House bill may put guns in parking lots
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 13:02
Handguns could soon be allowed on college campus parking lots if representatives in Tennessee pass House Bill 118 Thursday, Feb. 28.
As introduced, the bill would allow a person with a valid handgun carry permit to transport and store a firearm or ammunition in the permit holder’s privately owned motor vehicle in any public or private areas under certain conditions. This would not include the grounds or property of a single-family detached residence.
Senate Bill 142, which is the companion bill, passed the Senate Feb. 11 will 28 ayes and five nays. Earlier this month, HB 118 was also recommended for passage by the Civil Justice Committee.
Spencer Bowers, UTM College Democrats President, doesn’t favor the bill.
“This piece of legislation is radical and dangerous,” Bowers said. “It puts the rights of gun-owners above the welfare of college students, the property rights of business owners, and the health and welfare of the public in general. College students, in particular, deserve the right to walk through their campus parking lots without having to look over their shoulders. We need common sense gun legislation not legislation that puts the health and welfare of the public in danger.”
Colleen Perkins, UTM College Republicans President, didn’t have a comment for The Pacer on the matter, but requests that the readers research Chicago, Ill., and Kennesaw, Ga., to make their own opinion on gun control.
As written, the bill would allow permit holders to transport and store a firearm in the permit-holder’s vehicle if the permit-holder’s vehicle is parked in a location where it is permitted to be. The firearm or ammo being transported or stored in the vehicle must also be kept out of plain sight. If the owner is not in the vehicle, the firearm or ammo must locked within the trunk, glove box, a container securely attached to the vehicle or the interior of the person’s vehicle.
As introduced the bill would also protect the business entity, public or private employer, owner, manager or legal possessor from liability in any civil action for damages, injuries or death resulting from or arising out of another’s actions involving the firearm or ammo transported or stored in accordance with laws pertaining to the bill.
Currently, the law allows any business or government entity to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person on property owned, operated, managed or under the control of such entity. It is a Class A misdemeanor for any person to possess or carry a firearm in or on the grounds of any municipal, county or state recreational property, and it is a Class E felony for any person to possess or carry a firearm on any public or private school property or bus.
The bill would take effect July 1, 2013 if passed by the House and later signed by Governor Bill Haslam.
UTM students who are registered to vote in District 76, which contains Weakley County and parts of Obion and Carroll Counties, can contact Rep. Andy Holt (R) at
firstname.lastname@example.org to give their opinions on the bill. Constituents can also call his Nashville office at 615-741-7847.
Students residing in District 77, which contains Dyer and Lake Counties and part of Obion County, can contact Rep. Bill Sanderson (R) at email@example.com or call his office in Nashville at 615-741-0718.
Students who live outside of the Martin area can visit www.capitol.tn.gov/house/members for a list of the other representatives in the state house.
For more information on HB 118 or other bills currently traveling through the state legislature, visit www.capitol.tn.gov/legislation.