Hoosier Workplace Gun Law Stirring Opposition

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 2, 2010 Updated Jul 2, 2010 at 6:08 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Is a court challenge looming to see if Indiana's new workplace gun law can survive?

It’s an interesting case, because two powerful lobbying groups that normally are on the same side of an issue are against each other in this instance.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Indiana Manufacturer's Association find themselves at odds with gun rights advocates over the law that took effect Thursday.

It says employees of Hoosier businesses have the right to bring a gun to work, provided they keep it locked and out of sight in their car.

One company in Northwest Indiana right off the bat told its employees to leave all weapons at home.

Business owners are among the critics who fear violence could erupt more easily in emotional work situations if guns are close at hand.

Lawmakers in favor of the new law urged businesses to provide places for employees to keep their guns locked up and secure on site.

State Sen. David Long/(R) Senate President Pro Tem: " They don't want to go to the cost of that, so again, it comes down to the Constitution being stronger than cost or the right of business."

President Mike Landram/Ft. Wayne Chamber of Commerce: " Our employees not having guns in their car immediately accessible is a reasonable limitation that we think should be in order, so that nothing crazy happens in the workplace."

Proponents say the Second Amendment right to bear arms should trump the rights of business property owners to control what happens on their premises.

The primary argument from the other side is that federal law gives employers authority to tell workers to keep firearms off their property, and that federal law pre-empts state law in such a dispute.

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