Since the shooting this weekend in Newtown, Connecticut, I have received several questions regarding a Texas employer’s right to ban or prohibit firearms on company property. Without debating the wisdom of such a decision or the likelihood that the mentally ill who generally participate in mass shooting will abide by those restrictions, Texas law generally provides broad property rights to the employer/landowner to control the premises. However, eighteen months ago the Texas Legislature passed a law prohibiting public and private employers from restricting employees who are concealed handgun license holders, or are otherwise lawfully possessing firearms or ammunition, from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in the employee’s privately-owned, locked car on the employer’s premises. You can access a copy of the law here.
The law lacks a private right of action leaving in question the remedies a disciplined employee can utilize against an employer who has a policy violating the statute and does not prohibit employers from prohibiting non-employees from lawfully possessing firearms on company property.
If you need advice on steps employers can take to attempt to reduce the likelihood of incidents of workplace violence or in interpreting the laws regarding an employer’s ability to regulate the possession of firearms on its property, contact our office.
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