NASHVILLE - A controversial guns-in-parking lots bill could be on the House floor for a final vote next week after clearing a major House committee today.
House Civil Justice Committee members approved the bill on a voice vote. It allows handgun-carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles on parking lotlots owned by businesses, schools, colleges, churches and most government agencies.
But backers say the bill still would allow employers to discipline or fire workers who violate company policy.
The bill would not apply to airports, railroads or secure facilities like nuclear power plans, which are governed by federal law, said Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, the bill's sponsor.
Faison's bill still must go before the House Calendar and Rules Committee but is expected to have an easy time there and then go to the floor.
Senators approved the bill 28-5 earlier this month. Republican leaders advanced the bill as a way to resolve a four-year battle over guns in parking lots that has left GOP lawmakers caught in the middle of a fierce fight gun rights advocates and businesses.