Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an opinion on two important questions regarding implementation of Senate Bill 321, the employee/parking lot protection legislation enacted during the 2011 legislative session
- Some employers are claiming that their federally-approved facility security plans banning firearms in company parking lots override Texas state law.
- Other employers have posted “30.06 signs” outside their parking areas in an effort to prevent or discourage employees from transporting or storing lawfully-owned firearms in their private vehicles while parked at work.
State Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) had requested a ruling from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on these two points, and a formal opinion was issued Monday.
In summary, the opinion states:
- An employer subject to Section 52.061 of the Labor Code may not ban the transport and storage of handguns in locked private vehicles by employees with concealed handgun licenses in employee parking areas by posting the notice authorized by Section 30.06 of the Penal Code;
- A federally approved facility security plan under either the Maritime Transportation Security Act or the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards is not federal law that would preempt Section 52.061 of the Labor Code; and
- No statute for which we are aware provides a specific remedy for employees whose employers violate Section 52.061. And the state legislature has not authorized this office or any other state agency to take corrective action. Despite the lack of a statutory remedy, an aggrieved employee may, depending on the circumstances, have the ability to sue an offending employer under the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act.