MSSA’s last (I think) bill has been introduced as HB 505, a bill to exempt employers from liability IF they have or enforce no policy against firearms locked in employee’s vehicles in the employer’s parking lot and if one of those firearms should, against policy, be taken from the employee’s vehicle and used to injure someone in the workplace. HB 505 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee – no public hearing date set, yet.
Previous versions of this bill have tried to accomplish more, but we decided to scale it back some so we’d have a chance of getting it through the Legislature and approved by the Governor. This bill, if enacted, will cure the primary objection employers raise to firearms in employees’ vehicles.
Our concern is that employees who may need the tool for self defense while traveling to and from work are denied that ability by employers’ employment policies of no guns allowed in a private vehicle in the employers’ parking lot. Employers certainly are not willing to be responsible for the safety of employees traveling to and from work, so employees should be allowed to provide for their own safety, not stripped of that ability. Think of a nurse who gets off work at a hospital just before midnight and must travel alone through a dark town to get home. Who is responsible if she has a flat tire and gets raped on the roadside with no ability to defend herself?
There is one more bill to be introduced that MSSA will support for sure (although not an "MSSA" bill), and several lurking around the corner that could be introduced that MSSA would oppose vigorously if they should be introduced. We’re watching for those. Stay tuned …