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MIAMI — The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation have vowed to challenge a controversial law signed by Florida Governor Charlie Crist this week that allows Florida residents to keep guns locked in their cars at work. The business groups jointly hired prominent constitutional rights attorney Barry Richard of Greenberg Traurig in Tallahassee, Fla. Richard said he plans to file suit in federal court in Tallahassee next week, challenging the law on Fifth Amendment and Occupational Safety & Health Administration policy grounds. “This law is completely irrational,” Richard said. “This could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Florida is not the first state to pass a law allowing workers to keep guns in their cars at work. Similar laws were passed in Alaska, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma. The law in Oklahoma was overturned last year. The Florida law, which goes into effect in July, states that businesses cannot prohibit employees or customers with concealed weapon permits from keeping guns locked inside their cars at work. The only exemptions are for schools, prisons, nuclear power plants, military facilities and buildings that store explosives. But a proposed amendment to also exempt nursing homes, child care facilities, college campuses, courthouses and police stations was defeated by the Florida Legislature. Supporters of the law say people have a constitutional right to bear arms for protection under the Second Amendment. But business owners argue they should be able to regulate what takes place on their property.

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