September 1 marked the one-year anniversary of Senate Bill 321 taking effect in Texas. The bill is employee parking lot protection law sponsored by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) and state Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) that was signed into effect by Governor Rick Perry in June of 2011.
In order to comply with this law’s provisions, most employers in the state have amended their policies to allow the transportation and storage of firearms in locked, employee-owned motor vehicles parked on company-controlled parking lots. However, the NRA is seeking your help to ensure that no hard-working, law-abiding Texans remain disenfranchised by employers who refuse to abide by this law. Please notify the NRA-ILA by email of any examples of company policies that continue to violate the spirit and intent of the statute (if possible, please provide a scanned copy of the actual policy from your employee handbook) and any instances of employees being disciplined or terminated under such policies.
The law as enacted applies to both public and private employers, as well as all lawfully-owned firearms - not just firearms in the possession of Concealed Handgun Licensees. However, SB 321 does not authorize an employee to possess firearms on any property where such possession is prohibited by state or federal law. In addition, the provisions of the law do not apply to the following:
· Vehicles owned or leased by the employer and used by the employee for work purposes;
· School districts, open enrollment charter schools, and private schools as defined in Section 22.081, Education Code;
· Property owned or controlled by a person, other than an employer, that is subject to a valid, unexpired oil, gas, or other mineral lease that contains a provision prohibiting the possession of firearms on the property; or
· Property owned or leased by a chemical manufacturer or oil and gas refiner permitted by TCEQ and on which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage or transportation of hazardous, combustible, or explosive materials; however, employees at these facilities who are CHLs may store firearms (including rifles or shotguns) in their private motor vehicles in parking areas located outside of secured and restricted areas which contain the physical plant, are not open to the public and which are constantly monitored by security personnel.
Please contact NRA-ILA at SLocal@nrahq.org about alleged violations of this law. We have already received information about companies that are misinterpreting the law or ignoring it altogether. The NRA-ILA will monitor and investigate those situations to ensure that your rights under the Parking Lot/ Employee Protection law are protected!