The legislative push for more gun rights in Tennessee could split the newly-elected Republican supermajority, which may face a standoff over letting people keep guns in their cars at work, whether employers like it or not.
Some Republican leaders are leery of gun rights running roughshod over what private businesses want. In spring they buried the proposal just before a House floor vote. The National Rifle Association retaliated by picking off House third-in-command Debra Maggart.
Now Murfreesboro Republican Bill Ketron says any compromise will hinge on employers, recounting what one boss told him:
“His issue is ‘I should be able to post just like the restaurants do. If I can post and say “That’s my property, you’re not allowed to bring guns onto my property,”’ he doesn’t have a problem with it.”
Not good enough, says John Harris of the Tennessee Firearms Association, which rejects any bill letting employers opt out. Harris sees lawmakers choosing between guns and business, saying quote “you cannot serve two masters.” While he thinks Republican leaders will side with business, some rank-and-file might not go along.