The Florida legislature has killed a National Rifle Association-backed backed bill that would have allowed workers to keep guns in their cars at work despite an employer’s objections, the Miami Herald reports. The ”guns at work” measure would have made it illegal for business owners to ban employees from keeping legal property — including guns — in their locked cars while parked on company property. The issue brought two of the most influential advocacy groups — the NRA and the Florida Chamber of Commerce — to loggerheads, and divided Republican lawmakers who count members of both among their core constituents.
Business groups lauded the measure’s defeat, which they said would have opened them to significant liability and put employees at risk. Marion Hammer, an NRA lobbyist and grandmother who never drives unarmed, said the group plans to reintroduce the legislation next year. She said the bill is necessary to give employees the ability to protect themselves during commutes. New language broadened the scope of the bill beyond guns to all legal property within a locked car, from pornography to political pamphlets. The new draft drew different actors into the debate — like the AFL-CIO, which opposes encroachment on personal rights by big corporations. Attention still focused on guns, and the NRA led the way among supporters.