Author Topic: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot  (Read 1427 times)

LiamSTX

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Ive Been an LTC holder for almost 6 years. Last night I had a terrifying experience after work where I was a whitness to an armed robbery on my way home.  I questioned my employer today on company policy about keeping a handgun locked up in my personal vehicle. I showed copies of the Texas Chapter 52  Subchapter G Labor Code. They stated that it isnt allowed. I only work at a retail store no post office or refinery or school. Can they really tell me I cant keep a locked up firearm in my locked up personal vehicle?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 03:29:14 AM by WillSTX »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 04:57:35 PM »
The statue you mentioned—Texas Labor Code § 52.061—states part of the answer to your question. This statute reads:

A public or private employer may not prohibit an employee…from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees.

Under this law, an employer may not prohibit you from storing a firearm in your locked vehicle while you are working. There are exceptions to this law for employer-owned vehicles, federal employees, plant workers parking in a secure lot, and some others; however, as a retail worker, these exceptions do not apply to you. You should be perfectly entitled to store your firearm in your vehicle while working, and your employer should not be permitted tell you differently.

Unfortunately, this statute provides no penalty to an employer who violates it, and the attorney general has weighed in on the issue, saying this means no penalty is available at all. In other words, an employer can violate this law, prohibit you from keeping a handgun in your vehicle, terminate you for doing so, and face no legal repercussions. You are not committing a crime by violating your employer’s handgun storage policy, but doing so potentially risks your job.

So you are correct and incorrect. There is a law requiring your employer to allow you to store a firearm in your vehicle while you work. But, your employer can violate it without consequences.

Neighbor

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Re: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 05:01:40 PM »
Is it possible to park off your employer's property - like on the street or in a neighboring lot?

What is the possibility of them searching your vehicle (i.e. have they ever searched a workers vehicle before).

Do they have a written policy for all employees?

This is one reason I just don't ask. If it's posted legally or written plainly in a policy statement, fine but I will not ask because once you ask and get this kind of answer it's hard to say you had no idea.

TexasLawShield

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Re: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 02:35:24 PM »
Neighbor’s correct that you have plenty of options to consider. Practically speaking, it’s unlikely that your employer would discover a firearm concealed in your locked vehicle while you’re working and even less likely that they would search your vehicle at any point. Assuming they did discover your handgun, you would still not be in any legal trouble, just going against your employer’s wishes.

Keep in mind that Texas is an at-will employment state. This means that your employer can terminate your employment for any reason at any time (e.g., your employer lets you go because they hate your sweater). They can terminate you if you violate the policy whether it’s written or not.

DurangoNomad

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Re: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 03:01:18 PM »
Any feedback/info on this same question for Colorado?  YES, there's an employee handbook forbidding firearms even in our locked cars and they have the right to search any employees vehicle at any time.  Colorado is also an Employ At Will state.

TexasLawShield

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Re: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 04:46:02 PM »
The concept that that a vehicle is an extension of the home is a common misnomer in Colorado and other states.  Colorado applies the Castle Doctrine to the home whereby a homeowner may use deadly force against an intruder they reasonably believe has entered the home and is or is going to commit a crime and might use physical force against the homeowner or other residents.  This law does not apply to use of deadly force in a vehicle. 
 
Use of deadly force outside of the home must meet certain criteria under Colorado’s self-defense law to be justified.  Specifically, whether in a vehicle or elsewhere outside the home, a person can use deadly force only if he/she reasonably believes he/she is in danger of the imminent use of force by the other person, he/she is in danger of being killed as a result, and he/she uses proportionate force against the aggressor.  This is a very different standard than the Castle Doctrine and does apply to a vehicle.
 
Regarding employment consequences, Colorado is an employment-at-will state and an employer can terminate an employee without advance notice.  The only exceptions to this general rule are as follows:  Discrimination, violation of public policy (i.e., filing a worker’s compensation claim, whistleblower situations, etc.), contract for termination between employer and employee. 
 
Your company policy specifically prohibits firearms on their property.  Private property owners have the right under Colorado Law to establish such a policy (See C.R.S. 18-12-214(5): “Nothing in this part 2 shall be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity”).  Further, in order to work for this company, you have agreed to periodic searches of your vehicle.  Given the express language of company’s policy, you have agreed to comply with those rules to maintain employment.  If you were terminated as a result of a violation of this policy, the exceptions to employment-at-will (listed above) would likely not apply. 
 
Further, you may place your CCW permit in jeopardy if found in possession of a firearm against a private property owner’s policy.  The state could also pursue criminal charges of trespassing if the firearm was found in your vehicle while on company property.  If the firearm was found on your person while on company property, the state could pursue criminal charges of trespassing and/or unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon regardless of a valid CCW permit as you would be in violation of company policy and, therefore, not carrying a firearm in a lawful manner. 

georgeb45

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Re: Storing Handgun in Locked Personal Vehicle in Company Parking Lot
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2018, 11:36:03 AM »
I am sure companies need to be more considerate about the safety of their employees rather than sticking to the rule book. Where the state allows to carry a gun on you with a license workplaces need to be a bit considerate about relaxing the rules a bit to allow a sense of security to prevail among their employees.

Yes parking your vehicle anywhere outside the company premises is one option that you can exercise.
If your vehicle is checked while going in and out of the workplace premises keeping the gun locked in the vehicle is out of question since this may cost you your job.