Reader Dennis T. writes:

I got my CCW a few months ago, and I have been carrying just about every day where I am legally allowed to. I live in Oklahoma and the ‘no guns’ signs here do NOT carry force of law. My friend got is CCW over a year ago, but he told me that he has NEVER carried at all. I don’t disagree as it is his choice, but when we go to places such as restaurants or the mall he says that I should not carry and “follow the rules” and that since I am carrying in a place that is “off-limits” he says that I give gun owners a “bad name” by doing so. I should note that I am a college student so I do not carry to school or into post offices or other federal buildings. The off limits places I mentioned refer to private businesses. Do you think legally carrying gun owners who carry into “off-limits” places gives gun owners everywhere a bad name?

204 Responses to Question of the Day: Do You Carry Against the Signs?

    • Exactly. Concealed means not visible, means nobody knows. Dennis T, I’d only say stop talking about it. Your friends don’t need to know. Likely nobody other than you needs to know. Don’t break the law and quit being concerned over not breaking the law. Those signs are there to stop criminals, obviously, not to stop you. But stop talking about it.

    • This. If you are carrying concealed, then you can’t give gun owners any name at all because no one knows you’re carrying!

      And in the unlikely (though still more likely, since you’re in a “gun free zone”) event that some lunatic decides to come shoot up the place, you’ll have the unenviable opportunity to give gun owners a very, VERY good name.

    • Those signs (without a legal cite) are there to appease the insurer, the stupid, and the local vocal manipulative controlling b1tches. You’re good to go if you STFU and the owner/manager doesn’t ask you to leave.

      • Exactly. Don’t draw attention to yourself (gray man approach to any social situation tends to work for me), and if for some reason you are asked to leave, simply shake their hand and calmly say “Not a problem, have a great day.”

        If you don’t make a stink (kill’em with kindness), then the people being bent out of shape over your presence tend to lose the initiative – just my $0.02’s worth.

    • This, f*** em. They don’t like money they can ask me to leave, assuming they somehow see my concealed firearm. His friend is an “I support the 2nd amendment” butt.

    • In Iowa the signs do not carry force of law. The only thing that the owner of an establishment can do if they find out that you are carrying in spite of the signs is to ask you to leave and have you arrested for trespassing if you refuse. No weapons charges involved. Yes I carry in spite of the signs and I don’t think it gives a bad name whatsoever if they don’t know it. Besides, who am I getting a bad name or negative impression from? The ass that put the sign up in the first place.

  1. I am in Pennsylvania, and I carry everywhere… banks, stores, you name it. I’d rather be able to defend myself should the need arise. I carry a Glock 29 in a Galco Matrix M7X, very concealable. Nobody but me knows it is there.

    • I am in PA as well and carry everywhere except where the law states otherwise.
      Court house, VA Medical Center, etc…

      Any establishment that does want my business by posting “No Firearms Allowed” does not get my business.

        • But it does piss me off that the VA is fully guns “free”, which includes the parking lot. Because a locked car gun is such a danger while I’m getting my boo boos checked out courtesy of the Taliban.

        • I guess the reason why they don’t allow guns in the VA hospital is because it’s only heroic to kill people when you do it for the government and when you’re in someone else’s country. It’s only heroic when you’re doing it for other people who couldn’t be bothered to show up and do it themselves. You’re not allowed to kill people in your own country in defense of yourself, that’s crazy and bad.

      • Yes, Courthouse in Doylestown and my kids’ schools are the exceptions. The Courthouse is great fun. Full disarm, slowly, many cops present to help. Knives, belt, mags, gun, everything. Takes me 5 minutes. Every 5th year I go there to renew my permit to carry.

  2. What they dont know cant hurt you.

    What your friend doesnt know cant make him get upset with you “not following the rules”.

    I carry everywhere I am leagally allowed to do so except the office. I respect my employer’s choice because the risk of loosing my job is too great. Besides, my company has it’s own SWAT team with a response time under three minutes (no kidding).

  3. Since the operative word is “concealed” .. No, no one knows and the idea isn’t to be parading it around, again “concealed”

    It could present a legal conundrum for states like Michigan where you must have “a legal right to be” where you are carrying and since you are in violation of the property rules you may be open to additional liabilities

    • I think you’re reading too much into that “legal right to be” passage. All you can be cited with for “violating” such a sign is trespassing by the property owner (or authorized representative) if you fail to vacate the premises at their request.

  4. It is a difficult question.

    Practically speaking, I err on the side of carrying anyways.I do not come to that conclusion lightly.While the risk of armed conflict is low, it is by no means zero.I don’t wish to infringe on the property owners justified right to regulate activity within their areas-but an attacker intent on mayhem is unlikely to obey the sign.

    In any event the only time it would be public knowledge that I’m armed is if I needed to employ my weapon, which implies a crisis of exponentially greater severity then a disobeyed custom.

    • I’m a lawyer. Don’t get legal advice on the internet from me or anyone else.
      Laws vary hugely from state to state, county to county, and city to city. You want to be sure that the advice you DO get is right for the place where you live.
      My shooting buddy was being threatened by three morons in a big-box store w/ a no-guns sign. He simply moved his shirt to show that he was armed. They left. BUT, he had revealed that he was carrying. I think he did the right thing. He was asked to leave and he did.
      You can rely on the 2nd Amend. all you want, but realize that it can cost you nearly everything you own to defend yourself from a vicious prosecutor or a greedy plaintiff in a lawsuit. Neither the prosecutor nor the plaintiff needs to be right to go after you. Use discretion for Lord’s sake.

  5. If the sign has the force of law, I obey it. However, I almost always carry concealed so if the sign does not have the force of law, I ignore it. There are some places, like Buffalo Wild Wings, that are adamantly against customers carrying guns. So, I oblige them and don’t patronize their business. Besides, BWW’s wings suck anyway.

        • Curious. I’ve never noticed a sign at the BWW near me, but then I’m in Florida, so I’m not in the habit of looking.

        • Same here. I’m in Colorado, so I don’t look for signs.

          I look for K-12 schools, places that have security at every public entrance, and places prohibited by federal law.

      • I avoid Wild Wings in Colorado too, but it’s mainly a matter of not caring for their food. Otherwise, I generally ignore the postings, except where it’s a Federal beef.

  6. A silly little sticker in a window somewhere does not circumvent your constitutionally protected rights, nor does it invalidate the sacrifices and blood shed by our founding fathers and patriots who brought you this fine nation.

    • There is no ‘constitutional right’ to posses a firearm on somone else’s private property. Don’t get me wrong, I do it and will continue to and don’t shame anyone else for doing so.

      However, it’s factually incorrect to claim such a constitutional right. Your right is to not come on to my property, but it is not your ‘RIGHT’ to carry a firearm on my property.

      • A public venue is not the same as a private residential property. A “no-guns” sign has no more moral authority than a “whites only” sign when used by a business open to the public.

      • Either you DO support my right to keep and bear arms, or you DO NOT.

        Sounds like you are the latter, so FOAD.

        The only reason we have to have stupid conversations like this is because of people who believe it is OK to compromise, even if just a little bit, on the Bill of rights.

        No Compromise. Shall not be infringed. PERIOD.

        • If it’s his property, it’s his rules. He has the right to set conditions for your entry to that property, whether that means no guns or you must be wearing polka dot pants. This guy is on your side, but you’re too busy frothing at the mouth to see it.

          And seriously, find something more original to say than FOAD, fer crissakes. It’s basically lost all meaning at this point.

        • I have the right to remove you from my property for saying stupid things, even though the 1st Amendment would prohibit the Federal Government from stopping you from saying stupid things.

        • I’m sorry. Perhaps I misunderstand. Is RKBA implying he has the fundamental right to be on my property against my wishes (armed or otherwise)?

          I must confess I am conflicted…many of my neurons agree that 2A rights are very important…the rest want to form a posse and “hasten his retreat” under Castle Doctrine.

      • Well you’re “sorta” correct.

        The Constitution/Bill of RIghts protects a Natural Right. That being “to keep and bear arms”. The Constitution does not “give” you that right. You have it because you exist and it existed before the Constitutioh (or any other document) was written. NOTHING trumps it. Your employer a merchant or anyone/anything else. Their opinon of your Natural RIghts are of no relevance.

  7. It is disrespectful to the property owner, and for that reason I do my best to avoid carrying in places where I know it isn’t wanted. It is best just to quietly take your buisiness elsewhere.

    • Good point, but I personally consider my life to be more important than the private business owner’s whims. That said, if said owner understands in the first place he or she is unlilkely to take offense. And if he does, then it is probably better that I do business elsewhere.
      Tom

      • Your life is certainly more important than the whims of a property owner, however that is not the debate. His rights as a property owner absolutely supersede your 2nd Amendment rights. One who owns private property can make any rules they wish, pertaining to the boundaries of that property. If he doesn’t want guns on his property, that’s the final say. If he doesn’t want bikes on his property, that’s the final say. If he doesn’t want to hear the phrase “she sells seashells by the seashore” on his property, misguided though it may be, that’s the final say.

        That being said, I personally believe that if a person who typically DOES concealed carry, opts not to because of a sign, then that defeats one of our biggest and strongest arguments.

        Lots of shootings happen in posted, established Gun-Free Zones. People know this, and the POTG know this better than anyone. So that being said, why in the HELL would you willingly disarm yourself and walk into one of those free-fire zones?! In certain cases, where you have no other option, for now that’s just the way it is (courthouse, your child’s school, etc.) but beyond that, it is a MUCH better move to just go elsewhere if you cannot successfully conceal and carry your sidearm in a business that seeks to prevent you from doing so.

    • If the owner was serious about not wanting CCW guns in their store, they have the option to get a sign that carries the weight of the law behind it (a sign with correct legal verbiage).

    • I’d like to hear more about this. What’d he carry? Did he ever get caught? Did he ever have to defend himself?

  8. I always ignore the signs in private businesses, unless some unique factor is involved.
    Two things I don’t want written on my tombstone: “He had the right-of-way”, and, “He obeyed the ‘No Guns’ sign”.

  9. On private property, they can make any rules they damn well please, like “We reserve the right to refuse service to whomever we don’t like.”

    I say, you have a right to refuse to give your money to people who don’t like you, either. Too. Well, you get my point.

      • If you’re talking about bowfins civil rights act prohibits such discrimination then that would be somewhat true. However, that part of the law is technically unconstitutional. Government is the only group not allowed to discriminate. As wrong as racism and discrimination may be, it is still up to the property owner to determine the rules on his property. You can choose not to go on his property, but you do not have the legal authority to break his rules.

        • That’s right. The no discrimination laws struck down the Jim Crow laws, which mandated the segergation. The merchants have never cared what color their customers’ skins are; their money is always green. ;-D

        • pwrserge does not understand how business works. You don’t just get the right to do as you please on someone’s private commercial property just because it is open to the public.

        • pwrserge said: “The way I see it, if he makes his property open to the public, it ceases to be private.”

          You don’t have a Second Amendment right to carry on someone else’s private property without permission any more than you have a First Amendment right to give a political speech or hold a religious service on someone else’s private property without permission. Imagine if you decided to hold a prayer meeting or political rally in Walmart, do you think Walmart would be obligated by the First Amendment to let you stay? Of course not.

          Being open to the public does not make private property public.

  10. Here in Michigan the signs don’t carry force of law, so I ignore them. I’ve done this (to my knowledge) at a Sprint store and at Chuck E Cheese, both in Flint. The local mall reportedly has a ban as well, but I’ve never seen a sign on the door and the code of conduct on the wall mentions nothing about firearms. I’ve even OC’d in sight of a security guard and not a word was said. I think once they kicked a guy out for carrying a long gun and he made a big fuss when they cited a policy to him, but I’ve seen no evidence of an outright ban there.

    I don’t think it gives gun owners a bad name unless they throw a hissy fit when asked to leave. They’re not breaking the law, and technically they’re still respecting private property rights so long as they leave or go store the weapon if outed while carrying. Your friend is a ninny.

  11. Who cares what other think when you are carrying to protect the lives of yourself and loved ones. Here in VA, the signs don’t carry force of law, so if you are spotted they can ask you to leave. If you don’t leave as requested, you can be arrested for trespassing. Solution: Carry concealed and they wont ask you to leave. Of course, those places specifically listed as off limits according to law are the exception and I don’t carry in those places. CANT = Carry Always, Never Tell.

    • Actually even if the mall signs had the force of law they would be invalid because they are typcially not posted each and every anchor store entrance. I always enter Tysons from the parking garage into Lord and Taylor or Macy’s. There are no signs there. I carried for years into Tyson’s and didn’t even know that the mall was posted. A friend of mind told me about it and I hunted down the Simon mall code of conduct. I typically carry my Nano there. What nobody sees hurt nobody.

      • Ultimately, “force of law” means what a judge or jury decides. Even if ultimately in your favor, reaching that determination can cost you a lot of time, money and stress; all while your license is suspended. And that’s if they follow the law…..

    • If that’s how VA operates, then ok. In Texas, the legal 30.06 sign alone already is effective notice and nothing further is required to trigger a trespass charge. That’s a Class A misdemeanor here (up to a year in jail and $4K fine) and a five year revocation of your license.

      It’s fairly easy reaching to a high shelf or standing at a urinal to accidentally display your firearm. Do that in a 30.06 zone and you could be in for it.

        • That’s the case in many (most?) jurisdictions. In Texas, though, a compliant 30.06 sign carries the force of law; by carrying into a place where a 30.06 sign is posted, you’re committing a class A misdemeanor and, if caught, will lose your license for 5 years.

  12. I carry wherever it’s legal for me to do so. Since I started carrying, the only “prohibited place” I’ve visited has been my kids’ school, when I had to leave my vehicle.

    I don’t worry about giving anyone a bad name because, if I’m doing it correctly, nobody knows I’m carrying but me.

    • “I don’t worry about giving anyone a bad name because, if I’m doing it correctly, nobody knows I’m carrying but me.”

      ^^^ THIS ^^^

    • +1000

      First rule of choosing a firearm for defense…STFU. I will give a pass to this newbie. But from here on out just learn to keep your mouth shut. That goes for friends, relations, and blog sites. Period.

      • Some quotes for your consideration on the subject…

        “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.” – John Wayne

        “A man speaks because he has something to say; a fool speaks because he has to say something.” – Unknown

        • “A man speaks because he has something to say; a fool speaks because he has to say something.” – Plato

  13. Absolutely not.

    If the sign holds no water, it’s there to satisfy the delusion of a peaceful utopia where no one needs a gun, and everyone should be safe and free to roam the planet.

    The sign isn’t an officer. Never seen a sign write you a ticket. Have you?

    If you’re carrying concealed, who’s to know/say/see? I’m willing to bet 90% of the people we encounter are in condition WHITE or Off-White. Mall security will save them! Here they come now, the Segway-Mall-Cop Calvary to save the day!

    Chances are you’ll never need your firearm. So, statistically speaking, being near/around you would mean a significantly lower probability of something happening around you? Right? My logic might be flawed but at least I’m applying some sense of the word.

    Looking at your California 😉 *fonz-fingers* Keep up!

    Being a California/Los Angeles native, we don’t have the luxury of LTC’ing. If my workplace said “No guns” it means no guns. I would loose my job, and have no ground to stand on. Though a coworker and myself have considered it, we’ve been advised against it via our business conduct memorandum, and some remarks/issues brought to our attention when a single .45 ACP was found sitting neatly under one of our monitors.

    If it isn’t prohibited (federal or state) the worst they can do is ask you to leave.

    Go forth and carry my son!

    • Ing said it best…

      “Carrying openly in defiance of someone’s expressed wishes on their premises would be a different story. That would be rude and definitely a black mark on gun owners’ public image.”

      Thats about it.

  14. Yes, depending on the situation. High risk of getting spotted? Might keep it in the car. If I am DD and such, i’m taking it in with me. Concealed is concealed, I’m not going to leave my only method of effective self defense in my vehicle/domicile just because you say so, armed security guards make me feel just a bit better, but not enough to make me confident, they have no duty to protect me, and chances are have far far less training than i do.

    Banks? You bet. Sports events? Yep. Bars? Legal here and I don’t drink more than a beer if I do at all.

  15. I choose not to break the law. So, I don’t carry at the Post Office. Then again, I don’t go to the Post Office. Having no school-aged children, I have no reason to go to any school. I cast my vote by mail-in ballot, so the ban on polling place carry is irrelevant.

    In secured government buildings, I check my carry piece in the building’s gun locker. In unsecured government buildings, it’s legal for me to carry and I do.

    The list of prohibited places in MA is surprisingly short, and I do not recall ever seeing a “no guns” sign on private property such as movie theaters, banks or restaurants.

    If someone chooses to break the law by carrying where prohibited, it’s no reflection on me or anyone else. I don’t control anyone else’s actions, and I accept no responsibility for what anyone else does.

    Frankly, I’m totally sick to death of anyone telling me that what one guy does is a “bad reflection” on all of us. What a load of liberal bullsh1t.

    • You’re absolutely right, Ralph.

      We’re responsible for our actions, and for the actions of our dependents (if any), and no one else.

      That said, everybody knows that if any gun owner steps out of line, that transgression is used by the liberal media to smear all gun owners.

      As an extension of that, if someone sees another person acting irresponsibly with a gun, they’re more likely to assume that the next person they see with a gun will do the same. If you were a waiter at an upscale restaurant, and over the course of several months you serve a handful of ladies with long fur coats and expensive jewelry who were inexcusably rude to you, would you be more likely to assume that the next one you see dressed like that will act the same way? Probably.

      While it is certainly not a reflection of all gun owners when one acts irresponsibly (even though the liberals and the media treat it as such), that does not change the fact that it is in our best interest as gun owners and armed citizens to do our part to make sure others are acting responsibly.

      • Yes. However, in the minds of anti-gun people, simply carrying a gun is irresponsible and unsafe. You can’t win anyhow, so just keep calm and carry one.

        The best evangelism is to carry responsibly, obey the law, respect others and demonstrate the polite society.

        • True, they view the simple act of carrying one in that regard.

          However, we’re much better off if the MSM goes off shrieking “OMG he’s exercising his 2nd Amendment rights legally! He must be homophobic/islamophobic/racist/sexist/OFWG/compensating for something/vigilante in waiting!” than if they actually HAVE something to call us out on.

          If they’re going to bitch no matter what, the least we can do is refrain from giving them anything legitimate to complain about.

      • @Alaskan Patriot, we see eye to eye. As a retired lawyer and NRA/MA certified trainer, I try to put people on the path to firearms enlightenment, which I think is doing my part.

        This much I know for sure — we cannot be perfect. People will make mistakes. I simply refuse to accept responsibility for anyone else’s mistakes. I also know that the Democrats and media try to blame us for everything bad that happens in this world. And if the day comes that nothing bad happens in the world, the MSM and Dems will either take credit for it or make something up.

        Either way, I’m not going to sweat it.

  16. My ability to defend myself, my family, or my friends supersedes everything a sign may try to enforce.

    That being said, If I so choose to carry openly everywhere else, to avoid a commotion in places like malls or banks or whatnot I will conceal the firearm before even leaving my vehicle to enter such a place.

  17. Yes I disregard these signs, my life and the lives of those around me are of far greater importance than rules put in place by some punk politician.

    • I completely agree. The only private business I somewhat follow is the Disney Theme parks. But damn them to hell if I follow their rules about having it in my hotel room if it is on the Disney Property. I take my gun with me to the gate and have security put it into a locked box. I have not had a problem doing that and I prefer to have the gun on me as I make my way back to my vehicle.

  18. I generally only patronize businesses where they respect my right to KABA; However; if the business are the only one that have what I need; I’ll go concealed; what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Again; gun free zones are homicidal maniac empowerment zones; the people that put up GFZ signs are delusional and some are down right crazy; I don’t choose to by ruled by rules that are basically signs; literally, of insanity, that would mean I’m insane.

    One of the only places that I don’t try to carry is where there is metal detectors; usually there are armed guards and I don’t need to worry; as much, (think Ft. Hood or the D.C. Navy yard) about an active shooter situation.

  19. I don’t carry at my kids’ schools. I know my neighbor doesn’t approve of private ownership, so I leave it at home when I go over there (which is seldom). Otherwise, I have never seen a no guns allowed sign. I’ve gone over the rules and handbooks at my work and didn’t see any mention of firearms, so I’m not asking.

  20. Like some here have said, if a business is so anti-gun as to post obvious signs against it, I’ll take my business elsewhere if possible.

    On the other hand, in the state where I live those signs don’t have force of law, so I don’t tend to spend time looking for them, and I wouldn’t let one stop me.

    Carrying openly in defiance of someone’s expressed wishes on their premises would be a different story. That would be rude and definitely a black mark on gun owners’ public image. But concealed is concealed, and they can’t get upset about something they can’t perceive. And the reasons for carrying don’t disappear just because a few narrow-minded nincompoops can’t handle the thought that their patrons might be armed

  21. What does it mean for the signs to have legal force?

    In California, e.g., they do not make it criminal (in the rare hypothetical of you having a CCW). But if they made you out and asked you to leave and you did not, then there is trespassing.

    Is it something like that? Merely carrying does not result in any crime, but refusing to leave when asked does? (you would be surprised, or maybe not, how little restrictions are placed by state law on where a CCW can carry in CA. The law allows it even in courtrooms, unless you are a party to the action….just cannot get a CCW easily!)

    Or is it more, are you a protected class that cannot be kicked out for that reason?

    In states, say Texas with 30.06 signs, does merely being caught carry against the sign carry a charge?

    • What does it mean for the signs to have legal force?

      It means that if a sign is posted and you carry anyway, you’re violating the law.

      Where a sign does not have legal force, you can carry without violating the law. If someone discovers that you’re carrying and demands that you leave the premises, you must comply – if you do not comply, you can be cited for trespassing.

  22. I TRY my damdest to respect the wishes of proprieters that have posted signs. Sometimes this isn’t practical as in situations where I can’t easily walk back to my car. But for the most part, if the building is posted I will respect and move on.

    Here’s the deal, if you are going to describe yourself as a law-abiding gun owner then you have to respect the law. If you don’t like the law then become a voice to change it (NY, CT, CA residents, are you listening?). You can also tell the proprieter/manager that because they are posted you will respect their wishes but as a result they are losing a customer.

    IMO, breaking the law isn’t a great option. Law-abding gun owners are only the good guys as long as they abide by the law.

    • So Tim; when King George passed a law to seize the American colonists muskets and gunpowder; would you have been a “law abiding citizen” and turned in your weapons?

  23. The man that drew his gun on the Clackamas (sp?) Mall shooter ignored the GFZ signs. The shooter retreated and blew his own head off in a stairwell. Just sayin.
    Signage does not carry force of law in MI. So screw the property rights of corporations, your little signs do not keep me safe. I do fully honor the wishes of family, friends and neighbors, but otherwise concealed means concealed.

  24. I do not voluntarily give my money to businesses that have made it perfectly clear that they do not want me as a customer. I will respect a private property owner’s authority over his own property and abide by his conditions, but I will also not put myself at risk by entering a disarmed-victim zone. I take my business to companies that respect my rights and I make sure to tell them why.

    Regardless of the law, if we expect people to respect our rights (to life, self-defense, property), then we too should respect theirs.

  25. I seem to recall a discussion recently about the rights of property owners–businesses–to restrict the carrying and/or presence of firearms on their property by their employees and business invitees. I also seem to recall a majority believed a property owner has such rights–it is his property after all. But reading what has been said so far, it seems the CCW crowd believes they are privileged–absent a law making their conduct illegal, such as the signs in Texas- to ignore the rights of the property owner. How can these two viewpoints be reconciled?

    Germaine to this discussion is the fact that 2A rights are protected against government interference only; the right cannot be enforced against the owners or possessors of private property. In other words, your right to bear ends at the door to my house or business.

    So what is it we are saying here? That as it as it is not illegal, bad manners are ok? What about the morality of the issue? Is it moral to knowingly violate someone else’s property rights and express wishes?

    • Many laws distinguish between small and big businesses. I have an issue treating a large shopping mall, private property and all, as equivalent to a mom-and-pop store, especially since the SCOTUS ruling that eminent domain applies to seizures of land for shopping malls (and other private things that benefit the public).

  26. Funny. I was in a hospital this morning and noticed a “no weapons” sign when I was checking my kid in. It was the first sign I’d seen in a while, but I’m not leaving my bleeding grade schooler to go stow my gun. No one knew so no one had a hissy fit.

    I will obey the law and stow my gun in the car if I’m going into a school or federal building. I have carried into restaurants and returned to my car to secure my CCW if I decide to have a drink. Those prohibitions are etched into (bad) law. For private property, I will simply carry concealed and leave if the owner asks me to. I really don’t see what the big deal is.

    • I have carried into restaurants and returned to my car to secure my CCW if I decide to have a drink. Those prohibitions are etched into (bad) law.

      I’ve carried into restaurants and had a beer with dinner – while carrying. Perfectly legal in CO – as long as I’m not “under the influence of intoxicating liquor”.

    • Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs has a sign that says “No open carry of firearms,” making it quite clear that concealed is ok. Nearly every other hospital I have been in has no “firearms” signs. Needless to say, I prefer to go to memorial for medical care.

      • Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree has a “no guns” sign. I’ve ignored it on the few occasions that I’ve entered that building.

      • Memorial hospital, at least until recently, was city owned. Government facilities in El Paso county (for those of you not from here, that’s the county Colorado Springs is in–most populous county in the state) tend to have the “display of firearms in this facility is prohibited” signs. Which means carry without display is allowed.

        The other local hospital system is privately owned (by the Catholic Church) and they can post how they please. I’d think abut another church, were I Catholic.

        Now that Memorial belongs to the CU medical system, the signs may or may not change sometime soon–I think not, because CU is no longer allowed to ban concealed carry.

        • Here in Douglas County, I’ve only entered two government buildings (both in Castle Rock)… the one that houses the Sheriff’s Department and the one where I vote and pay my vehicle license fees. The former has armed deputies and a metal detector at the entrance, the latter does not. When I paid my vehicle registrations in October and dropped off my ballot in November, I was carrying.

  27. In Texas, there are legitimate no-carry signs businesses can post, so-called “30.06” signs, which do carry the force of law (trespassing offense.) They’re uncommon, but I abide by them insofar as I just don’t do business where I encounter them. More typical, but not exactly common, are the circle with diagonal line “ghost busters” signs. On their own, they’re legally meaningless and I ignore them.

    Places that are “gun free” by law, regardless of signage, I comply with, but avoid altogether whenever possible.

    Employer has the real 30.06 sign and the no firearms policy is spelled out in the handbook. So I comply with that, but then took the office farthest from the other execs I figured would most likely be a disgruntled guy’s prime target.

      • No worries, Don. The law is a funny thing, though, with lots of nooks and crannies either to hide in or fall in, as the case may be.
        Take CHL’s for example:

        If you’re initially applying for a license, and you have a Class A or B misdemeanor on your record, then that conviction must have been at least five years back for you to be eligible.

        If you *already* have a license, and you’re charged with a Class A or B, the fun really kicks in. First, your license is suspended upon being charged, and remains so until either dismissal/acquittal or conviction. That can take months or more as your case winds through the courts. If you get off, you get your license back. If you’re convicted, the five year ineligibility period starts then, with no credit for the suspension period. But wait, there’s more!

        If the State goes through the actual revocation process, there’s an additional TWO year penalty, on top of the five years and suspension period, before you can re-apply. Government Code, § 411.186. If you surrender your licence in lieu of revocation upon conviction, you can avoid thd extra two year revocation penalty.

        Bottom line is a Class A or B can jam you up for well over seven years if you already have a license.

  28. One of the hospitals near me was not posted, then it got bought by a conglomerate and now it is. I am pretty sure that all of the other hospitals were already posted. I will have to find out what the legality of that is in my state.

  29. I examine very closely the stone work above the doorway, the strength of top left most hing on the door, I look deeply into the eyes of my lovely wife, check my wallet for its contents, scan the floor to make sure I don’t trip on any debris in the doorway and so I’m not really sure I have ignored any signs, I just know I haven’t ever see them.
    WW nudge nudge
    But per MarkN
    If I see it I respect it.

  30. Up here in North ID and Western MT the only places that I’ve seen that are posted are the big chain movie theaters (the only theaters that show current films). I go to movies rarely, and they post it in very fine print at the ticket window. In the unlikely even that I do get caught carrying concealed I’ll just feign innocence and apologize.

    That being said, unless there is no other choice, I do not do business with anyone that posts, and have done that since I lived in AZ in 1999 (I was not even carrying back then).

    • A good policy. If a business owner wants to post a “PLEASE ROB ME” sign on their door, I’ll be across the street.

  31. I usually don’t, but I have. Depends on what part of town, time of day, and whether there are metal detectors or not. For example, I never carried into my son’s prep school in a nice neighborhood with a fairly secure campus.

    However, I did carry in my son’s middle school, which was in a sketchy neighborhood. One time for an evening event I found myself having to park two blocks away in an unlit neighborhood and walk alone unarmed to the school. I told myself, “this is bullshit. From now on I’m carrying, at least at night. The school will never know”.

    I go to Spurs NBA games, and they wand you at the entrance, so the gun has to stay in the car. There’s a ton of security there where we sit though, if something goes wrong.

    • Since the prep school sounds like it’s private, you’d be less afoul of the law there than in the public(?) middle school. It’s usually been the case that those who need arms the most are the ones most denied it.

      Having said that, no place, however well-funded or secured, is immune from violence. Littleton and Newtown are “safe” suburbs. My kids’ schools got rid of the gangs, but you’ll never get rid of custody disputes and other random conflicts.

        • In this case, let’s say it got rid of fights on campus. What “gangs” (and I use air quotes appropriately in this case) do off campus the school has no control over.

  32. In my state, “no gun” signs have not force of law, therefore I carry everywhere but those places specifically forbidden by law (post office, courthouse, etc..) As others have said, concealed is concealed

    • I keep seeing courthouses listed as forbidden. Is that a federal law, or are they specifically prohibited in state law? I don’t recall courthouses mentioned at all in IN law.

      • Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 930) prohibits firearms in federal court facilities.

        Federal law probably wouldn’t apply to state, county, and municipal courthouses. That would be a state issue.

        For example, in Colorado, if I have a CO concealed handgun permit, I can carry in a CO state courthouse unless there is security at every public entrance which screens for weapons.

  33. So it seems the Bill of Rights only applies to Federal Government and doesn’t apply to publicly accessed private property (say a store for example), but the laws that prohibit assault, battery, murder, rape, hostage taking, theft…etc are still in force and are binding under the framework provided by said Constitution. I guess we’re pretty lucky that assault, battery, murder, rape, hostage taking and theft are not covered in the Bill of Rights..except for the Federal Executive Branch…sort of.

    Just a word of warning for the “its my right” caucus…You should just go along with the “its my property” caucus and don’t mention any responsibilities to protect you after denying your 2A abilities in their establishments. By no means mention anything about civil liabilities to the owner after “they” let somebody in that hurts you or your family. They get all bent out of shape about that. When they say “You don’t have to shop here” just kind of nod and shop at the big box stores.

  34. The signs also don’t carry the weight of the law in my state, and I carry everywhere I legally can except work, where I have a contractual agreement not to carry. I can legally carry in restuarants, but not in bars or in thr bar section of a “bar & grill”, which means I do most of occasional drinking at home or at a friend’s house. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any “no guns” signs, but a few local gun stores do have “keep your concealed guns concealed” notices.

  35. I once worked during the Christmas season at a store that posted no signs anywhere relative to guns, but had a “no guns” policy in its employee handbook.

    Since a violation of an employment policy is not a crime or criminal offense, I chose to carry on the job. Had I been caught, I would have been fired, but I didn’t care about that. I didn’t need the job. I just wanted to keep busy. And alive.

  36. Not to beat a dead horse, but concealed is concealed. Nobody should know you are packin’ unless you are not concealed very well, run your mouth, or if the SHTF and you have to pull it. At that point, I could give a flying f**k what the owner thinks. He might live because I stopped the BG.

  37. Do you carry against the signs? No. I carry a knife, having a gun in my area of SC in a no signs zone is about as stupid as the sign itself.

    Do people who carry in off limits give us a bad name? Yes & No. No because its a God given right that should be exercised everywhere. Yes if you display it on purpose in the open for a YouTube video.

  38. I would never willing carry a gun into any location where the sign carries the force of law. You may extrapolate from that what you will.

  39. Like most everyone else here, if it’s not prohibited by law*, I carry. If it’s a private establishment and they don’t want my gun, then I try to do business elsewhere. If there’s no other option, then I carry anyway.

    * I make an exception for the Post Office. I regularly have to run in and out of there for just a moment, and I’m not going to the trouble of disarming for that. Especially since I’m not even allowed to have it in the car in the parking lot. I’m not disarming and then also parking next door/across the street. That’s where I draw the line.

    • Right. I’m in the same boat, although I don’t carry into post offices or federal property.

      If I abided by businesses’ “no firearms” rules I’d have literally no social life. Couldn’t go to the movies, couldn’t frequent most businesses, etc. etc.

      It’s stupid to abide by them and most of the time it’s just a policy that they don’t care that much about in the first place. They especially won’t care if they never know, which is the whole point behind carrying concealed anyway.

      I’m also of the opinion that most “no firearms” signs are bizarrely (and misguidedly) there to try to dissuade gangbangers and other criminals from carrying.

  40. First, it’s a mall, so for me, it’s no big disappointment. I stopped going to malls 30 years ago. I will have to assume you mean this to apply in a general sense, not just to malls, but most businesses in general. That said, I carry everywhere the state of Florida does not expressly prohibit. No one has detected my IWB rig or stopped me to ask if I was carrying. That’s kinda the point, yes? That, and I usually shop at places that don’t make an issue of it, and where a polite apology would diffuse most any situation.

    These “No Guns” signs are like STOP signs on private property, they’re suggestions, or kind requests. If you find a sign with “st. fl. 790._ _ _ _ ” below it, that is not a kind request, that is an order of compliance with state law. I would suggest that you comply.

  41. On a totally and completely unrelated note: big time gun manufactures are coming out with all these neat, light weight, super thin, pocket and micro pistol now. And, they’re making them in all kinds of calibers and configurations- single action, double action, .32 acp, .380 acp, 9mm.

    Man, you know, someone could walk around all day long with a pistol that only weights around 15oz in their front pocket and no one would even know it. Hell, with a quality pocket holster, it would probably just look like an iPhone, or wallet.

    Also, on another completely, unrelated note: I can’t remember the last time I had to go through a metal detector or received a pat down while going about my daily business. I’ve even seen tons of places with 30.06 (Texas’ do not carry signs) and very few of those places had any security checking for armed people.

    Not saying anything particular to the topic, just throwing some information out there.

  42. If it is a public business to which I’ve been (implicitly) invited, sure, I’ll ignore the signs, because they mean…well, let’s see…they mean…NOTHING. At least in my state; your situation may vary. I will respect the “no display of firearms”, since I have my CHP; even though I prefer to OC, I will respect their wishes for me to be discrete. However, if they are insisting that I relieve myself completely of my personal protection and it’s obvious they are not providing any of their own on my behalf, well, then, I’ve printed up a handful of these cards:

    http://www.not-pc.com/NoGuns=NoMoney.pdf

    I will hand one to a manager or the owner (if I can), and then walk out.

    (I have cobbled together the copy from various sources; I do not claim that to be an original work, but I did want something that was more generic than some of the state-specific cards I’ve found. Have at it; if anyone would like the original PS files, say, to upload to Vistaprint or something like that to make “real” cards, email me at “molon” dot “labe” at “not” dash “pc” dot “com” and I’ll share the files with you.)

  43. Get a new friend and keep carrying. This one is a potential snitch and not someone I’d trust to have my back in a life or death situation.

  44. The only alternative to government is private property rights. You must respect those. You are not only giving us a bad name, you are undermining the philosophical support of self ownership and the right to self defense.

    • We have here a case of conflicting rights — the business owner’s right to conduct business in his or her fashion and our right to bear arms. I don’t see how carrying concealed is disrespecting the former unless there is some consequence (business owner could lose his right to do business, for example). In my state, it’s not a crime to disregard a no weapons sign, only to refuse to leave when asked. If someone asks me to disarm or leave, I will leave without incident — respectfully.

      • Actually, you can assert you Second Amendment rights against the government ONLY. You can assert your property rights against anyone. Under 2A, the G needs to keep it’s hands off my guns. Under property law, I make the rules and I can keep anyone off my property if I don’t like the way they lick stamps.

        It’s wrong to say that property rights trump 2A rights, because the two rights do not intersect. It’s like saying that it’s colder in the winter than it is in New York. Both statements are equally nonsensical.

        • That’s just like the folks that get censored or blocked, whether here or elsewhere, and scream about their First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects you from the government, not from my delete button.

      • No 2A protections from property owners and no 1A protections either. Next up, searches and seizures. How else will a 2A supporting business owner know that a person is not carrying against the wishes of the owner?

        If the owner is against guns, fine, just say it…9 times out of 10 these property owners would say they support the 2A even though they don’t.

        These “pro-2A” business owners with a case NIMBY sure seem like rights to be served up À la carte.

      • I like the other responses, so I’ll only add that the defining characteristic of private property is exclusivity; the right to exclude others from it. An owner’s reasons for excluding someone or everyone from his property, whether good, bad, reasonable or inane, are entirely his own. He doesn’t have to justify why he doesn’t want firearms on the premises any more than a firearms owner has to justify his need for firearms. The rights don’t conflict because they don’t overlap. Although people are quite fond of projecting unearned stake status on other people’s possessions, they don’t really have a right to do so.

  45. “This is idle talk,” said Gandalf. “Needless is Theoden’s demand, but it is useless to refuse. A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom.”
    “Truly,” said Aragorn. “And I would do as the master of the house bade me, were this only a woodman’s cot, if I bore now any sword but Anduril.”

  46. What about in South Carolina?

    South Carolina law specifically states the size, dimensions, and content of what a “no guns allowed” sign must be. Yet I see countless non-compliant signs posted in various places. Last year, my CWP instructor told me that as far as he knows, while I might technically be within the law to carry in these places, there have been no court cases testing the wording of the law…but I don’t want to be the test case.

  47. I will always respect your rights as a gun owner. I will then expect your to respect my rights as a property owner. If I post a sign on my property saying no guns, you should respect it. If you don’t, you are indeed giving the gun carrying community a bad name.

    I would suggest that when you find yourself at a business with a posted sign asking you not to bring a weapon on the premises, don’t do it anyway and go in. Ask to speak to the owner and let them know that you are legally exercising your 2nd amendment rights and you respect their right to ask that you not bring your firearm onto the property. As a result, let them know you will not be using the services of their business as long as that restriction is in place.

    No animosity, no yelling. Just calmly let them know that you respect their decision, and that in response to that, you will take your business elsewhere.

    • Sounds great in theory, but the truth is most people hate confrontation. The sign is their way (in their mind) of avoiding confrontation or conflict. By bringing it to their doorstep, you are being confrontational. I would argue that’s ruder than carrying concealed, which offends no one.

    • If you don’t, you are indeed giving the gun carrying community a bad name.

      Really? So if you say something that I think is stupid (like you just did), that makes the whole world stupid? GTFOOH.

  48. In Georgia, “No Guns” signs do not have the force of law (unless you are told to leave and refuse, but its a trespassing charge at that point). Concealed means concealed. I’m the only one who knows, and if someone finds out and asks me to leave, then fine, I don’t want to be there anyway. The trade off of not having a gun when I need a gun is not worth it.

  49. Signs don’t carry legal weight in MI(contrary to what handgunlaw.us says) so I don’t have to worry about them If I don’t want to, I typically listen and email the company in question about it, but no gun signs are rare here even when compared to “gun friendly” states. Like Texas(which isn’t really gun friendly like it or not)
    I have been known to disobey them though, public places are preempted from banning guns but they are the ones that post most of the signs I run into.

  50. All of you who are carrying where not allowed…bunch of hyprocrites. Do not support those who do not support the 2A.

  51. Here in Georgia I’ve carried for over 12 years everyday with my CCW. Yes I have seen signs that say no guns, but I don’t care because my weapon is CONCEALED. I make large deposits and withdraws and will not follow the sign at the bank. Unless the bank states it is going to reimburse the money in my deposit bag if a robbery happens I’m going to “I’m so sorry I didn’t see the sign”. I’ve carried in the post office, government buildings, etc. In Georgia when they screen me I tell them I have a concealed weapon and would they mind holding it. They hold it and there is never an issue. When I go through the metal detectors I empty my pockets which have my wallet, phone, lighter, pack of cigarets, knife, and S&W “tactical” pen. Once I am through the metal detectors I get all the items back. I’ve never had a officer give me gruff. In Georgia most local government officials are smart enough to know that a 3″ knife is less dangerous then a 6″ sharpened pencil.

    • “I didn’t see the sign” won’t get you off the hook. If the sign is properly posted as required by law in terms of size, place and content, you are presumed to have seen it and in most cases that presumption will irrebuttable unless you’re legally blind.

  52. Setting legal issues aside for the moment. In most cases, I support concealed carry in violation of signs. I say this because I do not feel it is an infringement on someone’s private property because they do not see it or know that it’s there just as they would not know that I would have a locked gun in my car. I would say open carry in violation of signs is a violation of private property rights.

      • Ralph, that’s stupid logic that isn’t worth an answer, I will say that a bomb is not a defensive arm that can be used in a discriminate manner.

        I feel dumber for even reading your asinine comment.

  53. If “no [self-defense] allowed” signs don’t carry the force of law in your state/country/city, then you’re not even breaking the law by carrying into those places. I wouldn’t worry about it as the most the property owners and staff can do is ask you to leave. I would take my money elsewhere anyway, just on principle.

    As others have said above, it’s literally nobody else’s business but your own anyway. Nobody else needs to know you’re carrying but you. Nobody. So, I wouldn’t be letting on about it, either. I mean, that’s precisely why it’s concealed carry. It’s supposed to be discreet! Be discreet about it!

    As far as carrying against signs that do actually carry the force of “law”, I would always err on the side of obeying those signs by not patronizing those businesses to begin with. Yes, sure, you could always do it anyway and so long as you’re always doing it right no one would ever know in your lifetime or theirs. But there’s always the risk that you’ll slip up somewhere, somehow, and mankind as a whole is a deeply flawed creature who quite often forgets important lessons at its own peril. All it would take is just one overly-nosy busy-body to notice you even slipping up just a cunt hair, and that’ll be it. The savage animal that is the State will (illegally) strip you of your basic human rights faster than your head can spin, and often times forever.

    I would strongly advise against it, despite how blatantly illegal it is to impede on the nautral, civil, and Constitutionally-protected right to keep AND bear arms, but ultimately it’s on you.

    P.S.: I wouldn’t exactly count on the old maxim of, “It’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.” Not these days, anyway. The age when you could have counted on your fellow man for a fair and impartial trial-by-jury is long gone by now.

  54. Yes, anytime I venture out I am carrying. Signs or no signs, I carry. They can’t see it, so they don’t know I have it. School, bar, restaurant, or hospital. I am carrying. Love Missouri concealed carry law.

  55. Against the gunbuster signs? Yup.

    Against the Texas 30.06 sign? Nope, don’t want to be a felon.

    For the places that post gunbusters, I ignore. They have a legal and prescribed way to prevent concealed carry if they so choose, but they have to follow the law, just as I do. If they don’t follow the law, I don’t have to follow their fake sign.

    • Against the Texas 30.06 sign? Nope, don’t want to be a felon.

      It’s a class A misdemeanor. You won’t be a felon. You won’t lose your “federal gun rights”. You’ll just lose your Texas license for 5 years.

  56. I ccw,and yes I ignore most signs due to the fact that I have an enhanced ccw license in Mississippi,and part of the law states that we don’t have to follow these signs,due to the enhanced license.Also if you carry concealed people won’t know you are armed,so I do not feel that we are giving gun owners a bad name,plus I really don’t care in the end as long as I can protect my family,myself,or others whose lives are in danger,I have no compassion for political correctness when it comes to saving lives!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  57. This is why I’m kind of a fan of section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code and similar laws that define a specific way to post proper notification that a property owner does not want me to carry a concealed firearm.
    So in Texas, I don’t feel at all guilty carrying past non-legally binding “no guns!” signs, as the property owner is obviously not interested enough in the issue to bother posting the legal version.
    In states where there is no avenue to post a legally valid notification via signage, the question is far more ambiguous. In my particular circumstance, I only encounter that particular issue when traveling, and it’s very easy to just “not go in” to all kinds of places when you’re away from home (no tourist dollars for people who don’t want me in their establishments, seems fair to me).

  58. I carry everyone I am allowed to by law except work…and that’s only because I work at a client site and if it were discovered I carry, it could not only cost me my job, but potentially cost my company a great deal of money because it would jeopardize the account.

    Signs carry no force of law in this state either, so I don’t pay any attention to them.

  59. If I am prohibited from carrying by state or federal law, I don’t carry.
    If it is a city rule, law, ordinance, code, regulation, policy, etc., I carry anyway. Here in WA cities and towns are prohibited by state law from enacting laws that are more strict than state law, AKA state preemption.
    If it is a no guns sign in a private business, I carry anyway. Its not illegal to do so. You get into hot water by refusing to leave if asked to do so.

  60. I will carry wherever I please because my life is more important than their false sense of safety. I consider the risk vs. reward (is it worth it to carry in a certain restricted area just to have my gun even though the chances are really slim that ANYthing will happen at all and the chances are very high that I could be caught… I won’t carry) Otherwise to HELL with all those stupid signs. Going to the mall? I carry. Restaurant? I’ll have an extra side of .45 please. On school grounds? You can thank me for ignoring stupidity after I fought the sick bastard to the death that was trying to kill your kids. Hopes are of course these things will never happen.. But they do. That’s just how I feel

  61. What good for the goose is good for the gander. In California law there is a distinction between private property that is open to the public and private property that is not.

    This distinction has been used AGAINST unlicensed carry of arms. See, back in 1923 and ever since the law explicitly states you can carry, openly or concealed, in your home, residence or place of business (or with the permission of the homeowner or the proprietor in the case of business) without any license. The courts have even determined that this includes hotel rooms and camp sites. But then they sneak in a distinction (which is inconsistent with the campsite rule), that such a right only exists where the land is not “semi-public.” Understood as being an area where the public may access without molestation.

    So if you step onto your front lawn or driveway, unless they are enclosed by a fence, illegal. It is legal in the back workrooms of a store, but not out in front. And other such hairsplitting nonsense.

    I always thought that if the law restricts what you can do on your property on the basis that you have opened it to public use/access, it is reasonable that the law should also protect what others do on the property, on the condition that you welcomed the public in the first place.

    I can keep anyone out of my home. But if I choose to open a deli, I am a bit more limited there. I don’t see why this same logic should apply to CCW holders.

  62. Turn around and ask them how many of them have smuggled a bottle of soda or bag of candy into a movie theater. Often it’s on the same exact sign that bans guns. What’s the difference?

  63. for me it depends. first of all the only Legal no guns sign in Texas is a properly worded and placed 30.06 sign, if that sign is present then i wont carry because usually the only places that have them are government buildings or gun shows. as far as the generic no guns allowed signed goes, they pretty much dont exist in my book. I also dont spend to much time in public places aside from walmart. But if your weapon is properly concealed then there shouldn’t be a problem just realize that if you are prepared for that 1 in a million chance that you have to draw your weapon in that gun free zone that you also have an even bigger chance of facing legal repercussion even if you do neutralize the threat.

  64. I carry everywhere as I don’t visit any government buildings, LE centers, airports ect. I see a sign some silly business owner puts up telling everyone that no guns are allowed I treat that sign the same way I treat junk mail, I ignore it, I just don’t crumple it up and throw it in the trash but I want to.

  65. No and no. If everyone obeys the signs then many will see what a PITA they are and perhaps the signs will come down. If someone chooses to disobey a sign, that’s their choice.

    I have, however, OPEN carried in disobedience to signs and have gotten them removed that way. Others have also in Ohio. 😉

  66. Yes, I carry concealed anywhere I want unless the sign has the force of law like courthouses and the like. If you ever see it, you’ll either be really glad or in deep shit.

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