In 2015, the Texas legislature passed new firearms legislation allowing the “open carry” of handguns by licensees under a License to Carry Handgun or “LTC” license. Previously, Texas allowed handguns to be carried in a concealed manner, subject to licensees obtaining a Concealed Handgun License or “CHL.” There were many places that a CHL licensee was not permitted to carry a concealed handgun by statute, such as certain educational facilities, amusement parks, governmental meeting locations, court houses, polling places, airports, prisons and bars, which will also be in effect for LTC licensees.
Additionally, property and business owners could also make an independent decision to allow or disallow concealed handguns on their property by virtue of the Texas Penal Code Section 30.06 (Trespass by License With a Concealed Handgun), which requires a card or other document or sign posted on the property that reads, “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.” The sign must be in both English and Spanish, appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public. Signs with symbols (such as a red slash through a gun) or language other than specifically noted above are not considered a valid 30.06 posting.
With the recent passing of the LTC law, gun owners who obtain an LTC license can now carry the handgun openly in public as long as the handgun is contained in a shoulder holster or belt holster. With the passing of the LTC law, a new notice was created in the Texas Penal Code that is required to be given if a property or business owner does not want persons or patrons entering the property with the openly carried handgun – Section 30.07. A 30.07 sign must contain the required language, and again, “gunbuster” signs are not a valid 30.07 posting. The required language for this section is as follows, “Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.” Note however that a property owner can give personal notice that open carry is not allowed.
Both signs for 30.06 and 30.07 must be posted in a conspicuous place if neither Open Carry nor Concealed Carry are to be allowed on the premises. Note that the signs only affect the buildings (or portions thereof), not the driveways, streets, sidewalks, parking lots, parking garages or other parking areas.
So what’s the big deal if a business owner posts the 30.06 and/or 30.07 signs? First—potential claims for improper signage. Second—potential claims for being injured by a gun in a business that has posted the 30.06 sign (no concealed carry) – is there reliance by patrons of “no guns in the building?” Or what if the business owner does not post any signs – are there any consequences for not prohibiting handgun carry? What will your business or your clients choose to do about this trending topic?
Feel free to check out the website below for a list of businesses (submitted by volunteers and visitors to the website) that post 30.06 and 30.07 signs, with comments as to the sign postings: https://www.texas3006.com/view.