Senator Glenn Hegar Announces Final Passage of Legislation to Protect Law Abiding Texans' Second Amendment Rights
Senate Bill 321 on its way to Governor Perry for his signature
Austin, Texas—Today, State Senator Glenn Hegar (R, of Katy) announced that both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives have passed the conference committee report for Senate Bill 321, which strengthens and protects the Second Amendment Rights of hard-working Texas. The legislation is now on its way to the desk of Texas Governor Rick Perry, where his signature will effect its final passage.
The legislation, once signed into law, will prevent employers from adopting policies that deny Second Amendment protections to their employees who wish to store legally owned firearms in their locked vehicles while at work. 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 was the third legislative session Hegar has worked to pass the measure.
"I want to thank my legislative colleagues both in the Senate and the Texas House for supporting this important legislation," said Senator Hegar. "I especially want to thank State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R, Lexington), who sponsored the bill in the Texas House of Representatives and who worked tirelessly to help ensure that it received the strong support of House members."
"Senator Hegar has once again demonstrated why he's the Texas State Rifle Association's (TSRA) 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. "After seven long years, the bill has finally crossed the finished line! Senate Bill 321 is clear and finally passed. Thanks to Senator Hegar, Texas commuters will be protected on their way to and from the workplace," Tripp added.
"This law will help Texans regain their constitutional 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, non-adherence to which is oftentimes grounds for termination, or protecting themselves by having their legal firearm available to them as they make their daily commute.
"The National Rifle Association (NRA) strongly supported 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 Mica Reilly, Legislative Liaison for Texas for the National Rifle Association.
"We applaud Senator Hegar's efforts in getting this measure passed by the Texas Legislature and thank him for helping prevent hard-working 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," Reilly added.
Hegar said that Senate Bill 321 is common-sense legislation that balances the rights of both employer and employee. Under the new law, employees will regain their express right to store 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 new law, employers will also retain the right to prohibit firearms in their offices.
"Responsible and law-abiding gun owners should not be forced to choose between personal protection and protecting their jobs," said Hegar. "Once Governor Perry signs Senate Bill 321 into law, no hard-working Texan will again face that difficult and unfair choice," he concluded.
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 rice and corn 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.