Come July 1, Tennesseans with handgun carry permits will have a legal cause of action against an employer who fires them for keeping a gun in their car.
Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill Monday, which passed both chambers easily March 23. Senate Bill 1058 passed the Senate 28 to 5, and later received the approval of 78 Housemembers, with 14 opposed.
The General Assembly first passed a bill in 2013 to allow gun-toting employees a protection against criminal prosecution for storing it in their care at work, even over the objections of their boss..
However, despite the assertions of proponents that it would also offer a legal protection against the termination of employment, there was a good deal of confusion surrounding that question, including an opinion from then-Attorney General Bob Cooper, which said while the Legislature had done away with the criminal penalty, employers could still do away with an employee found in violation of company policy prohibiting guns on the property.
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce has been an opponent of the gun-related legislation it says undermines employers’ property rights and ability to set and enforce workplace rules.
Alex Harris can be contacted at Alex@TNReport.com.