Those wacky Texans are at it again. On September 1, a Texas law known as the "guns-at-work" or "parking lot" bill will go into effect. The law gives gun owners a new right to store a weapon (any lawfully owned firearm, not just those owned under a Concealed Handgun License) in their vehicle while at work.
Of course, I have to admit that I didn't know it was previously illegal to have a gun in your vehicle. How would one enforce that policy? Do a glove compartment inspection each morning?
There are a few exceptions to the new law: school districts, private schools, certain oil and gas facilities, and employees driving company-owned vehicles.
Workforce Management, a site that covers HR matters related to the workplace recommends that Texas employers (and any other states that pass a law like this) take the following practical steps:
- Identify company-owned facilities that fall under an exception in the statute.
- Create a protocol if an employee travels between facilities and is unsure whether he or she can bring a lawfully stored weapon into a particular parking lot.
- Work with property management to assess applicable rules for employee parking lots owned by third parties.
- Conduct an audit of all workplace violence programs to ensure a comprehensive approach is in place for responding to jokes, threats, or a disgruntled worker.
- Require that employees identify themselves to the human resources department if they will be keeping a gun in a vehicle parked on a company lot.
Above all, and this is just my suggestion, please make your parking lots big enough so there is no scuffling over spaces.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.