'Guns in parking lot' bill signed into law - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Guns in parking lot' bill signed into law

(WMC-TV) - Parking lots will no longer be off limits to people who pack heat now that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the controversial "guns in parking lots" bill into law Friday.

Beginning July 1, people in Tennessee with handgun-carry permits will be able to keep their weapons in locked cars in parking lots across the state.

One catch that kept the governor from supporting the law in the past was a provision that would have prohibited individual companies or employers from instituting gun free policies. That is something allowed in the new law.

The only exceptions to the "guns in parking lots" law appears to be areas where weapons are prohibited by federal law, but opinions on the street are still mixed.

"Because people with guns protect people who don't have guns... ...I think it's great," said Hubbard Savage, who supports the new law.

But Destin Bullock disagrees.

"I don't think it should be in any parking lot with kids around, so it shouldn't be in every parking lot," he said.

Under the law, handgun-carry permit holders must keep their guns hidden in their car if they are not in it.

Parking areas outside single family homes are not included in the protection.

What has been a contentious issue in Tennessee since 2009 is now settled with the governor's signature.

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