Texas’ New Guns at Work Law

Details of Texas “Guns at Work” Law, Which Becomes Effective Sept. 1, 2011

This new law restricts most public and private employers from prohibiting an employee, who is a concealed handgun license holder, from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in the employee’s privately owned, locked car on the employer’s premises.  Any such gun kept in a car or truck must be kept hidden from view and the vehicle must be locked.  The Texas Association of Business and other business groups and Texas trial lawyers had opposed the law and warned the bill could lead to more workplace violence.  However, this law is now a reality and employers will have to deal with.  Disgruntled employees can have their weapons available in their cars in the parking lot now!  All they have to do is unlock their cars to get them.

There are some limitations to the application of the law.  The law does not apply to an employer-owned or -leased car, school parking lots, federal property, chemical manufacturers, and oil or gas refiners.  Thank goodness, the law still lets businesses ban guns from their offices and from company vehicles.

Many employers previously adopted policies barring workers from bringing weapons in their vehicles onto company parking lots or other business premises and leaving them in their vehicles.  They will now need to revoke those policies.

As a cookie tossed out to employers concerned about possible increased workplace violence, the bill provides an employer with immunity from civil liability for injury, death, property damage, or other damages arising out of an incident involving a firearm or ammunition that the employer is required to allow on its property.  How much consolation that will be, in the aftermath of a mass shooting by a mad, psycho employee who takes out his or her frustrations by shooting co-workers, as we have seen so often in recent past, is doubtful.  Whether this new law is good or bad for employees and employers will remain to be seen.