Countdown to Open Carry brings new rules & concerns

Travis County officials made it clear Tuesday - don't show up for work packing heat -- unless you are in law enforcement or one of their security officers. The policy doesn't apply to the general public -although commissioner’s court- by law- can be identified as a gun free zone.

In his CHL/LTC gun permit class, Michael Cargill also urges new gun owners to recognize the Open Carry law which takes effect in January may require a transition period for some.

"I tell people to follow the law, if someone doesn’t want you to carry into their business, then don’t carry in their business, and license holders will listen to that, they are actually going to follow the law, we are not going to carry into business that post a sign, we are going to take our money elsewhere,” said Cargill.

The idea of customers sticking to their guns, regarding open carry, is a little troublesome for some of those in the banking industry.

"We just need to make sure that we don’t panic the first time we see somebody with a gun inside a bank,” said Celeste Embrey with the Texas Bankers Association.

The Organization recently launched a membership outreach program and found a distinct break down on the Open Carry issue.

"Many of our urban bankers don’t want to allow openly carried weapons on their premises, where many of our rural bankers are saying, yeah, we encourage our employees to carry why wouldn't we allow our customers to carry as well. So we have to remember Texas is a very diverse state and one size doesn’t fit all,” said Embrey.

Except the size of the new gun free designation signs - by law- are very large. Those who don’t want to put them up, because of line of sight issues, have the option of handing out informational cards or giving verbal notification.

"Our concern is, I think rightfully so is, if you are going to prohibit openly carried weapons on the bank's premises, do you want to walk up to the guy who has the gun, and say, hey by the way you can’t have the gun here, so oral notification I think is a little daunting and a little intimidating especially for front line bank employees,” said Embrey.

The Travis County rule is similar to what they City of Austin has for its employees  but unlike the county an issue may arise regarding how all of city hall has been designated as a gun free zone -  not just the council chamber. That may become the focus of a court challenge next year.

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