In the past, I have worked for firms that posted big “no guns allowed” signs, clearly advertising to any who might do grave evil that the office where I worked was full of  the unarmed and comparatively defenseless.  Before I had my concealed carry permit, I didn’t think much about this but now that I can legally arm myself, I find it troubling.

Tennessee legislators are grappling with this thorny gun-rights issue.  From KnoxNews.com:

A new effort is under way toward passage of legislation that pits the interests of gun rights advocates against the property rights of businesses, a politically volatile mix that was apparently a factor in a public confrontation between two legislators.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey last week declared he strongly supports passage of the key proposal, which would authorize handgun permit holders to take their weapons to work — provided they are left in a locked car — even if the permit holder’s employer prohibits guns on company property.

“It almost negates even having a permit if you can’t do that (keep a gun in car),” said Ramsey in an interview.

House Speaker Beth Harwell said she is concerned that the proposal could conflict with her overall priority of making Tennessee “the most business friendly state in the union,”

I have a strong libertarian streak and am inclined to let property owners have final say as to who and what enters their property. I am fortunate that pretty much everywhere I go, I can remain armed. But just a few months back I was at the mercy of my employer’s anti-carry whim.

Furthermore, I stay away from those sorts of places where trouble tends to cluster. I may get mugged in the parking lot of Home Depot, but generally the places I am statistically most likely to be presented with the need to defend myself or my loved ones is in a workplace or church.

My guess is that a “no guns” policy is borne out of concerns for liability or a misguided view of what might happen if employees pack their heaters. It seems to me that a workplace where it is understood that anyone might be armed at any given time is a safer one than a similar place of business that announces to the world that only a would-be murderer will have a gun.

Normally I am loathe to abide legislation that crimps the property rights of anyone, even my douchebag anti-gun boss. Should the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms trump the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment rights of property and due process, as found in case law forbidding discrimination in public accommodations? Should people employed by an anti-gun business owner just suck it up or find another job? What do you think?

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124 Responses to Question of the Day: Which Should Prevail, 2A or Property Rights?

  1. Property rights.

    If a work place has a “no guns” policy, you’re free to either A:Quit on the spot, B:Continue working until you can find another job or C: Shut up and go on about your business.

    • Whose property rights? My car is my property, but it’s parked in the employer’s lot. It isn’t cut-and-dried.

        • In some cases, yes. Not everyone has that option. I’m lucky; Minnesota law prevents my employer from banning guns in the parking lot. If this were not the case, my options would be to park a half-hour’s walk away, or go unarmed.

        • Don’t misunderstand – I don’t necessarily like the policies that ban CHL at work. It has taken 40+ years of constant anti-gun rhetoric to get to this point, we have our work cut out to roll some of this back.

      • This; from my point of view, my car is an extension of my home (and thus my castle). No employer has the right to dictate what happens in my home, ergo they have no rights with respect to my car.

      • If your car is on my property, everything in it is on my property. It doesn’t have to be TOUCHING my property to be on my property.

        This is one of those, “be careful what you wish for” things. If you give the government the power to force property owners to allow your guns on their property, that same government by the same logic can force YOU to allow protestors on YOUR property.

        A lot of Americans don’t seem to grasp how fundamental property rights are to liberty. If gun owners start eroding them in a mistaken idea that they are increasing their 2A rights, they are going to eventually find that they have created a monster that they cannot control.

      • They do… just not legally.

        Although, assuming that law didn’t exist, a propety owner with such a sign is likely a vile person, “negroes” (and all others, incidentally) have a choice to associate or not, hopefully driving him out of business.
        With the law in place, that property owner can’t publicly proclaim his bigotry, thus continuing his business and making a living instead of being retired to the dustbin of the free market.

        • ‘Free Market’ and ‘Property Rights’ theories all supported the system of slavery, remember? I don’t think that boycotts of slave-picked cotton would have solved that problem.

          When you invite others (customers or employees) onto your property in order to make money from them, you lose the absolute right to dictate every detail of how they behave once they accept your invitation.

          You can’t ban Jews, Republicans, Asians or Baptists from your business on constitutional grounds, and I seem to recall that the 2nd Amendment is right next to the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Lawful exercise of 2nd Amendment liberties should be a constitutionally protected activity, even on business property, as long as it is not disruptive.

        • “‘Free Market’ and ‘Property Rights’ theories all supported the system of slavery, remember?”

          No, I don’t remember that. In fact, the free market abolished slavery in every developed nation without war or bloodshed with the exception of the U.S. Additionally, slavery in the U.S. was on the decline prior to the war, due to the invention of the cotton gin. In another decade, slavery would have no longer been economically viable. That’s the free market at work.

      • Or what if the bakery shop says “No Queer Wedding Cakes Sold Here”? Since that basic right of association is prohibited on the business owner’s property, in favor of some Libtard’s idea of “basic human rights,” I guess I’m good practicing a God-given, Constitutionally protected right on any business’s property!

  2. The place I work has a policy forbidding firearms in the building and posts the proper signs at the doors. But seeing as this place is about as secure as Fort Knox (tour groups included) I’m not too concerned.

  3. I think as an employee, you have already sacrificed some of you constitutional rights as it is to be gainfully employed – 1st amendment rights (speech and religion) are restricted, 4th amendment rights (search/privacy) are sacrificed with email, PC files, surfing, desk area, etc…

    We may not like it, but I think the employer has a right to restrict otherwise legal carriers should they choose to. It is up to us, using persuasion or starting our own businesses, to change it.

    • The 1st, and 4th amendments to the constitution prohibit the government, not private entities, from creating laws that abridge your rights as codified in each, respectively. Laws bind all citizens, and are created and enforced by government. Employer requirements are not laws and not bound by the constitution. The government can pass legislation prohibiting private employers from restricting your rights in the work place, but it is not required to do so under the constitution.

  4. Tim, luckily now that I’m retired, this isn’t a problem for me. But…did you just help your cause by calling your boss a douchebag, so he would or could now fire you? Seems like you’ve already started the process of looking for a new, more gun friendly boss!

  5. The inside of the building is very different from the parking lot. WI allows weapons in your car, even if the parking lot is owned by a non gun friendly business. Does it meaningfully infringe on the rights of the property owner? In my opinion, no.

  6. I think that it brings up an interesting question liability-wise, but with a twist. I run a small business and to the best of my knowledge, my liability insurance coverage does not require me to ban guns. So, I’m not sure I buy the liability argument. That said, one thing a business should consider is if they require me to be defenseless while on company property, they then take the responsibility to protect me. If a gun toting nut job comes in and shoots the place up, then the business owners should be subject to civil liability for not employing proper armed security to deal with the potential threat. While it could be argued that any business assumes this risk, I think that the right lawyer might be able to make the liability issue really stick and possibly drive up the eventual judgement amount if it could be shown that a victim who might otherwise have been able to defend him/herself was denied the right to do this by company policy – which if it turns out there was no mandatory (read insurance) reason to do this, then the company has a greater liability for the damage caused.

  7. Florida did this in 2008, with the “Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008,” based on the “my car, my property” theory. You still have to obey their rules about carrying guns when you’re at work, but they can’t say anything about leaving it in your car (the safety/smarts of doing that to be handled elsewhere). Disney is the notable exception, as they used their (7)(e) fireworks license exception and said that the exception applied to all their property, anywhere in the state. A (non-fireworks-interfacing) employee filed a lawsuit to challenge their blanket rule, but I don’t know how that ended up.

    • And, confirming the fears of those opposed to the measure, due to the increased numbers of guns in employer’s parking lots, business property killings in the Sunshine State have risen to the highest in the nation, causing . . . . wait. What? That hasn’t happened? Well, I’ll be!!

    • Regarding the Disney issue; from an Orlando Sentinel story:

      Disney responded Friday by lifting its employee-gun ban at several of its back-office outposts where fireworks are not stored or used, including Disney offices in Celebration and at Little Lake Bryan. The offices employ 5,700 of the more than 60,000 Disney workers in Central Florida, according to spokeswoman Jacquee Polak.

      “Until further clarification is received, Cast Members at those facilities . . . will be allowed to keep a gun locked in their personal vehicle as long as they have a concealed-weapons permit, the gun is not visible, and the gun is not removed from the vehicle or exhibited for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes,” Disney said in a written statement.

  8. 1) The private property right of the company does not extend to the interior of my car – I paid for the car, not the company, and they cannot tell me what to keep in that car.

    2) As a compromise, I would suggest a law that says any company (and its individual officers and directors who set employee conduct policy) which bans legally-carried firearms from the workplace, shall be collectively and individually responsible for the safety of those employees while they are on company property. And the company/officers shall be liable for any harm to those employees.

    3) Buy a North American Arms Mini-Mag .22Mag revolver, and keep it in a pocket holster while at work, and never tell anyone at or outside work that you are carrying it. Not your wife, not your brother, not your best friend, not your beer buddies, and certainly not anyone you work with. At the very least hide it inside your car and STFU about it.

    • Regarding #2 – the key is to make the employer liable for not only your presence at work (ie, eliminate their workers’ comp protection coverage) but also make them liable and responsible for your commute to/from home with appropriate “frolic and detour” (legal jargon for running a few errands on the way home). If I can’t protect myself off property during my commute b/c of my employer’s rules and they won’t provide an armed escort like they do for all of the big wigs, then they should have to assume full responsiblity and liability for anything that happens to me until I get back on my physical property.

      • Sorry, Mike, won’t work. I believe we have a moral obligation to resist any encroachment on our fundamental human rights, including the most basic one: self-defense. If I was a member of a union that required its members to swear an oath to always vote Democrat, I would swear the oath and disregard it in the voting booth. Only an immoral hypocrite would try to coerce me into giving up a right, then accuse me of a lack of morality when I exercise that right.

      • Once again, Mikeb demonstrates the level of his ignorance. Hey, mikey, a “criminal” is someone who breaks a LAW, not someone who violates a COMPANY POLICY. In Idaho (thank God!), it is NOT a crime for a CWL holder to bring a concealed weapon into any location except county courthouses, elementary and high schools, federal courts and post offices. Even on University campuses, the most they can do is cite you for trespass if you refuse to leave. And that’s how it works on private property – they can trespass you if you REFUSE TO LEAVE. Now I realize that in various leftist socialist hellhole states it might be a crime to annoy an anti-gun corporation, but that doesn’t apply in Idaho.

        So, sorry about that, mikey, I am not a “hidden criminal”. They can fire me, they can ask me to leave, but they can’t arrest me for carrying a concealed weapon even if it is against their corporate policy and their posted signs.

        Do a little legal research before you start brandishing your ignorance.

        • Funny how the ignorant always pretend to stand the high ground by misinformation and deceit. Ask him to actually cite a source.

  9. I don’t believe the right to carry a gun trumps the right of private property owners to forbid individuals from carrying a firearm on their property. I might disklike it or find it a PIA but I don’t believe that private property owners should be told that they must allow me to carry a gun onto their property. Its quite simple to me, if you own/lease/rent the property you make the rules.

    • I agree. If we can just ignore any workplace rule we don’t agree with, then we are breaking a more important philosophy than the right to armed self defense.

    • It’s a confusing topic, but…

      > A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a
      > free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms,
      > shall not be infringed.

      I don’t want my government, my neighbor, or the corner store owner infringing my rights.

      • “I don’t want my government, my neighbor, or the corner store owner infringing my rights.”

        Correct. But you’re under no obligation to associate with your neighbor or the corner store owner.

        • Mike,

          2A doesn’t mean that only the militia has the right to bear arms. Re-read it please.

          The reserve militia[3] or unorganized militia, also created by the Militia Act of 1903 which presently consist of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia. (that is, anyone who would be eligible for a draft).

          I qualify as a militia member based on the Militia Act of 1903.

        • Henry,

          I see your point. That’s why I label this issue as confusing.

          I get around the issue by not going into businesses which have posted signs making me not welcome.

          I bristle that I cannot carry my licensed concealed gun into my local police station.

        • Agreed. And that’s the problem with government… it is not a voluntary association. We are, at times, forced to participate under threat of lethal violence, whether we want to or not.

  10. I’m torn on this issue myself. But since most of the comments so far are on the pro-property rights side, I’ll make a pro-carry argument:

    Property rights are not without limitation. For instance, no employer or shopkeeper can discriminate against those entering or being employed based on the color of their skin, their nationality, etc.

    Why should those exercising a constitutional right that doesn’t disrupt the operation of the property be discriminated against?

    I can see limiting 1st amendment rights on private property, since having to tolerate a demonstration in your store would substantially interfere with your operation.

    But concealed carry? The whole point is to NOT be disruptive. Up until the point that a criminal decides to be VERY disruptive.

    • Interesting take – but the exercise of who you are (minority, skin color, etc…) is not a choice. You cannot change your skin color, but you can certainly remove your weapon.

  11. I think there are a couple of different situations:

    1) A business where I am a customer or vendor
    If they post, I respect their property rights and either do not patronize (as a customer) or do not carry while on their premises.
    2) A business where I am an employee
    As said by others: change your WORKPLACE or CHANGE your workplace. Fight for parking lot exemptions so you can at least have some protection for your commute. (NOTE: parking lot exemptions do NOTHING for those who commute by public transit)
    3) A private residence
    Something I haven’t really thought through. Do you ask/tell casual acquaintances you are going to visit? Assume that you can’t? Carry without asking? (Easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission?)

    Side issue: Texas requires the 30.06 signage. I see lots of ‘concealed handguns’ or ‘handguns’ not allowed signs that don’t meet this legal standard. Since it is not legally binding should I consider it at all?

  12. I suppose the owners of businesses that post the “No Guns Allowed” signs fear you guys more than they fear the criminals. That’s pretty funny when you think about it.

    • No, they’re acting under an unbelievably stupid and delusional belief that criminals will not bring guns into these places if there’s a sign on the door. You should be very familiar with things and people who are delusional and unbelievably stupid, since I assume you check your blog and its followers’ responses often.

      Or, at best, they’re covering their asses legally in the event that a gun “goes off” and hurts a customer.

      But, hey, I guess it is kind of funny, since anyone who fears a law-abiding citizen practicing their Constitutional right is either mentally damaged or a tyrant at heart. Maybe sad is the word, not funny.

      • I had a General Manager of a Mall in Norfolk, VA tell me their ban on all weapons was to prevent some law abiding citizen from getting into a shoot out with a criminal. He and the owners were convinced it would happen. Security doesn’t carry weapons either. I was given a no comment type statement when I asked about the insurance policy.

        I told him he shouldn’t believe what he sees in film as real life.

        Still property rights should trump but be limited to the building. The parking lot should be open.

        If the property owners are responsible for safety, where would the line be drawn? Would a security team be sufficient? What level of security? How about a clone of the TSA protecting a mall?

        There are no guarantees in life. Not safety, fairness or health. Sometimes you make a decision with the best information you have at the time.

      • “Or, at best, they’re covering their asses legally in the event that a gun “goes off” and hurts a customer.”

        Bingo. I’ve checked and that’s the only reason my place of employment bans guns. It’s all about liability. Nice try though MikeB.

    • It’s pretty moronic, when you think about. The law abiding citizen who respects that sign will disarm, the criminal intent on committing armed robbery, murder, or whatever crime he has in mind, won’t think twice about violating a request of the property owner.

      • I think this policy is an example of “progressives” misunderstanding human nature. Progressives believe that a man’s environment can be manipulated to produce desired behavior. While this is true in the extreme (say, prison) it is generally not true in the kind of civil society we want to live in.

    • MikeyB – Very disappointing since you usually typically try to make a cogent argument (usually wrongheaded, but cogent). Instead you went with tired rhetoric.

  13. As a third shift convenience store clerk in New Hampshire, my Massachusetts based employer required all employees to sign a “No fire arms agreement” in accordance with their employment rules.
    Of course I signed. And of course I continue to work with my concealed Glock 19.
    Breaking that rule is not breaking the law in NH.
    That being said, were NH to pass some weird “gas station gun ban” as I believe Wisconsin recently considered, I would find employment elsewhere.
    It is also my employers position that during a robbery, company protocol is to comply completely with the aggressors directions. In a bizarre fashion,my employer is assuming responsibility for the robbers actions, and actively dismisses their employees ability to make decisions regarding that employees safety.
    At any rate, losing my job is obviously preferable to losing my life.

  14. Property owners have the right to set rules about their property, and I have the right to laugh at them when they get robbed.

  15. The article poses this as a “gun rights v. property rights” issue, which I think is done to (deliberately) politicize and muddle the issue.

    Again, I see this as more of a “property rights v. property rights” issue. An employee is not a slave, so in the legal contract signed between an employer and employee, where does the property rights of the employer end and the property rights of the employee begin?

    Is the inside of my car, in your lot, yours or mine?

    In Kmart v. Trotti, the court decided that an employee’s “personal space” (locker, cubbie hole, etc.) was not subject to search by the employer due to a reasonable expectation of privacy. Although this could be gotten around (as I understand) by putting in an employment contract that your locker is subject to search.

    How does that relate to my car? Can my employee make me sign a contract that says I must allow my car to be searched on his lot as a condition of my employment? Can my employer consent to the search of my car on his lot by police without asking my permission? It would seem that “my car is my car is my car no matter where I park it” is a pretty reasonable property rights argument to make.

    • I had no intention of muddying the issue – I think the issue came pre-muddied.

      I am genuinely wondering what the “right” thing is. Ultimately every day I go to work I am engaging in a voluntary act. Other than loss of money and prestige, I am under no legal compulsion to show up to work.

      I am leaning toward being patient and hoping culture catches up with reality as it pertains to responsible citizens and firearms.

  16. What about those business’s that provide parking for customer’s? They can’t very well justify restricting an employee’s rights while allowing customers to park there with guns in their vehicles. How about business’s that allow customers to come who may be armed? Should they then be allowed to prohibit their workers from being the same?

  17. 2A rights are property rights. That said, a property owner has sole and absolute authority over the conditions of access to and use of his property. We have the choice to voluntarily associate with other property owners or not and should respect their desires regarding their property, regardless of the differing state to state legalities.

    I hold the opposite stance where no voluntary association is present. Meaning, if I am forced to go somewhere under threat of force (traffic/criminal court, land/building permits office, etc.) then I have no obligation to abide by any “rules” the kidnappers enact as a condition of my presence there.

  18. Unless it is a sole proprietorship, the business has no property rights. A legal fiction cannot have rights, rights are for individuals.

  19. I am solidly on the side of property rights but I think that, if a business bans CCW for it’s employees/customers, that business should be held legally liable for the safety of said employees/customers.

    We know the honor system doesn’t work, if they want a gun free zone then they need to have real security. I think the cost of metal detectors and armed guards will dissuade most businesses from taking that path.

  20. When an employee parks in an employers’ parking lot, the employee has a legal license to park under the rules set by the employer. The “it’s my car so I’ll put what I want inside it” argument is senseless.

    Yes, it’s your car. Yes, you can put whatever you legally choose into your own car. But your employer has a perfect right to exclude guns, explosives, inflatable sex dolls, campaign signs, pictures of people in flagrante delicto, dogs, cats, porta-potties and a lot of other stuff that the employer doesn’t want on it’s property –including you. And people have the right to get a different job if they don’t like their employer’s rules.

    Guns bans are stupid, yes. Insisting that only gun owners have rights borders on insanity.

  21. I don’t patronize businesses that post signs as long as there is any other option (there almost always is). If you’re working for one of these companies that prohibits carry, take as much money from them as you can while seeking employment elsewhere. Taking money from them isn’t really the same as giving them money you’ve earned.

    As far as private property goes, given that private property rights have so many exceptions to them; I think there should be a difference between property open to the public (stores, movie theaters, restaurants), and property that is closed to the public or invite only (private homes, businesses that are not open to the general public). Carrying a concealed firearm shouldn’t be really any different than wearing a crucifix or reading a book of your choice while out to lunch at a business open to the public. Guns merely being in holsters are of no harm. Brandishing or a negligent discharge should be grounds for ejection the same as protesting or soap boxing on private property.

    • From a natural law perspective, there are no exceptions to private property rights. That’s not to say that our current legal system hasn’t put exceptions upon the rights of property owners. However, there is no difference between “open to the public” and “invite only” property with regards to the authority of the owner. If a restaurant owner wanted to restrict his patrons to those who don’t wear crucifixes or read books, he has every natural right to do so… just as a home owner would. Now I don’t think that’s a good business practice (same as with banning guns), but it’s his choice to make. Just as it’s your choice to eat at a restaurant more in line with your views.

      • “If a restaurant owner wanted to restrict his patrons to those who are white, he has every natural right to do so… just as a home owner would.”

        So would that would be acceptable?

        • I think it’s vile and bigotted, but a property owner certainly has the right to refuse service to anyone. I also think that good and moral people would boycott that business into failure.

          Obviously, I’m speaking from a natural law perspective. Our country’s laws prohibit property owners from discriminating based on certain criteria (among which gun ownership isn’t).

      • A negligent discharge from a gun left in a holster is about as likely as the accelerator sticking on a car causing a crash. It can happen, but its a statistical improbability, and when it does it’s the result of a manufacturing defect.

        If people are screwing around with their guns in public rather than leaving them in their holsters, they would be subject to violating multiple local statutes; just like running a red light or driving on the wrong side of the street.

        Having the gun isn’t the danger, doing something negligent with it is just as having a cell phone isn’t a danger, texting while driving is.

      • Where some of the countries of which my Protestant ancestors came from, the crucifix was very dangerous. Rhineland-Pfalz being a good example.

  22. Property Rights, no question. The essential question is, “Is there any recourse?”

    Without Property Rights, there is no recourse, no order, no law, no society. The recourse is “Go elsewhere.”

    Self-imposed restrictions of Gun Rights is optional. Society will survive that.

  23. In Oklahoma, the employer’s right to restrict guns from their property does not include weapons in a locked car. So far, so good.

    • So Oklahoma does not follow a true conservative path. They have infringed upon property rights. It is the owner of the property who gets to decide if you can bring a gun, o a drink or anything else on the premises.

      • Actually, no.

        The reason is simple: when your employer dictates what may, or may not, be present in YOUR automobile, he infringes upon YOUR property rights.

  24. If you want a business friendly state, happy employees do wonders for the bottom line of companies. Employees who do not feel safe while undefended working for you will not produce much.

    It’s amazing that everyone could get together!

    • People have been “undefended” until recently and seem to have produced just fine. You are coming up with reasons to infringe upon property rights.

      • I have refused work at certain employers because some of the unionized work force was dangerous to the management. Since the employer wanted me disarmed, I said no thanks.

      • And you are assuming that before modern CHL laws people did not carry firearms concealed in or on their vehicle, person or effects. This is a naive and erroneous assumption.

  25. While I understand that property owners have the right to limit my personal freedoms, and that my entering their property is probably de facto agreement on my part to have my rights limited (little help here, Ralph?) in matters such as smoking, carrying firearms, etc., I’m not sure that many property owners with a “no firearms” policy understand that they are now taking responsibility for my safety and that of my family or anyone else they are bringing into the establishment. By prohibiting me from defending myself with the most effective means available, are they not taking on that responsibility for me in the same moment that I pass into their private property?

    I am not aware of a court case to challenge the rights of property owners or otherwise define their responsibilities. I would imagine the standard of review would be pretty strict for most stores, restaurants, etc. It would be difficult to prove that they knew there was measurable risk to their patrons and prove a duty in this regard. Nevertheless, “concealed” means “concealed”, and what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

    The fact that the two rights, property and carriage of firearms, intersect in a rather blurry area is highlighted by the legal consequences of carrying a concealed firearm in these places. The property owner can ask you to leave, and if you don’t, the penalty is a charge of criminal trespass in most places that I am aware of. If you do leave, there is no criminal charge brought, at least not that I am aware of (again — Ralph or other lawyers, some help here). The bias seems to be in favor of the Second Amendment over the others, at least you are offered the opportunity to leave private property rather than immediately facing criminal charges. Private property rights come into play when the 2A believers won’t leave when asked.

    The only thing that signs like that make me do is a) consider my options for other services of that kind and b) check whether or not I am printing. I have a significant baseline doubt whether the property owners have considered their responsibility toward me and so I would rather run the risk of being asked to leave than give up my own responsibility to people I do not trust and whose security plan is less robust than my own.

    • You say bringing arms onto a premise will defend yourself. It may, but having a gun doesn`t automatically mean you are defended – you can easily be taken by surprise, shot in the back etc. Having a gun is not (pardon the pun) a “silver bullet” to safety.

      • Gee, really? Thanks, Mike. I’ve never had someone point that out to me. Wow, I’ll have to reconsider my entire worldview based on your incisive and cogent commentary.

        /sarc

      • So you’re saying that maybe I should consider concealed carry in terms of a whole mindset of personal safety and not depend on the carriage of an inanimate object as a talisman against random violence?

        Wow, wait until I tell my buddies Jeff Cooper and Mas Ayoob about this revolutionary idea you’ve come up with. Maybe I can invent a theory of situational awareness and get it published, use colors so people can remember it. People like colors, how about Black, White, Yellow, Orange and Red? Maybe…a range…no, a spectrum…of use-of-force options, including use of a firearm as the last resort?

        Such a brilliant vista you’ve opened to us all, Mike. Thanks, buddy!

        *thumbs up*

      • If you jam the edge of a book or a large crucifix into someone’s larynx, you will crush it and he will choke to death. If you poke him in the eye with a crucifix, you will blind him. Where I live, you are entitled to use deadly force to defend yourself against an attack likely to cause serious injury or death. Both of these examples qualify.

    • “By prohibiting me from defending myself with the most effective means available, are they not taking on that responsibility for me in the same moment that I pass into their private property?”

      Not in Ohio. Property owner is not responsible.

      • Not in California either. As a general proposition, a property owner is under no obligation to provide for the safety of visitors or invitees. There are exceptions, but none of them rise to the level of requiring armed guards. For example, a bar may have a duty to employ bouncers if there are incidents of brawling, or a duty to light an adjacent parking lot where assaults on its customers occur. To impose such a duty wouold require everyone to have arms and/or armed guards for the benefit of guests, and I can’t see any court so holding. Property owners are not liable when Charles Manson comes a callin’. The law believes that most such outbursts of violence are “unforseeable.”

  26. There has been a lot of discussion regarding carrying regardless of signage, legal ramifications of such, safety responsibilities, and how to carry (no printing, in vehicle, etc) in/around those establishments.

    I think a greater question is why should we give businesses our money (or make them money through our employment) when they have such disregard for our own property rights? If a black person could somehow hide his race, I think he would still refuse to patronize a store with a “No Negroes” sign, just based on principle. Why are we not more indignant, with boycott letters flooding these misguided businesses?

  27. Property rights. Period. End of sentence. If you are not the owner, you are there at the owner’s permission. They set the rules. You don’t like them, leave.

    • My vehicle is my property, not my employer’s. Business owners and employers do NOT have the right to tell me what I can and can’t have inside my own vehicle, whether it’s a firearm or any other legal item.

  28. My guess is that a “no guns” policy is borne out of concerns for liability .
    More or less.
    I suppose in a libertarian society property owners can mandate under what conditions workers, guests, and customers can do on their property.
    I really think if property owners are going to declare ” gun free ” zones, then said owners should be responsible for public safety on the premises.

    • “if property owners are going to declare ” gun free ” zones, then said owners should be responsible for public safety on the premises.”

      THIS, in addition to additional language that grants property owners/businesses civil immunity should a DGU occur on premises upon which they do not decree that citizens forgo exercising their rights is the way to put an end to all private gun-free-zones.

  29. As always, the free market solution is the best one. The owners of private property have every right to set whatever policy they like – they can prohibit guns, they can prohibit crucifixes, they can prohibit books and yes, they can even prohibit races of people. As someone else poited out, while they DO have that right, it is an INCREDIBLY unwise business decision, and they will be punished for it by the loss of money they will incur, or the inability to keep their business staffed, or the lack of customers, etc etc. Basically they will suffer financial losses which will make them unable to compete, and most likely their doors will be shut permanently soon enough – IF the People care enough about the issue to boycott said business, restaurant, store, whatever. No new law, regulation or other form of govt intervention is necessary – in fact it could ONLY make the situation WORSE. Libertarian ideas WORK. We need LESS govt, not more – this situation in Tennessee sounds to me like an example of Problem, Reaction, Solution – whereby a problem is purposely manufactured and brought to the attention of people, who have a predictable reaction to said problem – then govt steps in with a pre-conceived “solution” all ready to go, a “solution” which ALWAYS ends up giving MORE power to govt. Don’t fall for it, Tennessee – we can have Property Rights AND the Second Amendment; we don’t need to compromise one or the other, nor do we need govt to step in and regulate. I also think the poster who mentioned places that prohibit guns having a right to then provide defense for the people who frequent said place has an excellent point – lawsuits should be able to be brought against places that don’t allow their employees/customers to defend themselves and then fail to provide adequate defense. What you want to do is to hit them where it hurts, in the WALLET, which will force many of these places to have a change of heart regarding 2A rights WITHOUT involving big daddy govt.

    • The issue, is that you assume that there is, was, and forever shall be, an alternative.

      The problem is that, often due to government meddling, there is NO alternative.

    • “The owners of private property have every right to set whatever policy they like – they can prohibit guns, they can prohibit crucifixes, they can prohibit books and yes, they can even prohibit races of people.”

      Actually, federal law prohibits private businesses from discriminating on teh basis of race and other protected classes.

    • Actually, the more recently the amendment has been adopted, the more weight the SCOTUS tends to give it. If amendments conflict in some case, precedence is usually given to the more recent amendment. This would put the Fourth and Fifth Amendments slightly ahead of the First and Second.

      • My point is that the founders obviously thought the 2nd Amendment was more important. By that same logic, prohibition (although repealed) would hold more weight.

  30. I do see this as a property rights issue. My car is my personal property. What is inside it is my concern alone, so long as it stays inside.

    The often cited fallacy that the business may be held responsible fire my potential shooting rampage is as foolish as saying that they would be held responsible if I blew up a bomb in my car because they did not have a “no bombs” sign.

    • It’s not necessary a fallacy that someone will sue. In California anyway, and perhaps all or most states, there is a duty of an employer (under OSHA) to provide “a safe place of employment.” Places of employment where guns are present (except police stations) are considered “unsafe” by the OSHA folks and the workers comp carriers. Under some circumstances, that right to a safe place extends to third persons on the premises, like other subcontractors and business invitees. I just successfully) defended a case where it was claimed that an employer had a duty to prohibit its employees from carrying weapons in their cars so as to avoid incidents. And there are enough”postal” incidents where a terminated employee goes to his vehicle and fetches a weapon and kills the managers or some other employees. This fear drives the bans.

  31. For what it is worth, I was thinking about employees in a workplace, not the public in an accommodation.

    As to the “no guns allowed” sign, it is a great deal easier to go up the street to a gun-friendly business than it is to go up the street for a gun-friendly employer.

  32. I am surprised (or at least haven’t seen) any discussion of smoking at work. They have kicked smokers out of the building, then 20 feet away from entrances – and some have actually disallowed it on “campus” (some hospitals for example).

    This is a legal activity (albeit probably not a smart thing). Yet they continually and gradually have made it difficult.

    • That is usually compelled by statute. Hell, in California they are trying to ban smoking in public parks. “It’s for the children.”

  33. As bad as MA is, signage (at least gun related) is not legally binding when posted on private property. That means that if some business owner has a “gun-free zone” sign on the entrance to his store, it doesn’t really mean anything. If he discovers that you have a gun, then he can force you to leave his property or you will be charged with trespassing. You cannot be charged simply for having a gun on private property.

  34. I see businesses that post “No shoes, No shirt, No Service” signs.

    But I never see any signs mentioning anything about “No Underwear, No Service”

    Out of sight, out of mind.

    • +1 – In Missouri, the first thing a business owner will do is ask you to leave if somehow you are noted to have a firearm. The cops are only involved if you refuse to leave.

      Banks, schools and hospitals may be different.

  35. Neither the 2A or property rights really exist because some states will allow you to have a gun if they feel like it, and the govt. is the real property owner not you. They just rent(TAXES) you the property and if you don’t pay up they take it back and RENT it to someone else.

    • And thus it has been for thousands upon thousands of years. Until the Magna Carta, the King owned all the land and lent it to his subjects at his whim and pleasure.

    • Joe, why are you taking that crap? You’ve got the guns, man, and you’ve got right on your side. I thought the whole point of gun ownership is to fight off tyranny.

  36. Property law from a natural rights perspective. The government should not tell anyone what to do with their own land or possessions. The government should also stay out of this whole affair in regards to levying penalties on anyone who disobeys the property owner. Keep it at trespassing.

  37. Florida had a similar law that passed last year. In Florida there is already extensive case law that defines a car as an extension of a person’s home. Which is why we have the charge of “burglary to a vehicle” here, because breaking into a car (legally) is the same as breaking into someone’s home. So if you park your house (or your car) on someone else’s property, who’s property rights win? The determination in Florida was that a gun kept in your car is (legally) the same as a gun kept in your house and so (with the exception of certain government facilities and a few other places) you can keep your gun in your car anywhere you park it.

    This seems like an acceptable solution for gun owners and private property owners alike.

  38. The Bill of Rights does NOT restrict private entities; it restricts the government. You have the right to free speech, but a lawyer’s boss can tell him to take off his “Romney 2012” T-shirt and put a suit on. You have the right to free assembly, but not on your neighbor’s front lawn, and you certainly can’t “freely assemble” around the water cooler when your boss tells you to get back to work. “Free speech” doesn’t include giving a customer a piece of your mind.
    The 2nd Amendment restricts the government, not a business.

    • But Congress does have the constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, and through the miracle of judicial machination that power has been found to extend to virtually every nook and corner of American life.

      Just for the sake of argument, perhaps Congress (instead of state legislatures) should pass a law declaring that any business which engages in or affects interstate commerce (which would include every business in America, the way courts have construed that power in the past) must allow employees who are otherwise lawfully carrying a concealed firearm to keep that firearm locked in their vehicle at the workplace.

    • I agree with your points, however where does the businesses authority end? Can your employer stipulate you not own guns at all, even in your private dwelling? I think not. I consider the inside of my car to be my private property and the trunk or glovebox is no different from my closet or safe at home. So long as the gun stays safely in my car and out of sight, it is my property rights that apply.

    • I agree with your analysis. I have always thought the correct way to balance Second Amendment rights with property rights is to hold property owners strictly liable in tort for the personal security of invitees if the landowner takes away the right of ther invitee to defend themselves. That balance forces teh landowner to weight the cost of their decision.

  39. It seems to me that even if a gun owner is using HIS vehicle to transport a firearm, he still cannot make use of a private parking lot for said vehicle if the property owner doesn’t desire firearms on their property.

    The property owner should not be held liable for the safety of others on his property because he never made such a guarantee and coming onto his property was the choice of the gun owner. The Concealed Carrier is responsible for his safety. If he decides to voluntarily make his life more dangerous, that’s his choice.

    This sort of legislation allows anti-gun groups to paint gun owners as bellicose and ignorant men who seriously have a problem with basic property rights (not the case 99% of the time). It serves little purpose and should be abandoned.

    • The problem with that argument is that many states view the private conveyance along the same lines as a dwelling. Given that view, if a firearm stays in a conveyance, then it is technical occupying the conveyance and not the property the conveyance is located.

  40. Wait a minute, what are we really debating here? Lets get to the issue. Which is, so far I as I see, that employees are left defenseless by their employers while on company grounds, a statue supported by the legislature. In other words, the government is supporting a violation of your Bill of Rights by proxy, the business.

    There is already civil and criminal liability for companies to safeguard employees and customers from reasonable harm while on company grounds, or through the conduct of their business (slippery floors, faulty elevators, bad business practice, medical malpractice, negligence, etc.). Where is the liability to provide a reasonable level of protection for their employees from those who wish to inflict premeditated harm? An issue easily mitigated by NOT disarming citizens/employees.

    Employers are not in business to protect employees, but suddenly they have the capacity to “infringe” on your right to “keep and bear arms” for self defense? If a deranged gunman enters the building to Kalashnikov everyone in the office and I am legally disarmed, do I have civil or criminal recourse for damages sustained in the course of my daily affairs? Probably not, should their be? I did not disarm myself…

    The bill of rights, so far as I see, is not a limitation of government against its people, but a protection of people’s rights from each other… And government is a collection of the people, right?

    Just my ramblings.

  41. 2A all the way but employees also have the property rights argument on their side. Let’s take a look at just a few disturbing statistics: 290,000 Americans died in road rage-related incidents in 1 year, 82% of stalkers stand outside the victim’s home or place of employment, and stalkers kill 30% of the 4,300 women who are murdered each year. It’s no secret that business lobbyists have been standing in the way of legislation that protect employees from safety problems such as stalking, which leaves employees vulnerable. With regard to “property rights”, let’s use some quick logic. Employees typically own their cars. Therefore, the car is the employee’s property. If the employer wants to pay the car note, fill the tank, pay for repairs, and insure the car, then the employee is driving a “company car”, which could be defined as “company property”. Otherwise, we are presented with a slippery slope if employers are given the right to tell employees what they can or can’t keep in their cars (ie their own property). Moreover, many employers rent the building spaces, so they don’t even own the land (ie parking spaces) in question. The bottom line is “We the people” have the right to bear arms to protect us. I am not sure if you all have heard about the NRA’s “safe commute act”. Career politicians like State Rep Maggart District #45 TN played games with the “safe commute act” because this bill conflicted with her special interests. In general, if we want to protect 2A we need to vote out hack politicians who stay too long forget who they serve—and when politicians like Maggart serve notice on the people, make decision to advance their own politician careers, and employ bullying tactics to keep power at all costs, it’s time to send them packing. End the status quo. Send Maggart a message to brush up that resume. Vote Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers (retired) State Representative District #45 during early voting or on August 2, 2012!

  42. The place to start is to ask where rights come from. They come from self-ownership.

    Thus the right to keep and bear arms is a very strong natural right, since it is an exercise of self-ownership intended to maintain self-ownership. That’s why it has the strongest language in the Bill of Rights.

    There is no natural right to ownership of anything but myself, or secondarily things I myself have either manufactured, or have been manufactured by others and I have obtained through fair exchange. There there is no natural right to ownership of real estate: no one can manufacture real estate, only claim and hold it by force.

    Thus the right to keep and bear arms trumps any right based on ownership of property, since property, in the terms of real estate, is an artificial, i.e. invented right.

    BTW, if there is any right to ownership of real estate, then it has to be shared equally by all. Henry George had it right in terms of libertarian philosophy: everyone should own the entire planet equally, and there should be an organization (he used government as that organization) devoted to collecting rents from the users of any real estate and distributing the proceeds equally to all. The approach makes sense for a nation, each citizen being the holder of a share that exists by virtue of that citizen having life and liberty, so each citizen can have but one share. The nation is thus in a sense a corporation of the whole.
    So under George’s quite sensible view, the right to keep and bear arms does not conflict with property rights, since all property is equally and jointly owned. The question then becomes one of contractual rights, and that is where the matter of employees enters in: the employer has built the business, and that business is his property, and to work in that business is thus a contractual relationship, so if the owner wants “no arms here” as an element of the contract, that is his right.

    Another aspect then is home rights, which is where “a man’s home is his castle” comes from. The right to a safe home is quite close to being a natural right, indeed arguably is one, so the owner of a home (and its other residents) has stronger claim to a right to ban arms from that home than an employer does to do so at his business.

    And that’s a good place to stop.

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