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.