In a heated battle over competing rights – an employer’s private property rights vs. its employees’ right to bear arms, guns have won out over land. On June 17, 2011, Governor Perry signed Senate Bill 321 into law, which permits properly licensed employees to keep a concealed firearm and ammunition locked in their cars while their vehicles are parked in their employers' parking lots, parking garages, or other parking areas, even if the employers have a policy prohibiting employees from bringing weapons onto their property.
Who Is Subject to the New Law?
The new law applies to both public and private employers, except for school districts, charter schools and private schools. The statute does not apply (a) to employees utilizing vehicles owned or leased by their employers, (b) on property owned by a third party subject to a valid mineral lease prohibiting the possession of firearms, or (c) on any property where the possession of a firearm or ammunition is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.
Chemical manufacturers and oil and gas refiners with air authorizations under Chapter 382 of the Health and Safety Code are similarly exempt with respect to property on which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage or transport of hazardous, combustible or explosive material, unless they provide parking for employees that is outside of the secured and restricted area that contains the physical plant which is not open to the public and constantly monitored by security personnel.
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