Employers Lose Fight Against Concealed Carry License Holder Employees in Texas

June 8, 2011

On June 2, the Texas Legislature passed S.B. 321, which prohibits employers from denying employees with concealed carry handgun licenses the ability to carry a firearm in a locked, privately owned automobile in a parking lot, garage or parking area that the employer provides to employees. Employers may still prohibit the possession of firearms within their offices or places of business, where the possession of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law, or if the vehicle is owned or leased by the employer. The Bill also provides for exceptions pertaining to property subject to an oil, gas, or other mineral lease and property owned or leased by a chemical manufacturer or oil and gas refiners.

Opponents of the new legislation felt that it would increase greater workplace violence liability issues for employers. In response to this, the Bill grants immunity to employers, except in cases of “gross negligence,” from civil actions for personal injury, death or property damages resulting from an occurrence involving a firearm that the employer is required to allow on the employer’s property under the new law. This new Act will take effect on September 1 if it is signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry.