Even though a number of businesses and schools repeatedly expressed their opposition over the past few months, the Tennessee House Consumer and Employee Affairs Committee passed two bills on Tuesday that allow residents with legal handgun-carry permits to store firearms in locked vehicles parked at most private and public parking lots including workplaces and schools.
Among those opposing the National Rifle Association-drafted bills is one of Tennessee's newest residents, the Volkswagen Group, which has built a new factory in Chattanooga that produces the North American Passat sedan.
"That's a sort of thing that makes us a bit nervous," Frank Fischer, CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga, told The Associated Press during an interview on Monday.
Fischer told the news agency that Volkswagen has had no other problems with Tennessee lawmakers. "On the whole, the cooperation and mutual understanding has been excellent. The only thing we see critically as a company is the guns law," he said.
"We would not welcome people being able to carry weapons on factory grounds, probably just as little as the state House or Senate would like people to enter their building armed," Fischer added.
According to Chatanooga's Time Free Press, the first bill allows workers and in many cases, visitors as well to store legally owned firearms in their vehicles, while the second bill, stops employers from discriminating against permit holders.
Having passed through the Tennessee House Committee, the two bills are now heading to the Calendar and Rules Committee before they reach the floor.