State Senator Joe McPherson of Woodworth, Louisiana has been named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for July.
In nominating the lawmaker for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that there are solid reasons for the designation.
“Throughout his public career,” said Snyder, “Sen. McPherson has been an outstanding proponent of the individual, Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms.
“Within the context of defense of gun rights, a struggle has been developing in regarding the right of lawfully-armed employees to keep their guns in their vehicles while parked on their employer’s property.”
Snyder said that, “Sen. McPherson is taking a lead in Louisiana for gun owners’ rights and certainly deserves being named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month.”
In Florida just recently, Snyder recalled, the Florida State Legislature passed and Governor Charlie Crist signed into law a measure which protects the right of Florida citizens with valid state-issued permits to carry concealed firearms to keep their guns locked in their vehicles while at work so that they can actually have their guns with them while going to and from work. This was enacted into law after several years of struggle with corporate interests in the state who wanted to prevent their workers from keeping their guns in their cars while the automobiles were parked in the various firms’ parking lots.
Georgia subsequently enacted guns in the workplace legislation that Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law.
In Louisiana, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and the Louisiana Chemical Association are fighting to maintain what they consider their right to prevent law-abiding gun owners from bringing their guns onto their property. Greg Bowser, a chemical association representative, for instance, said that, “You have a right to have a gun in your car but as a property owner, I should have a right to say, ‘You can’t bring that gun on my property.’”
To that, Sen. Joe McPherson said the companies unfairly deprive employees of the right to defend themselves and the ability to go hunting on their way to or from work. He proposed legislation similar to measures being considered in other states.
Sen. McPherson said his proposal “is assuring we don’t take away citizens’ rights. In Louisiana, we look at a car as an extension of a home.”
Greg Bowser of the Louisiana Chemical Association, however, told the House Criminal Justice Committee that passage of the bill would tell employers that, “If you employ people, you lose your rights for saying what you can control on your personal property,” and said also that the McPherson bill would allow workers to sue their employers “for telling them this is something I don’t want on my personal property.”
Sen. McPherson pointed out that “there are people being fired” because they show up at work with a gun in their vehicles. He noted a man in his district went duck hunting before work and was bragging to a fellow worker about bagging the limit and having the ducks in his truck. The fellow worker told his supervisor about it and suggested the man’s gun must be in there, too.
McPherson’s proposal, Senate Bill 51, would provide specifically that a person who lawfully possesses a firearm may transport or store such firearm in a locked, privately-owned motor vehicle in any parking lot, parking garage, or other designated parking area.
The bill would provide also that no property owner, tenant, public or private employer, or business entity will be liable in any civil action for damages resulting from or arising out of an occurrence involving the transportation, storage, possession or use of a firearm transported or stored pursuant to his proposal.
Joe McPherson has been a State Senator since 2000. He also served previously in the State Senate from 1984 to 1996. He’s in the U.S.A.R. and is a business owner of retail and healthcare facilities and also commercial property.
He’s been educated at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern State University.
Sen. McPherson is Chairman in the Louisiana State Senate of the Standing Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works. He serves also on the Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development Standing Committee.
Sen. McPherson is the Safari Club International 2008 State Legislator of the Year.