How the New Open Carry Gun Law Affects Consumers, Banks

AUSTIN, Dec. 14, 2015 – Jan. 1, 2016, is the effective date for Texas’ new open carry law. The law allows anyone with a concealed carry license to openly carry a handgun in public as long as it’s in a shoulder or belt holster.

The Texas Bankers Association (TBA) is educating banks on their rights to allow or deny guns on their property. The first priority of TBA and its member banks is for customers to feel safe while banking. “We want to make it clear, it’s up to each individual bank to decide how they’d prefer to notify customers whether openly carried handguns are permitted on bank property,” said Celeste Embrey, TBA’s assistant general counsel.

Texas bank customers should expect to see signs posted in English and Spanish outside of including banks referencing the section of the Texas Penal Code that states entry on the property by a license holder openly carrying a handgun is forbidden.

The property owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner may also provide notice to a person by oral communication or by handing them a card that references the same section of the Texas Penal Code on the aforementioned signs.

If proper notice is given, banks have the right to pursue criminal trespass charges against customers who choose to openly carry handguns onto the bank’s premises in violation of notifications to the contrary.

This is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or both a fine and confinement) if it is shown on the trial of the offense that, after entering the property, the license holder was personally given the notice by oral communication described by Subsection (b) and subsequently failed to depart.

All Texans will likely see an increase in openly carried handguns after Jan. 1. TBA wants consumers to know they may start seeing openly carried handguns at their banks; it all depends on what each individual bank decides regarding their policy on openly carried handguns on bank property.

For more information, watch a video of Compliance Alliance’s Silvia Garcia Maggio describing the new open carry law and concealed carry law:

Serving Texas bankers since 1885, TBA is the largest and oldest state bankers association in the nation. Its members range from the smallest bank in the nation to the largest.