Tennessee law permits employers and business owners to prohibit employees and customers/clients from bringing firearms and weapons onto company premises, even when the individual has an otherwise valid carry permit. However, to effectuate this prohibition, employers and business owners must comply with the notice requirements of Tennessee statutory law, Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-1359(b), which was recently amended by Governor Haslam.
Under Tennessee law, an employer or business owner is authorized to prohibit the possession of firearms or weapons on company premises, so long as certain requirements are met. These requirements are as follows:
- The employer/business owner must post a sign that includes the phrase “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” in English.
- The sign must be at least one inch high and eight inches wide.
- The sign must include a visual representation – a circle with a diagonal line over a firearm. The diagonal line must be at a 45 degree angle from the upper left to the lower right side of the circle.
- The visual representation mentioned above must be at least four inches high and four inches wide.
- The sign must include the phrase “As authorized by T.C.A. § 39-18-1359”
- The sign must be posted in prominent locations, including the entrance to the premises.
The new notice requirements are effective July 1, 2016, for employers who did not previously make use of signs to prohibit firearms and weapons on the premises. If the employer did use such signs prior to January 1, 2015, then the business has until January 1, 2018 to comply with the requirements listed above. If you have questions on these deadlines or the interaction of this law with the “Guns in Trunks” law, which permits employees to store firearms in vehicles on company property, please contact me.