The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday to discuss a bill that would prevent employers from prohibiting employees, licensed to carry a gun, from storing their firearms in locked, personal vehicles.
The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Mike Faulk of Church Hill told Nashville's News 2, the bill's purpose is to allow employees to “defend themselves going to and from work.”
A vote by the committee was expected at the meeting; however it was deferred until next week.
Senator Faulk plans to reintroduce the bill for a vote next week with a few changes, “The amendments that have been prepared will narrow the scope of the bill particularly to gun carry permit holders only.”
However some lawmakers, like Republican Senator Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, had several questions at Tuesday's meeting.
Senator Campfield said he worries the bill infringes on people's rights.
“Where do property rights begin and constitutional rights end,” Campfield told Nashville's News 2.
The State Attorney General's office also presented their opinion at the meeting, calling the bill “constitutionally defensible.”
Despite the Attorney General's opinion, several Nashville businesses, such as the Hutton Hotel believe they should be able to decide what is allowed on their property, and see this bill as a safety hazard.
“What we need to send out from Nashville and the state of Tennessee is a positive safety image and a place that is good for employers and I think taking away property rights from employers is not sending the right message,” Steven Andre, General Manager of the Hutton Hotel, told Nashville's News 2.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to meet again next week. The companion bill is currently awaiting a vote in a House subcommittee.
- March 6, 2012: Business leaders urge lawmakers to reject guns in parking lot bill
- Feb. 23, 2012: Tenn. lawmakers debate parking lot gun bill