The Indiana General Assembly yesterday passed the Emergency Powers and Parking Lots Bill, otherwise known as the “Bring Your Gun to Work” Bill. The bill now goes to Governor Mitch Daniels for signing.

Under the Act, Hoosier employees who are appropriately licensed will be able to bring firearms as well as ammunition into the parking areas at their place of work as long as the weapons are locked in the trunks or gloves boxes of their vehicles or stored out of plain sight in a locked vehicle. The Act provides for a civil cause of action for employees who have been injured by a violation of this Act.

The Act specifically exempts a number of employers from coverage under the Act including schools, universities, prisons, child care centers, domestic violence shelters, investor-owned utilities and any facility regulated by the federal Department of Homeland Security's chemical facility antiterrorism standards or the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It also exempts workers who transport the developmentally disabled in their personal vehicles.

If the Governor signs the Bill, and the current expectation is that he will, it will take effect July 1, 2010. Employers who have policies in their handbooks prohibiting weapons on their property will have to revise their policies to prohibit only unlawful possession of firearms and the possession of firearms in unlocked vehicles. In passing the Act, Indiana joins Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah in having such legislation.