheese.

  7. Sorry — have to “cloak” for this one.

    I carry at work. It’s prohibited, I do it anyway. A “Pocket Pistol” in a “wallet” holster, in a deep, rear pants pocket covered with a flap and buttoned. I wear “Izod” khakis because their pockets fit my holster perfectly.

    From the rear its “print” looks like every wallet carried by every other man. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to sit on, but I “adjust” it out of the way before sitting, like most of the other guys do with their wallets.

    Noone will ever know I carry unless I need to use it. Should I ever need to use it I’d rather be alive to be fired than dead — in any case my employment is over. I can’t understand why others don’t understand this simple fact.

    There’s simply no reason for anyone to know — nor even suspect — that I carry. I keep my bloody mouth shut about it at work and with coworkers — even those who have become friends. I can’t imagine a situation where my employer would have reason to suspect, much less ask about it directly. If they did, I would lie. I would un-tuck my shirt, show them my “spare tire” and look at them like they’d lost their minds.

    If they pushed the issue and asked me to empty my pockets, I’d say “you have GOT to be kidding!!!” and walk out of the room, indignant. I’d leave the building. When I returned, I’d have a fat wallet in the place formerly occupied by my pistol, and if they pressed the issue I’d show it to them then begin seeking new employ. Really — can anyone imagine a situation where this could actually happen?

    As an aside, my wife is a GFW. Nothing I could say or do will open her steel-trap mind on this issue. I also carry without HER knowledge, as she would simply FREAK if she knew.

    I’ve given her all the “tactical” talk about what to do if we’re robbed, etc. just left out “I’ll shoot the SOB” part. My (teenage) kids know, and part of their training is to get her out of the way.

    Sometimes discretion really *IS* the better part of valor…


  8. Unless I’m going somewhere with a metal detector, I carry. If it’s a place I’m not supposed to carry, I carry a Seecamp .380 in a Thunderwear jockstrap holster.

    No one is ever going to see it, unless I have to use it, and I’d rather be tried by 12, or fired, than carried by six.

  9. I printed & got made.
    I was interrogated…er “questioned”.
    I presented my CCW permit.
    Two weeks later the employee policies/handbook was RE-written to include the fact that even WITH a permit and authority given by the state…NO CARRY.
    If I get made again…I’m out of a job. Currently I’m testing very deep concealment methods. Any ideas/suggestions – shoot them my way. (forgive the bad pun)

  10. My office has never discussed it. There is no policy against it. We are not one of the banned places by law.

    That said, I would likely be fired if caught.

    I don’t care.

    I carry anything from an XD45 to a GLOCK 30 to a SW Airweight 38 depending on season and clothing.

    I work downtown. The empty condemned apartment building next door is popular with the meth heads. We’ve been broken into 3 times, and the boss refuses to install an alarm or new door. I was approached by two guys the other day… see my blog at for the full story… but I’m pretty sure these two were responsible for an attempted car jacking a few days later and 4 violent armed muggings the next week. I saw them coming and got out of the area first. Again, take a look at all the posts. And finally, the news reported last night that my model of pickup is now on the hot list for jackers.

    So… long story short. I carry, every day every place. The only time I am not armed is in my graduate classes (and I carried there when it was just a “kick me out of school” policy and before it was made a law).

    I am desperately seeking a new job, but having trouble doing so. If I can a job in a better part of town, I’d reconsider. But in my current situation, I refuse to be gunless (I’m never unarmed… armed is a state of mind).

  11. I work for my local government, which has a policy of no carry, even with a CHL, unless specifically authorized by the city manager. I know that if asked, I would be denied. Here’s the sticky bit. Oregon law specifically states that CHL holders shall be allowed to carry in “public buildings”, which are listed in statute, and which include, among other things, schools, hospitals and local government buildings…
    If I get caught, there could very well be a nasty firing, followed by an equally nasty lawsuit for violation of state law. There is a case in the courts right now, where an Oregon schoolteacher is suing the school district for abridging her right to carry on school grounds.
    So, I carry off body, in a maxpedition pack. I refer to it as my “purse”, and it goes everywhere with me. I do this because I frequently stoop, bend, twist and turn at work, and when I am in the field, it allows me to surreptitiously slip the firearm into my waistband before getting out of the car.
    Oh, by the way, I enforce local codes and regulations, in a non-police capacity, and frequently deal with angry, cranked out or otherwise disturbed members of the public, yet I am officially disallowed to be armed. Makes a lot of sense, no?..

  12. I carry. In Illinois. I have to keep it unloaded and in a sealed case, so I do. I can honestly claim I am doing it legally. I keep the gun in my briefcase in a deep pocket. Pretty useless there unless I have plenty of warning, but it is there. I also keep my ear protectors in the car so I can claim to be planning to practice that day.

    I am a realtor, so I am often alone in vacant houses on open houses, or with a single client. I carry then in a holster cocked and locked. This is pretty questionable legally, since I don’t have the owner’s express permission to carry, but at least it is on private property.

  13. I carry when I think I should. Period. I have never asked permission to do so. NO, I haven’t even asked the state if it is ok with them.

  14. The chances of my vehicle getting stolen are low enough for me to leave my piece in the lock box (solid steel baby). We have a strict policy against weapons, even in the parking lot. They can go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned.

    I don’t carry in work, though. I sit so far away from any door or elevator that I should be able to hear any trouble well before it gets to me. And if the person is coming for me personally, they’d be able to sucker punch me even if I was armed. So I weigh the risk against the need for me to remain employed. However, with a 45 minute commute I refuse to disarm while off their property.

    It’s a stupid policy because (and this is where I think I disagree with Ahab but I might be misreading him), I’m a CCW holder. If I were actually dangerous and were to get pissed, I’d go 3 miles down the road, pick up a new Glock 26 and come back. There’s no cooling off period for CCW holders so my company doesn’t “protect” themselves by not allowing it in my car.

    Everyone knows I’m a gun guy. I don’t hide the fact. I’ve assured everyone that I would never carry at work (a truth), but have strategically avoided the implication that my firearm is in my car (which it has been for 10 years now. No problems so far).

    I disagree with the argument that my car is on their property and therefor they have a right to decide what goes in it. However, I choose to work there and therefor it is my problem to deal with that I can’t carry at work. I could find another job or go into business for myself if it bothered me that much. But weighing the risks, I think I’m ok.

  15. My property is surrounded by someone else’s property, many someone elses. That does mean they can tell me what to do on mine. Same goes for my car in your lot.

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