NASHVILLE – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today released a formal legal opinion from the legislature’s Office of Legal Services which confirms that an at-will employee may not be terminated for keeping their personal firearm in their car while at work in compliance with Public Chapter 16.
The opinion cites numerous Supreme Court rulings that an employee cannot be discharged for exercising a statutory or constitutional right, or “for any other reason which violates a clear public policy” of the State of Tennessee without the employer being subject to a wrongful discharge cause of action.
“Last session we passed a law which protected private property rights while allowing permit holders to lawfully keep a firearm stored in their car while at work. This opinion makes clear we did just that,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “The Office of Legal Services has issued an unambiguous opinion citing extensive case law that an employer cannot fire an employee who keeps a gun in their car at work in accordance with the law.”
“It is unfortunate the Democrat Attorney General has muddied the waters by calling this law into question but his opinion is not binding. It has no more force of law than any other lawyer’s opinion,” continued Lt. Governor Ramsey. “The view of the Office of Legal Services mirrors the views of employment attorneys who are advising employers to tread lightly on the right of employees with handgun permits as they travel to and from work. There need be no further clarification.”
See the full opinion at this link: http://capitol.tn.gov/senate/publications/Public%20Chapter%2016%20memo.pdf