Texas considering letting permit holders take their guns to work
A proposal that would allow Texans to come to work with a gun in their car sparked lively debate at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday.
Business interests said to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee that with a growing number of Texas workers getting laid off, some might start shooting if they had a gun stowed in their car. Proponents said that as crime grows with the deepening recession, they need a pistol to make it safely to and from work.
"Even though I've had a concealed handgun permit from the start ... I can't protect myself coming to and from work," said Dallas resident Stephen Johnson, a defense contractor employee, citing current law that allows employers to ban workers from bringing handguns onto their property — even if they hold a state concealed handgun permit.
State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, the author of Senate Bill 730, said that despite the opposition, "having a weapon locked in your car does not mean it will be an unsafe work environment."
Business groups disagreed, at one point prompting a lively exchange with Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, a co-sponsor of the bill.
Luke Bellsnyder, executive director of the Texas Association o f Manufacturers, which represents 300 businesses that employ 900,000 Texans, said the measure would infringe on an employer's right to keep workers safe and set the rules on the property.
"It's a public safety issue," he said.
Patrick said: "To sit here and suggest this (bill) creates an unsafe environment is wrong. As an employer ... I think that argument is really weak." . . . .
Thanks very much to Richard F. Griffiths for providing me this link.