Legislation that would allow handgun permit holders to keep guns locked in their vehicles in public and private parking lots cleared the state Senate Monday night.

The bill, sponsored by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, was approved in a 28-5 vote. Among those supporting the measure were Sen. Bo Watson and Sen. Todd Gardenhire, both of whom represent portions of Hamilton County.


If approved by the House and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, the legislation would enable valid handgun permit holders to bring their guns to work, as long as they were kept safely stored in their own vehicles. A similar version of the bill failed to gain approval in the Legislature last year.

According to a Tennessean report, approximately 371,800 Tennesseans hold valid gun carry permits.

The passage of the so-called “guns in trunks” bill comes two months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and amid a national debate on gun laws.

A House subcommittee is expected to discuss the bill next week.