Bill Description: Senate Bill 1275 would protect employers from civil liability for allowing their employees to carry concealed weapons.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
Currently, Section 5-341, Idaho Code, says, "No action shall lie or be maintained for civil damages in any court of this state against an employer where the claim arises out of the policy of an employer to either specifically allow or not prohibit the lawful storage of firearms by employees in their personal motor vehicles on the employer’s business premises."
Senate Bill 1275 would expand this protection to include employers who "either specifically allow or not prohibit the lawful carrying of a firearm on an employee's person."
This 9-word addition to Idaho code has several significant implications, starting with an increased likelihood that employers would not prevent their employees from carrying.
Beyond that, providing protection for employers reduces fear of litigation for not banning firearms, which should inhibit insurance companies from using the prospect of litigation as an excuse to raise rates on employers who allow their employees to carry.
This bill does not explicitly prohibit insurance companies from financially incentivizing employers to prohibit carry, but it does make it much more difficult for insurance companies to justify such policies.
This 2016 article posted on the American Insuring Group website titled "Concealed Weapons and General Liability Insurance" is a good example of how insurance companies address the issue of concealed carry. In the article, the author says, "The list of potential problems that concealed weapon laws pose for you as an employer is quite long. … Banning weapons from your premises is a good start."
This bill should encourage employers not to stand in the way of individuals exercising their right to keep and bear arms.
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