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Weapons at Work

  1. Regarding the legality of a policy barring weapons at work, preventing possession of weapons while in company vehicles or on company business, or even restricting an employee from carrying a concealed weapon during work hours in his or her own car that is used for company business, the considerations below may be relevant.

  2. The Constitutional protection afforded to U.S. citizens in the Second Amendment does not apply to disputes or controversies between private citizens, so a company would not be constrained under the U.S. Constitution from enforcing such a policy.

  3. The Texas Constitution would also not apply in such a way.

  4. There is no federal or Texas law that would prohibit a company from enforcing such a policy and insisting that employees follow it as a condition of employment.

  5. A weapons policy should be specific enough to cover the general categories that include the usual implements of combat, mayhem, and personal violence (firearms; clubs; sharp and/or pointed objects; explosive or incendiary devices; and noxious, caustic, or toxic chemicals, for example), and may prohibit anything that the employer believes could be used by someone to inflict harm upon another.

  6. The policy may also cover ordinary objects that are used as weapons against others.

  7. In most cases, the property right of an owner or custodian of business premises to control who and what comes onto the property overrides the right of a person to carry a weapon onto the premises - that applies even to a holder of a "concealed carry" license.

  8. A new Texas statute (Labor Code Section 52.061) allows CCL holders and those who legally possess firearms to have such firearms and ammunition inside their own locked vehicles parked on their employer's property, but that does not extend to vehicles parked somewhere else. The Texas Attorney General's Office has explained that statute in Opinion No. GA-0972.

  9. It would be best, from the standpoints of enforceability, public relations, and morale, to restrict the policy's coverage to the minimum extent needed for safety and other business considerations. However, if the employee violates a weapons law, even while off-duty, in such a way that it damages the company's reputation, goodwill, or business standing in the community, or causes his work to suffer (absences due to answering the charge), such a violation could legitimately be the basis for appropriate corrective action.

 

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