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Friday, March 30, 2012

Its where, not why.

The guns in parking lots issue has taken a little bit of a turn. Last week I offered an amendment to the bill that allowed people over 21 who have a Tennessee hunting permit to carry guns (most likely rifles) in their cars as long as the guns were secured and hidden from site as is similar to the rest of the bill previous to my amendment.

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey has come out against the move. but the question with this bill is not who can or has the right to carry or posses firearms. That issue has been decided by the supreme court. It is an individual right. The reason for the ownership or transportation should not be a question. It is your right to own or transport for any reason. Not just safety.

The entire argument for guns in cars in parking lots is based on the notion that the car is sovereign territory. It is your private property. Same as your house or your person. You can or should be able to do what ever you want on "your property". That includes gun ownership and transportation as long as there is no clearly diminished public safety. A gun does not become more or less safe if it is owned for hunting, public safety, target shooting or just as a collectible. A gun is what it is. An inanimate object.

Now you can make the property rights argument as to whose property rights are involved and who has supremacy of those rights and when but the reason for ownership or transportation should not be a factor in that decision.


  1. Ramsey - “I do think they go too far, and I’m as big of a Second Amendment rights person that’s ever lived,” Ramsey said. “But I think expanding it to hunting licenses — even though I can see why they did that — but that’s something that doesn’t need to be done. It needs to be gun carry permit holders only.”

    Mr Ramsey, The 2nd Ammendment has nothing to do with permits!

    Stacey, I think it's a good ammendment but don't add it if it's going to cause this bill to fail.

  2. Tenth Circuit United States Court of Appeals decided:

    (1) That the Oklahoma "Parking Lot" Bill and its Amendments did not constitute an unconstitutional infringement of property rights under the Takings Clause, but rather employers are required by the Amendments to recognize a state-protected right of their employees.(noting that the state may exercise its police power to adopt individual liberties more expansive than those conferred by the Federal Constitution).

    (2) That there was no adverse economic impact. The court found that in reality, employers are less concerned about compensation for a taking of their property, but rather seek an injunction against the enforcement of a regulation that they allege to be fundamentally arbitrary or irrational. As such, employer's due process claim, i.e., the Amendments deprive employers of the right to exclude others from their property, is more apt than their takings argument, and a government regulation that fails to serve any legitimate governmental objective may be so arbitrary or irrational that it runs afoul of the Due Process Clause. However, the court found that it does not in this instance, noting that laws meant to support the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the entire community are generally upheld even if they destroy or adversely affect private property interests.

    (3) Under rational basis review, the Court looked only to whether a reasonably conceivable rational basis exists. The Court is not allowed to second guess the wisdom of legislative policy-determinations, as would be the case in TN, where Article 1 Section 26 gives the Legislature the power to restrict the wearing of arms (and only the wearing of arms) if such law would reduce crime. That power belongs to the State under the 10th Amendment.

  3. Senator - keep fighting the good fight.

    My view on this - there are property rights and there is the individual right to keep and bear arms. These rights do not infringe one another.
    What we have, in TN, is a system whereby only a certain class of people can violate a certain law (in this case HCP holders going armed where property owners have posted). The amendment you have put forward Senator simply strips away one of those times when only a certain class of citizen is capable of violation of the law.

    1. Normally I would agree with the creation of class distinctions. However in this case, HCP holders does not fit this definition as having a HCP is open to anybody who chooses to have a HCP. As long as they are of age and are not convicted felons or have other disqualifying reasons to possess a firearm, the choice is theirs.

  4. Senator Stacy,
    At anyother time, I would have no issue with your amendment to include licensed hunters. For that matter, I personally would not exlude ANYBODY who can legally possess a firearm. However the leadership in the General Assembly (both House and Senate), has made it clear that they want the scope of this legislation to be very narrow. I am afraid that amendments such as yours could be the poision pill.

    Looking at history, almost every expansion of where firearms can be carried has been limited to Handgun Carry Permit holders. This expansion, for now, probably should be the same. Such limits can be removed for ALL locations when Tennessee passes a Consitituional carry law, but that will have to come later.

    As for any exemption for properties that are fenced, PLEASE DO NOT propose such an amendment. I know you have asked if there is any distinction in the property rights between fenced and unfenced properties. I personally can not think of any codified differentiations. Also the existance of a fence does nothing to change the circumstances of my commute to and from work. I DO NOT become exempt from assault during my commute just because my employer's parking lot is fenced. Remember the title of these bills is "SAFE COMMUTE", not "SAFE PARKING LOT". The goal of these bills is to enable people the ability to provide for their personal protection during their commute which employer policies deny.

  5. I totally agree Senator Campfield. As I have written to you before, I hope the Handgun Carry Permit is expanded to a Weapon Carry Permit allowing knives over 4" etc. This would follow a truer interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Previously Bill West supported this as well as Mae Beavers.


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