The Missouri legislature’s been steadily moving a bill through the sausage grinder that’s ostensibly intended to prevent discrimination against gun owners. It would basically make anyone who owns a heater or has used one in the past a protected class. “A Missouri Senate panel has endorsed legislation making it illegal for employers to discriminate against current or prospective workers who have concealed weapon permits or have used a legal firearm. The measure would prohibit refusing to hire an applicant solely because the person has used a firearm for a legal purpose, such as self-defense.”

More from stlouis.cbslocal.com:

Employers would also be prohibited from classifying job applicants differently based on whether they have a concealed carry permit or have used a gun in the past.

The House passed the bill last month. The Senate’s general laws committee approved it on a 12-0 vote Tuesday, sending it to the full Senate.

My gut tells me that this is a solution in search of a problem. I not all that keen with the patchwork of classes of people being given special protection, at least like this. Is gun owner the new LGBT?  Has anyone you know actually been discriminated against because he luvs him some shootin’ irons? Have you?

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48 Responses to Question of the Day: Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of Your Guns?

  1. I tend to keep my gun habits to myself and very close friends…Made the mistake of having a couple of co-workers sign as witness on my NFA gun trust..Had to talk to one of them about bringing up my suppressors and sbr’s in general converstations with other people. I do see people get a weird look when the subject of firearms come up and I’ve been asked if I was a gun nut after those converstations which is why I keep to myself now.

    If someone has a general interest in talking about firearms I’m more than happy to discuss it with them..I won’t get into NFA or other topics until we’ve talked a couple of times.

  2. I don’t know the correct verbiage of this but, could a good defense attorney use this law to claim discrimination against someone convicted of a gun crime? Just a thought.

    As an answer to your question, it really depends on your definition of discrimination, Texas law tells me that I can have my weapon in my car. My company policy is no weapons on the property. I was going to go to the range after work one day and asked my boss if it was an issue having my weapons in the car so I could go to the range after work. It is closer to the range from work than to the house and then to the range (30 minutes home and 30 minutes back then 30 more to the range). His answer was, it wouldn’t have been if you hadn’t asked me. Now that I know about it I would have to escort you from the property if you had them. So that might be construed as discrimination, maybe. This is also a win the battle lose the war situation, so I chose not to have my weapons in the car. Also discrimination is in the eye of the beholder.

    I do feel I have been discriminated against because I am a OFWG, and I used to smoke, but that is not covered is it?

    • Texas does allow you to keep and transport your weapon in your car just about anywhere, even without a CHL, unless your otherwise prevented from owning a weapon. And last year Texas past a law that prevents business owners from prohibiting employes to keep their weapons in their car on employer provided parking, with the exception of school property and on certian gas well sites and chemical plants.

      I am licensed and even carry at work. My employer knows it and even welcomes it. All of my co-workers know and approve as well. To me, I thought it prudent and proper to ask and recieve permission to carry during work time and to provide that info who work with me instead of those that work with me find out by surprise in case of an accidental flash of my concealed weapon.

      Much to my surprise, it was not only approved but very much welcomed by everone. None of them are afraid of me or apprehensive, not one little bit. And my employer wants to get his own CHL as well now and I will be helping him go thru the process of obtaining one.

  3. “the patchwork of classes of people being given special protection”

    Nationally, the passing of those other laws is way excessive. I think this new law helps shed light on those previous special class laws that have lead to many abuses of justice, fairness, liberty, and equality. Otherwise, the MO media story lacked journalistic investigation into any real-world related issues. No, I do not personally know of any gun owner who was openly discriminated against. Discrimination has probably occurred many times in liberal anti-gun culture places of employment when employees were known to own guns, hunt, etc.

  4. I have been descriminated on many occasions in my home town because I chose to open carry when I got my first pistol.

    The amount of crap you get is amazing from the completely ignorant to the billegertly hostil, they all got something bad to say or at the very least I am given the stink-eye!

    It shocked me that I was treated this way in New Hampshire, an FFL state with a looooong history of citizen gun ownership back to colonial days….at least 200-300 years!

    After constant harassment by the police and store owners I got a CWL and now walk around with enough firepower to take down a heard of grizzly’s and nobody is the wiser!

    • “Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws–always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of the trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: ‘Please pass this so that I won’t be able to do something I know I should stop.’ Nyet, tovarisch, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them ‘for their own good’–not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.'”
      –Narrator (Manuel), The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

  5. Zimmerman might have to move to Missouri if this law’s passed, because I guaran-damn-tee you that he won’t be hired anywhere in the state of FL even if he avoids a prison sentence.

  6. This story is hilariously typical of government… we must protect property rights by violating property rights.

    • What is it with the attitude that “property rights” are the be-all-and-end-all of all rights? Property rights have always been balanced against other constitutional provisions and public policy concerns. The case of Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74 (1980) provides a good example of this in the context of free speech laws.

      The bottom line is this: If a property owner makes his property open to the public, he or she should either allow his or her guests and invitees to carry a means of self-defense, or the property owner should take legal responsibility for their safety. I don’t see that as being an unreasonable infringement on so-called property rights.

      • What is with the attitude that “the Constitution” is the be-all-and-end-all of all rights?

        Property rights have existed since the dawn of humanity, easily pre-dating the Constitution. Any balancing of property rights against “constitutional provisions and public policy concerns” is a violation of our natural, inherent rights. What you call “open to the public” is actually just an “open invitation” which is simply and easily revoked by the owner for any reason he deems fit. Without recognizing an owner’s sole and absolute authority over his own property, all other rights (including those protected by the Constitution) are undermined.

        You are under no obligation to enter a store where guns aren’t allowed.

        • So I take it you would have no problem with a business that posted stating “whites only”

        • I’d have a big problem with it and I wouldn’t shop there because the owner is obviously a vile person. But I wouldn’t force him, under penalty of law, to accept customers he doesn’t want to serve.

          I think discriminating against someone for anything other than their willful actions or demonstrated character is immoral and repugnant. Yet, we are free to voluntarily associate with whomever we want based on whichever critiria we choose.

          If a black person could somehow hide his race, do you think we would still patronize a “whites only” store? Why, as gun owners, do we continue to give our business to stores that are similarly discriminatory against firearms?

        • Often because there is no practical alternative. I know of only a few stores in my area that allow firearms. Most businesses don’t want to deal with the risk of lawsuit or are forced to have such policies as part of their insurance agreement.

        • Henry you are mistaken. I hope you agree that you have no right to kill a guest on your private property just because you feel like it. Similarly, you cannot restrain a guest on your property and allow someone else to kill them just because you feel like it. Every citizen has the inalienable right to life … and that right supersedes property rights.

          A private property owner cannot constrain how a guest responds to an attack. Nor can they constrain what tools the guest can use to respond to an attack. Doing so violates the guest’s right to life. Any concerns about property damage that result from a guest’s response to an attack are minor because the guest or the private property owner’s insurance can compensate the property owner for any property damages.

        • Obviously the constraints on the exercise of your inherent rights is where they would infringe upon the inherent rights of others.

          Your right to life is an extension of your property rights. You own your own life and body and no one can justly infringe upon that body.

          Property rights is the basis for every other right. If that goes unrecognized, the whole “inherent rights” thing falls apart.

          I have the authority to make whatever restrictions I choose for people who enter my property…. and anyone who finds those restrictions too repugnant to their rights (or life or property) has the authority to voluntarily refuse to enter.

          I don’t force guests onto my property. Similarly, guest can’t force their way onto my property against my wishes. Since a guest has no right to be on your property, and is there by invitation only, then he must heed to owner’s wishes.

        • Inherent property rights are subordinate to the right to life. If you don’t believe this assertion, tell me why a private property owner cannot experiment with bombs in a suburban back yard or why a business is liable if they fail to maintain safe walkways (e.g. free of ice).

          Inherent property rights are about securing the retention, use, and enjoyment of the property for the owner. They do not empower the property owner to endanger or assault anyone. It is silly, immoral, and illegal for a property owner to assert that their guests are subject to conditions that violate their person.

          A guest with a holstered handgun (especially when the firearm is concealed) does not affect the retention, use, or enjoyment of the property for the owner. Denying firearms has nothing to do with property rights and everything to do with life rights.

        • “Any balancing of property rights against ‘constitutional provisions and public policy concerns’ is a violation of our natural, inherent rights.”
          So you are one of “those” guys – the Constitution just isn’t good enough for you. Hmmm. Natural inherent rights, eh? [Rolls eyes]. I’ll be sure to try that natural rights argument the next time I’m in court. I can just see it now – the judge will say “Mr. Grine, you have any citation to authority supporting this theory of “natural inherent rights?” “Um, yes, your Honor, I heard about it on the internet. Oh, and John Locke and other philosophers wrote some very interesting academic books on the subject, indentifying as examples of such rights “life, liberty, and estate (property).” In fact, Locke’s writing may have influenced the wording of the Declaration of Independence, which includes a reference to the natural unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yeah, I realize that the term “property” got left out in favor of “pursuit of happiness.” And as far as having any LEGAL authority…. well, your honor, not so much, no. These are simply rights my client has by virtue of the fact that he is living.” Laughter from the Court follows….

          As far as the argument that “you are under no obligation to enter a store where guns aren’t allowed,” that is true, but also irrelevant to the issue at hand. Your argument is a variation on the old “Morton’s Fork” logical fallacy – the proverbial catch 22 situation. For example, the Nazis were, of course, happy to let German Jews pack up and leave Germany rather than face discrimination in their home country. Of course, the reason your argument does not work is that it can easily be turned around: property owners have the option of not making their property open to the public.

          But since we are talking public policy here, why would we as gun owners want to force a catch 22 on ourselves when a more reasonable solution is so readily at hand? Again, we should push for laws that require landowners that seek to make their property open to the public to have the responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of their invitees IF they do not allow their invitees to protect themselves via the privilege of concealed carry. I can’t see how that policy would affront your precious notion of property rights.

        • Any policy that uses force to impart one person’s will upon another is a violation of justice and liberty.

          The very essence of government is force and I would value to Constitution if it actually constrained that government in defense of the people and of liberty. But, since the Constitution was either not designed for that purpose or has utterly failed in it’s design, discussions of a more “ideal” solution would be appropriate.

          To answer your position that mine is a logical fallacy… you are assuming that the government of Germany has some sort of legitimate claim over all the land. That is a false premise. Each Jew had a legitimate right to remain on their own property and it was an injustice to call for them to abandon it. This is not the case for a gun owner voluntarily deciding to enter (or not) the property of another person. The gun owner has no legitimate right to enter another’s property and therefore can only enter via invitation and while meeting any particular standards for entry. Just because the property owner extends an open invitation does not mean that he cannot impose restrictions on entry. Such as a night club charging an entrance fee.

          By the way, condescension is the mark of a weak arguement or a generally distastefull person.

        • “discussions of a more “ideal” solution are in order.”
          —–
          We’re not at the “take off; nuke the site from orbit” stage yet, are we?

        • No, I more meant a solution that involves implementing the ideals of true liberty.

          Great flick, btw.

        • Ah, Henry, you finally touched on the key: Liberty. Many people confuse liberty and freedom. Freedom is “anything goes” and taken to its extreme freedom is anarchy. Liberty is slightly and yet importantly different. Liberty means “anything goes until it hurts or endangers someone else, then we have to rationally resolve the conflict for mutual benefit of everyone involved.”

          In the case at hand the resolution is simple. Does a property owner hurt or endanger a guest when the property owner forbids firearms? Yes. An unarmed person cannot effectively defend their life from an armed attacker. Does a guest hurt or endanger a property owner if the guest keeps a concealed handgun in a holster and follows gun safety rules? The answer is no.

          The solution of mutual benefit for the property owner and the guest is that the guest keeps their handgun holstered and goes about whatever business was at hand. To deny entry to the guest deprives the property owner of whatever benefit the guest brought to the property owner (whether it was an uplifting social visit to the owner or a business purchase contributing to the owner’s profit). It also deprives the guest of whatever they sought to do. And to deny the guest their firearm is to subject them to danger.

          The problem with your position is that no one has any inherent anything unless they are standing on private property that they own. What happens to an orphan or a homeless person that does not own property?

        • Does a property owner hurt or endanger a guest when the property owner forbids firearms?

          No. The guest is not forced to enter. The proposed law forces people to involuntarily associate with other people with whom they’d rather not associate. That is contrary to liberty and justice.

          There is no “mutual benefit” if one of the parties is being force against his will to participate.

        • And telling people to give up their right to life under any circumstance isn’t contrary to liberty and justice?

          Everyone has to give up something in a society … like I pointed out when I said that a suburban private property owner cannot experiment with bombs in their back yard. Telling a property owner to graciously deal with (gasp!) a concealed handgun carrier that follows gun safety rules is like telling a child to be nice to their sibling, it’s not a big deal. Requiring a citizen to give up their right to life almost everywhere in order to work, conduct business, shop, receive healthcare, etc. is an extreme burden and tears at the fabric of society … just ask the roughly 2 million citizens who were victims of violent crime in the U.S. last year.

        • [Property rights have existed since the dawn of humanity, easily pre-dating the Constitution.]

          True. But “property rights” pertaining to land didn’t develop until the beginning of agriculture. The right to possess a weapon is far older.

  7. This sort of law is a regrettable necessity during our time of cultural transition.Its easy to forget that the liberals have been calling the shots with regard to gun laws for a good chunk of recent history,and our collective troubles with discrimination by police and employers reflect that conflict between our recent national history toward statism & disarmament under Clinton and others ,and our *very* recent national return to something resembling what the Founders intended with regard to gun laws.Lots of uninformed folks think guns have to be registered like a car,even though the only Federal gun registry in America (etrace/NTC)is a passive one.

    As far as the office goes,don’t share *too much* of your personal life with the coworkers.Just like its unwise for someone to hit on a female coworker,by the same principle its probably not a good idea to talk about your Knob Creek Machinegun shoot with the cubicle-mate.Like MLK Jr,I have a dream that hoplolphobia will cease to exist in the workplaces,courtrooms,and police stations of America.But that day ain’t here yet.

  8. One of my daughters friends can’t come over because I own guns . Nevermimd the fact all but the one I’m carrying are locked in a safe .

  9. I have never been overtly discriminated against for being a gun owner, but I have had people say odd things to me when they found-out (usually inadvertently) like, “Well, I’ll be sure and be nice you you.” and I had one person flatly tell me “I cannot not think of any reason why you would need a gun”. (To which I replied, “If you have some time outside of work, I’d be glad to explain it to you, as this is neither the place or time for such a discussion.” They never took me up on that offer.)
    The Company I worked for had a strict “No Firearms on Campus” policy, which I never violated because in my State salaried people are “at will employees”, which means you could have your employment terminated without “showing cause” at any time.
    I don’t banter about my firearms ownership for reasons of personal security. No NRA stickers on the car. But if someone asks me about firearms ownership, I will gladly discuss it in an appropriate setting.

  10. I absolutely have not been fired from a job because I was getting my PTC. The fact that I was fired from Best Buy had absolutely nothing to do with me pointing out (less than two weeks before) that their parking lot policy violated MN law. I was fired because I bought a book a day before it was released. Nothing to do with the other because that would have been illegal.
    And I’m sure that the fact that the store’s Asst. Manager literally wet herself when she saw me getting something from Geek Squad also was completely immaterial.

  11. Nah. Most people ’round here kinda get a kick out of a senior citizen who’s packing. If I was a scary young dude, the answer might be different.

  12. I would feel no need to hide my gun ownership in a country built on just laws where the citizens respect those laws and live life as rational, responsible adults.

    So, naturally, I hide my gun ownership completely from all except those I trust most.

  13. You know, this theme of being the persecuted minority is in direct conflict with your claims of being in the majority. You should pick one position and stick with it.

    I personally think the persecuted minority and the grandiose victim suits you best.

  14. Discussing firearms requires tact and strategic thinking. I speak frankly with fellow gun owners. I am more reserved when I am trying to educate someone about the traditions of gun ownership and the persecution that gun owners undergo. For someone who has shown anti-gun bigotry, what I say depends on whether I think they can do me damage. If so, I avoid the topic. If not, its fun honking them off.

  15. Yes I have been discriminated against because of my pro-gun views.! Perhaps one
    of the most blatant examples occured back in 1968. I was in the 4th grade at
    Henley Elementary School outside Klamath Falls in Klamath County, Oregon.
    This “bitch on wheels” school teacher (4th grade) threatened to kick me out of
    the classroom. I asked this question: “Did the pioneers make homemade gun
    powder?” to which this “bitch on wheels” school teacher harsly retorted, “the
    next time you talk about guns your’e going out, out, out!” Bear in mind this was
    during the height of the Vietnam War and our worse ever president in American
    history, Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), was in the White House! This was just prior
    to Johnson and his deceitful crooked socialist lieutenant in the U.S. Senate Thomas
    Dodd (D) of Connecticut framing the vile, odious, and damnable 1968 Federal Gun
    Control Act into national legislation! I recall how bad people hated Johnson during
    this time. And rightly so! As I have stated here and elsewhere previously, “we as
    a nation continue to pay for the political atrocities, high crimes, and abuses of LBJ,
    the Earl Warren Supreme Court, and their traitorous socialist ilk to date!” I only
    wish back then I had the research and material JPFO, Inc. at http://www.jpfo.org has
    on the anti-gun agenda. The “bitch on wheels” 4th grade school teacher was a
    nasty, vindictive, black woman whose husband during this time was in Vietnam.
    JPFO’s “No Guns For Negroes” would have been appropriate viewing and a history
    lesson for her. Unfortunatley back during the decade of the 1960’s, including the
    1970’s, we didn’t have JPFO,Inc. and the online resources available. No, I don’t
    hate Black people. Granted I had two women Black school teachers back in the
    1960’s. My 3rd grade teacher in another elementary school, though perhaps strict,
    was a fine dedicated and quality school teacher. She had the respect of the classroom too where you could hear a pin drop. Not so with my 4th grade teacher.
    To say “she was a bitch on wheels” is a gross understatement!

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