Legislators look at work site shootings and business liability

Tuesday, February 22nd 2005, 5:51 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The state House has approved legislation that would exempt businesses from legal liability if a gun stored in a worker's car results in injury or death at a work site.

The House passed the bill 96-2 and sent it to the state Senate for action. Oklahoma City Democrats Opio Toure and Mike Shelton were the only representative to vote against the bill.

The bill's author, Representative Greg Piatt, says it supports a state law that allows workers to keep a gun in their locked vehicles at work. The law is being challenged in court by national employers.

The law was passed last year after 12 workers at a Weyerhaeuser Company paper mill in southeast Oklahoma were fired in 2002. The timber company had extended its long-time ban on guns in the workplace to the parking lot, and dogs found guns in the 12 employees' vehicles.

The law prohibits businesses and employers from establishing policies that prohibit anyone other than a convicted felon from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle in company parking lots.

The measure was supposed to take effect November 1st, but a federal judge in Tulsa has blocked its enforcement.