Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters Wednesday that a long-gestating guns-in-lots proposal would “find a lot more favor” with his administration if it more closely resembled similar legislation in Georgia.
Sen. Mike Faulk’s SB3002 would prohibit employers from enacting policies that ban workers from storing firearms in their cars on company lots. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday delayed action after Faulk referred to a few tweaks he’d be making to the bill.
A companion bill, SB2992, that would prohibit “employment discrimination based on an applicant or current employee’s ownership, storage, transportation or posession of a firearm.” The Senate’s commerce committee delayed action on the legislation Tuesday and it is still awaiting a vote in a House subcommittee.
Faulk told TNReport Wednesday that amendments were finished, but hadn’t been filed.
“Both bills are pared back to cover gun permit carry holders only, so it isn’t nearly as broad in scope as the original bill,” he said. “I believe the second amendment exempts nuclear facilities. Those are the only two I’ve seen, and at this point, the only two I expect to file.”
Representatives from the state attorney general’s office appeared before the committee Tuesday to present the AG’s opinion, stating that the legislation is constitutionally defensible.
“While there is limited case law on this issue and a difference of opinion among commentators, two courts in other jurisdictions have upheld bills similar to SB3002 against constitutional challenges,” the opinion stated.
In Georgia, a similar law contains multiple exceptions, including one allowing for such prohibitions in cases where the employer is also the property owner. The long list of exemptions in the law has lead some to question its true effect.
The Tennessee Firearms Association, which has been a thorn in the side of Republicans throughout the conservative-on-conservative debate, released a statement Wednesday suggesting that further delays and changes to the legislation could lead firearm owners to oppose the bill completely. The release called Faulk’s amendments “nothing but appeasement by these Republican leaders to the “Golden Goose” of corporate money.”
Told of the TFA’s comments, Faulk said he hadn’t seen the comments.
“But, if they’ve not seen my amendments, I would say that’s a little premature,” he said.