Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No quick decision on guns-to-work case



Rhinkle U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said he would not issue a stop-order on the new guns-to-work law before it went into effect on July 1.

He said he expected to issue a written decision mid-July.

Buzz has no doubt after listening to the two-hour hearing that Hinkle will be scathing in his critique of the word-smiths who actually wrote the law that intends to prohibit employers from banning employees from keeping their guns in the work parking lot.

As Hinkle points out, the law doesn't entirely do what it intends to do, at least not as written.

"I read this law and I kind of scratched my head and said surely they didn't mean this?" Hinkle said.

As written, the law only applies to businesses who have employees who have concealed weapons permits, Hinkle noted. The law defines an employer as a company with employees. And it defines employees as people who have a valid concealed weapons permits.

So, a business whose employees own guns but not concealed weapons permits, would not be impacted under the new law. Therefore that business could continue to ban guns in their parking lot.

But then, the law also bans employers from asking their employees if they have a concealed weapons permit. That means that businesses have no way to know whether or not they have to follow the new law,  the judge noted.

"Should I rewrite this for them?" Hinkle asked Jonathan Glogau who is defending the state on behalf of the Attorney General's Office.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:25am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours