The 2011 session of the 107th General Assembly adjourned May 21. Several pro-gun bills received no action and were left in their respective committees to be taken up when the 2012 session reconvenes on January 10.
These bills include NRA-drafted legislation that promotes the passage of parking lot/employee protection rights which 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.
On March 31, Governor Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 519 into law. SB 519, which took immediate effect, recognized 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 to the passage of future pro-gun legislation during the 2012 session.
Thank you to all of the NRA members who took the time to contact their Tennessee legislators this session.