Opponents of a gun rights bill that will come up in the spring are using the opportunity to try and shoot it down before it even gets heard.
The bill would allow people to leave firearms locked in their vehicles at work.
Peter Hamm from the Brady Campaign out of Washington, DC flew into Tallahassee to speak out against legislation to allow guns on workplace property. He says it’s just another example of Florida taking the second amendment rights argument too far.
Peter Hamm says, "Last year Florida became the first state to initiate a really, really stupid and crazy policy idea when they said that people should be practically encouraged to use deadly force in public if they feel threatened."
Dennis Baxley sponsored the bill last spring that allows citizens to shoot first to defend themselves or their property. He’s also sponsoring this latest bill that would prevent businesses from forbidding employees to keep a gun or hunting rifle locked in their vehicle at work.
Rep. Dennis Baxley, (R) Ocala, FL, says, "We have no smoking in the workplace, but you don’t get arrested for having a pack of cigarettes in your car, and they’re criminalizing something that is a right and a freedom that we’ve all long held dear.”
But the whole question of property owner’s rights versus gun owner’s rights is sure to ignite a heated battle at the Capitol. Democrats say they’re hearing a lot of concerns from business owners.
Rep. Eleanor Sobel, (D) Hollywood, FL, says, "They have the right to control what happens with their property as well as provide a safe and secure environment for their workers."
The Brady Campaign says guns are the weapon of choice in nearly eight out of every 10 murders in the workplace.
Marion Hammer with the National Rifle Association says the bill is not about gun rights; it’s about the right of people to defend themselves.