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Federal Court Sides With NRA and Workers

Friday, February 20, 2009

This week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in support of an Oklahoma law allowing employees to store legally owned firearms in locked, private motor vehicles while parked in employer parking lots.  This decision upholds NRA-backed legislation passed in 2004. 

"This is a victory for the millions of American workers who have been denied the right to protect themselves while commuting between their homes and their workplace," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  "Their effort to overturn the law was aimed at skirting the will of the American people, and the intent of legislatures across this country while eviscerating Right-to-Carry laws.  This ruling is a slap at the corporate elitists who have no regard for the constitutional rights of law abiding American workers." 

In March 2004, the Oklahoma legislature passed an amendment holding employers criminally liable for prohibiting employees from storing their legally owned firearms in locked vehicles on company property.  A number of corporations subsequently filed suit in opposition to the new laws, alleging they were unconstitutionally vague; an unconstitutional taking of private property; and preempted by various federal statutes.  The lower court ruled in favor of the injunction. 

"This issue was contrived by the gun control lobby who goaded corporations into doing their dirty work for them," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  "However, this ruling is a vindication for every hardworking and lawful man and woman whose basic right to self-defense was taken away on a whim by corporate lawyers.  NRA is prepared to defend this right and to ensure the safety of every American worker."  

In October 2008, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (D) and Attorney General Drew Edmondson appealed the lower court decision to strike down the NRA-backed worker protection laws to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  This week's opinion, handed down by Circuit Judges Paul J. Kelly, Bobby R. Baldock, and Michael W. McConnell, reversed the lower court's grant of a permanent injunction.

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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.