TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

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TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby G27RR » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:23 am

TxDOT has finally amended their employee handbook to state that concealed carry is permissible for employees. Previously, they were not posted 30.06 as they weren't allowed to by law, but they did have an employee policy that did not allow for concealed carry even though the public is allowed to carry there. TxDOT is allowed to have up to 12,293 employees, so a large number of Texans may now carry without worrying about violating policy now, if they have their CHL.

Here is the updated policy.

Weapons

Employees will not carry or keep firearms or any other weapons on department property, except as allowed below, while on duty or while representing the department. Failure to comply with this policy will subject that individual to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

It is not a violation for employees who lawfully possess firearms to transport and store firearms in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle while parked in a parking lot, garage, or other employee parking area provided by the department.

It is not a violation for employees or visitors to carry concealed handguns on department property if they are licensed in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H. Employees and visitors must abide by all applicable state and federal laws, including that:

·    the handgun is kept concealed at all times, except to act in a life-threatening situation

·    the license is current and valid, and

·    handguns must not be carried where prohibited by any state or federal law, which specifically includes Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46. This statute prohibits concealed handguns at any meeting of a government entity, among other prohibited locations. Any violation of any law concerning concealed handguns (such as a handgun in plain sight, or any other violation) will be referred to law enforcement authorities.

Employees who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun and who choose to carry a handgun while on department property are subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, if their handgun becomes visible, unless acting in response to a life-threatening event. In such a case, an automatic investigation will be triggered to review the employee's handling of the situation.

Employees must not provoke or challenge anyone displaying or recklessly carrying a handgun, but must report the incident to building security or law enforcement personnel when and where it is safe to do so.



Definitions

Concealed handgun

A handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.

Weapon

Any instrument used to threaten, or cause injury or death to another person.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby Purplehood » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:34 am

Employees who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun and who choose to carry a handgun while on department property are subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, if their handgun becomes visible, unless acting in response to a life-threatening event. In such a case, an automatic investigation will be triggered to review the employee's handling of the situation.


Major step in the right direction, but this paragraph really annoys me. In reality it should read much like the law, in as much as it should say, 'intentional unconcealment' or something to that effect.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby GeekwithaGun » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:35 am

handguns must not be carried where prohibited by any state or federal law, which specifically includes Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46. This statute prohibits concealed handguns at any meeting of a government entity, among other prohibited locations. Any violation of any law concerning concealed handguns (such as a handgun in plain sight, or any other violation) will be referred to law enforcement authorities.


Doesn't the meeting have to be posted with 30.06 to apply?

Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER.
...
(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, at any meeting of a governmental entity.
...
(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.


I guess even TxDOT forgot to check the exceptions.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby RPB » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:50 am

geekwagun wrote:
handguns must not be carried where prohibited by any state or federal law, which specifically includes Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46. This statute prohibits concealed handguns at any meeting of a government entity, among other prohibited locations. Any violation of any law concerning concealed handguns (such as a handgun in plain sight, or any other violation) will be referred to law enforcement authorities.


Doesn't the meeting have to be posted with 30.06 to apply?

Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER.
...
(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, at any meeting of a governmental entity.
...
(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.


I guess even TxDOT forgot to check the exceptions.

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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby G27RR » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:53 am

Purplehood wrote:
Employees who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun and who choose to carry a handgun while on department property are subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, I mentioned in andgun becomes visible, unless acting in response to a life-threatening event. In such a case, an automatic investigation will be triggered to review the employee's handling of the situation.


Major step in the right direction, but this paragraph really annoys me. In reality it should read much like the law, in as much as it should say, 'intentional unconcealment' or something to that effect.


I fully agree, and it concerns me to the point I wonder if some people will be looking to get others in trouble over this. I am hoping most employees like that won't even notice the change happened. The email they sent out mentioned about a dozen unrelated changes first and then it didn't say chl holders were allowed to carry, it just said they were updating the policy in accordance with government code, Chapter 411. You had to actually go to the online manual to read that it is now allowed. I posted this here in part because a lot of people don't read the administrative announcements and I didn't want any chl holders to miss it.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby texanjoker » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:23 pm

That is impressive coming from a state agency to allow their employees to be armed on duty.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby C-dub » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:08 pm

Other than the notification oversight for meetings, that is really great.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby fratermus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:08 am

Thanks for the heads up.

That item was second-to-last in the posted changes, and is literally in a smaller font than the rest. I don't think it's a conspiracy, it looks like the writer pasted in the Code reference from another site/document and it changed the font for the rest of that item.

I just made a trip to the truck on my break. :txflag:
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby Jumping Frog » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:45 pm

G27RR wrote:Employees who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun and who choose to carry a handgun while on department property are subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, if their handgun becomes visible, unless acting in response to a life-threatening event. In such a case, an automatic investigation will be triggered to review the employee's handling of the situation.

Here is another case where the prudent course is to never discuss guns at work. All it would take is for an anti-gunner to overhear you talking about guns, and they could conceivably file a complaint that they "saw your gun". Suddenly, the CHL could find themselves trying to defend something that never happened.

Don't tell me this "would never happen". I received a "final" warning notice at my previous employer through that exact kind of false anonymous compliant.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby G27RR » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:17 pm

Agreed, which is why I haven't mentioned to anyone I know there that we are now allowed to carry, even those I know to have CHLs. It's not worth the risk to have anyone I know there think I might be carrying. I'm going to have to experiment more with tucked carry options. I always carried untucked since I wasn't at work.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby Alameda311 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:08 pm

Txdot new policy is very confusing, in our district we had to make a copy of our chl and submit to the front office, in our office that is gossip central. Also what is considered a meeting? I'm in the inspection side and meet with contractors and other employees daily??? and of course austin will not return calls to carify??
I really think it was a great idea, never know what your up against in rural areas and assisting stranded motorists. If anyone has more info please share. Thank you.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby C-dub » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:29 pm

Alameda311 wrote:Txdot new policy is very confusing, in our district we had to make a copy of our chl and submit to the front office, in our office that is gossip central. Also what is considered a meeting? I'm in the inspection side and meet with contractors and other employees daily??? and of course austin will not return calls to carify??
I really think it was a great idea, never know what your up against in rural areas and assisting stranded motorists. If anyone has more info please share. Thank you.

I'm not sure if "meeting" has been defined, but they do still have to be posted. Then only the meeting is off limits and not the entire building.

BTW, welcome to the forum!
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby G27RR » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:10 pm

I don't find anything in the policy that gives the DDOR authority to require a copy of your license, or for that matter to even require you to tell them you are carrying. That sounds to me like they are freelancing beyond their authority, much like the HOU district did when they said they wouldn't post directions to the gunshows on the traffic information signs. They were slapped down by HQ after the press heard that.

I've been carrying since they changed the policy, and nobody in any of the Austin HQ type offices has asked for anything and I haven't found the need to tell a single person I am carrying. Did your district send out a memo saying people needed to show their license or something like that? How did it come up?

We have at least one warning per year that someone was fired or quit and we should be on heightened alert, so I am glad to be carrying. Fortunately nothing has ever come of it, but better safe than sorry.

The meetings thing, as I interpret it, is like the statute and means an official meeting of something like the Texas transportation commission where elected or appointed government officials are present, not something simple like a team or even DDOR meeting.
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby Alameda311 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:17 am

G27RR, thanks for the quick response, Waco district is a whole other animal as far as making up rules, maybe our new DE will change this.

As for the memo, it was buried at the bottom, as they really didn't want it to get to much attention, a coworker from another AO showed me the section under misc. conduct, and told me what he had done, at that point I contacted Austin, left a message and to this day no return call???

I did exacly what my coworker did the following day, just in case they pulled something out of their hat on me, I could say "wait, so and so did it this way". Not sure it would work, but needed something.

I think the government meetings will get you in trouble, but not sure what a meeting is in the field, we meet with the contractors, LE, homeowners, etc... I do see a lawsuit in the future if they don't carify.

Working several 35 accidents, its very easy for my handgun to be exposed, I carry OWB, so would that cause me to get fired?

In Waco it would!
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Re: TxDOT updates CHL policy for employees

Postby G27RR » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:40 am

I don't work in the field, so I carry iwb and with a tucked shirt. Sounds like you need long shirts or consider carrying iwb to make less of it show if it gets accidently exposed. Maybe pocket carry would be a good idea.

What office did you contact in Austin? I would check with maybe OGC for their legal interpretation. Not sure if HR will get you too far.
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