Beginning in 2016, licensed individuals can openly carry handguns on their person. Prior to the implantation of the law, Texas law required that license holders carry their handguns in a concealed manner. HB 910 authorizes individuals with a license to carry a handgun to openly carry their handguns in all locations that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun.
Employers and private property owners can still prohibit firearms in the workplace so long as they display specific, statutorily required notices. To provide effective notice, the disclosure requires a card or other document (e.g., employee handbook policy for employees) on which is written language identical to the following:
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.
Employers and private property owners can also comply with their notice obligation that they prohibit the open carriage of handguns using signs posted on the property that includes the preceding language in both English and Spanish. The posting must appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height. The posting must be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.
The new law makes no material changes to the law prohibiting employers from disciplining employees from keeping firearms or ammunition in locked vehicles in the employer’s parking areas.
Employers desiring to prohibit the open carrying of handguns should consider taking the following steps.
- Prepare and post proper signing meeting the statute’s requirements;
- Revise, distribute and communicate changes in the employer’s policies to employees;
- Educate and train employees on the revisions to the employer’s policy.
Open carry is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2016. You can review HB 910 here.
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