Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- The Iowa legislature has introduced a bill, SF 459, to allow employees and volunteers who have carry permits, to keep firearms in their locked vehicle, in parking lots, even if the employer forbids firearms on their property. The bill passed out of the Senate subcommittee on 23 January 2020.
The benefit in the bill, for the employer or lawful owner or possessor of the property, is they are held immune for any actions that may have allegedly caused harm due to the presence of the firearm in the locked vehicle.
S.F. 459 Section 1. NEW SECTION . 724.4D Limitation on employers —— 1 firearms and ammunition.
1. For purposes of this section, “employee” includes a contract employee or volunteer.
2. An employer shall not prohibit an employee in possession of a permit issued pursuant to section 724.6 or 724.7 from carrying, transporting, or possessing a firearm or ammunition, if the firearm and ammunition are out of sight and inside the locked motor vehicle of the employee on the real property comprising the employee’s place of employment, provided the motor vehicle is parked in a location designated or allowed for employee parking, and if the carrying, transportation, or possession of the firearm or ammunition is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state.
3. An employer, owner, or lawful possessor of the property on which the employer is located shall be immune from any claim, cause of action, or lawsuit brought by any person seeking damages that are alleged, directly or indirectly, as a result of any firearm or ammunition brought onto the property of the employer, owner, or lawful possessor by an employee pursuant to this section.
Several other states have passed parking lot legislation. The argument is, allowing an employer to forbid an employee to store a firearm in their locked vehicle, effectively disarms them on their way to and from work.
In addition, it is argued, that employers violate employee rights to the employee’s property by insisting on control over what is in an employee’s vehicle.
In news coverage, Senator Jason Schultz makes the argument. From whotv.com:
Currently, someone with a conceal-and-carry permit cannot bring their firearm to work, if company policy does not allow guns on the premises.
“We have hundreds of thousands of Iowans, law-abiding good Iowans with conceal carry permits who wake up and get children ready for school cannot exercise their second amendment right,” Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig.
Schultz said these legislation would allow for Iowans with permits to fully enjoy their second amendment rights.
According to this article on weapons in the workplace, there are 23 states which protect the Second Amendment rights of employees to keep weapons in their vehicles in an employer parking lot, in some fashion or another.
A Democrat senator in Iowa was quoted as supporting the 2020 parking lot law.
Sen. Tony Bisignano, a Democrat, used a personal example in support of the legislation. He said he strives to go to mass before work daily, but cannot bring his firearm to a church.
“Not being able to carry my weapon in my car in the proper way would create an inconvenience for me to go home to get my weapon to go to work where I can carry my weapon,” he said.
Gun owners who can legally carry have been shown to be incredibly law-abiding. While police officers break the law far less than the general public, carry permit holders break the law far less than police do. Studies of police infractions are difficult to come by, but where comparisons can be made, police commit several times the rate of infractions of permit holders.
Those who wish for a disarmed public claim more guns will cause more problems.
Those who argue for the exercise of Second Amendment rights argue that more armed, peaceful, gun owners make society safer. Private gun owners who have stopped mass murders, such as recently in Texas, are used to show the utility of private gun ownership.
The Iowa Legislature has a majority of Republicans in both the Senate (32 of 50 senators) and the House of Representatives (54 of 100 representatives).
The Iowa Governor is Republican Kim Reynolds, the first female governor of Iowa.
The Great Seal of Iowa says “WE PRIZE OUR LIBERTIES AND OUR RIGHTS WE WILL MAINTAIN”
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.