Florida Lawmakers to Take up Workplace Gun Bills

March 27, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Florida lawmakers are expected this week to take up controversial measures allowing people to keep weapons locked in their cars while they are at work.

From what news reports labeled as one of the most heavily lobbied issues arising out of theFlorida legislature (See Controversial Gun Law Proposed in Florida ), business lobbyists are opposing two pending bills – one in the state House and one in the Senate, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Florida Representative Dennis Baxley’s bill would forbid employers to have workplace rules prohibiting guns in their parking lots – a bill generating employer worries that an office argument or domestic quarrel might escalate with lethal results, if guns are too handy.

In a different view of the issue, Florida Senator Durell Peaden’s bill asserts that employers should not be allowed to overrule a section of the federal Bill of Rights.

According to news reports, going up against the combined strength of the business lobby is difficult, even for the National Rifle Association. Peaden’s bill has not moved in the Senate, and Baxley’s was postponed last week in the House Judiciary Committee, which is set to hear it Tuesday.

The workplace gun issue has also been the topic of a legal battle in Oklahoma where the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s ruling for Weyerhaeuser Company (Weyco), which fired employees after learning they had firearms in their vehicles in the company’s parking lot (See Weyco Wins Appeal of Gun Policy Lawsuit ).