Alabama law allows guns in workplace parking lots, not inside building

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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – The community of Albertville is mourning after a shooting at the Mueller Company plant Tuesday resulted in the deaths of three people, including the suspected shooter, and left two others injured. A lawmaker who represents Marshall County is expressing his deepest sympathy for the community.

Representative Kerry Rich called this is unimaginable and terrible.

News 19 is still working to learn more about the suspect and the company’s policy regarding firearms. News 19 contacted the company’s director of communications multiple times Wednesday and they did not respond to News 19’s  request for information.

According to police, the shooter, Andreas Deon Horton, worked at the plant for nearly 10 years. Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith says the plant has a fence along with a guard shack that is manned by a private security company.

When police located Horton’s vehicle, they found multiple weapons inside the Jeep he was driving.
News 19 asked the company about Horton’s record at the plant. We also inquired about the company’s policy on firearms at the workplace. At this time, we don’t have those answers.

But here’s what we do know about Alabama state law, employers can prohibit employees, including people with certain permits, from carrying guns while on the employer’s property or engaged in duties of the person’s employment. But the law also states, a public or private employer may not restrict or prohibit the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in an employee’s privately owned motor vehicle while parked or operated in a public or private parking area if the employee satisfies certain criteria.

News 19 asked Representative Rich if he thought considering the shooting, it might be time to take another look at this law.

“I think this could have happened in the parking lot, it could have happened three blocks down the road, it could have happened anywhere. And so, to try to pin this on weapons or guns or whatever I think is really foolish,” said Representative Kerry Rich, (R) Marshall County.

Workplace shootings are up this year compared to last year. A criminology expert tells News 19 one of the most dangerous phrases people can say is “It could never happen here.”Jaclyn Schildkraut called gun violence a national crisis.

This is not the first deadly shooting at a Mueller plant. In 2019, an employee killed five other employees and injured 5 law enforcement officers during a workplace shooting at the plant located in Aurora, Illinois.

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