Ford, Bedford bill supports firearm rights

State Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) and State Sen. Roger Bedford (D-Russellville) recently pre-filed legislation that would prevent employers and property owners from establishing policies that would prohibit people from lawfully transporting or storing firearms and ammunition in their vehicles.

“We have been working across party lines to build support for this legislation, and I hope that Billy Canary and the Business Council will recognize the importance of gun ownership,” said Ford.

“As a lifelong hunter and NRA member, I believe that legal and responsible gun owners should be able to have their firearms out of sight and locked up in their cars to give them safety to and from work in case of a breakdown or other emergency,” said Bedford.

In addition to allowing gun owners to lawfully store and transport firearms and ammunition, the legislation would also reinstate employment and provide compensation for benefits lost to employees who have been fired for storing or transporting a firearm on private or company property.

The legislation would also provide limited immunity for employers and property owners for any damages, injuries, or deaths caused by a person who is transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in accordance with the law.

Similar legislation filed in other states has pitted business interests against gun owners’ groups like the NRA, leaving some politicians caught in the middle. In August, the NRA spent nearly $200,000 in Tennessee to defeat Republican State Rep. Debra Maggart because she did not support the legislation.

“We introduced this legislation the last couple of years, but it never got brought up for a vote,” said Ford. “But this year, we feel very good about our chances. Gun owners are very serious about getting this bill passed, and what happened in Tennessee proves that.”

 
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