As supporters of the controversial guns in cars bill work to quickly push that legislation through both Houses on Tennessee's Capitol Hill, more business owners are coming forward in opposition.
The re-tooled guns in cars bill, sponsored by Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey allows a person with a valid handgun carry permit to transport and store a firearm or firearm ammunition in the permit holder's privately-owned motor vehicle in public or private parking areas under certain conditions.
“I'm against the legislature passing guns in trunks bill because it violates my property rights as a property owner,” Nashville restaurant owner Randy Rayburn said.
Rayburn, who owns Sunset Grill, The Midtown Café and Cabana, told Nashville's News 2 he joins other local business owners, as well as large corporations such as FedEx, Nissan and Volkswagen, who strongly oppose the proposed legislation.
“Some of the largest employers in Memphis are opposed to this bill because they've had employees shot in the past from employees who were terminated then went to their car and came back with guns and shot someone,” Rayburn said.
The bill does say employers can not be held liable for shootings that may occur.
When asked about his position on the guns in car bills, Governor Bill Haslam says he would like to see an exception for public schools and college campuses, which is a suggestion already rebuffed by one of the bill's sponsors.
“It's been through one committee and one of the Houses. It has a long way to go,” Haslam said.
Rayburn however, said he has no problem criticizing the bill's sponsor.
“I believe in the second amendment but this is something that's abridged too far because the governor and his folks who are pandering to the gun lobby are owned lock, stock and barrel by the gun lobby and Chris Cox of the NRA,” Rayburn said.
The bill is scheduled to come up in the full senate Monday. It's companion bill in the House is slated for a subcommittee Wednesday.
- Feb. 7, 2013: Parking lot guns bill to be up in Senate on Monday
- Feb. 5, 2013: State lawmakers take another look at 'Guns in Cars'
- Dec. 5, 2012: Gun battle looms again at Tennessee capitol
- March 20, 2012: Vote on guns in parking lots bill delayed
- March 6, 2012: Business leaders urge lawmakers to reject guns in parking lot bill
- Feb. 23, 2012: Tenn. lawmakers debate parking lot gun bill