NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The House has voted to send to the governor's desk a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.
The chamber voted 72-22 to pass the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby after rejecting a series of Democratic proposals to maintain business owners' rights to ban weapons on their property and to create exceptions for schools and colleges.
House Speaker Beth Harwell told Republican colleagues before the vote that members of the business community are "holding their nose" over property rights concerns about the measure.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has raised concerns about the measure in the past, but has not said whether he will sign the bill into law.
The Senate approved its version 28-5 earlier this month.
On Wednesday, democratic leaders held a press conference to talk about the impact of the legislation. Opponents claim business owners should be allowed to regulate weapons on their own property.
They also announced several amendments to the bill that will be introduced, including exemptions for schools, state prisons, local jails, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Supporters stress that the measure would not stop employers from banning weapons on their property but would simply remove their ability to call for criminal charges against violators.
Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby said his bill would also not apply to areas like airports, railroads or secure facilities governed by federal law.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)