The legislature in Tennessee passed what I consider to be the most intelligent law that any legislature has passed in the last decade, and possibly longer – And I say that as an attorney who believes that we tend to have too many laws on the books already.
As reported, the details of SB 1736:
[B]usiness owners who demand law-abiding citizens disarm themselves will assume liability for injuries they incur while on the “posted premises.” Moreover, the business owners will be liable for injuries a concealed permit holder incurs while retreating from the business to a vehicle–during an emergency–to retrieve the gun the business owner barred.
In sum, TN businesses who restrict the ability of their customers and employees to carry a gun for self defense will be liable for harm that occurs to those customers and employees as a result of that self-defense-free-zone they have created. This makes sense, as businesses should be liable for creating a situation where their customers or employees are subjected to foreseeable and preventable harm. I take this point to heart at my law firm, and not only have signage posted encouraging clients and employees to carry, but I also offer employees a small monthly bonus if they choose to carry at work.
The risk of violence in any workplace is real. Sometimes that risk comes from an angry customer, or a disgruntled former employee. Other times, it is an armed robber. In still other cases, a violent ex may attack a person at their place of work. Running from a criminal doesn’t work, and hoping the criminal will show mercy is not a wise course of action. The only reliable way to stop a violent criminal is armed self defense. Sadly, there are people whose misguided anti-gun beliefs lead them to erroneous conclusions about guns and gun owners, thereby harming everyone’s safety. This TN law (which other states will hopefully follow) is a big step in the right direction.