I live in Texas, where I hold a License to Carry, and I work for a school district where firearms are restricted. Texas law allows me to store my weapon securely in my vehicle even if I’m parked in a gun-free school campus because, as long as it’s in my car, it’s on my property and not the school district’s. Thus, I carry my pistol every day, but leave it locked securely in a strong box in my car before going into the building where my office is located.
My work sometimes takes me to locations outside the schools and the district’s property where carrying a firearm is not restricted.
If I carry my weapon while on school district business in places where carrying firearms is neither restricted or prohibited, can I get in trouble with my employer?
That’s a tough one, if you open the can of worms and let them know you have a CWP you could open up all kinds of hate and discontent. Legally if you are not restricted / prohibited from carrying there “SHOULD” be no problem but schools are strange places and being right doesn’t protect your job is they determine you to be a “hazard”. A Professor got fired for saying “DJT is our President.” Nothing in the statement is wrong or provocative just a statement of fact, yet he was fired for "Hate Speech"or some such thing. IMHO keep it quiet, keep it safe and pray you never use it.
I wasn’t talking about letting them know. I wouldn’t do that because it’s none of their business.
What I mean is this, for example: I go to a local department store as a representative of the school district to help pick up some formal wear they are donating for low income kids to go to their high school prom. The store has no signs prohibiting concealed carry, therefore it’s okay to carry at that store. I go in my vehicle, not a school district vehicle, and I put on my weapon (properly concealed, of course). While I’m at the store getting the donations, the boogeyman shows up and I have to shoot him. Will Texas law protect me if my employer decides to take issue with me having been armed while in a public place conducting school district business?
Sorry I can’t answer that, too many variables but I would say if you made a good shoot you would be exonerated legally by TX law and perhaps civilly but there is nothing to say that your school will not let you go. Your HR handbook or dare I say it Union Collective Bargaining Agreement may address it to some extent. The research is on you as a CWP. Like I said Schools are a totally different animal, if you do find something concrete please let us know. I am unfamiliar with any case law of a similar situation but mebby @MikeBKY would have some input from Kentucky?!!?!?!?
You can get in trouble with your employer for a variety of things you may or may not agree with. What does it say in your employee handbook about representing the school in public places (outside of school) and firearms in general?
Wisconsin is an at-will state, meaning you can be let go for any reason. I don’t know the employment laws of TX, I’d definitely check into the employment law and your handbook.
It sounds like you’re talking about guilt by association. Conducting business as a representative. A lot of “right-to-work states” can dismiss you for having bad breath! Ask yourself this, who’s responsible for your family when you’re dead? At least if you’re alive you can find another job!
You’re a good guy, in the right place when the wrong thing happens and the people you work for don’t appreciate the right of an individual to carry for self defense.
Yeah, all those types will probably fire you, destroy your life, plaster you on the front page of every newspaper worldwide. Understand, these days even if you were home at 3: am and an intruder busted in and you protected yourself and family they would probably still fire you, waterboard you, anything they could do to make gun ownership look evil.
Now, if you claim you’re a looter and peaceful protester/violent rioter or even a convicted felon who was just released from a federal prison, you’ll probably be guilty of NOTHING! Brave new world! Just ask a Portland District Attorney!
The simple answer to the specific question you asked is YES, because you can get in trouble. Will you? Are you likely to? Different questions, the answers to which would depend to a great deal on very specific circumstances and details. But…to my way of thinking…the bigger question is this:
If you need to carry a gun, why would you give a tinker’s darn about the possibility of losing your job in the rare event you have to use it?
Working for a school that doesn’t let you carry in Texas nowadays, you should expect more problems with your employer if you used it OFF campus than if you ended up needing to use it ON campus. No TX jury will send you to prison for stopping a school shooter. The PR of firing said employee would be untenable.
But the school district WILL fire you PDQ if they find out you were carrying “on the clock” without their permission and stopped an armed robbery or some such thing. BTW, this sort of predictive analytics is my specialty; and it is more socio-political than it is a legal proposition. In TX, the district can fire you if they don’t like your hair style…so to speak.
My humble opinion, take it for what it’s worth. I’m at at-will employee for a NGO in North Carolina. My employer can, and has, made rules that restrict my First and Second Amendment rights while representing the company. It’s their prerogative. While legally you may be OK if, heaven forbid, you had to deploy your weapon in self-defense, I think you could fully expect to be fired by your school district. Of course, I’m making a broad assumption that they have a “no firearms” policy in their employee handbook.
Saving a life versus losing your job is an easy trade, just be prepared for it if/when it happens.
I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But there is a bit of legalese in there.
“Prohibited weapons onto school premises or any grounds or building where a school sponsored activity takes place.”
You know the old saying, he could prosecute a ham sandwich! You don’t want to be the ham sandwich!
In the end aren’t most places ‘employment at will’? Meaning you can leave any time for any reason and your employer can ask you to leave any time for any reason.
I would say look at the precedents your teachers union has already set on directly, as well as indirectly, related cases and consult with a local employment law attorney (preferably one that is pro 2A).
You should probably expect most to give you the safe answer, which is if you dont carry it won’t be a problem (albeit they will say nothing about your survivability in the event of a life threatening assault).
Some states such as Louisiana aren’t right-to-work states. In Texas, if they want to fire you, they can fire you. In Louisiana, if they want to fire you, for something like poor performance, they have to have data to back it up. However, policy violation is easy to prove. Especially in cases of company owned or leased vehicles in which you are covered by their insurance in company vehicles. Annually most companies run DMV checks for insurance
I think the prohibition in the policy manual is pretty broad with “where a school-sponsored activity takes place.”
As a general rule, employers have broad discretion to prohibit things, including carrying weapons, during business activities and violations of those, unless prohibited by statute (like keeping it in your car) can lead to disciplinary action.
In TX case law, there are a number of examples of a school field trip to a park, museum, or somewhere similar where it is otherwise legal to carry with a permit and…all of a sudden…it isn’t legal to carry there because it just became “property where school-sponsored activity is taking place.” However, TX has strong constructive notice regulations. So, until you are TOLD to leave the park by a school employee or park employee (or peace officer) in this scenario, you are OK. It’s a bad piece of state law in TX that requires complex untangling to fix. The good thing is, the TX legislature has been tacking 1-4 of these per session for the past decade. The bad news is there is only a session every other year.
I think the definition of “school sponsored” is wherein lies the rub. For example, I’m going to a scholarship presentation at a local car dealership today. This is an annual initiative and event via a partnership between the dealership and the school district where I work, where graduating seniors from our high schools with perfect attendance receive scholarships. Because this is a joint initiative between the district and the dealership, would I be safe to assume this meets the definition of a “school sponsored activity” under Texas law?