House sends guns-in-lots bill to Haslam, who will likely sign

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:34pm

Months after the National Rifle Association took down a Republican legislator for standing in the way of a key gun bill, the state legislature has delivered the NRA’s bill to the governor for his approval.

Gov. Bill Haslam was concerned early on about the parameters of the legislation and was particularly concerned about allowing guns on college campuses, but a spokesman told The City Paper the governor will probably sign the measure into law.

"The governor will review this bill, like he does all bills, when it comes to his desk, but he will likely sign it," said Dave Smith, the governor's spokesman.

The House delivered a 72-22 vote for legislation allowing permitted gun owners to stow firearms in their vehicles parked in public and private lots. The Senate OK’d the bill on a 28-5 vote earlier this month.

The measure, first pitched by gun-rights advocates in earnest last year, would allow gun owners to presumably protect themselves on their commutes by allowing them to store the weapon in their locked vehicle.

In a nod to the business community, the bill wouldn’t restrict business owners from firing employees who violate company policies that ban workers from keeping a gun in their car parked on work property. Legislative leaders like Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, has said he hopes business owners wouldn’t resort to that practice, but as a right to work state, companies can fire anyone any time.

The saga began last year when the NRA and the Tennessee Firearms Association became frustrated over lack of movement on similar legislation last year. The GOP eventually decided to give the legislation up with promises to study it over the summer and pick it up again next year.

In retaliation, gun rights advocates spent more than $100,000 to help defeat GOP Caucus Leader Debra Maggart, a Hendersonville Republican, in the August primary.

In a pep talk with fellow Republicans shortly before the vote, House Speaker Beth Harwell apologized to members for what they have gone through for this bill and told lawmakers to vote their conscience.

“The less you say the better,” she told her 70-member caucus. “Just stay quiet and vote your conscience.”

The Republican-led chamber shot down a dozen attempts by Democrats to rewrite or edit the bill to ban guns in parking lots of correctional facilities, unemployment offices, schools and long-term parking lots. Democrats also suggested changing the bill to ban employers from firing employees for storing a gun in the parking lot.

11 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 2/28/13 at 6:34

Surely, Haslam knows better!

By: Ask01 on 3/1/13 at 5:50

Actually, Governor Haslam's signing of this legislation will be a welcome conclusion to the distractions keeping our elected employees from addressing meaningful issues.

The admission by some that many gun owners have already been keeping weapons on premises before the law should prompt business property owners to enforce their rights to search people and their possessions on their property. Finding guns, while legal, but against policy, could provide grounds for immediate dismissal under the much beloved right to work (fire) laws. This would open up jobs for those who obey company policy.

The lawsuits from these firings, as well as any generated because of workplace shootings facilitated the new law, should keep the legal profession busy for decades.

Not to mention provide the public entertainment and fodder for news outlets.

Let the games begin.

By: govskeptic on 3/1/13 at 7:39

Toothless legislation that attempted to serve the purpose of every interested party.
Chamber of Commerce was biggest winner, in that the bill gives liability protection
from lawsuits arising out of any instances on company property. Now the
legislature should do something worthwhile for the citizens of the state and
pass the Wine in medium to large grocery stores bill. Make it some minimum
square footage in groceries to qualify.

By: ancienthighway on 3/1/13 at 9:01

One more inevitable law on the books. Haslam is sure to sign.

Next will surely be something along the lines of requirement of a fixed percentage of residences in a given area are required to have firearms on the premises. And unlike that small town in Georgia where a similar law is on the books but not enforced, the militia of this state will be called upon to enforce the law. The NRA will prevail!

By: pswindle on 3/1/13 at 10:23

When the country is trying to protect people from the danger of guns and crazy people, TN has once again proven how lame we are. What good will come from guns in the trunck. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: ancienthighway on 3/1/13 at 1:12

When my son was just a tiny thing, he had this blanket he would carry around the house with him. It gave him peace. He felt safe. Everything in his world was right. As he got older, he gave up that blanket, but replaced it with a throw blanket when he watched TV. Same results.

By: Jughead on 3/1/13 at 1:29

Good news. As usual, libtards are screaming like teenagers for reasons not based in fact. Emotional, girlymen, spineless democrats.

By: bb37221 on 3/1/13 at 9:39 Gun Myths
1.They’re coming for your guns is the biggest myth propagated by the NRA lobby. The reality is that American citizens outnumber the military and police by a ratio of 79 to 1.
2.Guns don’t kill people, people kill people says the NRA. The states with the highest number of gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates.
3.The NRA would like you to think that an armed society is a polite society but drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures and 77% more likely to drive aggressively. Texans with concealed handgun permits were sentenced 4.8 times more for threatening someone than those without. Stand your ground laws have resulted in a 7% to 10% increase in homicides.
4.LaPierre says the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun but the number of mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 30 years totals 0 (that’s zero, nada, none, Wayne)
5.Gun manufacturers and gun shops will tell you that keeping a gun at home makes one safer but for every time az gun is used for self-defense in the home there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidental shootings. 43% of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm. Given a chance to handle a gun 1/3 of 8-to-12 year old kids pulled the trigger.
6.Just as a gun in the home doesn’t make one safer, neither does carrying a gun for self defense. In 2011, 10 times more people were shot and killed in arguments than by civilians trying to stop a crime. 1% of gun owners admitted to using their gun to defend themselves or their property and 50% of those actually used their guns to escalate an incident. A person carrying a gun is 4-to-5 times more likely to be shot and the odds of that person carrying a gun has 4.2 greater chance of being killed.
7.If you believe that guns make women safer you should know that 6 times more women were shot in 2010 by husbands and ex-partners than murdefred by strangers. A woman’s chances of being killed are 7 times greatefr if an abuser has access to a gun.
8.LaPierre blames gun violence on video games but comparing the US where $44 per capita is spent on video games to Japan, where $55 is spent, in the US there are 88 gun per 100 people and in Japan .6 guns per 100 people. In the US, in 2008 there were 11,030 gun homicides and in Japan 11 gun homicides.
9.While more guns are being sold in the US, in 1973, about 50% of Americans had a gun in their home while today only 45% of Americans have a gun in their home. 35% of Americans own guns and 80% of gun owners are men with an average of 7.9 guns each.

The gun lobby has made it far more difficult to enforce today’s gun laws. Over 40% of gun sales escape any background check. 20% of gun dealers in California and Virginia admit to having made sales to straw purchasers. The ATF has not had a director for over 6 years because of actions on the part of Congress giving in to the gun lobby. Finally, the gun lobby has resulted in Congress legislating a prohibition of the Center of Disease Control from declaring guns a health hazard and from investigating gun deaths on a national basis.

Guns, Simplified The day that more guns will prevent unwanted gun violence will be the day that more sexual intercourse will prevent unplanned pregnancies.

By: Just_Saying on 3/2/13 at 10:31

I want to address some of those comments above (mainly due to time constraints).

1. Apples and screwdrivers. Just because there are more non-military/police citizens than cops and soldiers doesn't mean they aren't out to ban all guns. That said, not everyone has guns, therefore not all citizens would be affected. Second, not all gun owners would resist, and not all of those who did resist would resist violently. I would fight tooth and nail as long as it was a legal battle, but I would not take up arms against the government.

2. Did it ever occur to you that the law abiding citizens bought guns to protect themselves from the criminals?

4. Given that all but one took place in locations that don't allow citizens to be legally armed, what did you expect? Oh and some states don't allow citizens to be legally armed period which would tend to reduce the number of armed citizens available.

5. So you are saying owning a gun causes crime? That me owning a gun causes a criminal some where to rob and murder, and someone else to commit suicide? As to kids, here's a thought, teach them. My son has never inappropriately handled a firearm as he's been taught to treat them with respect. He has no need to sneak around and play with them as he knows all he has to do is ask and I will let him examine them.

6. Again what does one have to do with the other? You admit that civilians stopped crime, but then go on to blame idiots shooting each other? If you think carrying a gun makes you less safe, don't carry one. Just don't interfere with my rights.

7. Did you know that if accused (not convicted, simply accused) of domestic violence you are not allowed (in TN) to be in possession of a firearm? This is a case of criminals not obeying laws (shocking I know), so what does that have to do with the rest of us?

8. Two things, Japan have almost no firearms per capita comapred to the US. Also, on this LaPierre is wrong.

9. So?

The next to last paragraph is complete and utter idiocy. How are the laws not being enforced if they are not applicable? Gun dealers breaking the law has nothing to do with the gun lobby. That is criminal behavior and should be dealt with harshly. I personally have been approached and asked to perform a straw purchase and promptly reported the individuals.

The last statement is typical of the whole. Nonsensical statement. People cause problems. Cholestorol kills, should we ban red meat? Cars kill, ban driving? The sun causes cancer, so I guess we need to build giant umbrellas?

By: ancienthighway on 3/2/13 at 1:41

It is in the best interest of the NRA and arms industry for gun sales to be unrestricted. To do this they promote fear-mongering among the gun advocates and generous campaign contributions to politicians.

Gun advocates, rightly so, want to keep their guns. They by into the fear-mongering the NRA spreads. Things like attacks on the 2nd Amendment, gun confiscation, and a host of other "facts".

Politicians are most interested in keeping their jobs. It's about the power. So they support their campaign donors. We've seen what happens when someone goes against the NRA.

Bottom line? No matter what the gun/anti-gun advocates want, legislation will be passed that support the NRA (money) and politicians (power) goals.

By: tomba1 on 3/2/13 at 3:23

Ahhh - now we won't have to endure those middle finger salutes during fits of road rage - from now on just shoot 'em !