Texas businesses will see changes come January 1st. One of those includes new laws regulating how weapons are carried and how businesses not wanting those weapon on their premise, alert the public.

As of January 1, 2016 citizens who have a concealed handgun license (CHL) will be able to openly carry their handguns. State lawmakers approved a measure that broadened gun rights during the 84th Texas Legislative Session. Texas will become the 45th state in the county to allow open carry of handguns in belt or shoulder holsters. Previously, CHL citizens were required to keep handguns out of sight.

The same restrictions as to where these license holders can carry their weapons, still apply. That includes most amusement parks, places of religious worship, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, courtrooms, racetracks, secured areas of airports, polling places on Election Day, governmental meetings, or at any high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event.

However, property owners, landlords or employers may prohibit people from carrying firearms onto their property or in the workplace by posting signs. These signs have strict requirements to be enforceable. It is important to note that current signage does not comply with requirements under the new law.

For an employer or landlord to entirely ban handguns from its property, new legislation requires TWO notices to be posted. One sign prohibits concealed carry of handguns. The second sign prohibits open carry of handguns. Requirements include:

  • Signs posted at each entrance to the property
  • Each notice must be written in both English and Spanish
  • Signs must appear in contrasting colors
  • Notice must be written in block letters at least one inch in height
  • The signage must be displayed in a conspicuous manner, clearly visible to the public

The open carry prohibition must read exactly as follows:

“Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.”

The “30.07 signs” are only enforceable against persons openly carrying handguns.

As of January 1, 2016, the concealed carry prohibition must read exactly as follows:

“Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun”

Although many employers or landlords may currently have signage to prohibit concealed carry of handguns, these signs do not meet new requirements and will not be enforceable.

For additional information on the new laws you can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website by clicking here.

Presented by Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce

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