House panel advances guns bill after 6 minutes - WKRN News 2

House panel advances guns bill after 6 minutes

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A bill to keep businesses, schools and colleges from banning firearms in their parking lots was approved by a House subcommittee after a six-minute hearing.

The bill passed through the subcommittee with very little discussion.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby was advanced to the full House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote on Wednesday.

Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, was the only lawmaker to vote against the bill.

"I don't believe you need a gun anywhere that somebody's going to have a moment where they lose their grip on reality and run out and grab a gun and come back and shoot somebody," Rep. Jones told Nashville's News 2.

Republican leaders are intent to avoid a repeat of last year's drawn-out fight over the measure opposed by large Tennessee employers like FedEx in Memphis and Volkswagen in Chattanooga.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga says he and colleagues just want to put the measure behind them so they can move on to other issues.

The bill also raises concerns with some law enforcement officials.

Sgt. Robert Weaver, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said responsible gun ownership is key.

"We want to make sure that those weapons remain in the hands of the people who are supposed to have them," Sgt. Weaver told Nashville's News 2.

If the law passes, Sgt. Weaver is calling on the more than 300,000 handgun carry permit holders in Tennessee to keep an even closer eye on their handguns, especially in parking lots.

"If people take their weapons with them that they make sure they are secured and if in doubt leave it at home where it's secure," Sgt. Weaver said.

The biggest concern right now for some law enforcement are thieves in search of handguns in cars, and the potential for these guns to end up on the streets, in the wrong hands.

Sgt. Weaver added, "We're concerned about the potential that a number of weapons could be obtained by bad guys breaking in to cars."

The Guns in Cars bill next moves to the full House committee.

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