Gun bill shoots through legislature
Â Â Â Â Legislation allowing employees to keep guns locked in their cars at their workplace is picking up momentum in the capitol.
Â Â Â Â The so-called Personal Privacy Protection Act sailed through its second Florida senate committee today and now goes before the full senate for a vote.
Â Â Â Â But a growing coalition of business groups and victim's rights advocates is vowing to shoot down the bill.
Â Â Â Â More than 400 people are killed each year in the U.S. in workplace shootings. Many are domestic violence victims and their co-workers who get caught in the crossfire. That's why domestic abuse expert Robin Thompson is campaigning hard against a bill that would let people keep guns in their cars in a business's parking lot whether the business agrees or not.
Â Â Â Â "What it does is it sort of makes it an open hunting ground if you will for victims, because there aren't the protections to keep guns out of the workplace that employers need," Thompson said.
Â Â Â Â Thompson joined a new coalition of business groups and advocates trying to shoot down the legislation. They're planning to start airing these TV ads to convince families worried about gun violence to call their lawmakers.
Â Â Â Â But House sponsor Dennis Baxley says the bill's opponents are just trying to create hysteria. He maintains legal gun owners should have a right to keep their firearms in their cars wherever they park.
Â Â Â Â "The fact is we should stand with people in their right to protect themselves from harm and we should also stand with them in the fact that their vehicle is their private space," Baxley said.
Â Â Â Â Governor Charlie Crist is sitting squarely in the middle of the fence on this one. When we asked him recently if he supports the gun bill, he said he'll make up his mind when and if the bill makes it to his desk.
Â Â Â Â If the National Rifle Association has its way, he'll get that chance. The NRA has made the bill its number-one priority this legislative session.
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