Author Topic: Confused- Parking Lot Law and 30.06  (Read 6267 times)

Txmarine

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Confused- Parking Lot Law and 30.06
« on: April 29, 2014, 07:59:13 PM »
I'm sorry I seem to be behind on this, but for some reason (no clue why) last week my employer decides to post 30.06 at the employee parking lot entrance.  This parking lot is a gated entry accessed by a badge reader.  My employer is not exempt from TLC 52.061.  Company policy states that "guns are banned on company property except where allowed by law, e.g. TX, OK".  Nice and vague!

I've read the AG opinion from 11/5/12 stating an employer can not negate 52.061 by posting 30.06.  However, since that is just an opinion I guess the only way to know for sure is to get caught, fired, go to jail and then to court.  Is that the situation?  Would I be arrested or does it just depend on the cop?

Employer is clearly helter skelter on CHL.  They have this new shiny 30.06 on the employee lot, no sign on the visitor entrance, which is also accessible by employees.  Yes, I can easily drive around the 30.06 and wind up in the same lot.  Finally the entrance doors are posted with gun busters signs.  I think their approach is to be so confusing on the topic that nobody knows what to do and stays unarmed at all times.  Quite honestly, it is working on me.

Can anyone clarify the employee parking lot issue???

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Confused- Parking Lot Law and 30.06
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 03:24:58 PM »
Thanks for the question Txmarine.

The extent of the power of 52.061-.062 (employer parking lot law) of the Labor Code has yet to be fleshed out through litigation. However, one thing that is clear is that it does not offer you any remedies.

It is unclear as to whether or not it will protect you from the enforcement of a 30.06 sign. In order to be prosecuted for a violation of 30.06, your employer must be willing to come to court and bear witness against you by saying that you were a criminal trespasser. It may help you to know whether your employer has a history of doing this.

Also, it is always arguable that the person being prosecuted came through the entrance that is unmarked, and that the state would not be able to prove sufficient notice. Otherwise, even if you escape a criminal prosecution, your employer could discipline you or even terminate you for a violation of their firearms policy. Unfortunately, as was stated earlier, the employer parking lot bill contains no remedy if this is the case.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

Txmarine

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Re: Confused- Parking Lot Law and 30.06
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 07:54:41 PM »
Thank you for the response.  I'm a simple man and not an attorney, so let me see if I understand correctly.

1.  The Employer Parking Lot Law prevents an employer from "prohibiting" a CHL holding employee from storing a weapon in their locked privately owned vehicle in an employee parking lot.
2.  Penal code 30.06 makes it a crime for a CHL with a weapon to enter a 30.06 parking lot.

There is no legal ramification for violating 52.061.  The legal ramification for violating 30.06 is still a class A misdemeanor.

So for the simple minded like me, 30.06 posted by my employer on their employee parking lot does trump 52.061.  As the employee CHL holder, 52.061 granted me absolutely ZERO new rights and does not alter Texas Penal Codes regarding where a CHL may carry or not carry a weapon in any way.  

My simple man conclusion would then be that 52.061 was probably a great investment for pro-gun rights politicians who shouted, "see what we did for gun rights!" and for anti-gun rights politicians who shouted, "see how hard we fought against gun rights!".  However, for the rest of us including CHL employees, pro-gun employers and anti-gun employers - 52.061 is nothing more than an expensive piece of toilet paper as it effectively changed nothing.

Is that about the long and short of it?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

Txmarine

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Re: Confused- Parking Lot Law and 30.06
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 08:17:08 PM »
Sorry, just one more quick clarification since it is an exact match for my situation.  What does the Texas Attorney General's opinion mean?  He 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.

- Is that just how he thinks a judge or jury would rule on a case?
- Does it make a DA less likely to prosecute a case (probably depends on political party) or are they bound to abide by the AGs' opinion?
- What do you think about the AGs' opinion?  Is his argument based on statutory construction legally sound meaning most judges would likely agree OR is it 50% / 50% luck of the draw?
- If a member was charged under 30.06 in this case, would / could you defend them using the AGs argument or on other merits of 52.061?  

Do you recommend a member to violate 30.06 and park in the lot or that the member disarm themselves to & from work in order to comply with the 30.06 posted lot?  Ultimately, that is the yes or no choice I have to make and it seems the legal answer is maybe.

As far as violating company policy, my company policy says -
"Unauthorized possession of firearms, incendiary devices, and/or weapons of any kind on Company property (whether leased or owned) is strictly prohibited. Violation of the foregoing policy will be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination. In those limited jurisdictions that allow storage of lawfully possessed weapons in locked vehicles in worksite parking areas, applicable state law will apply (for example Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas, among others)."

52.061 allows me to carry and follow company policy.  30.06 sign on the lot would seem to not be part of company policy at all - just a criminal matter between the CHL and the property owner.

Thanks again for all of your help!  This is an awesome service and you all are great - just too bad the people who make the laws are not as smart as you are.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Confused- Parking Lot Law and 30.06
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 02:30:11 PM »
Txmarine,

Unfortunately, the short of it is that without an effective remedy for an employer who violates 52.061, then the answer would appear to be yes. A right without a remedy is no right at all.

As far as your questions on the Texas Attorney General's Opinion, an attorney general's opinion is an attempt to give a legal advisory to a requesting government agency. In the absence of actual litigation or a court decision it can be used for argument value in court, but it has no precendential value.

Hope that helps. Thanks for the questions.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »