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To Carry or Not to Carry?

John is a business owner in Texas where he believes everything is bigger and better and a little wild is good but not in his place of operation. John’s company is a semi-skilled service operation and he’s pretty strict about employees following the rules.

Recently, John was looking for a good worker who could hit the ground running with their own tools and who required little to no training. After a long search John finally succeeded in finding a really experienced person who would fit the bill. Even though the guy was a little more independent than John was used to John chalked it up to being a Texan and offered him the job. That afternoon John showed him around the place and spent a good deal time going over the rules and gave him a copy of the company employee handbook.

John was pretty excited about his new hire so imagine his surprise when the guy shows up to work the next day with his toolbox in one hand and six-gun strapped to his hip.

John’s jaw hit the ground as he stopped his new hire at the door and said, “I know we’re in Texas, but even I draw the line at six-guns in my work place. You’ll need to leave that thing at home if you want to work here.”

John’s new hire looked him straight in the eye and said “Show me where it says that. Texas law says that as long as I have a concealed handgun license I can openly carry a gun in a shoulder or hip holster unless you have a policy that says I can’t.”

If John wasn’t shocked before he was absolutely flabbergasted now. John told his new hire he’d never heard of such a thing and that he needed to leave immediately. The new guy, replied, “See you in court!”

But was the employee right?

Under Texas’ new Penal Code Sections 30.06 and 30.07.which says that unless a private employer has posted the signs required by the sections prohibiting employees, clients, and visitors from carrying weapons on their premises, anyone with a concealed weapons license may openly carry and handgun on the premises if they so desire.

So what does this mean to John or any other Texas employer? If you are a private business and you want to prohibit weapons in your work place, you need to make it a visible part of your work place and communicate your policy clearly.

What’s the bigger take-away? Employers must keep current with not only federal law but state laws as well. Take the time to learn what effects new laws will have on your operation and what you can do minimize your risk. Don’t be like John and find out the hard way.

If you need help or have questions about laws in your states check with your local chambers of commerce, or your state’s Department of Labor, or give the professionals at The Westberry Group, Inc. a call. We’ll be happy to help.