Conceal and Carry

As you are aware, the Legislature has overwhelmingly passed and the Governor has signed legislation liberalizing the permitting process for carrying concealed handguns in Minnesota.  BOMA testified and lobbied against the bill based on workplace safety concerns in general, and specifically those provisions that preempted the right of commercial property owners to control possession on their premises.  While the end product does make the bill somewhat less onerous than where it started, it still places a burden on private property owners who opt to restrict access by those carrying concealed weapons.
 
We've had a number of requests by members for guidance on this issue.  While we are not in a position to advise as to an appropriate response covering all situations, we can serve as a forum for discussing options and attempting to arrive at a consistent approach, recognizing the overlapping rights and responsibilities of owners and tenants/employers in this matter. 
 
We invite your input and further questions as you conduct an evaluation of your specific situation in light of the new law, and we will share with you what we learn.
 
Kevin Lewis
Executive Director
Greater Minneapolis BOMA
Tel.  612 338 8627
Fax  612 340 9744
email  kl@bomampls.org  
Resources

Legislation

As posted on the State's website. (This was an attachment to an environmental bill, so scroll down to "Article 2.")
Summary of applicable provisions Prepared by Kathleen Lamb of the McGrann Shea Anderson Carnival Straughn & Lamb, Chartered law firm
Interpretations Authored by Mark Geier of the Mackall Crounse & Moore law firm.
House Research Summary Research Summary from MN House of Representatives
Articles

Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. - 5/16/03

Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. - 5/21/03

Becky Rom and John Wheaton, Faegre & Benson law firm. - 5/26/03

Member Q & A

The following information is not to be relied on as "legal advice" but is meant to serve as a forum where members can share ideas and information.

Email your questions or comments to  sm@bomampls.org with "Conceal Carry" in the subject line. We will post them here for other members to respond. 

To send a response to a question or comment, please send email to sm@bomampls.org.  Indicate the question/comment number to which you're replying, and indicate whether you would like your name and company NOT to be listed.  (The webmaster reserves the right to edit or not publish replies.)

Question(s) Answer(s)

Will the City of Minneapolis be able to develop separate legislation for guns in the inner city?   Will installing a sign still be a deterrent when a verbal warning is also required?  [The tenants of our medical building] want to know what our policy will be.  What are other people doing?

The law specifically prohibits local government from legislating in conflict with state law in this matter.  You are not alone in doubting the effectiveness of posting signs.  We had a lengthy discussion at today's BOMA Board meeting and most were still evaluating the options, but none of those attending had yet decided that they would post signs.  I think it's fair to say that most were leaning toward not posting, questioning the effectiveness of the signs and possible increased liability for the safety of someone denied entry with a gun they were legally entitled to carry.  Medical buildings may be somewhat unique due to the number of visits from the public and perhaps this would be a good topic for discussion by BOMA's Medical Buildings Group.

Kent D. Warden, BOMA Executive Director
Member Feedback

From Steve Herron, Senior Vice President
Zeller Realty Corporation

After hearing the news that this legislation was going to pass, I contacted some people in Texas that I do business with regarding how they handled the legislation in their state. Interestingly enough, the individual I spoke to was asked at the time their law was passed to be a part of the BOMA discussion to help provide direction to its members. He stated that BOMA was inundated with questions regarding how to address keeping firearms out of buildings. Similar to Minnesota, Texas required a sign posted at the entrance with lettering and complete with a gun with a circle and line through it. At that time, the BOMA chapter in Dallas had suggested placing these signs at the entrances, however, changed their opinion as they felt BOMA and the property owners would take on additional liability if something were to happen to an individual who may claim they were unable to protect themselves because the building would not allow them to carry their firearm into the building for protection. Pretty sticky issue. He went on to state that ultimately, nearly every building decided to "not do anything" with signage or otherwise.
 
The person I spoke with also indicated that while there was an initial rush of people to obtain permits, many did not actually go through with it and it has pretty much become a non-issue.

From a BOMA member

Landlords in multi-tenant buildings do not have much they can do.  Those that "ban" will only stop law abiding permit holders from carrying on their premises.  A person intent on doing harm would not give up a weapon based on a sign and a request or demand.  Therefore without metal detectors at every entrance, this whole law will eventually be much ado about nothing.  Unless you're a person wanting a permit and could not get one before ... now you can if you meet certain requirements.

One thing concerned me about Mark Geier's letter.  Are you sure you want to suggest that property managers instruct their tenants on how to ban weapons?  Isn't this a little like giving them legal advice or showing them how to file their taxes?  If I were a manager in a multi-tenant building, the only thing I would want is a consistent and quality look to any graphics my tenants put up.  I would not want to be in a position of advising them on whether or not to ban and if they choose to, how to implement the ban.