Texas Parking Lot Bill

Texas Parking Lot Bill

This is a discussion on Texas Parking Lot Bill within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I got a notice today that our company is updating it's US drug and Alcohol policy, including a section on "contraband," which included firearms. The ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Texas Parking Lot Bill

    I got a notice today that our company is updating it's US drug and Alcohol policy, including a section on "contraband," which included firearms. The only thing I'd seen before was in the employee handbook where it said firearms are prohibited on company business and company property unless permitted by local or state law. Since CHL law permits it, unless prohibited by company policy, the company policy is a bit poorly worded to say the least.

    Unfortunately, they haven't actually posted the new policy, but it did get me interested in the Parking lot bill passed last year. On several of their properties the parking lots are posted no firearms permitted. I've wondered how long those signs would stay up. So, maybe they are going to address that. I'll have to wait until next week to see.

    It did get me interested in looking up the law. It's under the Labor code in a miscellaneous section, and what struck me is that every other sub-chapter has a penalty section. There are no penalties specified for employers who violate the Parking Lot law. The law doesn't say anything about threatening, punishing, or terminating. The employer just can't prohibit, and apparently, there's no penalty for that even if they do. So, my question is, what are the consequences, if any, for a company that maintains a no firearms policy, continues with no firearm signs in the parking lot, and ultimately one who punishes an employee that violates their unlawful policy?


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Unless it is 30.06 sign it does not carry any authority.

    There is no punishment for the employer but they cannot terminate you unless they are one of the few exceptions.


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    Member Array JoeFriday's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^ What he said. Must be 30.06 for the parking lot to count.

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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    Unless it is 30.06 sign it does not carry any authority.

    There is no punishment for the employer but they cannot terminate you unless they are one of the few exceptions.


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    Despite how clear we think we understand it, we can't really. I guess you're right unless they use the words of 30.06 there's no authority. They don't have to have a sign though. There is a section about giving you the words in writing, like handing you a card.

    It doesn't say they can't terminate you in the parking lot law. It says they can't prohibit you, but if they prohibit you by terminating you, there's still no penalty, so what about this law will cause companies to change their policy? Has anyone in Texas seen a company re-write their firearm policies?

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    Member Array charles1951's Avatar
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    Unless your car is searched how would they know. If it is searched, it is reasonable to claim as your defense that you believed that you were in compliance with Texas law regardless of company policy. I guess you could get fired but you have not broken the law and should not get arrested. One problem with working in Texas is that most employers are "at will" employers meaning they really don't have to have a reason to fire you. (I'm not a lawyer. test this by your own understanding of the law or ask your lawyer.)

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Texas is a right to work state. So basically, you can be fired for any reason they see fit. If they have a policy, whatever that policy might be, and you violate it, they can fire you. Plain and simple.

    If you read the 30.06 section, it says written or verbal. The sign has specific wording, size, english/spanish ect. Written has to have the same wording, but verbal can be pretty much anything relating the fact they don't want firearms on the premesis.

    Again, an employer can fire you for whatever they want, even if you aren't in violation of the law. Violation of the law isn't the employers issue it is the DA's.

    Although Texas is a right to work state, I meant to say it is an at will work state as well, which allows for termination by either party.
    Last edited by farronwolf; March 30th, 2012 at 10:29 PM. Reason: At will
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  7. #7
    Member Array charles1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    Has anyone in Texas seen a company re-write their firearm policies?
    NEWS RELEASE: Smitherman Changes Railroad Commission Firearms Policy- November 8, 2011

    The really cool thing about the link I posted is that it is a state agency and not just a private company operating in Texas.
    stancehold likes this.

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    Ex Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Well if you have a CHL and they are not one of the exceptions you would have a cause of action if they fired you for having a gun in car in parking lot. I don't think they made it a crime for the employer. If they are hard over anti-gun maybe you could take the risk of losing your job but it would not be against law for you.

    Park somewhere else if you can.


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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    This isn't really applicable to me. For a number of reasons, I'll likely never run into a problem regardless of what they write into their policy. I just got interested and curious about the policy compared to the state law. My question is what does the law accomplish in general? There was a lot of hooplah about it, but I don't see exactly what this protects us from.

    I didn't think that the law protected us from the legality of storing a firearm on an employer parking lot. Did it? I thought it protected us against employers from penalizing or "prohibiting" us, but if there's no penalty, in what way does it prevent employers from prohibiting us? If an employee is fired, he's pretty well prohibited from parking his car with a firearm. What am I missing here?

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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    Well if you have a CHL and they are not one of the exceptions you would have a cause of action if they fired you for having a gun in car in parking lot. I don't think they made it a crime for the employer. If they are hard over anti-gun maybe you could take the risk of losing your job but it would not be against law for you.

    Park somewhere else if you can.


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    I'd have a civil course of action if they fired me over it? Assuming that is if they made it real obvious that's why I was getting fired, which now, maybe they won't be that obvious. I wonder what kind of protection that really offers employees. If I had an employer that previously searched vehicles for contraband, including not just firearms, I wouldn't feel well protected against getting fired for the same firearm after this law was passed.

    What prevents them from keeping the pre-existing polices in place? Policies in writing, the signs, the threat of searches and disciplinary action, all that stays in place, even though state law prohibits them from doing that? I wonder how many companies in Texas have re-written their policies, retrained their managers, and taken down no firearm signs? Management doesn't own the parking lot I park in, but I'm curious now if they've taken down signs at other facilities where they do own the parking lot and had no firearm signs posted.

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    Member Array charles1951's Avatar
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    Hmm. I see what you are getting at. I still like the law because it protects my CHL. It means I will not have a gun violation charge against me that could cost me my license just because I store my CCW in my car while at work.

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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles1951 View Post
    Hmm. I see what you are getting at. I still like the law because it protects my CHL. It means I will not have a gun violation charge against me that could cost me my license just because I store my CCW in my car while at work.
    Was it illegal to drive on to an employer's parking lot with a firearm and leave it stored in the car before the law was passed? Without a CHL, you were traveling and therefore exempt from 46.02 when you entered the parking lot, and I'm not aware of any law that prevents you from storing a firearm in your car. When you were traveling, you were carrying under authority of your constitutional right. Is your constitutional right to carry restricted when you do the very same thing but with a CHL in your pocket? Regardless of whether they have a big 30.06 sign, I can't imagine that your constitutional right is restricted because of your CHL card with the same concealed handgun in you glove box. Someone enlighten me. I don't see how the law protects us against prosecution in any way.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    It did get me interested in looking up the law. It's under the Labor code in a miscellaneous section, and what struck me is that every other sub-chapter has a penalty section. There are no penalties specified for employers who violate the Parking Lot law. The law doesn't say anything about threatening, punishing, or terminating. The employer just can't prohibit, and apparently, there's no penalty for that even if they do. So, my question is, what are the consequences, if any, for a company that maintains a no firearms policy, continues with no firearm signs in the parking lot, and ultimately one who punishes an employee that violates their unlawful policy?
    There is no penalty to the employer. A CHL holder can simply ignore the sign and keep the gun in the vehicle as long as it isn't a place that is specifically exempt from the new law. Think of it in terms of the section that says 30.06 signs on municiple or other government buildings don't mean anything unless it is during a meeting of that governmental entity. There isn't a penalty for the city/county or whomever putting them up, but a CHL holder can ignore them unless a meeting is taking place.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    Was it illegal to drive on to an employer's parking lot with a firearm and leave it stored in the car before the law was passed? Without a CHL, you were traveling and therefore exempt from 46.02 when you entered the parking lot, and I'm not aware of any law that prevents you from storing a firearm in your car. When you were traveling, you were carrying under authority of your constitutional right. Is your constitutional right to carry restricted when you do the very same thing but with a CHL in your pocket? Regardless of whether they have a big 30.06 sign, I can't imagine that your constitutional right is restricted because of your CHL card with the same concealed handgun in you glove box. Someone enlighten me. I don't see how the law protects us against prosecution in any way.
    If you were an employee and were told that guns weren't allowed on company property, and you didn't have a CHL, I believe you would be guilty of violating 30.05. If you had your CHL you would be guilty of violating 30.06 if you had been given effective notice.

    If you are told by the property owner or someone with apparent authority to leave or not enter in a certain condition, IE with weapons or contraband, ect. you need to obey the property owners wishes. If not pay the penalty, by loosing your job and or being convicted or a class A/B misdemeanor.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Why would a company THINK you have a firearm stashed in your car?
    It is pretty easy to hide a firearm in a car...then, keep your mouth closed on conversations involving guns.OMO
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