Charlotte, NC –-(Ammoland.com)- HB 3560/SB 3002, the NRA-initiated Safe Commute Act, and HB 3559/SB 2992, the Firearm Discrimination Prevention Act intended to bolster the ultimate implementation of HB 3560, have passed in their committees with overwhelming support and are ready for floor votes in the state House and Senate.
Sadly, Republican legislative leaders in both chambers have signaled that they will do all they can to deny Tennesseans the chance to have this life-saving legislation debated and voted on by their 132 democratically-elected officials.
In effect, left to their own devices, one senator and one representative will deny the other 130 from doing their duty. This is not how our cherished representative democracy was ever intended to work.
Of course, the reason that these bills are being denied the opportunity for a full and fair vote in each house is that they would pass.
This would upset many members of the business community, including FedEx, Volkswagen and Bridgestone because it would prohibit them from rendering their employees defenseless during their commute to and from work. They believe that legally transported firearms stored out of sight in the locked vehicles of employees while they are in the workplace present too much danger of facilitating workplace violence. That argument is without merit, based on the sixteen states that have passed these laws to date with no problems whatsoever.
In a recent interview, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey stated that a Senate floor debate and a vote on the bills is “just not going to happen this year – just that simple.” This is despite the fact that the bills came out of their committees with a collective 12 to 4 vote. While this legislation has been considered in the state for more than four years, a number of baseless excuses are still used to justify the decision to deny Tennesseans their day on the Senate floor.
Even if the issues raised had not already been debated for years, the bills should be debated on the floor. After all, this is why floor debate is part of the legislative process. Lt. Governor Ramsey goes on to say that consideration on the floor doesn’t “serve the Legislature.” Politicians need to be reminded that they should be more concerned with what serves the people. To see the full interview with Lt. Governor Ramsey, please click here.
HB 3560 is sponsored by state Representative Eddie Bass (D-65) and 29 other members of the state House. SB 3002 is sponsored by Senator Mike Faulk (R-4). The legislation prevents employers, other property owners, and government entities from prohibiting Tennesseans from storing their legally possessed firearms out of sight in their locked private vehicle, as long as the vehicle is permitted to be on the property. This would ensure those gun owners are able to defend themselves during their commute.
Current parking lot prohibitions disarm good citizens during their entire commute, and this is a dangerous injustice that must be ended. To learn more about these bills, click here. HB 3559/SB 2992 prevents employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees based upon whether they choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Opponents claim that the Safe Commute Act violates private property rights. The truth is that this legislation finds the perfect balance between the private property rights of vehicle owners with the rights of parking lot owners. It can be said that these rights intersect literally where the rubber meets the asphalt. Law-abiding citizens should be able to store legal products, such as firearms, in their personal vehicles while at work without having to worry about losing their job. And, while the opponents may not consider the right to self-defense an important factor in finding this balance, proponents do. To learn more about the private property rights interests involved with this legislation, click here.
In order to prevent the Republican legislative leadership from denying you and other Tennesseans a fair opportunity to have these important bills heard on the House and Senate floors during the last days of the session, you must contact your state Representative and Senator TODAY! It is essential that you ask them to do everything in their power to demand that the bills are scheduled for floor debate so that they receive the floor votes they deserve.
Hearing from many constituents is one of the only ways that legislators will find the courage to stand up against anti-gun big businesses and in favor of the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens. Every individual constituent contact is more important than you might imagine. Contact information for your state Representative and state Senator can be found here.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org