On March 31, Governor Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 519 into law. SB 519, which took immediate effect, recognizes that any employer permitting a person to legally carry a firearm on the employer's property does not constitute an “occupational safety and health hazard” to the employees. SB 519, sponsored by state Senator Mike Bell (R-9), passed in the Senate by a 30 to 1 vote. House Bill 283 is the companion bill to SB 519, sponsored by state Representative Vance Dennis (R-71), that passed in the House by an 82 to 8 vote.
The recognition of Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards by the General Assembly in SB 519 and HB 283 should serve as a stepping stone toward the passage of parking lot/worker protection legislation that would allow gun owners to lawfully store firearms in their privately-owned and locked vehicle while parked in publicly accessible parking lots controlled by their employer or a business that they frequent. Employees should not be forced to choose between being fired from their job or sacrificing their right to self-defense on their daily commute.
Thank you to everyone who contacted their elected officials in support of SB 519 and HB 283!