From the NRA’s Lobbying Group:

Yesterday, the Texas House passed Senate Bill 321, NRA-backed employee protection/parking lot legislation sponsored by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) and state Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), by a 117-29 vote.  SB 321, substituted in House Bill 681 on the House floor since it had already passed the Senate, would prevent employers from enacting and enforcing policies to prohibit employees from storing firearms in their locked, private motor vehicles while parked at work.

The bill now goes on to the Governor for his signature. Since Governor Rick “I shot a coyote with my Ruger .380 LCR” Perry is a ‘gun-friendly’ governor, we expect to see the bill become law Really Soon Now. All I’ve got to add is, “it’s about time.”

20 Responses to Texas House Passes Parking Lot Packin’ Bill.

  1. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of these bills. While it’s true that many of the “no guns at work” policies are objectively unreasonable, we’re talking about private property here. In law school they often describe a property owner as being in possession of “a bundle of rights” and it seems to me that one of the “sticks” in that bundle is the right to be as arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable as I damn well feel like when I’m on my property.

    At least the authors of the bill were kind enough to include a waiver of liability for the employer so that he would not be placed in a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation.

    • I definitely hear you, Martin. One of the complications is that the vehicles are private property as well. So there is somewhat of a balancing act to perform here.

    • Of course we all know where an argument like “I can exclude blacks from my business because it’s my private property” went.

      Property rights are not absolute, the law can and does define exactly how many sticks are in the bundle, and what right each individual stick grants you. After all, it is the power of the sovereign that recognizes and protects your claim of ownership of said bundle against the claims of others, and that recognition and protection can come with strings attached, subject only to the state and federal constitutions.

  2. I was going to say that looked like my trunk, but mine is much bigger and holds a lot more guns. Mike is on target with his thoughts because you can’t discriminate against someone even if it’s your private property.

  3. wow I was just thinking about this exact same thing. I work for a port, a sort of public employee where they don’t even allow the security guards to carry. but I got to thinking, even though it says in our work manual that firearms are banned on port property, does that include inside my locked car while at work? according to this article it does. but to me my car is my private property and it’s my right to keep a gun in my car if my car is locked and the gun is hidden, what if I want to go out to lunch off port property and now don’t have the gun? they certainly can ban you from carrying on port property but to me its none of their business if I have one in my locked glove box in my locked car. I basically do it anyway and just tell nobody at work, kudos to texas

  4. 2A and all, but this is stupid and irresponsible. The safest place for guns is on the person of the owners or secure in the home. Not in a “locked” car in a parking lot.

    Yeah, because cars never get stolen.

    So now, next time someone with that big NRA sticker in the window gets his truck stolen with a bunch of guns inside, and those guns get sold to drug dealers three states over and one gets used to shoot an officer, they’re going to pass a law saying I can’t ever carry guns outside the home, even though I’ve done nothing wrong. Thanks for just giving the anti-gun lobby ammo to f**k the responsible gun owners, Texas. No really. Thanks for nothing. Idiots.

    • So, what you’re saying is that if you live in a state where businesses can prohibit you from exercising your constitutional right to carry a gun at work, you’re an idiot for storing your gun, locked up, in your car? I mean, if some moron comes in to shoot up the workplace, by your logic, you’d be better off being completely unarmed. And on the way to and from work, you have no business being anywhere near your gun.

      Sorry, I’m not buying what you’re selling. If I can’t have my gun on me, I want it as close to me as possible, just in case.

      • if you live in a state where businesses can prohibit you from exercising your constitutional right to carry a gun at work

        There is no such right. You have a Constitutional right to own a firerarm (per Heller and McDonald.) But you have no Constitutional right to carry that gun into someone else’s private property if they don’t want you to.

        If I own Consolidated Widget and you work for me, and I don’t want you to carry a gun at work, you have two choices:

        1. Comply with my rules, or
        2. Find someplace else to work.

        • Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. It’s the right to “keep and bear arms”. Not just keep.

  5. Just wondering How this will affect people who work for defense contractors. Lockheed and bell helicopter for example.

  6. Here’s the bottom line for me.

    I’m glad the Texas House finally passed this law since my photography business takes me to many different parts of the state and most of my clients prohibit firearms on their premises. As a CHL holder and trained shooter (training never ends) this puts me at a big disadvantage since it precludes “legally” storing my firearm in my vehicle while working.

    Since I work at client locations in many of the more industrialized parts of Southeast Texas (Houston, Baytown, Port Arthur, etc.) I often found myself driving through the worst areas after dark with no weapon for personal protection. After observing a few gang-related incidents at local gas stations I contacted my state representatives urging them to support this bill in the next session. Luckily for me, almost every state representative co-sponsored this bill (as did most for its companion bill in the state Senate) and the support was overwhelming.

    Now all I have to do is wait till September when the new law takes effect and I can “legally” store my firearm in my locked vehicle while working. This may not seem like a big deal to some folks but if you’d ever driven through the Houston ship channel after dark you’d understand why I want my firearm close by.

    Jeff

  7. Jeff touches on a situation of interest. I’m not a lawyer so do your own research or consult one first, but it seems to me that Texas law already allows a “law abiding” citizen to keep his firearm on his person while in his own home, at his own place of business (if he owns the business or the owner says its OK) or in his own vehicle or while moving directly between any of the three. So, its already legal for Jeff to leave his firearm locked in his car if he visits my place of employment unless he works there too. The problem is that under current Texas law my employer can enact a policy that says the employee can’t leave a firearm locked in their car but that same employer can’t regulate the visitors.
    The business can of course post a 30.06 notice on the door and keep everyone (including CHL holders) from carrying inside the building. So this law, if passed will just put me on the same footing as the visitors (or former employees) who come to park in the lot where I work.

  8. If you qualify for and possess a CHL in Texas, there really should be no place that is illegal for us to carry. Someday, I hope that it becomes law.

  9. I work in sales for a Fortune 500 company. I make sales calls in my personal vehicle, for which they reimburse mileage. Company policy dictates I am not allowed to have any firearm in my car while traveling for the company (under penalty of termination). I live in Texas, where a CHL is not required to legally carry concealed handgun in vehicle.

    Just curious if this is a legal policy? Why or why not?

  10. So, a “no guns” policy, or a 30.06 sign, magically stop firearms at the door? The Texas law is simply going one step closer to actually being in line with 2A. I worked for an employer with a “no guns” policy, and I carried every day. Nobody ever stopped me, nobody ever knew I was armed. And my 5A rights protect me from revealing the fact that I’m carrying.

    Think logically, please. If a business puts up a paper sign, or prints a paper policy, but doesn’t actively prevent weapons from entering the facility (via secured entrances, armed guards, & scanning stations), then it’s not a “gun-free” zone. It’s a mass murder waiting to happen.

    I’d much rather be alive and have to explain why I had a gun, than be another “gun-free zone” dead victim statistic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *