Parking lot guns bill charges toward House vote - WSMV News 4

Parking lot guns bill charges toward House vote

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A bill to allow handgun carry permit holders to store loaded firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked has cleared its final legislative committee before a full House vote.

The House Civil Justice Committee advanced the measure on a voice vote on Wednesday after supporters stressed that the measure would not stop employers from banning weapons on their property but would simply remove their ability to call for criminal charges against violators.

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, said his bill would also not apply to areas like airports, railroads or secure facilities governed by federal law.

The Senate approved its version 28-5 earlier this month as GOP leaders have sought to avoid a repeat of last year's drawn-out fight between gun advocates and the business community.

Students with guns on campus?

Leaders in Metro Nashville Public Schools say it appears the guns in trunks legislation could have the unintended consequence of allowing some students to bring guns to school.

The guns in trunks legislation allows gun carry permit holders who are 21 years old and above to leave their guns locked in their vehicles on public and private property, including schools and college campuses.

But Metro says it has students who are 21 years of age and this interferes with the district's zero-tolerance policy.

The district says it not only has students who are 21 in adult education classes, but it also has some special education students are in that age range as well. If those students have a carry permit, the guns in trunks legislation would apply to them.

However, under the zero-tolerance rule, any Metro student who brings a gun to school faces expulsion.

"We would love to see no guns on school campuses, period - but especially for students. We don't feel like they should be bringing guns onto school campuses," said Henry Clay, assistant to the director of Metro Nashville Public Schools.

The bill's sponsor - State Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby - said he's just learning of the concerns but believes that if a student is 21 and has gone through all of the work and barriers to get a gun permit, then that person should have the right to protect themselves.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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