UNsafe: OH Workers' Comp bureaucrats advise ''ban''

Ohioans For Concealed Carry has learned that the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation is working to advise private businesses to post signs discrimating against concealed handgun license-holders.

A Summer 2004 Issue of Worker's Comp Quarterly article, written by contributing writer Rick Burson, states as follows:

    "Because of the risk of injuries caused by mishandled firearms or intentional acts of violence, the workplace should be added to the list of places where firearms cannot be carried."

In the article, Tom Wersell, the Bureau's special investigations/ security director advises:

    "Business owners develop a clear and concise policy informing employees and visitors that carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited on company property."

    "This is one more way to provide a safe environment for both your workers and your customers."

Amazingly, Wersell is also quoted in the article making an absolutely false statement:

    "The reality is, there are a lot more places you can't carry a gun than places you can."

It is likely that management of Con Agra listened to exactly this type of advice when posting "no-guns" signs.

align="right">Yet just over a month ago, in Kansas, a disgruntled former employee walked right past the signs and murdered six people before killing himself.

As families of victims of two recent Ohio public shootings at Case Western Reserve University and Watkins Motor Lines trucking company are painfully aware, there will always be instances of persons bringing firearms into public places, in spite of signs, bans, or legal prohibitions (those shootings happened when concealed carry was illegal in Ohio).

UPDATE! An alert OFCC supporter has noted that the Bureau of Workers' Compensation has intimate experience with the fact that gun bans do nothing to stop those intent on victimizing defenseless people:

    On September 5, 1997, James L. Dailey was convicted and sentenced to two separate three years terms (which ran concurrently), stemming from a hostage-taking incident at the Bureau of Workers' Compensation building!

    Upset over a benefit claim that had been denied, Daily entering the Bureau of Workers' Compensation building on November 13, 1996, with a rifle, a shotgun, a handgun, two cans of gasoline and a butane lighter, and proceeded to the 12th floor.

    Once there, he took four hostages, including a former FBI agent (all disarmed by Ohio law and BWC policy). The hostages were held for over seven hours. According to one OFCC source, who was working in the building at the time, building "security" prohibited occupants of the rest of the 30-story building from leaving, despite the fire threat.

    Dailey was eventually overpowered by one of his hostages, ex-FBI agent James Carter, and taken into custody by the Columbus SWAT.

    ''It was a hostage situation in the classic sense. He took a great deal of pleasure in pointing that shotgun at my face for
    seven hours,'' an angry Carter said after the hearing in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

    ''We have people at Workers' Comp who are still afraid to go to work. It's been extremely difficult for me and my
    family,'' he said. ''He had three [guns] and bottles of gasoline and a Bic lighter. He said he was going to light up one of
    the employees on TV and film it while he burned.''

    After the attack, workers told the Columbus Dispatch they had complained repeatedly about the lack of security on the floor.

    James Conrad, administrator of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, told the newspaper the hostage--taking also prompted a threat from a person who identified himself as a former Navy Seal, who said, ''I don't have to come into your building to take out your employees.''

Sadly, in our state's past, the persons who brought guns into public places nearly always meant to do others harm, and cared nothing for signs, company policies, or legal prohibitions.

The majority of multiple victim-public shootings occur where guns are banned, and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has no business offering such negligent advice to private companies.

To express your concerns about this state agency offering advice in the name of "safety" that is provably UNsafe:

Click here to access House & Senate phone numbers.
*Telephone communications are preferred over email.

Contact information for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation follows:

Governor Bob Taft
Administrator/CEO James Conrad
30 W. Spring St., Third Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-2256
FAX: 877-520-6446
Online BWC Contact Page

Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]

Related Stories:
The Truth about Concealed Carry and Business

What Business Owners Need to Know About CCW

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