Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Glenn Hegar, District 18

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2011
Contact: Lisa Craven
(512) 463-0118

State Senator Glenn Hegar Announces Senate Passage of Legislation to Protect Law Abiding Texans' 2nd Amendment Rights

Senate Bill 321, passed today, will allow hardworking Texans to store legal firearms in their vehicles at place of employment during work day

AUSTIN — Today, State Senator Glenn Hegar (R, of Katy) announced that the Texas Senate passed his legislation that will strengthen and protect the Second Amendment Rights of hardworking Texans. Hegar said that Senate Bill 321 will, if passed by the Texas House and signed into law by the Texas Governor, prevent employers from adopting policies that deny Second Amendment protections to their employees who wish to store legally owned firearms in their locked vehicle in the parking lot of their workplace. Hegar's bill was filed in response to a number of instances across the state where employees have been denied the right to protect themselves while traveling to and from work because their employers have adopted overly-restrictive policies. This is the third legislative session Hegar has attempted to pass the measure. While it passed the Senate on all three occasions, it has failed to pass the Texas House of Representatives. The measure passed the Texas Senate today by a vote of 30 to 1.

"Senator Hegar once again demonstrates why he's the Texas State Rifle Association's Doc Brown Legislator of the Year award winner," said Alice Tripp, Legislative Director of the Texas State Rifle Association, the National Rifle Association's state affiliate. "Today the Texas Senate again, and for the third time, thanks to Senator Hegar, passed legislation to protect Texas commuters on their way to and from the workplace," Tripp added.

"Senate Bill 321 will help Texans regain what is their constitutionally protected right to protect themselves as they travel to and from work," said Hegar. "When an employer bars firearms on company property, even those hidden in locked vehicles, they rob their employees of their Second Amendment Rights and, even more importantly, of their right to safety," said Senator Hegar.

Hegar said that millions of Texans spend hours each week in their cars and trucks as they commute to and from work. These commutes may be comfortable and safe for many, but others are not so lucky, as their daily drives take them through dangerous neighborhoods. Unfortunately, many Texans have been forced to make the choice between adhering to their employer's policy prohibiting storage of their legally owned firearm in their locked vehicle on company property or risking their employment by exercising their legal right to protect themselves as they make their daily commute.

"The National Rifle Association strongly supports Senate Bill 321, legislation similar to that passed in Oklahoma, Louisiana and eleven other states to prevent employers from enforcing policies that restrict employees' ability to transport and store firearms in their locked, privately-owned vehicles while parked at work," said Tara Reilly Mica, Texas State Liaison, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. "We applaud Senator Hegar's efforts to prevent hardworking Texans from having to choose between their jobs and their right to personal protection during their commutes, and to take part in lawful hunting and recreational activities before and after work," Mica added.

Hegar said that Senate Bill 321 is common sense legislation that balances the rights of both employer and employee. Under the measure, employees will regain their express right to store a legally owned firearm(s) and ammunition at their place of work, and with it the ability to protect themselves as they travel to and from their jobs. Employers will be protected from any lawsuit resulting from the use of a firearm stored on their property and they can still forbid an employee from carrying a firearm in company owned vehicles. Under his bill, employers would retain the ability to prohibit firearms in their offices and company buildings other than parking facilities, Hegar added.

"Responsible and law-abiding gun owners should not be forced to choose between personal protection and protecting their jobs," said Hegar. "Senate Bill 321 will ensure that no hard-working Texan will again face that difficult and unfair choice," he concluded.

A companion bill to Senate Bill 321, House Bill 681 by State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt, (R, of Lexington) was passed yesterday by the Texas House Committee on Business and Industry and has been sent to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled for consideration before the full House of Representatives.

Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.