“Bring Your Gun to Work” Day in Florida

The NRA is on a roll in Florida. Following their success with the so-called “Deadly Force” law, the evil lobbying group is trying to arm Florida employees. Florida Times-Union:

A rare and spectacular showdown may be coming in Florida’s Republican Party: Big Business vs. Big Guns…

But the NRA is insistent. The group…has donated nearly $1 million in Florida over the past decade, mostly to Republicans

The dust-up is over the “guns-at-work” bill, which the National Rifle Association began pushing last month in Tallahassee to force all Florida businesses to allow firearms in the vehicles of any employee or visitor. Companies could keep policies banning guns from their buildings themselves but could no longer apply those policies to their parking lots.

The bill is sponsored in the Florida House by none other than Rep. Dennis Baxley, the fruitcake who tried to pass an “academic freedom” law that would have punished liberal college professors who allowed views other than Baxley’s to be aired in their classrooms. That effort failed. We can only hope this one meets the same fate.

Many businesses are either wary of or leaning against the proposal, including heavy-hitters such as Disney and local giants such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CSX and Baptist Health System.

But the NRA is insistent. The group, which has donated nearly $1 million in Florida over the past decade, mostly to Republicans, is led in Tallahassee by former national President Marion Hammer. Hammer said the rights of gun owners should be intact in their vehicles, and the proposed law already gives businesses immunity from liability lawsuits in cases of workplace shootings.

Is a lawsuit the worst possible outcome if an employee uses a gun at work? A lot of people don’t think so.

Andy Sike, director of safety and security for Baptist Health System, said his company’s no-guns-at-work policy is needed to protect its 6,600 employees and numerous visitors…

“Like any business, we terminate employees; there’s all sorts of personal disputes that can spill over and you never know where it’s going to lead,” Sike said. “The immunity clause is nice to cover the legalities, but it’s not going to do anything for someone who’s been shot.”

Marion Hammer doesn’t care. More background: she was inducted into the 2004 Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, with credit taken for her nomination by both the Florida Republican Party and Gov. Jeb Bush.

The bill isn’t getting the same wholehearted backing.

“Your home is a slam dunk, but bridging that into the private property of an organization doesn’t hold,” said Mike Hightower, chairman of the Duval County Republican Party and lobbyist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. “I don’t think people are going to want to cross that line.”

In a telling sign of wariness, neither Gov. Jeb Bush, Senate President Tom Lee nor House Speaker Allan Bense are taking positions on the bill yet. Bush said he hasn’t seen it and wouldn’t say whether he supports the idea. Lee is still studying it, and Bense is simply sending it to House committees with no input…

Disney World, which employs 57,000 people at its Orlando resort, is also treading carefully.

“Our policy is that guests and employees — including our own security — are not allowed to bring guns onto our parking lots,” said spokeswoman Lissette Campos. “For now, we’re not taking a position. It’s very early.”

Hammer calls Disney’s policy “horrendous discrimination.”

One can only hope the U.S. Postal Service will earn an exemption.


2 thoughts on ““Bring Your Gun to Work” Day in Florida”

  1. The NRA will not rest until this country is armed to the teeth and their friends in the gun industry own their own islands far from the carnage. Wayne LePierre (draft dodger) can’t spell Second Amendment much less understand what it means.

  2. The NRA is taking on big business in supporting legislation in Florida that would guarantee the right of workers to keep a gun in a locked vehicle in the company parking lot. Workers often have to travel through dangerous areas to get to their place of employment. If a company bans guns locked in a car of their parking lot, they are in effect prohibiting the employee from having a gun while traveling to and from work. It’s a classic case of the rights of workers versus big business interests. I would love to see the NRA win this one. I hope that Governor Jeb Bush will grow a spine and support this proposal. Bush claims to support the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. I know that he caved into the illegal aliens on the driver’s license issue, but let’s hope that Bush will take a stand for the safety of Florida’s workers by allowing them to travel to and from work with guns. If a company is worried about potential workplace violence, hire more security guards – the cost can come out of the absurd salaries being paid to corporate CEO’s. You will note that country club Republicans like the chairman of Duval County’s Republican Party – also a big business lobbyist – are lining up against the proposal.

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