State Gun Bill Locked, Loaded, and Headed for House Vote

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- It's a loaded issue. The Texas Senate wants to give licensed handgun owners the right to lock up their gun inside vehicles at work. On Thursday the Texas House received SB 730 backed by a unanimous vote from the State Senate. The bill aims at overriding any companies policy, public or private, that prohibits firearms on company property.

"That's every mans right to bear arms," David Soza said. "It's in the constitution."

If it passes, the law would go into effect September 1st, but not everyone wants to see the legislature pull the trigger and give it the okay.

"A lot happens at work and sometimes tempers fly and flare and I think there is a place to have it and a place not to have it and I don't think work should be one of them," Zac Fandel said. "I just don't think it's a good idea."

At Uncle Dick's Gun Shop, owner Richard Stallcup argues the people who take the time to get a license to carry a concealed handgun won't likely cause trouble.

"In case somebody breaks in, or whatever, what's a person to do we have the right to protect our property, they run a background check on you, they make sure you're not a criminal, and you have to go through a safety course and be proficient at it," Richard Stallcup said.

Stallcup thinks it will give qualified gun owners the chance to use their second amendment rights.

"It might possibly stop a crime of somebody trying to get into their car, in this day and age, I think we should have as many rights as we can to defend ourselves," Stallcup said.

According to the Associated Press, the Texas Association of Business warns it may spark more work place crimes. Bill Hammond, with the group said it's coming at a dangerous time when more people are losing their jobs.

"It's right there within reach." Fandel says if there is a situation at work, it is likely to escalate much faster with a gun involved.

SB 730 does come packed with provisions. It doesn't apply to company cars or employees who work at schools and business are not liable for damage for damage or injury caused if the gun is fired on their property unless there is gross negligence.