Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the firearms laws in Texas are set to undergo a significant change. After that date, individuals will be eligible to apply for a license to openly carry firearms on their person. Previously, licenses could only be obtained to carry a concealed weapon.
While the distinction may seem subtle, companies should be aware of how these new laws will be enforced and the impact the very specific requirements will have on their workforce. They should also be prepared to address advocates well-versed in the laws’ requirements looking to catch business owners, and employees, unaware and uncompliant. If companies choose to prohibit employees from carrying firearms (openly or concealed) on company property, they should consider adding specific directives in their employee manuals
The new law provides two avenues through which private businesses may prevent individuals from carrying firearms on their premises. The first is by orally informing each individual that firearms are not permitted. The second is by placing written notifications notifying individuals that both concealed weapons and open-carry weapons are prohibited. The language written by lawmakers is re-printed below. Companies should note that both notices need to be posted and that the language, which was previously effective to prevent individuals from carrying concealed weapons, has been changed. The law now requires that the posted language:
- be included in both English and Spanish;
- appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
- be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.
Note that this means there will be a total of four statements posted at each location:
Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.
De conformidad con el articulo 30.06 del código penal de Texas (sobre el ingreso ilícito de un individuo con liencia de portacion de armas cortas ocultas) una persona con licencia, según lo establecido en law sección H, capitulo 411 del código gubernamental de Texas (sobre la ley de expedición de licencia de armas cortas), tiene prohibido ungresar en esta propiedad con armes cortas ocultas.
Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.
De conformidad con el artículo 30.07 del código penal de Texas (sobre el ingreso ilícito de portación de armas exhibidas públicamente) una persona con licencia, según lo establecido en law sección H, capítulo 411 del código gubernamental de Texas (sobre ley de expedición de licencia de armas cortas), tiene prohibido ingresar en esta propiedad con armas exhibidas públicamente.
To obtain more information, please contact the Barnes & Thornburg Labor & Employment attorney with whom you work, or Mark Bayer at 214-258-4101 or Mark.Bayer@btlaw.com; Doug Haloftis at 214-258-4137 or DHaloftis@btlaw.com; or Thomas Haskins at 214-258-4111 or THaskins@btlaw.comof the Dallas office
You can also contact a leader of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Department in the following offices
Kenneth J. Yerkes
John T.L. Koenig
David B. Ritter
William A. Nolan
Mark S. Kittaka
Robert W. Sikkel
Peter A. Morse
Scott J. Witlin
Teresa L. Jakubowski
Janilyn Brouwer Daub
© 2015 Barnes & Thornburg LLP. All Rights Reserved. This page, and all information on it, is proprietary and the property of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. It may not be reproduced, in any form, without the express written consent of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
This Barnes & Thornburg LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.