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Open Carry Law Presents Unsightly Small Business Problems

Texas Lawyer

Monica Oathout, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group, authored an article for Texas Lawyer titled “Open Carry Law Presents Unsightly Small Business Problems.”  The article highlighted the lengths that businesses must go to in order to keep individuals with concealed and/or open carry weapons out of their offices.

The article states:

“Imagine a small business owner of a brick-and mortar ice cream parlor in any city or town in Texas, with a handsome storefront window and a staff of almost all entirely high school students (perhaps as young as 14). For the most part, customers are parents, children, and athletic, dance, and school clubs and teams that stop by after recitals, practices, and games. In short, young people drive the ice cream market.

Because the main target market for ice cream is children and families, the parlor owner decides that he doesn't want employees, customers, vendors, or anyone else to carry handguns into the store—open or otherwise. In Texas, his options include:

  • Instruct the young employees that they have to confront gun owners after they enter the premises and orally inform them that weapons are not allowed;
  • Distribute cards to each person who enters the establishment that explains the no guns policy; or
  • Post statutorily specific and prescribed signs that, if compliant, will cover nine square feet of the storefront window.

Again, none of these options are attractive.”

To read the entire article, visit the Texas Lawyer website.  (Subscription may be required).

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