Supposed "Parking Lot" bill being railroaded through the legislature does NOT protect employees from being fired, if they have a permit. IT is smoke and mirrors, The points to consider are listed below.

1. The bill is limited in Section 1 (proposed 37-17-1313(a)) to a "permit holder’s privately-owned motor vehicle." This language could have the effect of excluding permit holders who are relying on a borrowed car, a family owned car, a parent's car, a leased car or even a temporary rental from protection under this bill. This limitation and trap should be removed.
2. The bill in Section 1 (proposed 37-17-1313(a)(1)) has a clause that provides that the law would only apply if the car "is parked in a location where it is permitted to be; ...." This clause could form the basis for employers and property owners to effectively "opt out" of the law's scope by posting signs or establishing employment "rules" that vehicles containing firearms can not be parked on the property or can be parked only at specific areas of the property. Another trap here would be for those permit holders who are issued permits for specific parking lots, like at Vanderbilt, and then are found to be parked in an area not covered by the employer's permit - this bill may allow those employees to be criminally prosecuted.
3. The bill uses the qualifier in Section 1 (proposed 37-17-1313(a)) "Notwithstanding §§ 39-17-1309, 39-17-1311, or § 39-17-1359, . . ." I am concerned that this language may be intended to protect or allow prohibitions under other statutes or that it would not address grand fathered local government restrictions under 39-17-1314 such as apply in Knoxville and Davidson Counties relative to government parking areas and/or locally managed parks.
4. Another similar loophole to the "notwithstanding" clause could be with the application of criminal trespass doctrines since the "notwithstanding" clause is limited to 3 specific statutes and that list does not include the criminal trespass statute. The point is that the notwithstanding clause has a self-imposed limit and that limit allows the potential for a court to find that numerous other statutes would continue to allow criminal prosecution of permit holders.
5. The bill in Section 1 (proposed 37-17-1313(a)(2)) does not address "incidental exposure" that could occur while the permit holder is storing the weapon in the car if that occurs on the property. Thus, a security camera or another employee that sees a permit holder placing the weapon in the glove compartment or trunk once on the property might not be protected by the legislation as presently written.
6. The bill does not preclude an employer from having a "no weapons" policy and firing, terminating or refusing to hire individuals with carry permits or who store their weapons in the parking areas (and consequently denying them both safe commute as well as unemployment benefits or any remedy for wrongful termination.)
7. the bill would criminalize under state law possession on any federal property that might be restricted. It would be better that Tennessee not bootstrap federal infringements of 2nd Amendment rights and leave the enforcement of any such restrictions to be the financial burden of the federal government.
8. Although not material to the bill's purpose, the bill has a factual error in the first "whereas" clause which states "WHEREAS, in 1996, Tennesseans were first given the opportunity to apply for and, if
meeting the qualifications, be issued a permit to carry a handgun in public;" Tennessee's first civilian handgun permit law was actually passed 2 years earlier in May 1994 under 1994 Tennessee Laws Pub. Ch. 943 (S.B. 2182) and codified at that time at TCA 39-17-1315. It then underwent a significant re-write when the permit process was transferred from the sheriffs (under the 1994 law) to the Department of Safety by subsequent legislation.

Edited by worriedman (02/14/13 10:32 AM)
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." Samuel Adams

Life Member NRA, TFA, Tennesseans for Liberty