Firearms in Hotels: Texas Passes Open Carry Legislation
With the passage of the new open-carry law, hotels retained the ability to have a policy to restrict a guest’s ability to bring a firearm into their properties, whether concealed or openly carried, at the hotel’s option. If the hotel’s management decides that having a policy regarding firearms is in the hotel’s best interest, Texas law requires the hotel to provide several types of notifications to the guest.
Hotel Firearm Policies Affecting Guests
Any hotel policy restricting a guest’s ability to bring firearms onto the premises (including, but not limited to a restriction on concealed and/or openly carried firearms) must be disclosed in the reservation terms and conditions on the hotel website. For purposes of firearms policies, Texas law defines “premises” as a building on the hotel property.
If the guest makes a reservation by phone, and the hotel follows up with written confirmation, the written confirmation must indicate how the guest may review the hotel’s policies regarding firearms. This requirement is located in the Texas Occupations Code, Section 2155.103.
If the hotel has a policy prohibiting concealed and/or openly carried firearms, specific signage must be posted on all major entryways into the building. This signage is in addition to the website disclosures mentioned above. Firearm prohibition signage must appear in both English and Spanish, and must appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height. The sign’s language must be exactly as follows:
If prohibiting concealed firearms, this language must be posted on all major entryways to the building:
“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”:
“DE ACUERDO CON LA SECCIÓN 30.06 DEL CÓDIGO PENAL (INGRESO SIN AUTORIZACIÓN DE UN PORTADOR DE UNA LICENCIA PARA LLEVAR UN ARMA de fuego CORTA OCULTA), UNA PERSONA CON LICENCIA SEGÚN EL SUBCAPÍTULO H, CAPÍTULO 411 DEL CÓDIGO DEL GOBIERNO (LEY PARA PORTAR ARMAS de fuego CORTAS OCULTAS), NO PUEDE INGRESAR A ESTA PROPIEDAD con UNa ARMA De Fuego corta lleva oculta.”
If prohibiting openly carried firearms, this language must be posted on all major entryways to the building:
“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”
“de ACUERDO CON LA SECCIÓN 30.07 DEL CÓDIGO PENAL (INGRESO SIN AUTORIZACIÓN DE UN PORTADOR DE UNA LICENCIA PARA LLEVAR UN ARMA de fuego CORTA abiertamente), UNA PERSONA CON LICENCIA SEGÚN EL SUBCAPÍTULO H, CAPÍTULO 411 DEL CÓDIGO DEL GOBIERNO (LEY PARA PORTAR ARMAS de fuego cortas), NO PUEDE INGRESAR A ESTA PROPIEDAD con UNa ARMA De Fuego corta lleva abiertamente.”
Note that law enforcement officials are generally exempted from restrictions on firearms.
Hotel Firearm Policies Affecting Employees
A hotel may have a policy restricting a hotel employee from carrying a firearm into the hotel’s premises. However, the hotel may not restrict an employee from storing the firearm inside the employee’s private locked vehicle parked on the hotel property.
Any employee policy regarding weapons should be in the employee handbook, and part of the handbook’s terms the employee signs when he/she receives the handbook.