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Florida lawmakers pass "take your guns to work" law

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Old 04-10-2008, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default Florida lawmakers pass "take your guns to work" law

Florida lawmakers pass "take your guns to work" law By Michael Peltier
Wed Apr 9, 3:49 PM ET

Most Florida residents would be allowed to take guns to work under a measure passed by Florida lawmakers on Wednesday.

The bill, allowing workers to keep guns in their cars for self-protection, was approved by the Florida Senate by a vote of 26-13. It now goes to Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to sign into law.

Backed by the National Rifle Association and some labor unions, the so-called "take-your-guns-to-work" measure would prohibit business owners from banning guns kept locked in motor vehicles on their private property.

The measure applies to employees, customers and those invited to the business establishment as long as they have a permit to carry the weapon.

Backers say the measure upholds the vision of the authors of the U.S. Constitution, who made the right to bear arms part of the Bill of Rights.

"The second thing they wrote about in that constitution was the right to bear arms," said Sen. Durell Peaden, a Republican from Crestview, Florida. "It was what was dear in their hearts."

The measure exempts a number of workplaces including nuclear power plants, prisons, schools and companies whose business involves homeland security.

Critics say the measure usurps business owners' rights to determine what happens on their property and puts workers and managers at risk from disgruntled employees.

Dozens of workplace shootings occur every year in the United States and studies have shown that job sites where guns are permitted are more likely to suffer workplace homicides than those where guns are prohibited.

"This is an attempt to trample upon the property rights of property owners and attempt to make it more difficult to protect the workers in a workplace and those who visit our retail establishments," said Sen. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat.

Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky, and Mississippi have similar laws, although in Oklahoma, an appellate court barred the state from enforcing the legislation on grounds that it was unconstitutional.

Florida business groups are urging the governor to veto the measure, saying owners should be allowed to determine what happens on their property.

"We are disappointed that politics clearly won over good policy," Mark Wilson, president and chief executive of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

(Editing by Tom Brown and Eric Walsh)

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Old 04-10-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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I'm not sure how I feel about this.

On the surface, the idea of letting employees be armed if they choose is, IMO, a very good idea. But the decision should be up to the employer, not a legislature.

If a company pays for land for a parking lot, that's still company property. Shouldn't the owner of that private property have a say on what you may or may not bring onto it?
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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^ - I had a similar thought, and at first I was inclined to agree that the land owner should be able to dictate what can and can not be brought onto their property. I certainly wouldn't want legislature telling me that it was okay for people that work for me to bring pictures of half aborted fetus' to work and prop them up on their cars to protest a clinic across the street, or someone showing up with an 8 foot billboard for "Cheat 'Em, Beat 'Em & Smile" the new super law firm down the road. I would like to think, that as a land owner & employeer, I would be able to legally discourage that from my property if I did not agree with the politics/beliefs behind it.

Then, I waffled a bit & got to thinking about it outside of those limits. I think it depends on the culture that you have those rules in place. If this were, say, deep in the heart of Texas or Montana, I don't think anyone would bat an eyelash, but have that same rule in L.A. or Washington D.C. and see what would transpire.

Is the gun culture in Florida THAT advanced? Where something like this would be widely accepted and just the way we do business? Or will it be met with protest and public outcry? I honestly don't know, my knowledge of Florida was three days going to and from a cruiseship.
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