OVILLA – Ovilla city employees with concealed handgun licenses can now carry a handgun to work.

The city council passed a resolution at the September meeting allowing city employees to carry licenses weapons to work. The only exception to the resolution is government meetings. The resolution was a response to new state legislation on handguns went into effect Sept. 1.

“The legislation says if you have a CHL you can’t be denied access to a public building,” said Ovilla city manager Dennis Burn.

The reason for the resolution was to put employees in equal standing with those who interact with them at work, he said. The city can’t stop a person with a CHL from coming into the municipal building carrying a concealed weapon, and said he did not believe it was right for an employee who has a CHL to be at a disadvantage when meeting someone with a concealed or holstered handgun.

Prior to this resolution, Ovilla city staff worked under a policy that did not permit concealed handguns.

“Denying this right was unfair,” Burn said. “We revised the policy to allow those with a valid concealed handgun license the ability to have a concealed handgun on city property.”

Employees will be able to open carry a gun in a holster, but the weapons not be allowed at meetings of a board or committee subject to the Open Meetings Act, he explained.

Handguns are prohibited in municipal court with the exception of the judge and the prosecuting attorney, Burn added.

Employees with CHL’s who choose to carry a handgun at work are required to present the license to Burn and keep a photocopy of the license in their personnel file and on their person at all times while on city property.