Thursday, May 05, 2005

Murder Risk Much Higher In Workplaces Allowing Guns

A study by the University of North Carolina has found that workplace policies that allow employees to carry guns are more lethal than those that prohibit weapons, reported April 27. The report, published in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health, compared workplaces that allow employees to carry weapons and those that don't. It found that murders are three times more likely to occur in workplaces where employees may carry weapons, and the risk doubles when the weapon is a gun. The study compared 87 cases in which employees were killed at workplaces in North Carolina between 1994 and 1998 and 177 comparable sites where there were no murders. "We don't know employers' reasons for allowing workers to have guns on the job, but the belief that firearms offer protection against crime is obviously a possible motive," said researcher Dana Loomis, a professor of epidemiology and member of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. "However, our data suggest that, like residents of households with guns who are more likely to be victims of homicide, workers in places where the employer allows guns have a greater chance of being killed at work." "In light of these findings, employers should question the risks and benefits of permitting firearms," Loomis said.

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