Gov. Bill Haslam expects narrower version of guns-in-parking lots bill will pass

Gov. Bill Haslam expects narrower version of guns-in-parking lots bill will pass

February 22nd, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam said today he expects legislative approval of a narrower version of a bill allowing workers to store their guns in locked vehicles on their employers' parking lots.

"Our concern was maybe about the breadth of what was covered before. We're working through the specifics of what that might look like," the Republican governor said.

"We're trying to balance the interests of business with those folks who would like to carry and to keep the gun locked in their car," Haslam said. "My sense is there will be a bill that makes it through."

The current National Rifle Association-backed bill has raised concerns from businesses, hospitals and others, including local governments.

"I know that there's certainly sentiment out there that people ought to be able to go armed everywhere, but again there's a cost associated with that," said Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, who was in Nashville today promoting his proposed anti-gang legislation. "And I'm a little concerned, just as we're concerned about people bringing guns into City Hall or into a courthouse, which fortunately so far is something that can't be done."

The mayor said "emotions run high" in some interactions between public employees and their bosses.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.