msnbc.com news services
updated 8/2/2005 8:52:32 AM ET 2005-08-02T12:52:32

The National Rifle Association is urging its 4 million members to boycott ConocoPhillips gas stations and products because the oil giant is trying to block an Oklahoma law that allows employees to keep guns in their cars when parked in company lots.

Conoco is among several companies challenging the state law in federal court, but the NRA singled it out for the boycott.

“Across the country, we’re going to make ConocoPhillips the example of what happens when a corporation takes away your Second Amendment rights,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.

The law was passed after Weyerhaeuser Corp. fired 12 employees in 2002 at a plant near Idabell for violating a policy forbidding firearms on company property.

“If you are a corporation that is anti-gun, anti-gun owner or anti-Second Amendment, we will spare no effort or expense to work against you to protect the rights of your law-abiding employees,” LaPierre added in a news release Monday.

The NRA routinely cites the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment as prohibiting restrictions on gun ownership and possession by “law-abiding” citizens.

Company's response
Conoco said in a statement that it wants to protect its workers from possible violence.

“ConocoPhillips supports the Second Amendment and respects the rights of law abiding citizens to own guns,” the company said. “We are simply trying to provide a safe and secure working environment for our employees by keeping guns out of our facilities, including our company parking lots.”

According to a study by Handgun-Free America, which seeks to ban private handgun ownership, there were 164 workplace shootings in the United States between 1994 and 2003, in which 290 people were killed and 161 were wounded.

The NRA plans to purchase billboard advertising urging motorists to join the boycott of ConocoPhillips motor fuels, which are marketed as Conoco or Phillips 66.

A judge has blocked enforcement of the Oklahoma law pending resolution of the federal lawsuit.

The energy company has more than 3,100 workers in Oklahoma, the majority at the company’s refinery in Ponca City.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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