Proposed state law would allow Iowans to secure guns in their vehicles in their workplace parking lot

Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 5:31 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The Employee Privacy Act would let people keep their guns in stored in their vehicle in the parking lot of their place of employment. even if that employer bans guns on its private property. Iowa Senate File 22-50 made it out of the Labor and Business Relations Committee this week.

Members with the Iowa Firearms Coalition have been pushing the proposal. “24 states already have a version of this rule,” said board member Richard Rogers.

They don’t know how many businesses ban their employers from keeping guns in their parking lots, but enough of their members have brought it up that it now has their attention.

“Employees also have an expectation of privacy in their locked private vehicle,” said Rogers. “And we think the place to draw the line between those competing rights, between employer and employee is at a locked private vehicle.”

They say some people make long commutes to work, and may not have a nearby place to park if their job bans them from securing a gun in their vehicle. They don’t think this is a safety issue.

“Nobody is gonna know it’s there,” said Rogers. “It’s not gonna be stolen, it’s in the employer’s lot. It’s hurting nobody. But a ban on it that makes you subject to dismissal means you can’t carry for the entire time you’re away from home.”

Members with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action spoke out against the proposal during the committee meeting. “We know from research is that the presence of more guns does not actually make people safer,” said member Traci Kennedy. “It actually leads to increased opportunity for theft in this case specifically. So cars are one of the most common places theft takes place.”

Kennedy wishes Iowa lawmakers would put more energy into other things. “Instead of focusing on common sense solutions to gun violence that we know would work,” she said. “We have to waste our time and energy on bills like this that actually require a private business owner to require firearms on their property.”

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