Texas employees will soon be allowed to bring guns onto company parking lots, parking garages and parking areas as long as the employee has a valid concealed hand gun license and the car is locked. The law allows employers to forbid employees from possessing guns or firearms in company buildings, but seems to allow for the possession of guns on sidewalks, streets and driveways. The law becomes effective on September 1, 2011 and was passed by the Texas Legislature during the 2011 session.
Other highlights of the law include the following:
- Employers may forbid employees with concealed handgun licenses from possessing or storing guns or firearms in company owned vehicles if the vehicle is used by the employee in the course and scope of employment.
- Employers do not have a duty to inspect or secure parking lots or parking areas for purposes of this new law.
- Civil liability is limited to gross negligence for incidents or injuries arising out of an occurrence involving a firearm legitimately on company property as a result of the requirements of the statute.
- The presence of a firearms legally possessed by employees in compliance with the law does not “by itself” constitute a failure by the employer to provide a safe workplace.
Many other states have enacted similar laws over the last few years. Employers should check state law to ensure that their safety and weapons policies accurately reflect the current state of the law.