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Concealed Carry in the Workplace


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With the increase in violence towards healthcare workers that we've witnessed recently, I'm wondering your views towards legislation that would allow concealed carrying for healthcare workers while at work?

A couple caveats- I understand that in most jurisdictions carrying a firearm concealed on hospital property is illegal. I don't want this to turn into a debate about conscientious objection to these laws. Also, I completely agree and understand that in some settings (think inpatient psych) carrying concealed could become a huge liability and safety issue. However, I think the argument could be made that the protection afforded by concealed carry (by those with valid permits) shouldn't be revoked when you walk through the clinic doors. 

Thoughts?

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This is frankly a little naive, in my opinion.  Most of us cannot request more security on the basis that we could be a victim of workplace violence at some point--there just isn't the budget for

I had a patient a while ago who was a former Navy SEAL. We were talking about guns and I asked him if he carries. He said---to my surprise--"Nope. I'm just not comfortable with it. If you are not read

By assault weapon, you mean ones that "look" scary but still require an individual trigger pull to fire a round? How is a scary looking semi-automatic weapon any more dangerous than a "regular" loo

14 minutes ago, moorecarson121 said:

I conceal carry at work. Our laws state that you must have permission by administrators to carry in a health care faculty. I don't only have permission, I am encouraged to do so.


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that's fantastic, I wish more places followed this model

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I live in a county in California with very strict CCW laws. I work in a county with very good CCW laws... I have to have my home county sign off though so... [emoji34][emoji35]

 

Besides, my work doesn't allow it.

 

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Absolutely shouldn't be an issue.  we work in a field where people yell at us if we don't write an rx for an antibiotic for the common cold let alone the confrontations when narcotics are involved.  At a past place of employement I had to step in front of my office manager (she was about 5' 3") to stop a full grown man from attacking her because he was mad anothe provider changed his pain management plan.  

It should absolutely be a right that people should be able to exercise if they wish.  

I get it if someone doesn't want to, but it should be an available option in my opinion. 

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Interesting.  

 

Should RN's, LVN's, and CNA's be allowed concealed carry as well?  They encounter far more violence than clinicians do.  

 

How do you prevent a demented, psychiatric, or angry patient from removing your weapon from your holster when you are turned around and prepping your tray for a procedure?

 

Should tazers, knives, less lethal weapons be allowed instead of firearms?

 

What would be the public or patient's perception of their clinician carrying a firearm?

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Ideally, there would be enough security--present, visible, imposing--that no one would ever get squirrely in the first place.  However, we all work in place where it's difficult to get enough CNAs, right?  Guess who actually costs less than armed security guards?

My take on it: unless you're armed everywhere you go, then there's no point in carrying weapons.  A firearm (or a taser or OC spray or a baton or a knife or... you get the point) adds nothing to the human being carrying it.  Thus, they are only as valuable as the underlying training that the human being is willing to do.  Not a lot of healthcare people have extra time for extra training, so that's a challenge.

Beyond the skills needed to intentionally inflict harm on a human being (presumably in the pursuit of the greater good i.e. to prevent other, worse harm) there is also the mindset needed to switch from polite, helpful, and defusing and in a split second become decisively violent, bursting into action that may well mortally injure or maim the human being whom you were, up until a split second ago, trying to help... but only if they force your hand.  Can everyone do that?

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@cbrsmurf if you're concealing a weapon properly and not telling everyone about it because you want to be cool, your patient should never know you have it. 

As for carrying a knife, I grew up in the great state of Idaho and ever since I got my "Totin' Chip" card as a Boy Scout I've carried at least one, usually two.

@rev ronin no I don't think everyone can safely carry a weapon or Competently  handle using a weapon and mentally dealing with the consequences if, heaven forbid, It needs to be used.  But there are many people who are capable, and I believe many people who could become capable if given the chance. 

I personally believe that carrying/concealing a weapon is a right that people who aren't, mentally unstable, violent felons, or those convicted of violent misdemeanors (i.e. Domestic abuse convictions) should be able to exercise. i also feel that employers/businesses have the right to ask employees/customers not to carry a weapon if they choose.  Employers could also require proof of training and proficiency before allowing an employee to carry a weapon. I have a friend who just had to complete P.O.S.T. training to carry a firearm in her work as a probation officer. 

"Gun Free" Zones do nothing more than keep honest, law abiding citizens, from taking a gun in.  Criminals by definition break the law.  

Also, enough of us started carrying a weapon maybe we could convince Glock, Smith & Wesson, and many other companies that give first responders a discount to give us a discount too!

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11 hours ago, rev ronin said:

Beyond the skills needed to intentionally inflict harm on a human being (presumably in the pursuit of the greater good i.e. to prevent other, worse harm) there is also the mindset needed to switch from polite, helpful, and defusing and in a split second become decisively violent, bursting into action that may well mortally injure or maim the human being whom you were, up until a split second ago, trying to help... but only if they force your hand.  Can everyone do that?

I'm all about carrying at the workplace, but there are a lot of rescue randys and folks who have unrealistic expectations of how violent encounters unfold. If you aren't 100% ok with pulling the trigger in a dynamic and violent situation and dont have the requisite training to feel comfortable doing so, you shouldn't carry. Having a weapon doesnt give you the upper hand in the workplace it puts you at a disadvantage most the time eg. (being disarmed). You are assuming a great responsibility, exposing yourself to extensive legal and physical liability. My biggest worry about avg Joe's carrying in public, work, ect is them inflicting more harm in an encounter than good. Poor weapons discipline and lack of situational awareness happens to most people handling weapons on a static one way range. Its alot different when it becomes a two way range and bullets are coming back at you. All that being said your average security guard has very little training and probably wants to make it home from their low paying job. So it all comes down to training, personal preparedness and a willingness to act when something occurs.

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7 hours ago, rev ronin said:

Ideally, there would be enough security--present, visible, imposing--that no one would ever get squirrely in the first place.  However, we all work in place where it's difficult to get enough CNAs, right?  Guess who actually costs less than armed security guards?

My take on it: unless you're armed everywhere you go, then there's no point in carrying weapons.  A firearm (or a taser or OC spray or a baton or a knife or... you get the point) adds nothing to the human being carrying it.  Thus, they are only as valuable as the underlying training that the human being is willing to do.  Not a lot of healthcare people have extra time for extra training, so that's a challenge.

Beyond the skills needed to intentionally inflict harm on a human being (presumably in the pursuit of the greater good i.e. to prevent other, worse harm) there is also the mindset needed to switch from polite, helpful, and defusing and in a split second become decisively violent, bursting into action that may well mortally injure or maim the human being whom you were, up until a split second ago, trying to help... but only if they force your hand.  Can everyone do that?

Not everyone can do that, that is why it should be a choice in all 50 states... If you do not want to carry, then don't carry. That is no sweat off my back. This comment is a little dramatic: "Not a lot of healthcare people have extra time for extra training, so that's a challenge." People that were not raised with guns actually catch on very quickly as I have taught numerous people that have never held a gun the basics of gun safety (holstering/un-holstering/loading/un-loading/shooting/cleaning/etc) in a 1/2 day. I live in a very friendly state that allows CCW/open carry/constitutional carry (whatever you choose) and have been around guns my entire life as well as own an arsenal  of weapons. Weapons are not for everyone, but there should be a choice to carry.   

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11 hours ago, moorecarson121 said:

I conceal carry at work. Our laws state that you must have permission by administrators to carry in a health care faculty. I don't only have permission, I am encouraged to do so.


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I wish I worked at a facility like that. Here in Illinois, firearms rank right up there with Ebola...

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7 hours ago, MCHAD said:

...

Also, enough of us started carrying a weapon maybe we could convince Glock, Smith & Wesson, and many other companies that give first responders a discount to give us a discount too!

That would be great! 

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You know what is the last thing I thought would make my workplace safer? More weapons! I have little interest in working in a facility that would allow concealed carry. Many of you have survived so far without carrying a weapon. Why do you suddenly feel you need it now? It's a false sense of security. If your workplace is that dangerous then request more security or get a different job.

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1 hour ago, camoman1234 said:

 This comment is a little dramatic: "Not a lot of healthcare people have extra time for extra training, so that's a challenge." People that were not raised with guns actually catch on very quickly [...]

If you think my comment was solely about the mechanics of gun handling, or about firearms in general, you've missed where most of the training ought to be.  There's a lot more to defensive firearm use than gun handling skills: while those are important, they're also insufficient in isolation.

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22 minutes ago, HanSolo said:

You know what is the last thing I thought would make my workplace safer? More weapons! I have little interest in working in a facility that would allow concealed carry. Many of you have survived so far without carrying a weapon. Why do you suddenly feel you need it now? It's a false sense of security. If your workplace is that dangerous then request more security or get a different job.

What if you could be shown, through statistics and logic, that staff carrying concealed made it MORE safe, and a 100% no-tolerance policy actually made it LESS safe?  What would it take to change your mind?

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8 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

If you think my comment was solely about the mechanics of gun handling, or about firearms in general, you've missed where most of the training ought to be.  There's a lot more to defensive firearm use than gun handling skills: while those are important, they're also insufficient in isolation.

Did not miss the point, I understand your comment, but for basic training anyone has time for this. We are not training to be in the special forces, just to protect our self and staff/patients. Not everyone that carries a weapon has to be at an elite level. I was never in the military, but respect their training and understand it. This is not feasible/unrealistic for everyone. That is like say that everyone that drives a car has to be trained to handle the car in all situations just as the experts do... The average person handling/carrying a gun (with a permit/training) is most likely more well suited than the would be robber...It is better to have someone armed that has some training than no one armed. The bad guys will always have guns unless we completely outlaw all guns.  

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47 minutes ago, HanSolo said:

You know what is the last thing I thought would make my workplace safer? More weapons! I have little interest in working in a facility that would allow concealed carry. Many of you have survived so far without carrying a weapon. Why do you suddenly feel you need it now? It's a false sense of security. If your workplace is that dangerous then request more security or get a different job.

Getting a new job and having security is not possible for a lot of people. I work in a rural health clinic, the only one in a town of 607 people. The closest town is about 15-20 mins away which is ~ 1,700 people and after that town you are looking at ~ 45 minutes to the next town. We have 2 sheriff's for the entire county and lost our local police force a few years ago. I have lived in rural communities my entire life where most towns do not have a police force so 2 sheriff's (they don't work 7 days a week) are covering an entire county are suppose to protect me from a angry patient with a weapon? I am going to assume you have not worked/lived in rural communities with no access to care/no police force/no fire department (volunteer only). Also, to just blow your mind, when I call EMS for an ambulance there are 3 ambulances that serve 4 counties, my average wait time is 45 mins -1 hr. The longest I had to wait was 1 hour and 45 mins (the ambulance had to come from a neighboring town that is 63 miles away). So your comments might fit your life and area where you live, but when you see/walk in someone else's shoes then you might see there is a reason to carry a weapon. PS I know several people including myself that carry due to methed out patients that get angry...:)

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16 minutes ago, camoman1234 said:

Did not miss the point, [...] 

I'm afraid that you did, in fact, miss the point. But that's probably my fault for being too subtle.

Everything you're referencing are only portions of the training needed to effectively defend one's self in public.  Physical/unarmed self-defense skills, tactics, and mindset are three big things that are missing from what you've mentioned.  I'll refer to what I said above: "unless you're armed everywhere you go, then there's no point in carrying weapons."

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1 hour ago, HanSolo said:

You know what is the last thing I thought would make my workplace safer? More weapons! I have little interest in working in a facility that would allow concealed carry. Many of you have survived so far without carrying a weapon. Why do you suddenly feel you need it now? It's a false sense of security. If your workplace is that dangerous then request more security or get a different job.

This is frankly a little naive, in my opinion. 

Most of us cannot request more security on the basis that we could be a victim of workplace violence at some point--there just isn't the budget for that at most facilities, and honestly, I don't want to rely on someone else alone for my safety.

I have concealed carry authority from my state, but my employer chooses to restrict that for no particular reason other than that they can. Those of us who choose to take the classes, training, and jump through the hoops involved to carry a weapon are obviously responsible and are choosing not to break the law. The same cannot be said about the public in general.

Your comment about surviving this long without carrying a weapon is so ridiculous I had to double-check whether I read it correctly. As in medicine, just because a bad outcome has not occurred does not mean it will not happen. It only takes one angry or psychotic patient to change that.

As I stated--I want to be able to rely on my training, skill, and own weapon if needed to defend my self. If you would choose not to work in a facility like that I understand.

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1 hour ago, rev ronin said:

I'm afraid that you did, in fact, miss the point. But that's probably my fault for being too subtle.

Everything you're referencing are only portions of the training needed to effectively defend one's self in public.  Physical/unarmed self-defense skills, tactics, and mindset are three big things that are missing from what you've mentioned.  I'll refer to what I said above: "unless you're armed everywhere you go, then there's no point in carrying weapons."

The topic is concealed carry and not being in the special forces or master in brazilian jiu jitsu... The entire discussion is over carrying a gun in the office, nothing more or less. I understand your point, but you are off topic with most of your comments that are not feasible for most people (advance training in tactics, etc). I do agree that you should not carry if your mind set is not ready to pull that trigger. I am not arguing your point that everyone should be trained in self-defense and tactics (which would be nice), but that should not hold someone back from not carrying a gun. Again, that would be like someone passing an advanced training on vehicle tactics to drive around the city...Have a great day 

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I had a patient a while ago who was a former Navy SEAL. We were talking about guns and I asked him if he carries. He said---to my surprise--"Nope. I'm just not comfortable with it. If you are not ready to shoot somebody, you should not be carrying a weapon." 

His feeling was the civilian public has no clue what it's like and what it means to shoot somebody. CC is a mental safety net and a liability for most.

For the record, I am a 100% pro-2nd amendment gun owner and avid shooter. I am not against CC, and I can see scenarios where it makes sense. At times I carry a weapon in my vehicle, but never on my person. People are nuts and I am not highly trained enough to feel comfortable carrying a loaded weapon around some of the a$$hole patients I've had.

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We had at least 3 physicians that I know of that kept guns in their briefcases/purses, kept in the desk drawer, while working in my former ER.  Our desk was directly in front of the door between the waiting room and the actual ER and at any moment some psycho could have busted through it and done God knows what.  I've also worked at two ERs that had tasers hidden where the staff could access it if needed.  No, we didn't tell the administrators.

Sure made me feel better that day one of our nurses happened to catch a patient with six knives on him, who flat out admitted the plan was to use them on us....fortunately he was caught before anything happened but if it had, that guy wouldn't have stood a chance.

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I live and work in Canada, where it pretty much takes an act of parliament to get a CCW permit (not literally, but pretty close), much less carry OC spray or even an ASP.  The baddies have more rights than the goodies do here.  Carrying a knife, which I do incidentally, if within length, concealment and intent laws, is legal; however, if you pull it out, you'd best be able to justify it, not to mention know how to use it.  Kali instructor once told me "nobody wins a knife fight...it's about who gets to live and or who gets the least sutures".  Like firearms or even batons or spray, if you aren't physically and mentally trained and prepared AND have back up plans, you're euchered before you even start in a CQB situation.  Who here is comfortable getting in on with someone in a waiting room with 30 people in it, with little to no cover for them or you, and still make surgical shots - remember the bad guy gets to shoot as many rounds as they like and hit whomever they like - you have to make each shot count and not hit bystanders.  You also have to remember not to get shot by the coppers as well.  I have buddies of mine that were in our Armed Forces' equivalent of Delta and DEVGRU - they would literally be doing this all day, every day to get those shots just right...how many of us can say the same here?  

Oh, and I work in a facility where security is really a joke, as they're "hands off" - they aren't peace officers so not legally allowed to restrain anyone (nor do I believe they have the training even if they were allowed), much less lay the shoe leather to them unless in self-defence.

SK

 

$0.02 Cdn

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It's getting scary out there. I am 5'0" and sometimes I get anxiety and paranoia after arguing with a patient over their opioids (or lack of disability). A nurse at my clinic just recently got attacked by a patient. However, I agree with HanSolo. I also believe carrying will only provide a false sense of security and may actually provoke more violence.

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I have my CCW but can't have a firearm inside our workplace due to state law. Co-worker keeps one in his vehicle but that wouldn't do us much good inside. I can't comfortably secure one at present time to justify keeping one in my vehicle. I was at range today with my wife and both of us are comfortable and accurate at 7-10 yard range with compact/sub-compact semi-autos.

 

 

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