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.