House panel advances parking lot gun measures

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House has rushed four bills out of subcommittee to guarantee workers the right to store firearms in vehicles parked on company lots.

The measures were advanced to the full Consumer Affairs Committee on Tuesday with truncated debate.

Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville said last week that she expected the gun bills to be vetted through committees despite word from the Senate that the companion bills are not likely to receive full floor votes this year.

The bills are strongly opposed by business, higher education and law enforcement groups on private property and safety grounds. Gun advocates argue that parked vehicles should count as the employees' private property regardless of whether the parking lots are owned by businesses that seek to prohibit firearms.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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