What About Owners of Residential Leased Property?
The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2019 to specify in Section 92.026 of the Property Code that a residential landlord may not prohibit a tenant or a tenant’s guest from “lawfully possessing, carrying, transporting, or storing a firearm” in the tenant’s rental unit or other places on the property necessary to transport the firearm.
Privately owned businesses must post signs corresponding to the type of carry they wish to limit.
The Texas Legislature passed HB 1927, the Firearm Carry Act, during the regular session earlier this year. This new law, which took effect September 1, allows any individual 21 years of age or older to carry a handgun in public. There is no longer any requirement for a permit or training. The bill does not allow individuals to carry a firearm under this law if they are otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm by law, such as a person with a felony or a domestic violence conviction.
The new law brings up the question of appropriate signage a privately owned business is required to post to prohibit entry to property by unlicensed individuals carrying firearms. According to Section 30.05(c) of the Penal Code, a sign prohibiting unlicensed individuals from carrying a handgun onto a property must:
- Include language substantially similar to the following: “Pursuant to Section 30.05, Penal Code (criminal trespass), a person may not enter this property with a firearm.”
- Include the language in English and Spanish
- Appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least 1 inch in height
- Be displayed in a conspicuous manner, clearly visible to the public.
This new signage only prohibits unlicensed individuals from entering the property while carrying firearms.
In order to prohibit licensed individuals from carrying firearms onto a property, a property owner must follow the signage requirements that were already in place prior to the new unlicensed carry law. There are two separate types of allowed carry to consider.
- A sign under Section 30.06 of the Penal Code prohibits a licensed individual who is carrying a concealed handgun from entering the property.
- A sign under Section 30.07 of the Penal Code prohibits licensed individuals who are openly carrying firearms from entering the property.
Frequently, signs also contain pictures of a handgun with the prohibition symbol on it—a circle with a diagonal line through it. Note that a sign with only this image is not sufficient, as the sign must contain the specified language outlined above.