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Gun Carry Laws for Credit Unions in Texas
Friday, August 14, 2015 7:00 AM

As you have heard, Texas passed new legislation concerning carrying handguns.  Questions are rolling in to Information Central.  Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

When is the new law effective?

January 1, 2016.

So people with a gun license in Texas can legally carry handguns, both openly and concealed?

Yes, that is correct, with some restrictions.  There are certain places where the carrying of a gun is prohibited by law, such as schools.

Additionally, employers and private business owners, including credit unions, retain the right to prohibit persons from carry guns on their premises.  This means a credit union can implement a rule prohibiting members and employees from carrying a gun into the credit union.  However, employers may not prohibit employees from keeping a gun in a locked privately owned vehicle in the parking lot or garage. 

How does the credit union go about prohibiting guns?

Notice must be provided.

To prohibit concealed handguns, the credit union may provide a written communication (card or document) stating the following:

"Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun."

Note that the wording of the notice prohibiting the concealed carry of handguns has been tweaked slightly by HB 910 due to a change in the titling of the Government Code reference. Credit unions should update the notice provided. If a sign is used to provide the notice, the sign must be in both English and Spanish, must appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and must be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.

To prohibit the open carry of handguns, the credit union may provide a written communication (card or document) stating the following:

"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."

If a sign is used to provide the language, the sign must be in both English and Spanish, must appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and must be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.

Can we continue to use the same concealed carry sign we currently have posted?

No. HB 910 made a minor tweak to the language in the notice, so all credit unions wishing to prohibit concealed weapons must update their signage to reflect the new language.   Continuing to display the old sign may result in the state refusing to prosecute an offender for what could have been a class C or A misdemeanor. 

Does the credit union have to post these signs?

No.  A credit union may choose to permit persons to carry handguns into the credit union.  

How are other credit unions handling this?

After speaking with numerous credit unions, it appears that credit unions are taking various approaches.  Some will display both signs. Some will display the open carry sign only. Some will not display any signage, permitting holders of a gun license to carry openly or concealed onto the credit union premises.  Ultimately, it is a credit union business decision.  Some issues to consider include:

  • Could a person carrying a gun into a financial institution cause fear and panic among members and staff which could negatively affect credit union business? 
  • Would the use of guns, even by the "good guys" result in injury or death to credit union members and staff, opening up possible liability to the credit union?
  • Would some staff and members in fact feel safer with the presence of guns? 
  • Could prohibiting guns negatively affect credit union business if second amendment enthusiasts protest or withdraw from membership?
  • Does your insurer include language on your contract regarding this issue?