Guns in parking lots bill one step closer to becoming law

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Right now, some businesses don't allow employees to keep guns in their cars at work, but the guns in parking lots bill would change that. Steve Bean has a carry permit and said people should be able to protect themselves no matter where they are.

"Especially people that have to work shifts - going in early, late when there's not a lot of people out. They have to stop at the grocery store, stop at the gas station. They need a means to be able to take care of their own security," said Bean.

Scott Hale works at Coal Creek Armory and is against the bill.

"I"ve always felt that it's an owners perogative - if I own a bakery or a gun store or whatever the case may be, then I'll decide what happens on the premisis of my business and not the state legislature," said Hale.

Cox Interior is a very gun-friendly business:

"Well, we all hunt here. But guns are about more than just hunting. It's your second amendment - you have the right to keep and bear arms. Matter of fact, I've got a gun on me right now," said Doug Eastridge, sales manager at Cox Interior.

But Eastridge said he's against the bill.

"I'm not for that. Like I said, that should be their right to choose yay or nay themselves. I think the government is getting too involved in a lot of different things," he said.

Some argue workplace violence might go up if people are allowed to keep guns in their cars. But Gary Baisley said that won't happen:

"What if you had a hammer, what if you had a knife? There's lots of other weapons other than a gun, period," said Baisley.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee passed its version of the bill on Tuesday. The full Senate could vote on it later this week.

The NRA backs the measure, which failed last year after business leaders argued it infringed on property rights.

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