Immunity For Business Owners For Weapons While In The Scope Of Employment – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #26

A person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship, or business entity that doesn’t prohibit the carrying of a concealed or unconcealed weapon is immune from liability arising from the carrying of a concealed or unconcealed weapon. The incident must now occur while in the scope of employment. The incident must either happen on the property or in or about a business entity vehicle.

Business Owner’s Rights On Firearms

oklahoma business owner handgun liabilityExcept as provided in 21 O.S. § 1290.22 subsections B, C, and D, nothing contained in any provision of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act will be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of any person, property owner, tenant, employer, place of worship, or business entity to control the possession of weapons on any property owned or controlled by the person or business entity.

No person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship, or business entity can establish any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person, except a convicted felon, from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle. 21 O.S. § 1290.22(B)

A property owner, tenant, employer, place of worship or business entity may prohibit any person from carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm on the property. If the building or property is open to the public, the property owner, tenant, employer, place of worship, or business entity has to post signs on or about the property stating such prohibition. 21 O.S. § 1290.22(C)

No person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship, or business entity can establish any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person from carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm on any property designated by a city, town, county or state governmental authority as a park, recreational area, or fairgrounds. Carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm may be prohibited in the following places:

  1. The portion of a public property structure or building during an event authorized by the city, town, county, state, or federal governmental authority owning or controlling such building or structure;
  2. Any public property sports field, including any adjacent seating or adjacent area set aside for viewing a sporting event, where an elementary or secondary school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or an International Olympic Committee or organization or any committee subordinate to the International Olympic Committee event is being held;
  3. The fairgrounds during the Oklahoma State Fair or the Tulsa State Fair; and
  4. The portion of a public property structure or building that is leased or under contract to a business or not-for-profit entity or group for offices. cccc

The carrying of a concealed or unconcealed firearm by a person who has been issued a handgun license on property that has signs prohibiting the carrying of firearms shall not be deemed a criminal act but may subject the person to being denied entrance onto the property or removed from the property. If the person refuses to leave the property and a peace officer is summoned, the person may be issued a citation for an amount no greater than $250.

A person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship, or business entity that does or does not prohibit any individual except a convicted felon from carrying a loaded or unloaded, concealed or unconcealed weapon on property that the person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship, or business entity owns, or has legal control of, is immune from any liability arising from that decision. Except for acts of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, an employer who does or does not prohibit their employees from carrying a concealed or unconcealed weapon is immune from any liability arising from that decision. A person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship, or business entity that does not prohibit persons from carrying a concealed or unconcealed weapon per 21 O.S. § 1290.22(D) (above) is immune from any liability arising from the carrying of a concealed or unconcealed weapon, while in the scope of employment, on the property or in or about a business entity vehicle. These provisions don’t apply to claims pursuant to the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act. It will not be considered part of an employee’s job description or within the employee’s scope of employment if an employee is allowed to carry or discharge a weapon pursuant to this law.

An employer, employee or person who has suffered loss resulting from the discharge of a weapon may seek redress or damages of the person who discharged the weapon or used the weapon outside the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

SB 288 amended 21 O.S. § 1290.22. It went into effect November 1, 2017.

Sources: SB 288, 21 O.S. § 1277, & 21 O.S. § 1290.22

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