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Tennessee: NRA-Backed Safe Commute and Employee Protection Bills Awaiting Floor Action in Last Days of Session

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Republican Leaders Aiming to Deny Tennesseans the Benefits of Representative Democracy

HB 3560/SB 3002, the NRA-initiated Safe Commute Act, and HB 3559/SB 2992, the Firearm Discrimination Prevention Act intended to bolster the ultimate implementation of HB 3560, have passed in their committees with overwhelming support and are ready for floor votes in the state House and Senate.  

Sadly, Republican legislative leaders in both chambers have signaled that they will do all they can to deny Tennesseans the chance to have this life-saving legislation debated and voted on by their 132 democratically-elected officials.  In effect, left to their own devices, one senator and one representative will deny the other 130 from doing their duty.  This is not how our cherished representative democracy was ever intended to work.  

Of course, the reason that these bills are being denied the opportunity for a full and fair vote in each house is because they would pass.  This would upset many members of the business community, including FedEx, Volkswagen and Bridgestone, because it would prohibit them from rendering their employees defenseless during their commute to and from work.  They believe that legally transported firearms stored out of sight in the locked vehicles of employees while they are in the workplace present too much danger of facilitating workplace violence.  That argument is without merit, based on the sixteen states that have passed these laws to date with no problems whatsoever.  

In a recent interview, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey stated that a Senate floor debate and a vote on the bills is “just not going to happen this year – just that simple.”  This is despite the fact that the bills came out of their committees with a collective 12 to 4 vote.  While this legislation has been considered in the state for more than four years, a number of baseless excuses are still used to justify the decision to deny Tennesseans their day on the Senate floor.  

Even if the issues raised had not already been debated for years, the bills should be debated on the floor.  After all, this is why floor debate is part of the legislative process.  Lt. Governor Ramsey goes on to say that consideration on the floor doesn’t “serve the Legislature.”  Politicians need to be reminded that they should be more concerned with what serves the people.  To see the full interview with Lt. Governor Ramsey, please click here

HB 3560 is sponsored by state Representative Eddie Bass (D-65) and 29 other members of the state House.  SB 3002 is sponsored by Senator Mike Faulk (R-4).  The legislation 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 permitted 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.  To learn more about these bills, click here.  HB 3559/SB 2992 prevents employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees based upon whether they choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Opponents claim that the Safe Commute Act violates private property rights.  The truth is that this 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.  Law-abiding citizens should be able to store legal products, such as firearms, in their personal vehicle while at work without having to worry about losing their job.  And, 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.

In order to prevent the Republican legislative leadership from denying you and other Tennesseans a fair opportunity to have these important bills heard on the House and Senate floors during the last days of session, you must contact your state Representative and Senator TODAY!  It is essential that you ask them to do everything in their power to demand that the bills are scheduled for floor debate so that they receive the floor votes they deserve.  

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 Representative and state Senator can be found here.

Bill Haslam Governor R 615/741-2001 bill.haslam@tn.gov
Ron Ramsey Lt. Governor R 615/741.4524 lt.gov.ron.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov
Beth Harwell Speaker of the House of Representatives 56 R 615/741-0709 rep.beth.harwell@capitol.tn.gov
David Alexander Representative 39 R 615/741-8695 rep.david.alexander@capitol.tn.gov
Joseph E. Armstrong Representative 15 D 615/741-0768 rep.joe.armstrong@capitol.tn.gov
Eddie Bass Representative 65 D 615/741-1864 rep.eddie.bass@capitol.tn.gov
Harry R. Brooks Representative 19 R 615/741-6879 rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov
Kevin D Brooks Representative 24 R 615/741-1350 rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov
Tommie F. Brown Representative 28 D 615/741-4374 rep.tommie.brown@capitol.tn.gov
Sheila Butt Representative 64 R 615/741-3005 rep.sheila.butt@capitol.tn.gov
Scotty Campbell Representative 3 R 615/741-2050 rep.scotty.campbell@capitol.tn.gov
Karen D. Camper Representative 87 D 615/741-1898 rep.karen.camper@capitol.tn.gov
Joe Carr Representative 48 R 615/741-2180 rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov
Glen Casada Representative 63 R 615/741-4389 rep.glen.casada@capitol.tn.gov
Jim Cobb Representative 31 R 615/741-1450 rep.jim.cobb@capitol.tn.gov
Jim Coley Representative 97 R 615/741-8201 rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov
Barbara Cooper Representative 86 D 615/741-4295 rep.barbara.cooper@capitol.tn.gov
Charles Curtiss Representative 43 D 615/741-1963 rep.charles.curtiss@capitol.tn.gov
Vince Dean Representative 30 R 615/741-1934 rep.vince.dean@capitol.tn.gov
John DeBerry Representative 90 D 615/741-2239 rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov
Lois M. DeBerry Representative 91 D 615/741-3830 rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov
Vance Dennis Representative 71 R 615/741-2190 rep.vance.dennis@capitol.tn.gov
Bill Dunn Representative 16 R 615/741-1721 rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov
Linda Elam Representative 57 R 615/741-7462 rep.linda.elam@capitol.tn.gov
Jimmy Eldridge Representative 73 R 615/741-7475 rep.jimmy.eldridge@capitol.tn.gov
Joshua Evans Representative 66 R 615/741-2860 rep.joshua.evans@capitol.tn.gov
Jeremy Faison Representative 11 R 615/741-6871 rep.jeremy.faison@capitol.tn.gov
JoAnne Favors Representative 29 D 615/741-2702 rep.joanne.favors@capitol.tn.gov
Craig Fitzhugh Representative 82 D 615/741-2134 rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov
Richard Floyd Representative 27 R 615/741-2746 rep.richard.floyd@capitol.tn.gov
Robert Dale Ford Representative 6 R 615/741-1717 rep.dale.ford@capitol.tn.gov
John W. Forgety Representative 23 R 615/741-1725 rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov
Brenda Gilmore Representative 54 D 615/741-1997 rep.brenda.gilmore@capitol.tn.gov
Jim Gotto Representative 60 R 615/741-6959 rep.jim.gotto@capitol.tn.gov
Curtis Halford Representative 79 R 615/741-7478 rep.curtis.halford@capitol.tn.gov
Steve Hall Representative 18 R 615/741-2287 rep.steve.hall@capitol.tn.gov
G.A. Hardaway Representative 92 D 615/741-5625 rep.ga.hardaway@capitol.tn.gov
Bill W. Harmon Representative 37 D 615/741-6849 rep.bill.harmon@capitol.tn.gov
Mike Harrison Representative 9 R 615/741-7480 rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov
David Hawk Representative 5 R 615/741-7482 rep.david.hawk@capitol.tn.gov
Ryan Haynes Representative 14 R 615/741-2264 rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov
Joey Hensley Representative 70 R 615/741-7476 rep.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov
Matthew Hill Representative 7 R 615/741-2251 rep.matthew.hill@capitol.tn.gov
Andrew H. Holt Representative 76 R 615/741-7847 rep.andy.holt@capitol.tn.gov
Julia Cheyanne Hurley Representative 32 R 615/741-7658 rep.julia.hurley@capitol.tn.gov
Curtis G. Johnson Representative 68 R 615/741-4341 rep.curtis.johnson@capitol.tn.gov
Phillip Johnson Representative 78 R 615/741-7477 rep.phillip.johnson@capitol.tn.gov
Sherry Stoner Jones Representative 59 D 615/741-2035 rep.sherry.jones@capitol.tn.gov
Kelly Keisling Representative 38 R 615/741-6852 rep.kelly.keisling@capitol.tn.gov
Michael L. Kernell Representative 93 D 615/741-3726 rep.mike.kernell@capitol.tn.gov
Ron Lollar Representative 99 R 615/741-7084 rep.ron.lollar@capitol.tn.gov
Jon Lundberg Representative 1 R 615/741-7623 rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov
Debra Young Maggart Representative 45 R 615/741-3893 rep.debra.maggart@capitol.tn.gov
Pat Marsh Representative 62 R 615/741-6824 rep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov
Judd Matheny Representative 47 R 615/741-7448 rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov
Jimmy Matlock Representative 21 R 615/741-3736 rep.jimmy.matlock@capitol.tn.gov
Gerald McCormick Representative 26 R 615/741-2548 rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov
Steve K. McDaniel Representative 72 R 615/741-0750 rep.steve.mcdaniel@capitol.tn.gov
Michael Ray McDonald Representative 44 D 615/741-1980 rep.michael.mcdonald@capitol.tn.gov
Stephen McManus Representative 96 R 615/741-1920 rep.steve.mcmanus@capitol.tn.gov
Don Miller Representative 10 R 615/741-6877 rep.don.miller@capitol.tn.gov
Larry J. Miller Representative 88 D 615/741-4453 rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov
Richard Montgomery Representative 12 R 615/741-5981 rep.richard.montgomery@capitol.tn.gov
Gary W. Moore Representative 50 D 615/741-4317 rep.gary.moore@capitol.tn.gov
Jimmy Naifeh Representative 81 D 615/741-3774 spk.eme.jimmy.naifeh@capitol.tn.gov
Frank S. Niceley Representative 17 R 615/741-4419 rep.frank.niceley@capitol.tn.gov
Gary Odom Representative 55 D 615/741-4410 rep.gary.odom@capitol.tn.gov
Antonio Parkinson Representative 98 D 615/741-4575 rep.antonio.parkinson@capitol.tn.gov
Joe Pitts Representative 67 D 615/741-2043 rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov
Mark Pody Representative 46 R 615/741-7086 rep.mark.pody@capitol.tn.gov
Dennis Powers Representative 36 R 615/741-3335 rep.dennis.powers@capitol.tn.gov
Mary Pruitt Representative 58 D 615/741-3853 rep.mary.pruitt@capitol.tn.gov
John D. Ragan Representative 33 R 615/741-4400 rep.john.ragan@capitol.tn.gov
Robert Ramsey Representative 20 R 615/741-3560 rep.bob.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov
Barrett Rich Representative 94 R 615/741-6890 rep.barrett.rich@capitol.tn.gov
Jeanne Richardson Representative 89 D 615/741-2010 rep.jeanne.richardson@capitol.tn.gov
Dennis E. Roach Representative 35 R 615/741-2534 rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov
Bill Sanderson Representative 77 R 615/741-0718 rep.bill.sanderson@capitol.tn.gov
Charles M. Sargent Representative 61 R 615/741-6808 rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov
Cameron Sexton Representative 25 R 615/741-2343 rep.cameron.sexton@capitol.tn.gov
Johnny Shaw Representative 80 D 615/741-4538 rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov
David Shepard Representative 69 D 615/741-3513 rep.david.shepard@capitol.tn.gov
Tony Shipley Representative 2 R 615/741-2886 rep.tony.shipley@capitol.tn.gov
Janis Baird Sontany Representative 53 D 615/741-6861 rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov
Mike Sparks Representative 49 R 615/741-6829 rep.mike.sparks@capitol.tn.gov
Mike Stewart Representative 52 D 615/741-2184 rep.mike.stewart@capitol.tn.gov
Art Swann Representative 8 R 615/741-5481 rep.art.swann@capitol.tn.gov
John Tidwell Representative 74 D 615/741-7098 rep.john.tidwell@capitol.tn.gov
Harry J. Tindell Representative 13 D 615/741-2031 rep.harry.tindell@capitol.tn.gov
Curry Todd Representative 95 R 615/741-1866 rep.curry.todd@capitol.tn.gov
Joe Towns Representative 84 D 615/741-2189 rep.joe.towns@capitol.tn.gov
Johnnie Turner Representative 85 D 615/741-6954 rep.johnnie.turner@capitol.tn.gov
Michael L. Turner Representative 51 D 615/741-3229 rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov
Eric Watson Representative 22 R 615/741-7799 rep.eric.watson@capitol.tn.gov
Terri Lynn Weaver Representative 40 R 615/741-2192 rep.terri.lynn.weaver@capitol.tn.gov
Mark White Representative 83 R 615/741-4415 rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov
Kent Williams Representative 4 I 615/741-7450 speaker.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov
Ryan Williams Representative 42 R 615/741-1875 rep.ryan.williams@capitol.tn.gov
John Mark Windle Representative 41 D 615/741-1260 rep.john.windle@capitol.tn.gov
Tim Wirgau Representative 75 R 615/741-6804 rep.tim.wirgau@capitol.tn.gov
Richard B. Womick Representative 34 R 615/741-2804 rep.rick.womick@capitol.tn.gov
Tim Barnes Senator 22 D 615/741-2374 sen.tim.barnes@capitol.tn.gov
Mae Beavers Senator 17 R 615/741-2421 sen.mae.beavers@capitol.tn.gov
Mike Bell Senator 9 R 615/741-1946 sen.mike.bell@capitol.tn.gov
Andy Berke Senator 10 D 615/741-6682 sen.andy.berke@capitol.tn.gov
Charlotte Burks Senator 15 D 615/741-3978 sen.charlotte.burks@capitol.tn.gov
Stacey Campfield Senator 7 R 615/741-1766 sen.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov
Rusty Crowe Senator 3 R 615/741-2468 sen.rusty.crowe@capitol.tn.gov
Mike Faulk Senator 4 R 615/741-2061 sen.mike.faulk@capitol.tn.gov
Lowe Finney Senator 27 D 615/741-1810 sen.lowe.finney@capitol.tn.gov
Ophelia Ford Senator 29 D 615/741-1767 sen.ophelia.ford@capitol.tn.gov
Dolores Gresham Senator 26 R 615/741-2368 sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov
Thelma Harper Senator 19 D 615/741-2453 sen.thelma.harper@capitol.tn.gov
Joe M. Haynes Senator 20 D 615/741-6679 sen.joe.haynes@capitol.tn.gov
Douglas Henry Senator 21 D 615/741-3291 sen.douglas.henry@capitol.tn.gov
Roy Herron Senator 24 D 615/741-4576 sen.roy.herron@capitol.tn.gov
Jack Johnson Senator 23 R 615/741-2495 sen.jack.johnson@capitol.tn.gov
Brian Kelsey Senator 31 R 615/741-3036 sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov
Bill Ketron Senator 13 R 615/741-6853 sen.bill.ketron@capitol.tn.gov
James F. Kyle Senator 28 D 615/741-4167 sen.jim.kyle@capitol.tn.gov
Beverly Marrero Senator 30 D 615/741-9128 sen.beverly.marrero@capitol.tn.gov
Becky Duncan Massey Senator 6 R 615/741-1648 sen.becky.massey@capitol.tn.gov
James Randy McNally Senator 5 R 615/741-6806 sen.randy.mcnally@capitol.tn.gov
Mark S. Norris Senator 32 R 615/741-1967 sen.mark.norris@capitol.tn.gov
Doug Overbey Senator 8 R 615/741-0981 sen.doug.overbey@capitol.tn.gov
Ron L. Ramsey Senator 2 R 615/741-4524 lt.gov.ron.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov
Kerry Roberts Senator 18 R 615/741-1999 sen.kerry.roberts@capitol.tn.gov
Steve Southerland Senator 1 R 615/741-3851 sen.steve.southerland@capitol.tn.gov
Eric Stewart Senator 14 D 615/741-6694 sen.eric.stewart@capitol.tn.gov
Jim Summerville Senator 25 R 615/741-4499 sen.jim.summerville@capitol.tn.gov
Reginald Tate Senator 33 D 615/741-2509 sen.reginald.tate@capitol.tn.gov
Jim Tracy Senator 16 R 615/741-1066 sen.jim.tracy@capitol.tn.gov
Bo Watson Senator 11 R 615/741-3227 sen.bo.watson@capitol.tn.gov
Ken Yager Senator 12 R 615/741-1449 sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov

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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.