(STATEHOUSE) - State lawmakers have passed a bill to allow most Indiana employees to keep guns in their locked vehicles outside of the workplace.
House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement Thursday after adding certain exemptions to the measure, including employees of centers for the developmentally disabled who drive patients in their own vehicles. The bill also excludes employees at prisons, domestic violence shelters, child care centers, schools and universities. Workers at some chemical and nuclear plants and investor-owned utilities are exempt as well.
The National Rifle Association lobbied heavily for the measure, saying it's a matter of personal protection and guaranteeing 2nd amendment rights. But several Hoosier businesses expressed opposition to the bill, claiming it violates property rights and promotes an unsafe work environment.
Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) agrees with their argument that the bill could open the door to violence. But the bill's co-author, Representative Mike Murphy (R-Indianapolis) says constitutional rights should override those concerns.
The bill now heads to Governor Mitch Daniels' desk for his signature into law.
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