TN AG: OK To Fire Employees With Guns In Trunks

Tennessee passed a “guns in trunks” law a few months ago. It was designed to allow handgun permit holders to legally store their carry guns in their cars pretty much wherever they may be parked – including their employer’s property. And while the bill’s sponsors intended it to protect gun owners employment rights, Tennessee’s Attorney General, Alfred E. Robert Cooper doesn’t see it that way. In a recently-release legal opinion, he made it clear that, as far as he’s concerned employers can fire firearms owners if they find that they’ve stored their gats in vehicles on their parking lots. Reader JR has looked at the AG’s reasoning and sends this analysis . . .

The single biggest issue apparent with this opinion revolves around issue #3 and the matter of security camera observation. In his analysis of the requirement “is kept from ordinary observation”, the AG only analyzes the meaning of “ordinary observation”; however, he incorrectly writes in the following requirement — “AT ALL TIMES” — into his analysis.  In fact, this language is not present in the law . . .

Either this was an unintentional error in his legal analysis, or an intentional effort to skip over an analysis of what it means “to keep.” One must not forget the true reason why this law was enacted — it was meant to permit a carry permit holder to take his lawfully carried sidearm off his/her person and store it temporarily in the car in situations where a carry permit holder could not lawfully bring his/her weapon into a given business or facility.

The AG is now trying to say, “Oh, by the way, if a surveillance camera that you can’t see and don’t know about because it is 30 ft. up on top of a parking lot light happens to see you through your windshield, then you are breaking the law.” That is a clear circumvention of legislative intent. It’s clear from the AG’s opinion that he is attempting to circumvent the legislative process and unilaterally reign in the full force and scope of the guns in trunks law.

comments

  1. avatar joe smith says:

    Why are the AG’s = Anti Gun?

    1. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

      They are not anti gun, they are pro state, which inherently means anti individual. Ever see an attorney general rail against guns in the hands of the state?

      1. avatar joe smith says:

        Good point.

      2. avatar Jim says:

        We have in Wisconsin. Our AG, J.B. Van Hollen slapped the Milwaukee PD upside the head for arresting Open Carry folks for “disorderly conduct” – http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/43302252.html. Unlike IL, we got a rock solid CCW law when the time came.

        1. avatar Gtfoxy says:

          We do have a solid CCW law WI. It isn’t perfect but it is a solid on the holders civil liberties in the respect of the above case. I am not saying that an employer may not be pre-empted from exercising a legal right to control their property. This peovidingIit is spelled out in a pre- or post employment disclosure as to the purpose, intent & subsequent actions to be taken ther-in.

      3. avatar Rokurota says:

        Exhibit for the defense: Ken Cuccinelli, current AG of Virginia and next governor (I hope). You never met a more pro-gun politician.

        1. avatar William says:

          Or a bigger son-of-a-bitch. But no matter; Hannibal Lechter is running in ’22, and he’s valiantly pro-

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      The law school industry in the US is the breeding ground and indoctrination point for the statist progressive religion. The left owns colleges in general in particular the “arts and humanities” but in particular law schoos. Some sanity in the sciences including engineering where logic and results are to be the rule. Note that the “manmade global warming/climate change” religion might appear be an exception but most of the claimed “scientists” preaching this are not.

      1. avatar Jim says:

        Don’t be too hard on us. The leftist bent is everywhere in academia. If it wasn’t for the good work of Alan Gura and other very talented lawyers, we wouldn’t have Heller or McDonald.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        The law school industry in the US is the breeding ground and indoctrination point for the statist progressive religion.

        No, it’s not. Far from it. Law School was the only school I’ve ever attended that didn’t preach the glory of the state. High school, yes. College, definitely, in spades. Grad school, yes, to some extent. Law school, never.

      3. avatar NSB says:

        What a crock. As a centrist with multiple lawyers in the family, guess which party they’ve joined? They are separated by vast differences in age, yet they are conservative all the same. Law schools and universities (undergraduate and graduate schools alike), hell, most schools, may have a liberal bent, but you seem to have gotten through such schooling (whatever schooling you have) and formed your own opinions.

        Just like my relatives. Just like everyone. Opinions are a choice.

        I’m not sure if your comment shows doubt or lack of doubt regarding global warming, but for pete’s sake it isn’t a complicated issue. Ignoring obvious statistics on climate change is just like ignoring obvious statistics on the benefits of CCW legislation. It takes willful ignorance.

        Sincerely,
        Not a Democrat

      4. avatar Pat says:

        Libtard dork. I want to sucker punch him with a pair of brass knuckles.

    3. avatar Dave357 says:

      Not all AG’s are anti-gun. I recall that when Gura was trying to get SCOTUS to consider the case against NY State “may issue” laws, AG’s from some twenty States supported his request. This was only a few months ago.

    4. avatar Pulatso says:

      Soros has spent quite a bit of money getting statist AGs elected.

    5. avatar Totenglocke says:

      AG Mike Dewine in Ohio isn’t. He’s promoted a lot of pro-gun issues like teachers carrying in schools.

      1. avatar jason21m says:

        I didn’t know that. That’s really useful info.

  2. avatar Cranky Yankee says:

    Time to fire that AG…

    1. Agreed.

      Even Joe Curran, Maryland’s famously Fabian civilian disarmament advocate and Attorney General, had nothing bad to say about handguns in the hands of the Only Ones.

  3. avatar user3369 says:

    How in the F*** does Tennessee have an anti-gun AG? Is Tennessee too far north now?

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Don’t forget, WY and the Dakota’s are pretty far north, and I think you’d find they’re friendlier to guns now and probably always have been. I can’t say the same about the South.

      1. avatar user3369 says:

        I definitely beg to differ. The South continues to de-regulate, we’re headed in the right direction. When you get above Alabama, friendly states are a checkerboard. You can get a carry permit in the south and be reasonably sure it will be good in any state you can drive to in a day. (Except SC – seriously, reciprocate guys, thats some BS) Can’t say the same for up north.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          In terms of gun laws, yeah, ya’ll are moving in the right direction. The absolute wrong direction in regards to some other stuff, but that’s neither here nor there.

          My point was that the are northern states (actually, lots of them now that I think of it) that have friendlier gun laws now and have historically. That says nothing of what the future will bring.

        2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          SC is the only southern state that doesn’t recognize my Iowa permit. Iowa recognizes any permit from any state.

    2. avatar Forthe win says:

      Insert ignorant “the south will rise again” comment here. Still butt-hurt from losing the war.

      1. avatar Whoroger89 says:

        Yeah whatever. The South has always been more constitutionally inclined then most other places especially the North. Now im not talking about states like the Dakotas or anything out West. Im talking about the traditional North east. You know what though a lot of us are still pissed about the civil war because as Jefferson Davis said what my forefathers fought for will be fough for again another day. If the South had won we would not be in this predicament that we are in with the goverment all together. States Rights my friend. But anyways we got the most growing economy in the country so its all good.

        1. avatar PavePusher says:

          “The South has always been more constitutionally inclined then most other places….”

          Bwaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa…. whew!

          OK, thanks for the morning gut-buster!

        2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Um. Hm. Slavery? Segregation? Less severe but still important present day abuses? Doesn’t da constutooshun say something about all men being created equal or something? The South has as much respect for that document as MA does, the only difference is the parts each area chooses to ignore.

      2. avatar The Blue Angel says:

        Well unlike you, at least we can rise.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          True. It’s tough to rise when you’re already on top 😛

    3. avatar NSB says:

      Is Wisconsin “too far north”? Laws don’t discriminate based on longitude, and neither do AG’s. Our CCW legislation is fairly solid, yet you wouldn’t know it based on how far north we are.

      OMG, we’re north of Chicago! We must be overrun by anti-gun idiots, swimming in unnecessary AWB legislation, and sick and tired of watching innocent citizens being locked up for having too many bullets in their magazines…

      Wait… Hmm… Maybe politics are politics, no matter where they happen to be contested.

    4. avatar StPatrick says:

      My state has a loooooong history of electing governors for 8 years, then switching to the other party for 8, and so on. While our state legislature and US Congressmen are firmly on the right, excepting those from Nashville and Memphis, of course, for whatever reason statewide officeholders and their appointees are always moderates, c.f. Frist, Bill; Alexander, Lamar; Corker, Bob; and every Governor ever.

      While we have some pretty good gun laws down here, they’re a result of veto-proof action in the state houses in fairly recent history. This latest episode over carry to / from a place of employment was difficult enough that it carried over from the last session. FedEx is huge in Memphis and they vehemently opposed any kind of carve-outs for legal firearm possession on employer property. To say their opinion carries major weight in Nashville would be a major understatement. We ended up with a watered-down version of parking lot carry that nobody understands, and with enough exemptions that no average Joe or Jane wants to chance losing a job in order to maybe be a test-case, on the off-chance the 2A foundation or NRA step in and help out.

      Irony of ironies, this is all we got after the NRA helped primary out the state rep who blocked parking lot legislation last session. TN is a very shooter-friendly state, but we still have work to do.

      One interesting thing about our carry permit – it’s called a “Handgun Carry Permit”, since are no requirements as to how you may choose to carry your handgun.

  4. avatar Oddux says:

    Ruling anti-gun in TN? Moreover, against people storing firearms in their own property, their cars? Sounds like he wants to retire early.

  5. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    Spot on Alfred E. Newman.

    AG’s are almost always power hungry douche bags, but there’s a simple situation here – there’s no reason for anyone to know about the gat in your trunk, and what no one knows can’t get you fired. SWIM used to go shooting at lunch in a state that was VERY unfriendly to firearms (I believe guns on work property was banned by the state). He usually just left his piece locked in his trunk, safe and sound (when he couldn’t drop it off at the range beforehand).

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      My employers policy on vehicles and driving on plant property claims the authority to search vehicles. So keeping your mouth shut and locking it in the trunk may be for the best, but it’s no guarantee they won’t go looking.

      1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        Ok, fair, but that’s a unique situation. I guess in that scenario you’re agreeing to give up two constitutional rights. I’m all about free choice, and depending on how good the work/pay was I might make the same choice you have.

      2. avatar scottlac says:

        Kentucky has a very strong parking lot storage/employee protection law. Employers are subject to civil penalties for telling an employee they can’t keep it in their car. No employer has the right to violate the civil rights of their employees and disarm them on the entire trip from home to work. My commute is a 90 mile round trip every day.

        I can even legally stop by the school and pick up the kid as long as the .45 stays in the car.

  6. avatar Eric says:

    I don’t see what the issue is with this. Property rights are the essential building blocks of liberty. If I don’t want someone with a firearm on my property, that dude better GTFO. I don’t care if it’s in his/her car.

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      That was my thought as well. If any employer decides they don’t want an item or action taking place on their property, that is their choice and a condition of one’s employment.

      I’d liken the position of “forcing” employers to behave in a manner friendlier to firearms owners to unions behaving similarly in regards to pay scales and “benefits.”

      Sorry everybody, I have to break faith on this one.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        so it is ok for an employer to tell you that you cannot have a Bible, a newspaper, a photo of their child with Bozo the Clown, a bottle of water, asprin, a spare tire, or anything else just because of “employment at will”? Ok – well, then get ready to get your ass sued left and right and 6 ways to Sunday. the idea of having the trunk law is to allow an employee to have a weapon in the car and not worry about an employer demanding to search and terminating them otherwise. It has nothing to do with property rights of the employer since it is not visible to the employer. Your argument doesn’t hold water and many employers will not agree with you since juries like to give out big checks to model employees.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          C’mon, Dirk. You’re a lawyer. You know that employment discrimination is legal as long as it’s not illegal by statute.

          Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, handicap etc. is illegal by statute. Discrimination based on packing heat is not. I don’t like it, but there it is.

          Having said that, it’s clear that the government of Tennessee made a decision that workers could keep firearms in their cars on company property. The AG’s opinion is utter nonsense.

        2. avatar Eric says:

          You’re an attorney? Don’t you remember the term “protected classes” from ConLaw 101?

    2. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

      I would tend to agree in theory. However, in the employment context the state has already walked all over property rights, freedom of association, freedom of contract, etc.

      The point here is that for wage and hour violations, human rights act violations, OSHA vioations, etc. AGs tend to push the envelope in favor of the employee (since that is typically the stated legislative intent of such statutes); it’s awfully rare for them to come down in favor of the employer.

    3. avatar DJC1012 says:

      Eric is right on.
      I live in TN. The “rule” is if the establishment’s owner: be it a library, a bar or whatever, posts “no guns allowed” you must comply. Notice to that effect has to be conspicuously posted or otherwise conveyed clearly. I would think that if your employer’s clearly stated policy is “do not brings guns on my property” (including the company owned paring lot) it would be the same.
      That is perfectly reasonable, is it not?
      The spirit of individual rights is: One person’s ‘right’ ends where the other person’s right (property rights in this case) begin.

      1. avatar Mike in NC says:

        The issue is with overlapping property rights: The employer should not be able to claim that the employee’s person or vehicle become employer’s property subject to control/seizure/sale any more than the employee can appropriate the employer’s property. My personal, idealist opinion is that my person and my vehicle are my property no matter where they are located.

        1. avatar Eric says:

          That’s fine. Then GTFO my property.

        2. avatar DJC1012 says:

          Yeah Mike, but the issue is when do I get to say you can’t bring your property onto my property?

        3. avatar Eric says:

          Uhm, the second someone else’s property is on yours. “Real property” has a heightened importance. Because your car is your property, doesn’t mean you get to park it in my driveway. Because your “person” is your property doesn’t mean you can pitch a tent and occupy my front yard. If I let you, it will be based on my rules – fair or not.

    4. avatar TTACer says:

      The issue in this case is that the AG is unilaterally perverting the will of the legislature. You don’t like the law then change your reps.

      1. avatar Eric says:

        Or he’s protecting constitutional/property rights which the TN legislature violated/perverted.

    5. avatar Pro-Liberty says:

      Hear, hear.

      People should be free to set whatever conditions they like for employment, or for entry onto their property. If your boss doesn’t allow firearms on his property, and you feel strongly about this, vote with your feet.

      Do you believe that some third party should be able to enter your home with a firearm against your will? Of course not. That would be a violation of your property rights. Bosses are no different.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        1) no one said the employer cannot prevent the weapon inside the building, using your example, vs someone having the weapon in the car

        2) If you ask someone if they have a gun in their car, and they tell you to fuck off, you can ask them to leave – you don’t have the power to search. An employer can terminate you if you have something they don’t like, for instance, a Bible if they are an atheist. Yeah, your property rights will sure look good when you write that large check to your former employee for getting terminated for having a Bible in the car.

      2. avatar Jeffer says:

        But homes differ from places of employment in this regard. Does an employee give up all their civil rights when they enter their emplorer’s property? Employment is a condition necessary to the survival and well-being of many if not most citizens. And most employment requires the employee to spend a significant portion of a life’s day (typically one-third) living within the confines of the employer’s establishment/property. Yes, employers should be able to establish rules of conduct for their establishments, but where do you draw the line on such rules? Is there a line? Companys can’t require employees to engage in sexual acts, for instance, so employees do retain some rights. Should employees retain the right to keep arms? They can’t bear arms against company policy, but the company grounds are where many citizens fundamentally need to spend most of their time (apart from home), frequently performing most of their public life between home and work. Therefore they’re effectively disarmed for a significant portion of their lives when not allowed to store firearms in their vehicles at work.

        1. avatar Peter says:

          You speak as if employment is a right. There should be no line but progressive liberals insist that everyone has the right to a job and a living wage and to be treated nicely. No rights like that exist. Private employers should have the freedom to do business with, hire, and fire whoever they choose and by whatever rules they see fit.

    6. avatar Ropingdown says:

      The Tennessee legislature essentially rewrote the terms of Business Invitee law for the state. The issue in this post seems to be “the law allows a person to store their lawfully-owned gun in their locked trunk when that gun cannot be carried on their person.” The dispute with the AG is his (extreme or not) interpretation of “kept from ordinary view.” There is no question of property rights, and if the person had enclosed his pistol in a briefcase before moving his pistol to the trunk, there would be no further grounds for objection, even if the employer knows what was in the briefcase….unless a federal employer is involved. If your parking lot is open to business invitees it becomes little different than a parking space across the street. Property rights are valuable, but not paramount. Your property is not sacrosanct: Even the Constitution does no more than direct that you be given “just compensation” if it is taken by the state.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        Actually, if you read his argument, he starts it by saying that the purpose of the law is to shield the person storing gun in a vehicle from laws that would otherwise make it illegal, but it has no effect whatsoever on employer/employee relationship – which is just a contract between two private parties. So an employer can fire you if he finds out by any means if you store a gun in your car. He can even fire you if he doesn’t have any evidence, but believes (e.g. because someone told him so?) that you did.

    7. avatar neiowa says:

      BS. That old line is tired illogic. You invite someone on your property you under no circumstance can you require then (and you are out of line to ask them) to forfit their constitution right to keep and bear. Your employee certainly has been invited on to your property.

      Property rights are an essential to the free man but the personal rights outlined in the Constitutional come from GOD.

      And futher, a firearm in the trunk of a car is NOT secured. You’re standing at the open truck pulling your gat out of your wasteband and google steetvies car and everyone in sight can see you abandon it to a tinfoil enclosure.

      1. avatar Peter says:

        They are on property under the conditions of being there. There is no guarantee of free speech without repurcussion on private peoperty. The constitution forbids governments from making laws abridging those rights, not private citizens.

      2. avatar int19h says:

        >> You invite someone on your property you under no circumstance can you require then (and you are out of line to ask them) to forfit their constitution right

        You can require pretty much anything from someone on your property, invited or not. If you’re in my house, I can demand that you fart three times within ten seconds leave; and if you don’t do either, you’re trespassing.

  7. avatar Steve in Iowa says:

    Why are the firearm owners telling people where their weapons are stored while they’re at work?

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      +1

  8. avatar joe smith says:

    Now to tint my windows.

  9. avatar Sertorius says:

    If the intent of the legislature was to force employers to allow guns in cars in the employee parking lot, the TN legislature sure did an awful job of writing the law.

    I agree the AG is stretching the meaning of “ordinary observation,” but you don’t even have to get to that. Nothing in the law says an employer can’t fire someone for having a gun in their car, it just says it’s not illegal to have a gun. It’s not illegal for me to have five beers for lunch, but my employer can certainly fire me for doing that.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      If the five beers affect your fitness for work, firing seems reasonable. Having a pistol locked in your trunk would not affect your fitness for work. The ‘trunk law’ is not an employment statute. It is a statute making the right to lawfully carry a pistol practical of accomplishment in the real world. Firing someone because you know they own and sometimes carry a pistol is not per se lawful.

      1. avatar Sertorius says:

        This is not correct. Tennessee is an employment-at-will state. Your company can fire you because they don’t like what color shirts you wear or because they don’t like the bumper stickers on your car. They cannot fire you because of your race, sex, or religion, but basically other than that, they can fire you for anything.

        If TN lawmakers wanted to protect people from being fired for having guns in their trunks, writing such a law is easy. “No employer shall terminate the employment of any employee or agent on the ground said employee possessed a weapon or ammunition in his vehicle.” Done. They did not do that, and it’s the legislature’s fault, not the AG’s.

      2. avatar int19h says:

        >> If the five beers affect your fitness for work, firing seems reasonable. … Firing someone because you know they own and sometimes carry a pistol is not per se lawful.

        It may not be reasonable, but it is perfectly lawful.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class

        Note that possession of firearms, or even your opinions about 2A (or political views in general) is not a “protected class”.

  10. avatar akira says:

    If an employer doesn’t want guns on their property, fine. But they should have to provide armed security if so, or be held accountable if people are gunned down.

    Pretend gun free zones cost lives.

    1. avatar Peter says:

      I would rather hold accountable the person doing the gunning.

    2. avatar Peter says:

      I would rather hold accountable the person doing the gunning

  11. avatar In Memphis says:

    My employer prohibits employees to have weapons on the property even if we are there off duty. The building and property are not however prohibited in accordance with TN state law. So others can carry so long as they are not employees. Anyways employees are allowed by a busimess across the street to park there because our lot is to small… they are not posted on their property so my employer cant do jack sh!t if I park there and lock up my gun.

  12. avatar Red Sox says:

    if that’s his mug now I’d love to see his high school photo. He’s getting back at all the bullies in High school that gave him wedgies, noogies, wet willies.

  13. avatar Luke says:

    Time to make a few phone calls!!

  14. avatar gloomhound says:

    I’m all for property rights. Your car is your property. If you have the right to play what ever song or podcast in your car (free speech) then you should have the ability to keep a legal firearm in your car as well. If the business owner does not like this, then don’t have an employee parking lot.

    1. avatar Eric says:

      Actually, “free speech” (for the most part) doesn’t apply at work. If I (employer) don’t like your (employee) “gangsta rap” you’re playing in your car — Imma fire you.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        If you fire a sharp attorneys black client because you discover he plays gangsta rap in his car outside work hours, your real property will protected by the constitution, but you may well no longer be the owner of it.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          Only if the attorney can successfully argue that you fired him because of his race. Race is a protected class, your musical preferences aren’t. Neither is gun possession.

  15. avatar Rick says:

    For those who have spoken in favor of the employer, I have a question. If an employee wants/needs to carry a concealed weapon to and from work, or to another destination after work, how would they accomplish this if they cannot leave the firearm in the trunk of their car during working hours? I think the ‘leave it locked in the trunk’ idea is a perfectly reasonable compromise between the employer’s right to control his property and the employee’s right to ‘keep and bear arms’.

    1. avatar Eric says:

      Then find a new job.

      1. avatar Pro-Liberty says:

        Yep. If we eviscerate property rights for the sake of “gun rights” (in this case, the right to engage in armed trespass on someone else’s property), what the heck are gun rights even for? Guns are tools that can be good means for achieving the ends of protecting your life, liberty, and property. Asserting that all property owners should lose their rights for the sake of “gun rights” turns the whole thing on its head.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Property rights are not being eviscerated in favor of gun rights. Requiring that a personal firearm be locked in a trunk is a serious accomodation. In most cases, and baring visible posting (I won’t look up the TN law), a concealed carrier can walk up to your door and ask for neighborhood directions or such. The question, really, is how many rights can you strip from an employee versus a non-employee visitor. The answer is not “as many as I wish.” It’s called Employment Law, and it pays well.

    2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      and if the employer is an atheist, good luck banning a Bible in my car. Hell, save the legal fees and just write the big settlement check to me. this is no different. no one says the employee can bring the weapon INTO the building.

  16. avatar niceguns says:

    Is it me or do all these gun control sissies have big ears? come on wind I think he can fly

  17. avatar Fabian_CH says:

    So what you want is basically that I could prevent my employer from firing me by pointing out the firearm in my trunk?

    I know, exaggeration, but if you can’t fire people for whatever reason you like, you’re starting down a scary road. And yes I am aware we’re already a ways down that road.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Fabian, the statistical effect of employment law is clear enough in practice: You can fire any low-skilled non-union poor employee for anything you want, so long as you give an acceptable false reason and the person doesn’t know an effective attorney. If you hire skilled people for serious work, you already know that “hired at will” has many limitations, and you would not be speaking so casually about “firing people for whatever reason you like.”

  18. avatar Wiregrass says:

    In PA, we have a Stepford Wife for an AG that has been screwing around with reciprocity to satisfy the desires of her Philly benefactors. A non-resident CCW from Florida is no longer valid for PA residents in state. All because some Philly residents carry with the Florida permit because they had too many parking tickets to get a PA LTCF. This even though the FL permit has tougher requirements than the PA permit.

  19. avatar GSD says:

    Would you expect any other ruling from a Democrat Princeton undergrad /Yale Law grad? Cooper was appointed not elected. He may be from Tennessee but most Tennesseans are still of the Crockett and York variety.

  20. avatar Michael says:

    I worked at one of the big auto plants in TN for a while. They had such a policy that all firearms are banned on the property. I worked shifts and drove a long distance to and from work on rural roads often late at night. It always chapped me that I could legally possess my handgun up to the last 1/16th mile of my trip to work. I also admit that I broke the “law” and policy every single day and locked my pistol in my glove box before entering the parking lot, and shut my mouth about it.

    I’m all over the place on this one, to be honest. I see both arguments – property rights are critical, the 2A is critical, and they intersect here in a painful way.

    One thing of note is the wording of the TN law (in the AG’s opinion) precludes any “leased, borrowed or rented” vehicles. Many employees of the auto companies drive leased vehicles obtained at a significant discount. I think the wording of the law needs to be amended to “legally possessed vehicle” instead of “privately owned”.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      >> I’m all over the place on this one, to be honest. I see both arguments – property rights are critical, the 2A is critical, and they intersect here in a painful way.

      This intersection is fairly easy to resolve.

      If your employer bans guns on its property, it should not have the force of law – meaning that it’s not a crime to do so, cops won’t come and arrest you, and you won’t be prosecuted.

      It is, however, a violation of your contract, and if the employer finds out about it and decides to pursue it, then you two hash it out in civil courts. Also, upon discovery, they can demand that you immediately leave the premises, and if you do not comply then than becomes trespassing (and they can call the cops etc).

      The end result is reminiscent of “don’t ask – don’t tell”: if you are going to do it, don’t brag about it, and you won’t get into trouble.

  21. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Dang, I’ve seen many people morphed into looking like Alfred E. This guy really doesn’t need much work at all.

  22. avatar C says:

    While asinine, it is just an opinion and has not the force of law.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    My property, my rules. And my rule is that if I know and trust you, you cannot come onto my property unarmed. You cannot put me in the position of defending you if you won’t defend yourself.

    I waive this requirement for attractive women.

  24. avatar George says:

    All the tinfoil hattery seen on this sifter and yet nobody mentioned the obvious: the AG wants to extend the definition of “ordinary observation” to include surruptitious views by cameras. The logic has implications far beyond the 2A.

  25. avatar Gw says:

    A privately owned vehicle is just that. The vehicle and its contents are private property, regardless of where the vehicle is located. No other person has powers over or legal access to the vehicle without the owner’s consent. This includes items or objects contained within or affixed to the vehicle.
    If a business owner suspects there to be items within the vehicle which are ’illegal’, the business owner can notify local law enforcement, a search warrant can be obtained and law enforcement can then legally search the vehicle.
    With regard to firearms, whatever state laws apply to the ownership, transporting / keeping of firearms in a vehicle and requirements for lawful searches of a vehicle are of course applicable. Generally stated, if the owner of the vehicle is in compliance with whatever laws are applicable under other circumstances regarding contents of a parked vehicle — be that smelly sweat-socks or a firearm — then a business owner would have no additional authority over the contents of an employee’s vehicle.
    A firearm as contained in a vehicle does not violate any other person’s ‘Rights’.
    There’s considerable history involved with this issue, brought about as a result of employers violating the ‘Rights’ of their employees regarding legal possession of firearms, including searching vehicles and firing employees for having legally-owned firearms stored in the vehicles.
    Such actions on the part of employers have required State legislators to truly do the highly-unusual… and enact laws which actually do ‘Secure Rights’.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      >> A privately owned vehicle is just that. The vehicle and its contents are private property, regardless of where the vehicle is located. No other person has powers over or legal access to the vehicle without the owner’s consent. This includes items or objects contained within or affixed to the vehicle.

      You forget the part about how that privately owned vehicle is, in turn, on someone else’s private property. And that, in turn, is only made possible with permission of the owner of that other property, and he can grant that permission conditionally or rescind it based on arbitrary criteria – including, for example, a presence of firearm in your car (or even suspicion of such a presence). It doesn’t make it illegal for you to keep a gun in your car, but it does require you to vacate the premises if asked, since otherwise your car would be trespassing on his parking lot.

  26. avatar Jeff Lynch says:

    I would cite this as another reason to move to Texas but honestly folks, we’re getting a bit crowded down here in the Lone Star state so we’ll make y’all a trade. Everyone from TN that thinks their AG is nuts can move to Texas but we get to trade you Nashville for Austin. Better country music and less liberals sounds like a “win win”.

    🙂
    Col. Ben Terry

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