The New Texas Open Carry Law and Your HR

Question: If based on Texas’ open-carry gun law, can and employer prohibit employees from carrying while they are performing their job? Can he/she also prohibit carrying within a vehicle if driving during work hours. Is so, could this policy lead to termination?

Texas Open CarryThe new law expressly reserves the right of a public or private employers to prohibit handguns on their property provided the employer follows the notice requirements outlined in the statute H.B. 910. In addition to the notice requirement, employers should have a written policy regarding handguns in the workplace and that violation of the policy will result in disciplinary action including termination.  Note that an employer may not bar a licensed gun owner from keeping a legally owned firearm in the employee’s locked car in a parking lot the employer provides for the employee’s use. Nonetheless, employers may bar employees from transporting firearms in employer-owned vehicles or otherwise possessing a firearm during the course and scope of employment.

Assuming the employer has a policy on weapons in the workplace, they will need to make sure their policy is compliant with the new law. For example, if their policy includes the term “concealed” this should be removed from the policy. Leave the word “handgun” only. Please note we do not provide legal advice. As always, we recommend reviewing new or modified policies with counsel prior to implementation.

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