Earlier in 2013, Tennessee passed a few new gun laws—the “Guns in Trunks” law and another that regulates public access to information about registered gun owners. Tennessee’s governor, Bill Haslam, revealed to reporters recently that he prefers keeping discussions about Tennessee gun law changes out of the next legislation session. This does not necessarily mean that gun bills will be removed from consideration, but that Haslam is personally content with the current state of Tennessee firearms law.
As far as the legislation that has already passed this year, the Guns in Trunks law will take effect on July 1, 2013. On this date and thereafter, employees will be legally permitted to store firearms in their locked vehicles while parked at their place of employment. The law does not permit the employee to carry the firearm on their person in their workplace. Developing concerns over the new law surround an employer’s legal right to fire an employee if the worker violates company policy that states firearms are not allowed on premises. Employees are protected under the new law if there is no evidence that the firearm is present and locked in their vehicle. However, if the employer sees the weapon in the vehicle or if the gun is caught on camera, the gun owner’s employment may be terminated. Regardless of the possession of a weapon, Tennessee is an employment-at-will state, and employers can terminate workers at any time without having to provide a reason.
Pending gun law proposals in Tennessee may address changes in background checks for gun purchases, nullification of federal gun law changes, and a few other items to be announced. Currently there is no waiting period for gun purchases and licenses and permits are not required to purchase guns.
It’s an important time for Tennessee gun owners to consider “storing” their firearms in a gun trust. According to USA Today, there are almost a half million gun owners in Tennessee. How individuals choose to own their firearms affects the liability of the gun owner and their heirs. Learn more about Tennessee gun trusts and the benefits of using one to purchase and store your weapons.