State Capitol News
9:18 am
Thu March 5, 2009

Guns vs. property rights

Phoenix, AZ – State lawmakers had to choose today between gun rights and
property rights. And they sided with the former.

The legislation would overrule policies that prohibit workers
from bringing weapons onto company property. It would permit
employees or others to drive into the parking lot or garage with
a loaded gun in the car, as long as they leave the weapon locked
in the vehicle. National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Rathner
said people have guns in their cars for all sorts of reasons,
ranging from wanting to protect themselves while driving to
wanting to go out target shooting later.

"They're being deprived of their right to and from work if they
carry a gun for self defense. They're not able to exercise that
right from their home to their place of work because there's no
place to keep it if the employer decided to ban firearms on the
actual premises."

The measure was criticized by Mark Osborn who lobbies for the
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said employers have
property and other rights that also need to be protected,
especially now.

"We're at a time when there's record layoffs. And when layoffs
occur there are real concerns about employee violence. And these
could be employees who have clean employment histories, model
employees. But we're in an economic crisis. Sometimes they may
snap."

But members of the House Judiciary Committee voted 6-2 to approve
the bill.