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Tennessee Gun Bills In The Works

First, let’s get this one out of the way. the Commercial Squeal:

Four months after the adjournment of a state legislative session dominated by gun bills

Ah, hyperbole. There were, what, four or five gun bills out of how many bills? Anyway, this isn’t a post about that, it’s a post about this:

Lawmakers heard testimony on a bill to allow people with handgun-carry permits to keep their guns in their locked vehicles on their workplace’s parking lots regardless of their employer’s policy on the issue. Current law allows employers to ban weapons from all their property, including parking lots.

The Rep asks whose rights are superior?

On one hand, a property owner can decide what otherwise lawful activities they allow on their property, which is also why I oppose smoking bans and such. On the other hand, my car is my property and their parking lot is available to the public.

Not a bill I’m particularly excited about.

7 Responses to “Tennessee Gun Bills In The Works”

  1. Weer'd Beard Says:

    I think you have the point, it’s your car, they have no right to search it or scrutinize it just because it’s on their property any more than they have the right to go through your pockets or lay a hand on you just because you’re on their property.

    I support the rights of property owners, but my locked car is my property, and if they OK my car parking there, and the contents of that car are 100% legal, there is no issue.

  2. karrde Says:

    The “parking lot is public” claim might change if the employer is a big enough corporation to employ a security guard, and have an “employee lot” and a “visitor lot”.

    I don’t know how easy that would be to settle under law, but I suspect that if the lot isn’t posted as “employees only”, then it is technically Open To The Public and under different rules than the interior of the Office Building (or Machine Shop, or whatever else).

  3. divemedic Says:

    I disagree with the “property rights” argument that is so often waved about when this law is discussed. This so-called “property right” doesn’t exist:

    Can an employer have a rule that all female employees are prohibited from possessing clothing or undergarments while on company property, even in a private vehicle? Or perhaps prohibit possession of all religious texts (Bibles, Qurans, etc) even in your car? What about a prohibition on medication or wheelchairs? A “no blacks” rule?
    Obviously, the ability of a business owner to restrict people’s rights does not exist, so this begs the REAL question here: Is my right to effective self defense on par with the right not to be sexually harassed, or protection from racial and religious discrimination?

    If so, and a property owner can order me to be defeseless and at the mercy of an attacker, not only while at work, but while commuting to and from work, then why not allow a business owner to pass a rule requiring the employee to submit to a daily beating at the hands of the business owner?

  4. Rustmeister Says:

    My car, my property. If what I carry in it is legal, my employer shouldn’t have the power to tell me not to.

  5. bombloader Says:

    I’d prefer a change in law that allows individuals to sue if they cannot protect themselves due to an employers ban on firearms. The current situation stems from an imbalance in legal liability-someone shoots up the place and the company risks being sued for not doing something to prevent. So many companies ban firearms on the premises because this looks like something even if it accomplishes nothing but restricting the honest like most gun-control measures. If the company could face a lawsuit after a shooting from John Doe in accounting who made a reasonable claim he could stopped a shooter completely or mitigated the harm if the company had allowed him to carry his pistol on the premises, then the calculations of corporate legal departments might change quite a bit. Unless we can get that law passed, I don’t see a good property right argument against the current crop of laws, unless one is going argue against myriad other laws that interfere with employers property rights.

  6. wizardPC Says:

    The thing I don’t get about the news coverage of this is that the sponsor took the bill off notice last Friday and not one news outlet mentioned that. He wasn’t even aware they were going to be debating it, because he doesn’t plan on bringing it to the floor next session.

  7. Gregory Morris Says:

    I’d be wary of this one, Unc. See, Florida just passed a similar law last year, and since it went into effect, there’s been nothing but workplace shootings and streets running red with blood.

    Kinda like back 20 years ago when they authorized mere citizens to carry concealed handguns. The new record numbers of concealed carry permits being acquired in the Sunshine State have also caused the incidents of wild west shootouts to multiply a thousand-fold.

    Sheer madness I tell you!

    I posted a lot of stuff over at my blog relating the to Florida’s law. My cheering for the law was always lukewarm, but in the end I did support it. The biggest opponents of the law in FL were Disney, Publix, and a defense contractor over on the east coast. I don’t think Tennessee will have the same issues we had, although you will likely some identical PSH.