Lance Toland Associates, an aviation insurance business in Atlanta, is forcing all employees to undergo firearm training and to constantly be armed with a gun.
The policy has come about after an employee (who was also a National Rifle Association-certified instructor) recently left the company after spending years as it’s unofficial security officer.
The company’s three offices – based at small airports in Georgia – have previously had no issues with crime. However, according to the owner Lance Toland, "anyone can slip in these days if they want to. I don't have a social agenda here. I have a safety agenda".
Toland now requires each employee to get a concealed-carry permit and has issued a Taurus revolver known as "The Judge" to each of them. The gun fires pellets like a shotgun and holds five rounds.
"It is a weapon, and it is a lethal weapon," Toland was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
"When a perpetrator comes into the home or the office, they have started a fire. And this is a fire extinguisher."
Moreover, Toland has claimed that all the employees embraced the new policy 100%, “and they said, you know, I'm tired of being afraid”.
More than 400 people on average are murdered at the workplace in the US each year, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Indeed, in late February, four people were killed and 14 were wounded at a lawnmower factory in a small Kansas town.
Further, Toland himself has experienced a tragedy involving a shooting in the workplace.
His uncle, who adopted him as a child, was killed during a night-time robbery at the convenience store he worked at for the sake of less than $100. It was also the first day his uncle hadn't brought a firearm to the store.
In light of recent attacks, there are many other employers, schools and churches in the U.S. turning to training for employees. This often involves employees learning how to escape or handle an active shooter.
Who would have thought an employee retiring would trigger a new policy requiring staff to carry guns around the office in the name of ‘safety’?