NRA wants Tennessee guns bill on the legislative floor

photo An exterior view of the Tennessee State Capitol building.

NASHVILLE - The National Rifle Association calls state House and Senate Republican leaders' efforts to block employers from banning firearms in their parking lots a "perversion of the representative democracy."

In a letter distributed to all 99 House members Thursday, the politically powerful gun-rights group said it will grade lawmakers on whether they get behind efforts to bring the legislation to the legislative floor.

Trying to put the bills on the floor will be "weighed more heavily in our grading process than a vote against the bill on the floor," NRA lobbyist Darren LaSorte said in the letter.

The effort appears to be an attempt to get the House to suspend its rules, bypass its Calendar and Rules Committee and bring the bills directly to the floor if necessary.