Commentary: Handguns in Texas workplaces? Not much changes for employers Sept. 1

Texans can carry handguns without a license or training starting Sept. 1, after Gov. Greg Abbott on June 16 signed the permitless carry bill into law.

House Bill 1927 eliminates the requirement for Texas residents to obtain a license to carry handguns if they’re not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun – FWBP Staff

Allyson Beckman

Allyson Beckman

Effective September 1, 2021, the Firearm Carry Act of 2021 (the “Act”) will allow individuals 21 years of age and older to possess and carry a handgun in public and nonprohibited places.  However, this Act does not substantively change current state laws that allow employers to prohibit employees and the public (e.g., vendors, contractors, visitors) from bringing firearms inside the workplace.   

- FWBP Digital Partners -

  • The Act does not substantively interfere with an employer’s right to prohibit employees and the public from bringing a firearm inside the workplace (i.e., building or portion of a building) if the employer properly displays two specific signs (“no conceal” and “no open carry”) that meet the statutory sign requirements.   Employers may not prohibit employees from lawfully transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in their locked, personal vehicle while it is parked in “any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
  • The Act does not substantively interfere with the statutory immunity given to employers and their employees and agents in a civil action for personal injury, death, property damage, or any other damages unless there was gross negligence.  The mere presence of a firearm does not by itself constitute a failure by the employer to provide a safe workplace. 
  • It remains unknown how the Act may affect the workplace from an insurance and risk management perspective.  However, employers are encouraged to take additional precautions to limit potential risk and legal liability (i.e., adopt a written weapons-free policy; post additional notices throughout the workplace). 

Allyson Beckman is Of Counsel with Pham Harrison, a Labor & Employment firm in Fort Worth.