Florida House panel backs taking guns to work


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Whooohooo +1 for Florida House!! Oh and we have over 500,000 permit holders!! Nice.

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Florida House panel backs taking guns to work

By John Kennedy | Orlando Sentinel
March 13, 2008

TALLAHASSEE - A Republican-controlled House council struggled with a pair of competing GOP principles Wednesday: the right to bear arms and the rights of private landowners to control their property.

In the end, the guns won.

Over fierce opposition from major Florida employers, a House council voted 11-6 Wednesday to allow employees to carry concealed weapons to work — provided they kept them in their vehicles.

The move was a major victory for the National Rifle Association, which has pushed unsuccessfully the past two years for even stronger guns-at-work legislation.

Last year's effort came before the same House Environment and Natural Resources Council just days after a Virginia Tech student shot and killed 32 people and then himself. It did not pass.

But in this election year, supporters came up with a compromise, limiting the gun-carrying provision to the more than 500,000 Floridians with concealed-weapons permits.

"This is closer to where we want to be, but not where we want to be," said Marion Hammer, the NRA lobbyist. "The Constitution begins, 'We the people,' not 'We the Chamber of Commerce' or 'We the Disney' or 'We the Publix.' It's about everyday people and their lives."

The organizations cited by Hammer were among those opposing the legislation, which they said violated their rights to control what comes onto their property. Most large employers currently ban firearms.

"Who do you want to decide what you can or can't do on your property? Government or the employer?" said David Daniel, lobbyist for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He ridiculed the measure (CS/HB 503) as "a big government solution looking for a problem."

But its sponsor, Rep. Greg Evers, R-Baker, said that employers provide few safeguards against random workplace violence, so workers should be allowed to have weapons nearby for their own protection. Florida's AFL-CIO was among the groups supporting the bill.

A similar bill (SB1130) has been introduced in the Senate. The House version faces at least one more committee stop before going to the full House, although further action has not yet been scheduled.

Republican lawmakers, apparently worn down by two years of battle over the issue, seemed eager to approve the scaled-back bill.

Business groups said Reps. Ray Sansom, R-Destin, and Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, in line to be House speakers over the next four years, were intent on putting the issue behind them and signaled support for the concealed-weapons compromise.

"They threw [the NRA] a bone in an election year," said Randy Miller, of the Florida Retail Federation.

Ok florida people lets barage the the senate and house with our email. Thank you Marron Hammer.
That's just awesome! I'm really glad they used the fact that employers fail to protect employees. That just makes it a little easier to convince the sheeple that they need to protect themselves.
It is always refreshing to here common sense from law makers. I wish more could see the light.
Car carry bill advancing

If I understand it correctly, the house bill was amended to say only CWFL holders would be protected form employer harassment. I guess more will be done Wednesday when the full house debates this, but it is looking hopeful this year.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The much-debated "take your guns to work" bill cleared a key Senate committee on Tuesday, with one opponent labeling it the "take your Uzi to work bill."

The 7-4 vote went on party lines, with Republicans rejecting amendments that were intended to stop gun owners from bringing "assault rifles" and other weapons with large magazines or clips to their jobs in their cars. The bill allows gun owners to lock guns in their vehicles, forbidding employers from banning guns on company property, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.

The bill has failed two years in a row but Sen. Durell Peaden, a Crestview Republican and sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, said the climate is different in this election year. He also predicted that, rather than causing tragedies or accidental shootings, his bill will prevent gun violence if criminals know someone in a workplace might have a gun nearby.

A House companion for the bill is set for debate in the full House on Wednesday.

Sen. Steve Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and other urban Democrats said they couldn't support the bill -- especially since it wasn't limited to pistols or hunting rifles or shotguns. Deutch called it the "take your Uzi to work bill."

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