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TN safe commuter act goes into effect

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Effective today, the TN safe commuter act goes into effect. If you have a HCP you can now leave your firearm locked up in your car out of view even on property that has been posted by the owner. According to the AG if the property is posted you may still face action by your employer but there can be no criminal charges for having the firearm on the property. This applies to all public and private parking areas except where banned by federal law such as a federal military base for example.

 

It was a long hard battle to get this passed. It is not as strong as some would like but with TN being a freedom to work state it accomplished what some believe is a balance between property owner rights and the right to be armed to defend yourself while commuting.

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I know somone whose employer is asking for the employees to fill out a "permission request" in order to be able to have a weapon in their car on work property. So paranoia aside, if the employer's policy has been not to allow firearms on the property prior to law, the employee can still suffer sanctions/firing since they are violating company policy even though having the firearm is now legal, correct? This does not make a whole lot of sense to me. If the employer can still fire an employee for having the firearm, what good is the law in practical terms? If I understand this correctly, the law is moot, if company policy forbids having a weapon locked in the employee's trunk while it is parked on company property. So the only thing the law does is to decriminalize the weapon possesion, correct ? If policy forbids possesion in the car, the employee can still be fired, correct? If the company is asking for the employee to "declare" they have a weapon in writing, they could be asking the employee to admit the are breaking company policy. So, the critical thing would be to make sure the company has changed its policy so that weapons locked up in employee vehicles is now allowed. Even if company policy allows the weapon in the car, why would the company want the empoyee to announce their intent to have the weapon in the car? Does the law allow them to ask? It would seem to me this info could easily fall into the wrong hands, and make those vehicles targets for burglary.

 

Thanks for your help.

John

Edited by Retcop

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Yes, the bill originally protected the employee from firing. It was watered down after compromise led by Fed Ex and a German company VolksWagon.

 

Still when you think of it, the state shouldn't be telling companies who they must employ anyway.

 

Though it does not stop a company from firing someone, what it does do is having a gun in your car, a company can't press for criminal trespass. This is a very big deal.

 

I travel for a living calling on companies and not even employed by them. i'm doing business with them. I need my gun. I'm going into some really not nice places to get to these plants, many with "NO GUN" rules. I get caught with a gun, I go to jail until this bill.

 

Technically so can you, if you break down and go through that gate.

 

I wish they had this law all over the US. As it is now, I have to ferret it out ahead of time or risk jail.

 

Tj

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Under the old law not only could the company fire you, they could file charges and have you arrested for violation of TN "posting notice" law. This would have been a criminal charge and not only jail and fines but also loss of your permit for a few years. The new law simply removes the criminal charge. In an AG opinion issued on the subject the AG said that no criminal charges could be filed and that an employer does not have the right to search a vechicle in his parking lot.

 

While the most seen argument with this law was places of employment, the law does not restrict it to your place of employment. For example, my wife works for a hosiptal system While she does not work at a hospital she does on occasion hve to go in for a few hours. Lets say it is my day off and I want to go and have lunch with her. Because the hospitals post at the entrance of the street, under the old law I was in violation of the law just by driving in to parking lot with a gun. Under the new law I just have to put the gun out of site in the car and lock the doors and I would be completly protected against criminal charges. Now if I hop out of the car and an employee sees me taking my gun out of the holster and putting it in the glove box, they can still ask me to leave they just cant file charges.

 

Personally I think it is a good balance of rights. Under TN law my car is an extension of my home for the castle doctrin. My employer can not tell me I can not have a gun in my home why should they be able to tell me I cant have one in my car? If he doesnt want my car on his property then he needs to rent a public parking lot. As long as the gun is in my car, then it is in my home. I am also against creating a protected class. While many gun owners are up in arms about still be able to be fired for the offense, TN is a right to work state. They can fire you for wearing the wrong colored shirt. So even if they made it illegal to fire you for haveing a gun in your car, they would only fire you for something else.

 

Now this is where it gets sticky for me. I work on a state military installation. The Commanding genderal has said "no guns" and posted the state bases. Well the Govenor, by way of this law, has said I can have it in my car. So the two orders conflict and the govenor out ranks the genderal.

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Well, a little personal update. My wife, an Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) employee just got an email from the Corp office. While the no guns to be worn or brought into the buildings policy remains in place, they have said that having a firearm in the vechicle, as long as it is not displayed no action will be taken against the employee.

 

I think more businesses are doing this. While the law allows for the company to take admin action against an employee, as long as it is in the car they can not take legal action. I can see many companies saying "OK, just leave it in the car and it will be all good". While other companies such as UPS and FedEx will remain a strict anti gun stance, they do not have a right to search your car and the AG has upheld that.

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