Many accounting firms have notices posted in their waiting rooms that talk about a new service, such as cost segregation, being offered. Firms in Ohio are now deciding if they want to place a sign in their offices that says "No Guns Allowed."
The reason this is all coming up is because a law just went into effect that allows most Ohio residents to carry concealed weapons. Basically, a 12-hour course is taken, a license is applied for, an up to $45 fee is paid, and within 45 days approval is given. Although there are certain areas from which the weapons are automatically prohibited, such as a government building and child-care centers, there is no automatic prohibition for the premises of private employers.
However, the Ohio law permits private employers to prohibit the presence of weapons on their premises. The law also permits the posting of signs that prohibit persons from carrying concealed firearms on the employer's property.
So, I can see the discussions now going on throughout partner meetings at Ohio accounting firms this month. Should we make the office weapon-free? How will our staff view our decision? When must we make the decision? If we prohibit weapons, should we put a placard up announcing our policy? Should we modify our liability insurance policy? If so, will the premiums go up?
All this reminds me of the Western movies that I used to watch as a kid where the sheriff would post a sign asking for cowboys to give up their guns while they were in town. Here today in Ohio, the sheriff is the one issuing the license for the gun and employers, including accounting firms, are the ones deciding if they want to have a posted gun-free zone.
Further and extensive information provided by the Ohio Attorney General can be found on the Ohio concealed carry law at www.ag.state.oh.us/web_applications/concealcarry/About.asp
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