Georgia business owner requiring employees to get concealed carry permits
It’s safe to say that quite a few people would be uncomfortable keeping firearms at the office. Nevertheless, it’s an individual’s constitutional right to determine whether or not they want to pack heat. However, one Georgia businessman is not just encouraging his employees, who are predominantly female, to conceal carry — he’s requiring it:
Lance Toland said he’s determined to equip the dozen staffers at his aviation insurance office in Griffin after they obtain the proper training and a concealed carry license. And so far, Toland says, there have been “no dissenters” to the decree, which he claims is for self-defense. Only one worker griped because the guns he’s buying don’t come in pink, he quipped.
“This is a group of very, very professional women, well-educated, pilots, but they’re armed and they’re deadly,” Toland told The Daily Beast, adding, “so do not screw with us.”
The 61-year-old boss told Atlanta’s WSB-TV that he instituted the policy at Lance Toland Associates—which insures corporate aircraft across the world—after hearing of recent home invasions and violent crime in the metro area.
“They all had their conceal carry permit within 3 to 4 weeks of me announcing that this was something you had to do,” Toland told WSB-TV, which first revealed the mandate. “With the presentation of their license, they all got a .410 Judge pistol.”
Toland said his employees “knew from day one” that he keeps a gun on his desk. One of his longtime employees, Mary Brannon, also happens to be a certified NRA instructor, but she’s retiring in April. Knowing that, Toland said, “I got to thinking, ‘Who’s going to protect the office?’ If I’m not there and Mary’s gone, what are the other ladies going to do?”
He also emphasized that their intent is not to kill any potential intruders. In a word, it’s all about preparation:
“We want to be responsible with gun ownership, and heaven forbid that we ever have to use it,” Toland told The Daily Beast. “Instead of using it, you could diffuse a situation. As more people arm themselves, women in particular, the world’s going to be a safer place.”
He called the Judge a short-range weapon that wouldn’t penetrate walls, as his intent isn’t to kill. Rather, he says, an office intruder is a “fire” and the handgun is a “fire extinguisher.”
“Our intent is to put out the fire,” Toland declared. “Hopefully, the assailant would flee without mortal wounds.”
Brannon added that if any other businesses are thinking of following Toland’s lead, it’s paramount that they conduct thorough background checks and provide proper training:
“It’s controversial with some people,” Brannon said. “They like to bring up story after story of gun violence. But a responsible, level-headed, law-abiding citizen with proper training can safely carry a firearm to protect themselves and others.”
She stressed that businesses can’t “just go in one day and start handing out guns to everybody in your place.” Employers must know their workers and conduct background checks to ensure they’re stable and not on drugs.
“As the world goes weirder, 911 is great and I certainly admire and appreciate all of our law enforcement officers, but the fact of the matter is: you call 911 and then you wait,” Brannon said. “You don’t know if somebody’s gonna get there or not, and when they get there, you don’t know if you’ll still be there.”
Kudos to Toland and his employees for responsibly exerting their Second Amendment rights.Where does your boss stand on this?