Yesterday, Senate Bill 3002, the NRA-initiated Safe Commute Act, passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6 to 1 vote, with two members voting to "pass" on the bill. Senate Bill 2992, the Firearm Discrimination Prevention Bill intended to bolster the ultimate implementation of SB 3002, passed in the Senate Commerce Committee by a vote of 6 to 3. Both of these important bills will soon be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.
SB 3002 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 authorized to be on the property. This would ensure that 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. The second bill, SB 2992, prevents employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees based upon whether they choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
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Attached to SB 3002 were two amendments, both proposed by the bill sponsor, Senator Mike Faulk (R-4). The first would exempt (from the bill's provisions) the grounds of occupied single-family detached residences, nuclear power generating plants, and science and energy national laboratories operated by the federal Department of Energy. The other amendment limits the protections offered in the bill to those gun owners who have a valid concealed handgun permit or those gun owners 21 years-old or older who have a valid Tennessee hunting license. While these amendments do limit the proposed benefits of the original legislation, they were intended by the sponsor to improve the prospects of the legislation ultimately being enacted into law. Senator Faulk did a masterful job of defending the bills against attack during the committee hearings.
The opponents claim that the Safe Commute Act violates private property rights. The truth is that the 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. 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. is absolutely critical that you contact your state Senator TODAY and ask that he or she strongly support SB 3002 and SB 2992! 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 Senator can be found here.