October 19, 2021

A Small Win for Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin Residents

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Back in 2016 a long term employee at Ameren Corp. was fired due to having a firearm in his vehicle that was found during a search of it on company property. This search was the result of heated arguments between the employee and supervisors over scheduling issues.

The company requested a search of the employee’s vehicle which they yielded to and the local Sheriff’s Deputy found a firearm in the vehicle. A few weeks had past and the company fired the employee in accordance to their “Violence Prevention” rules.

This is where the “win” is…kind of. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which reigns over Indiana and Illinois recently took on the case and decided that Illinois’ Concealed Carry Act trumped the contract between the employee and Ameren.

Indiana, to my knowledge, does not have as many firearm laws as the state of Illinois. A part of our carry permit (it’s not a “concealed carry permit” it’s just a “carry permit”) covers having a loaded firearm in your vehicle. For the Wisconsin residents… I have no idea what your laws are on carry, sorry!

That said, it is important to note that Judge Michael Stephen Kanne (appointed by Reagan) did say
“We stress that although the original dispute involved rules regulating the carrying of firearms, today’s dispute deals solely with the law of labor arbitration, neither party has raised any claim under the Second Amendment, and we express no opinion regarding the Concealed Carry Act or internal corporate policies regarding weapons.”

I have to express that I’m not a lawyer and that before doing anything you have to seek legal advice from someone that is. With that out of the way, what I’m getting from this ruling is that state law trumps a company’s policy on or in an employee’s private property. For those reading that are not in one of the states mentioned, this has no bearing on you. The 7th Court of Appeals only covers Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. As I learned from Adam Kraut, with this being a panel decision it can be requested to be heard en banc and that ruling can overturn a panel ruling.

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