By Rob Harlow
Texas House Bill 910, also known as the “Open Carry” bill, was signed in to law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 13, 2015. Most of the provisions of the “Open Carry” law become effective on January 1, 2016. The new “Open Carry” law authorizes individuals to obtain a license to openly carry a handgun in the same places that a person could previously carry a concealed handgun, with a few exceptions. Because the new “Open Carry” law allows a person to carry a handgun in an open and noticeable fashion, it has drawn much more attention from the public and the press.
The “Open Carry” law contains provisions allowing property owners and business operators potential methods to keep handguns off of their premises. The “Open Carry” rules closely mirror those for the “Concealed Carry” law. Nevertheless, the “Open Carry” law does create an entirely new complex set of rules and regulations that must be closely followed by property owners and business operators if they desire to keep handguns off of their premises. When analyzing the true extent of the challenges and issues surrounding “open carry,” numerous questions can arise, including:
- Can a person legally “open carry” anywhere?
- How does a property owner or business operator prohibit “concealed carry,” “open carry” or both?
- What is included in the “premises” for purposes of prohibiting the carrying (either openly or concealed) of handguns (for example, is the parking garage or lot included as “premises”)?
- Can the owner of a multi-tenant property prohibit carrying of handguns throughout a building?
- What are the ramifications of failure to comply with the “Open Carry” law?
- What “Open Carry”-related terms may a property owner want to include in leases and other agreements?
- What protocols should building owners adopt to address potential issues?
If you should have questions regarding how the new “Open Carry” law affects you and your business, please contact Rob Harlow at 713.752.4237 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any member of the Jackson Walker Real Estate team.
Real Estate e-Alert is published by the law firm of Jackson Walker LLP to inform readers of relevant information in real estate law and related areas. It is not intended nor should it be used as a substitute for legal advice or opinion which can be rendered only when related to specific fact situations. For more information, please call 1.866.922.5559 or visit us at www.jw.com.