http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/ ... gguns.html Committee approves gun-in-car bill By CARLOS CAMPOS The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 04/17/07 Two bills to give Georgians greater access to firearms in motor vehicles morphed into one Monday and passed a Senate committee. One of the bills, House Bill 89, would allow motorists without a serious criminal record or a history of mental illness to hide firearms anywhere inside of a car. The other one, Senate Bill 43, would allow employees to store firearms inside their cars while parked in a company parking lot that is not gated or secured â€” for example, in a shopping center. A variation of SB 43 was folded into HB 89, the new version of the bill. The new version would simply prohibit employers from searching their employees' cars in a "don't ask/don't tell" kind of policy but would allow property owners to ban all weapons from their property. Critics of the bill had said it was an infringement on property owners' rights. A major provision in a version of the bill that floated around the Capitol on Friday was removed to make the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association happy. Trial lawyers worried that a section of the bill would have taken liability away from employers for the negligent actions of their workers. But the Georgia Chamber of Commerce remained unhappy with the hybrid bill. Joe Fleming, lobbyist for the chamber, has said the SB 43 portion of the bill interferes with the right of employers to set rules for its employees. "We believe strongly that employers have the right to regulate their parking accommodations," Fleming said. "This bill addresses no problem in Georgia, and it does so by diminishing the value of the employment contract." The National Rifle Association pushed SB 43. A spokesman for the NRA did not immediately return a phone call Monday. The debate over the bill occurred in the morning, before news of the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech spread through the Capitol. Some police chiefs have warned that making guns more accessible in motor vehicles could lead to increased violence. The bill has split some Republicans, and the university shooting is likely to be referenced if it is debated before the full Senate this week, even though details about how the attacks were carried out are unknown.