NRA targets compromise on Tennessee guns bill

NRA targets compromise on Tennessee guns bill

March 5th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee House Republican Leader Gerald McCormick

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

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NASHVILLE - The National Rifle Association is taking aim at efforts by Republican Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and other House leaders to push a compromise alternative to the NRA's controversial "parking lot" gun bill.

The NRA's Institute of Legislative Action says in an email alert that McCormick and other House GOP leaders are "insistent on weakening the NRA-drafted" legislation. It urges NRA members to contact lawmakers.

McCormick's alternative bill is modeled on a Georgia law dealing with the issue of allowing guns in locked vehicles parked on lots maintained by public or private businesses.

The Chattanooga Republican and other others have objected to the original bill, saying it interferes with the right of private property owners.

"The language contained in Majority Leader McCormick's HB 3660 introduces several of the worst aspects of the current statute found in the neighboring state of Georgia," says the NRA-ILA email, noting the NR is "working diligently to fix the neighboring law for the past few years and currently has a broader pro-gun bill now making its way through the Georgia Legislature during the current session."

The original NRA bill, which has some 30 House sponsors, would allow anyone with a gun to store their weapons in their locked vehicles on private or government-owned parking lots.

McCormick's bill restricts the bill's provisions to Tennesseans with state-issued handgun-carry permits. The NRA says that discriminates against others like hunters.

The group also objects to restricting the proposal only to employees parked on lots during "regular work hours."

Other NRA objections include exclusions for state agencies.

Last week, the Tennessee Firearms Association issued an alert labeling McCormick, Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell and House Republican Caucus Chairman Debra Maggart as an "axis of evil."

McCormick's bill is scheduled for a committee hearing on Wednesday.