Open Carry Activists speak out against proposed legislative violation of property rights that would favor gun carriers.
I’d like to thank Jason Gillman Jr. of RightMI who co-authored this piece with me. He and I are of one mind on this topic as we share the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as a core value of our lives.
About the authors…
So, I’m a huge gun guy. As a former President of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. (MOC) and the person who has held that office for the longest period of time, my creds on guns speak for themselves. But what brought me to advance gun freedom in the first place? My passion for human freedom and liberty. I must respect this drive foremost. That is why I am opposed to HB 5574. I believe that in order to have our (gun owner’s) rights respected, we must also respect the rights of others, even if we don’t agree with how they are being exercised.
Likewise, Jason’s credentials on guns are beyond reproach as well. Aside from Tom Lambert and myself, I’d be hard pressed to put my finger on someone who has done more in the last 5 years to advance open carry in Michigan other than Jason. Jason is presently (and has been for about 2 years): A member of MOC’s Board of Directors, Assistant Legislative Director of MOC, Deputy Treasury of MOC, and MOC’s IT Director. The man has sacrificed and continues to sacrifice a lot of time and energy for the cause.
About the topic…
HB 5574 of 2016 is a legislative proposal that is supported by many gun owners. HB 5574 would prohibit employers (private sector and public sector) from banning employees from keeping firearms locked in the employee’s vehicle in the employer’s parking lot. Employers who fire employees for keeping a gun in the employee’s car parked on the employer’s parking lot would be forced to rehire the fired employees.
Our rights end where someone else’s begin…
It’s an old cliche, but it hold true here. Your right to move your arm freely stops where my nose starts.
We cannot turn the gun of government on others, lest they have more moral ammo to turn the gun on us later. Whenever you make a law, you are essentially stating a willingness to kill to enforce that law. You are willing to use the government to take life, liberty, and/or property from those who violate the law.
What we are talking about here is private citizens/business owners who have the natural right to run their business as they see fit. If an employee wants to work some place that prohibits employees from having guns in their parking lot, the employee should consider a few options:
- Park some place else that isn’t owned by the employer, if possible.
- Consider new employment. No one “forces” you to work where you do. You do not have an innate entitlement to your job. You do not have an innate right to violate your employer’s property rights.
There is no right to be on someone’s private property. Private property is, well, private. Even if it is a privately owned public accommodation, the property owners reserve the right to manage their property as they see fit. They are essentially granting members of the public (and their employees) a conditional license to use the employer’s property, as long as certain conditions are met, even if the creation of this license is not explicitly stated.
This bill’s proponents will argue it’s not a violation of property rights as the gun is remaining in a car which they own, thus the gun is staying in the confines of “their property” — even though they are parking their property on the property of someone else. They are parking their property (car) on someone else’s property in a manner contrary to the terms of the license/permission of using that parking lot. If you violate the terms of a license, it can be revoked. If you are parking without a license to do so on private property, that makes you a trespasser. The proponents of this bill (not one of them) have been able to answer this simple questions posed by Jason Gillman Jr during the recent Michigan Open Carry board meeting: If your car is your property, then surely your person is your property as well. What’s the distinction between forcing an entity to allow you to park your car with your gun in it versus forcing that same entity to allow you to carry your gun on their property on you person?
Let the free market sort it out…
I’m opposed to racial, gender, sexual preference, and gender identity discrimination, yet I support (even though it’s “illegal”) a business’ right to discriminate against people for any reason they wish, even if it’s based on race, gender, sexual preference, or gender identity. Why should the government force the bigots to hide? Let bigots make their decisions and let the free market sort it out. The same rings true about my feelings on HB 5574. Employees and customers can discriminate on employers and product/service providers for any reason they choose. Shouldn’t the employers and providers have the same rights? What if the Government made it illegal to boycott Starbucks because of their anti-carry statements? That is, the government forced you to shop at Starbucks if you’ve frequented there before, even though they’ve change their view on carry inside their business.
Don’t like the employment policies of a particular establishment? Shop and/or work elsewhere.
The Gun of Government feels good when you’re holding it, but….
What if 2 years from now another party has control of government and based on your precedence of using force against your employer they pass the “safe workplace act” which requires all employers to make all company owned parking lots “gun free zones” and prohibits guns from being stored in a vehicle at the workplace – even if the employer wishes to allow or even encourages such? Additionally, it forces employers to fire you should it be brought to their attention that you have a gun in your vehicle in the employer owned parking lot. How would it feel when/if the gun of government is pointed the other direction?