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New Texas gun legislation has implications for employers

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed two pieces of legislation into law recently, regulating where and how Texans may carry firearms. As of Jan. 1, licensed gun owners may carry holstered handguns anywhere that concealed handguns are per­mitted.

However, guns are not permitted in hospitals and nursing homes, amusement parks, government buildings and churches, synagogues and other established places of religious worship.

Licensed gun owners will be permitted to carry guns on college and university campuses starting Aug. 1. Private universities may opt out and public universities may establish gun-free zones.

Employers that wish to bar firearms from their property must now post signs informing employees and the public of the policy. Those wishing to prohibit concealed weapons must post a conspicuous sign using the exact wording authorized in the ordinance.

Similarly, employers wishing to bar openly carried weapons must post a sign prescribed by the legislation as well. Both signs must meet specific appearance requirements and be posted in both English and Spanish.

Employers may not bar a licensed gun owner from keeping a legally owned firearm in the employee’s locked car in a parking lot the employer provides for the employee’s use. Employers may bar employees from transporting firearms in employer-owned vehicles. Some employers, such as schools and certain oil and gas industry businesses, have broader authority to bar firearms.

Note: This legislation places fairly tight requirements on employers. Employers should have counsel review their firearm policy and signs to ensure they comply with the new laws.

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