As Guns.com reported last month, there’s a heated debate going on in Tennessee over whether law-abiding gun owners have the right to keep a firearm in their vehicles when they travel to work, to a store, to a place of business, etc.
Last week, FedEx entered the fray, voicing strong opposition for two bills that would prevent employers and business owners from discriminating and enforcing policies against the storage of lawfully owned firearms in employees’ locked private motor vehicles while parked at work (for more on the specifics of these bills, click here).
In a statement to lawmakers the international shipping giant, which is headquartered in Memphis, said, “FedEx is committed to providing a safe and secure work environment for all employees and has a long standing policy of prohibiting weapons of any kind on company.”
“FedEx opposes this legislation,” the statement continued. “We believe that a property owner’s right to provide a safe work environment trumps an individual’s right to possess a firearm on the owner’s property.”
Additionally, a high-ranking FedEx executive testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and claimed that if the bills were to pass, they would have violent consequences for the company’s thousands of employees.
However, under cross-questioning from Sen. Mike Bell (R-9) the same Fed Ex executive was “forced to admit that the company has large operations in each of the sixteen states with Safe Commute laws on the books and that he could not cite a single problem that has arisen because of those state laws,” according to the NRA-ILA.
In other words, the ‘these-laws-will-promote-violence-in-the-workplace’ argument does not hold water.
What’s more, and the NRA-ILA pointed this out as well, is that Memphis is not the safest city in the world. According to the FBI, it was cited as being the second most violent large city in America for the past year and a half. And in the first half of 2011, it was reported to have the highest rape rate in the entire country.
Now, the right to defend oneself is a natural right that exists independent of homicide rates or rape rates, etc., but one can certainly argue that in areas where crime and violent crime is high, that right takes on special importance.
The only question is: does one’s right to self-defense trump another’s property rights?
In the ensuing weeks, Tennessee lawmakers will have to answer this question. We’ll keep you posted as news develops.
And, if you live in the Volunteer State and you want to weigh in on the debate, you can find contact information for your state legislators here.