The horrific events of last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino shocked the nation. Along with the sheer violence of the attack, the fact that it occurred in an office building made many Americans deeply uneasy. Debates about workplace security soon started to rage throughout the media and the Internet. To the nation’s pro-gun advocates, San Bernardino represented another instance where they believe people could have been saved if only they had been carrying a weapon themselves.
While there are many people who disagree with this sentiment, Lance Toland is certainly not one of them. The owner of a small aviation insurance company, Toland has made headlines for a new policy that requires employees to carry firearms to the office. He even foots the $65 bill for a concealed-carry permit and issues staffers their own Taurus revolvers. “It is a weapon, and it is a lethal weapon,” said Toland. “When a perpetrator comes into the home or the office, they have started a fire. And this is a fire extinguisher.” Toland added that all of his employees “embraced [the idea] 100 percent.”
Approximately half of U.S. states have laws that allow employees to keep guns in their cars while at work. The country is also home to plenty of companies who let staffers conceal-carry their weapons into the office. Toland’s policy is an absolute rarity, however. Gun control activists claim that putting so many firearms into a small office could actually lead to more shootings rather than prevent them. After all, most workplaces are high-pressure environments where stress can spread like wildfire. Then again, pro-gun advocates would cite this as precisely the reason why firearms should be allowed in the office. As security in the workplace continues to concern both employees and management, more companies may adopt policies similar to Toland’s in the future.
- Will Lance Toland’s policy make his office a safer or a more dangerous place?
- What can companies do to increase security in the workplace?
Source: Lisa Marie Pane, “Company Owner Requires Workers to Have a Firearm at the Office,” Associated Press, March 10, 2016. Photo by Rod Waddington.