Lawmakers took fast action on the guns-in-parking lots bill this session after tying themselves in knots over it last year. Amazing how much easier it was for them to make a decision after the NRA ousted House GOP bigwig Debra Maggart in last summer’s primary elections. Maggart had the audacity to oppose this bill. How imprudent of her.
The Judiciary Committee didn’t really even debate it before voting 8-zip this afternoon to let the state’s licensed gunmen keep their loaded pistols in their car trunks in their employers’ parking lots no matter what their bosses think about it.
Gov. Bill Haslam met with Republicans beforehand to ask them to exclude college campuses, but they refused. Who's got more clout? The governor or the NRA? That's a stupid question.
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, representing a million jobs, is against Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s bill because businesses are worried that disgruntled employees will snatch their Glocks out of their cars and go postal on their property. Lawmakers seem way more worried about the NRA than gun violence. In a nod to the concerns of businesses, the bill does say employers can’t be held liable for shoot ‘em ups that might occur.
Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, called it a matter of self-defense for employees, who might need to stop and shoot someone on their way to or from work.
“If handgun permit holders are denied their weapon should they choose to have one in their automobile while at work, then they are denied the right to self-protection to and from work.,” Johnson said. “Tennesseans deserve that right to self-protection if they are ready to go through the legal steps to obtain a handgun carry permit.”