Maybe put in your two cents to your elected politician to get this bill passed.
It bothers me that such legislation would even be needed. Why do we need this when we should already have the right this legislation is trying to inact? I guess at least the spirit behind this is good.
"Monday, March 24, 2008
House Bill 503 -- Guns in Parked Vehicles
The latest version of Florida House Bill 503 appears below. This is a very important piece of legislation before the entire legislature that needs your immediate support. Call your legislator. You can see the companion Florida Senate Bill if you go to the Legislature's web site.
Here it is as of March 24, 2008:
Section 1. Section 790.251, florida statutes, is created to read:
790.251 protection of the right to keep and bear arms in motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes; prohibited acts; duty of public and private entities and employers; immunity from liability; enforcement.--
(1) legislative intent; findings.--this act is intended to codify the long-standing legislative policy of the state that individual citizens have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, that they have a constitutional right to possess and keep legally owned firearms within their motor vehicles for self- defense and other lawful purposes, and that these rights are not abrogated by virtue of a citizen becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of a business entity. It is the finding of the legislature that a citizen's Lawful possession, transportation, and secure keeping of firearms and ammunition within his or her motor vehicle is essential to the exercise of the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the constitutional right of self-defense. The legislature finds that protecting and preserving these rights is essential to the exercise of freedom and individual responsibility. The legislature further finds that no citizen can or should be required to waive or abrogate his or her right to possess and securely keep firearms and ammunition locked within his or her motor vehicle by virtue of Becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of any employer or business establishment within the state.
(2) prohibited acts.--no public or private entity may violate the
Constitutional rights of any customer, employee, or invitee as provided in paragraphs (a)-(e):
(a) no public or private entity may prohibit any customer, employee, or invitee from possessing any legally owned firearm when such firearm is lawfully possessed and locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle in a parking lot and when the customer, employee, or invitee is lawfully in such area.
(b) no public or private entity may violate the privacy rights of a customer, employee, or invitee by verbal or written inquiry regarding the presence of a firearm inside a private motor vehicle in a parking lot or by an actual search of a private motor vehicle in a parking lot to ascertain the presence of a firearm within the vehicle. Further, no public or private entity may take any action against a customer, employee, or invitee based upon verbal or written statements of any party concerning possession of a firearm stored inside a private motor vehicle in a parking lot for lawful purposes. A search of a private motor vehicle in the parking lot of a public or private entity to ascertain the presence of a firearm within the vehicle may only be conducted by on-duty law enforcement personnel based upon due process and must comply with constitutional protections.
(c) no employer shall condition employment upon either:
1. The fact that an employee or prospective employee holds or does not hold a license issued pursuant to s. 790.06; or
2. Any agreement by an employee or a prospective employee that prohibits an employee from keeping a legal firearm locked inside a motor vehicle when such firearm is kept for lawful purposes.
(d) no employer shall prohibit or attempt to prevent any customer, employee, or invitee from entering the parking lot of the employer's place of business because the customer's, employee's, or invitee's motor vehicle contains a legal firearm, being carried for lawful purposes, that is out of sight within the customer's, employee's, or invitee's motor vehicle.
(e) no employer may terminate the employment of or otherwise discriminate against an employee, or expel a customer or invitee, for exercising his or her constitutional right to keep and bear arms or for exercising the right of self-defense as long as a firearm is never exhibited on company property for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes. This subsection applies to all public-sector employers, including those already prohibited from regulating firearms under the provisions of s. 790.33.
(3) duty of public and private entities and employers; immunity from liability.--
(a) except for public or private entities and employers subject to the exceptions of subsection (6), a public or private entity or employer has no duty to:]
1. Prohibit any customer, employee, or invitee from possessing a legal firearm in a locked motor vehicle in the entity's or employer's parking lot;
2. Search a motor vehicle in the entity's or employer's parking lot or inquire regarding the presence of a firearm in a locked motor vehicle in the entity's or employer's parking lot;
3. Condition employment upon an agreement regarding the employee's possession of a legal firearm within a locked motor vehicle in the entity's or employer's parking lot; or
4. Terminate the employment of an employee for exercising his or her right to bear arms or for exercising the right of self-defense, as long as a firearm is never exhibited on company property for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes.
(b) except for public or private entities and employers subject to the exceptions of subsection (6), a public or private entity or employer is not liable in a civil action based on actions or inactions taken in compliance with this section. The immunity provided in this subsection does not apply to civil actions based on actions or inactions of public or private entities or employers that are unrelated to compliance with this section.
(4) enforcement.--the attorney general shall enforce the protections of this act on behalf of any customer, employee, or invitee aggrieved under this act. If there is reasonable cause to believe that the aggrieved person's rights under this act have been violated by a public or private entity, the attorney general shall commence a civil or administrative action for damages,
Injunctive relief and civil penalties, and such other relief as may be Appropriate under the provisions of s. 760.51, or may negotiate a settlement with any employer on behalf of any person aggrieved under the act. However, nothing in this act shall prohibit the right of a person aggrieved under this act to bring a civil action for violation of rights protected under the act.
In any successful action brought by a customer, employee, or invitee aggrieved under this act, the court shall award all court costs, attorney's fees, and reasonable personal costs and losses suffered by the aggrieved person as a result of the violation of rights under this act.
(5) definitions.--as used in this section, the term:
(a) "parking lot" means any property that is used for parking motor vehicles and is available to customers, employees, or invitees for temporary or long-term parking or storage of motor vehicles.
(b) "motor vehicle" means any automobile, truck, mini-van, sports utility vehicle, motor home, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state and required to be registered under state law.
(c) "employee" means any person who possesses a valid license issued pursuant to s. 790.06 and:
1. Works for salary, wages, or other remuneration;
2. Is an independent contractor; or
3. Is a volunteer, intern, or other similar individual for an employer.
(d) "employer" means any business that is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, professional association, cooperative, joint venture, trust, firm, institution, or association, or public-sector entity, that has employees.
(e) "invitee" means any business invitee, including a customer or visitor, who is lawfully on the premises of an entity described in paragraph (d). As used in this section, the term "firearm" includes ammunition and accouterments attendant to the lawful possession and use of a firearm.
(6) exceptions.--the prohibitions in subsection (2) do not apply to:
(a) any school property as defined and regulated under s. 790.115.]
(b) any state correctional institution regulated under s. 944.47.
(c) property owned or leased by an employer or the landlord of an employer upon which are conducted substantial activities involving national defense, aerospace, or domestic security.
(d) property owned or leased by an employer or the landlord of an employer upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials regulated under state or federal law.
(e) a motor vehicle owned, leased, or rented by an employer or the landlord of an employer.
(f) any other property owned or leased by an employer or the landlord of an employer upon which possession of a firearm or other legal product by a customer, employee, or invitee is prohibited pursuant to any federal law or any general law of this state on the effective date of this act.
(7) short title.--this section may be cited as the "preservation and protection of the right to keep and bear arms in motor vehicles act of 2008."
Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law and shall apply to causes of action accruing on or after that date.