In January 1, 2016, Texas residents with a handgun carry license are allowed to carry openly, as long as their firearm is in a holster and visible. This is an addition to the concealed carry law for those with a state license, which is available to most Texans.
However, guns are prohibited from the following locations:
- Federal or government buildings and offices
- Businesses that rely on on-premise alcohol for at least 51 percent of their income (i.e. bars or restaurants)
- Athletic events and racetracks
- Jails and correctional facilities
- Polling places on election days or while early voting occurs
On the other hand, the following locations prohibit firearms with “effective notice”:
- Place of worship
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Amusement parks
Essentially, the Second Amendment rights for U.S. citizens to bear arms apply differently to government and non-government entities. Non-governmental employers may choose to permit or restrict firearms at the workplace.
If a Texas employer decides to ban firearms, they must say so in writing in their handbook or provide a written policy during the hiring process to be signed by employees. The policy must clearly state where firearms may be kept on business premises (i.e. inside a vehicle).
Furthermore, employers should post signs near entryways and inside break rooms about the firearm policy. These signs must be both made in English and Spanish.
Remember, Texas laws apply only when an employer aims to prevent visitors from carrying guns at the workplace or prevent employees from carrying guns and also hold them criminally accountable for violating the rule.
For more information about drafting a firearm policy for your employees, contact Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP today at (713) 352-3433 and schedule a consultation with our legal team.