Gun Owner Rights In the Workplace For Texas Employers
Published by Eric A. Welter and Sarah Tudor Glaser on July 24, 2018
Texas employers, are you curious what legal rights your employees have to bring their guns to work?
Texas employers, are you curious what legal rights your employees have to bring their guns to work? Here is a summary. We have talked about this before—-here and here—-but this is a comprehensive survey of the Texas laws employers should know related to gun ownership.
General Summary of the Laws: Under Texas law, any person at least 18 years old may own a firearm. Texas gun laws do not regulate the possession of firearms so any person, no matter what age, can possess a firearm as long as they are not a felon. To purchase a handgun a person must be at least 21 years old if buying from a federally licensed dealer. Residents and non-residents may obtain a license to carry after completing a training course. Open carry is legal provided the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster.
Guns In The Workplace: Guns are prohibited by law in certain locations, listed below:
- Federal Buildings
- Business that derives 51% or more of income from on-premises alcohol sales
- Athletic events
- Correctional facilities
- Polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress
- Any government court or court office (absent written permission from the court)
- Secured area of an airport
- Within 1,000 feet of premises designated as a place of execution on the day a sentence of death is set to be imposed
Prohibited with “Effective Notice”
- Hospitals or nursing home (without written authorization)
- Amusement Park
- Place of Worship
- Meeting of a governmental entity
Effective Notice of Prohibition: Business owners and employers (or any kind of business) are not required to, but may prohibit firearms in the workplace. The simplest way to do so is to ensure all employees are aware that no weapons are prohibited in the workplace by including this in an employee handbook and ensuring all employees are aware of the policy. Business owners may also post signs informing the public that weapons are not prohibited in the building.
Texas law also provides a means for property owners to create a criminal trespass violation for entering with a firearm by informing visitors and employees that firearms are prohibited either orally or by providing a card or document or posting signs at every entrance that comply with Texas Penal Code 30.06 and 30.07.
The signs must be displayed in a conspicuous manner at each entrance to the building in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height and you must state the policy in both English and Spanish. For those concerned about compliance with the technical details of the statute, a quick online search can help you locate a number of vendors selling pre-made signs which are fully compliant and that can be purchased and installed.
Firearms In The Parking Lot: Employers may not prohibit an employee who holds a license to carry a handgun or otherwise lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition from transporting or storing it in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot or garage. In other words—-you can prohibit your employees from bringing their guns in the building, but you cannot prohibit them from leaving them in their car, even if it is parked on your property.
Business owners and employers should familiarize themselves with Texas gun laws so they can ensure they institute policies that reflect their vision for their business and protect their employees.Topics: Healthcare, Hospitality, media and entertainment, Policies Procedures and Employee Handbooks, Retail, Technology, Workplace Safety