The Right to Keep & Bear Firearms in Motor Vehicles
By State Representative Paige Kreegel
Below is an article written by a Florida Legislator, Paige Kreegel, who was a co-sponsor of Florida's “The Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear arms in motor vehicles Act” — legislation that passed and was signed by Governor Crist in 2008. It is an excellent piece and I thought it might be useful to folks who are currently fighting these battles around the county. Thanks so much. Marion Hammer
Florida – -(AmmoLand.com)- Frequently, editorials castigate legislatures and legislators, for passing or supporting legislation allowing law-abiding citizens to keep their firearms locked in private vehicles while at work or while shopping.
This is an issue on which thoughtful people can and do disagree. However, so many editorial contain enough errors, assumptions, and omissions, that it begs for — in Paul Harvey's words — “The rest of the story”.
Derided as the “Bring your gun to work” bill, in Florida our bill/law is actually titled as “The Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear arms in motor vehicles Act”. It is in reaction to many businesses including Wal-Mart, Disney World and others prohibiting their employees from being prepared for legitimate self-defense while driving to and from work.
Consider a (depressingly) common situation: A single mother with custody of her child, dealing with an abusive, violent ex-husband or boyfriend, maybe even a stalker. These unfortunate women are not part of the leisure-crowd or the golf-and-tennis-scene. Mostly they are relegated to low-paying jobs in the service industry, often evening or night shifts.
From the time they leave the house, to drop off their babies at child-care, go to work, and then reverse the process 8 or 10 hours later, these women are completely vulnerable to premeditated violence from larger, stronger, and often obsessed males. There are not possibly enough police or armed guards to escort these employees safely to and from work. Moreover…..none are offered. Their only possible protection is a firearm.
Now, some employers would take away even that basic right–the ability to self-defense, and offer no alternatives. They have forced employees to sign waivers allowing their cars to be searched in the parking lots.
Private property rights of the employer are invariably invoked in this debate.
But what about the private property of the employee?
What is it about an employee's car that does not seem to be “private property”?
Lobbyists for some industries claimed that employees lose their private property rights when they enter an employer's parking lot.
Really? So then an employer could steal their car, sell it and not be violating the law?
Others claim that the employee has no right to privacy while on employer property.
Is that so?? Then is it OK for them to set up a hidden camera in the ladies rest room?
Much emphasis is given to the employees having “waived” their rights–in writing–as a pre-condition to employment.
If constitutionally guaranteed rights can be so casually dismissed, can the employee also be forced to “waive” their right to the minimum wage?
How about “waiving” your right to non-discrimination based on race, gender, or religion?
Some editors parrot what many businesses insinuate–that disgruntled employees are dangerous and violent. This is a cheap-shot, and a deceptive one at that.
What do the murders at Columbine, Northern Illinois University, the Amish Community School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Virginia Law School, and Virginia Tech have in common?
These massacres occurred at SCHOOLS. That's right—-supposedly “gun-free” zones.
These tragedies never seem to occur at police stations, gun shows or biker-bars. The reason is obvious—folks in these locales will shoot back!
Fact is, whenever a psychopathic, murdering, domestic terrorist wants to carry out carnage, they invariably head for the “gun-free” zones of our schools and malls. “Gun-free” laws have arguably created these horrors where our children are led like lambs to be slaughtered.
Does anyone really think that killers will obey the “gun-free” babble on their way to murder innocents?
And who are these citizens who will have their firearms locked in their cars? They are women and men who are taking responsibility for their own safety. They are law-abiding people and are habitual “rule-followers”.
They are NOT part of the problem, but they are able and willing to become a part of the solution. We in the Legislature should let them do so.
Paige Kreegel (R)
Florida House of Representatives