TN Lawmakers: Employees Can Sue If Fired For Keeping Guns in Their Cars

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images/AFP
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images/AFP

On Tuesday, lawmakers in Tennessee’s House and Senate approved a measure that will allow employees with a concealed carry license to sue if their employer fires them for having a gun in the car.

The measure, contained in SB-1058 and counterpart HB 0994, passed 28-5 in the senate and 78-14 in the house.

The ability to sue one’s employer if fired for having a gun in the car is an addition the “gun-in-trunks” law passed in 2013. That law states that employers cannot bar persons with concealed carry permits from keeping a gun in their car for self-defense.

But a September 18, 2014 letter from then-Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr. shined a light on possible ambiguities in the law — based on language describing how guns must be stored and where cars with guns in them must be parked — thereby appearing to uncover a way employers might still be able to discipline or fire employees for having guns. At the least, Cooper’s findings uncovered an unnecessary complication in the application of the law.

So SB 1058 seeks to remove ambiguity and complication by making a clear point – -employees with concealed carry permits who are fired for having a gun in their car in the manner set forth in the “guns-in-trunks” law will have recourse to sue their employers for unlawful termination.

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