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As a (now) dyed-in-wool Texan I have to admit it: the Lone Star State isn’t the most gun-friendly of places. Compared to Rhode Island (from whence I came), it’s a paradise of firearms freedom. Compared to Arizona (where Constitutional Carry holds sway) or Utah (where permit holders can carry in schools), Texas is still restrictive. But we have a secret weapon in the fight to defend and extend gun rights restoration. . .

See those big ass signs to the right of the door to Time Warner Cable soon-to-be Spectrum store? The bricks-and-mortar alternative to hold music hell is sporting 30.06 and 30.07 notifications. Let’s have a closer look . . .

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The thirty-ought-six sign (left) bans concealed carry. The thirty-ought-seven sign (right) bans open carry. Texans who want to transform their business into a mythical “gun-free zone” have to post BOTH signs — complete with their 1″ bilingual text — at the entrance to their establishment. Wait. Did I say “the” entrance? To be legal they have to be posted at EVERY entrance.

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How great is that? Really great! For some strange reason, businesses don’t like to plaster their front window and back doors with these ginormous posters. So . . . they don’t. Some leave them off entirely (win!). Some only post 30.07 signs (partial win!). And some ignore the law and post smaller more authentically pleasing (i.e., forgettable) signs that don’t carry the force of law (something of a win!). Here’s an example snapped at the restaurant directly across from the TWC/Spectrum store.

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No 1911’s! Because the above “no guns allowed” sign isn’t legal, you’re good to stow at Salata. If you open carry and they clock your GLOCK, they can ask you to leave. You’re obliged to do so. Same thing if you’re carrying concealed, but who’s gonna know?

I don’t mean to get lost in the weeds. My point: Texas firearms signage requirements are both singular and totally awesome! Not only are the huge signs a huge disincentive for marketing-minded businesses to ban legal carry, they’re also an advertisement for potential robbers (come and take it?). Which is another disincentive to go all “gun free zone.”

My modest proposal: a federal “no guns allowed” signage law. From sea to shining sea (and out to Hawaii and Guam), any U.S. business that bans concealed and/or open carry has to post these same huge notices at every entrance.

Yes, yes, I know: federal laws suck, generally. If Uncle Sam could mandate “gun free zone” signs could mandate other signage. The next thing you know there’ll be mandatory health warnings on cigarette packages and nutritional information on all packaged foods. Oh wait . . .

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70 Responses to A Modest Proposal for A New Federal Gun Law

  1. Interesting idea, but bad precedent. Remember we’re not dealing with rational people here. You think they hated us then, just you wait and see. These people thirst for war and conflict and they will not stop, ever, until either they or you are dead. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

    Tom

    • It won’t be them, as they intend to send someone else to do battle in their place, not dirty their own hands. Where they plan to find “someone else”, they don’t know, but I do! “Yes, sir! I’m going after them every day! Where’s that check? Trust me, we got ’em on the run!”

      • You never HAD the right to enter someone else’s private property. If they deny you permission to enter, for whatever reason, that is the right of the property owner.

    • I think I know what Robert meant to say – namely that in states where no gun signs actually have the force of law, then make them put up ginormous signs like they do in Texas.

      At least I hope that’s what Robert meant, because what he actually wrote was one of the stupidest ideas I’ve seen in a long time. I live in a state where no signage can carry the force of law. State preemption rules here, so unless they pass a new law at the state level, carrying a gun into any business is not against the law irrespective of what signage they put up.

      Robert’s idea would be to create a Federal Law that would allow an anti-gun business in my state to post a sign that would make it a Federal crime for me to ignore it and carry a gun inside. Really?

      • I’m a Texan and face the same circumstances RF does, but you’ve expressed my exact thoughts.
        How about, if I’m not a felon or some other form of prohibited person, I get to carry where I please, and “no guns” signs have zero weight of law, regardless of where I go? Seems like a no brainer to me. There are no other rights similarly prohibited by the mere presence if a sign, so pardon me I’d I don’t understand why these signs can.

        • *Ahem*
          You have NO right to enter my property. Should I choose to give you permission to enter my private property, I may place any restrictions I like on that access. That is MY RIGHT.

        • Painful to say, but Button is rather on point. Firearm carriers are not a protected class, and are unlikely to become one, so I don’t see a reason why even a public-serving property owner should not be allowed to discriminate.

          That being said, I do think the the government should not be permitted to deny services during the free exercise of rights, so long as such exercise does not interfere with government business. That would include carrying of firearms or engaging from the soapbox.

        • We should do away with all the “protected class” BS. It serves no useful purpose, as ALL citizens are supposed to be treated equally. It is idiotic for a business owner, who offers services or products to the general public, to be able to deny service to one group of citizens (say, gun carriers), but be forced to serve another group (for example, Black people or those with physical handicaps) because the latter have “special citizen” status. There are not supposed to be any “special citizens;” we are all supposed to be equal under the law. We need a law that supersedes and overturns all other laws creating special “protected classes.”

    • Seriously! No other argument should have to be made and I don’t think I will ever understand why any government (federal/state/local) is able to circumvent or obfuscate that very clear phrase.

  2. The TX law sucks. I’d much prefer the law in AZ or WA be the national posterboy: there are no requirements for the size, wording, location, etc. of the sign. If management asks you to leave (for any reason: carrying guns, no shoes, etc.), you must leave or face trespassing charges.
    Much simpler, and there’s no possibility of someone not spotting a sign and getting convicted for a non-crime.

    • Well, in TX all they can do is ask you to leave, and that doesn’t happen all that easy. I keep taking the family to eat, occasionally in areas with some damn sign or another. I become less attentive to my EDC near the end of the meal, as if I am asked to leave, I will leave INSTANTLY, not stopping by the cashier on the way out, and not returning to pay the (usually over $100) bill unless the sign is removed, first.

      • The difference is that no gun signs do not carry the force of law in those states, in contrast to the 30.07 and 30.07 signs. So if you carry where posted in Arizona or Washington, they can ask you to leave, and as long as you comply, there are no other consequences. In Texas, if you carry where properly posted signs are present, you can face charges. That’s objectively worse.

        • Only a misdemeanor at worst, unless you are asked to leave in the precense of a LEO and do not comply…then and only then, the charge can be trespassing.

        • No misdemeanor on your record is better than misdemeanors on your record. I don’t see where the plus is on the Texas side of the scale is on this one.

  3. Yesterday was the first day to file bills for the 2017 Legislative session. There are a couple filed already that address roll back signage requirements for 30.06 and 30.07. Other than maybe a go at fixing campus carry, I don’t see too much in the way of gun legislation this session, since OC and CC passed last session. There will be the standard UBC, gun show, and man restriction bills that will go nowhere, but the signage issue bears note. The business owner groups aren’t likely to publically throw support behind easing the requirements, but should it get a hearing, they may take the burdensome on small business approach. It’s worth keeping an eye on.

    • If we’re going to address them, I can get behind requiring the size to double. Every year. Are you *sure* you want to open the question?

    • Burden on small businesses was addressed last session and went the way of the River of no Return.

  4. I miss Texas, but always ignored all signs and carried everywhere out of civil disobedience and still do today even though I am in NJ. I know eventually i might run into trouble but civil disobedience means you are willing to suffer the unjust punishment not just the breaking the law part. Its true that Texas isnt the most gun friendly state but they do have the best use of force laws in the country. You can use lethal force to protect property and can shoot those running away after committing crime even criminal mischief. It even gets a lot worse for criminals after it gets dark. God bless TEXAS.

    • “I miss Texas, but always ignored all signs and carried everywhere out of civil disobedience and still do today even though I am in NJ.”

      You, sir, win today’s “Great Big Brass Pair” award…

  5. In Colorado there is no option for a private business to legally create a “no gun” zone. They can post signs but you aren’t breaking a law by ignoring them. If they don’t like you they can kick you out, but that’s it. I like that better. I think ADA should get into this. I’m too old and fat to fight an MMA fighter so I have to carry a gun to counteract my disability. Would a business have any right to kick me out because I have a wheelchair?

    • Beat me to the CO portion of this conversation. The only thing that matters are metal detectors. No detector, I’m carrying. No searching of people or bags? I’m carrying. That’s all people that live here need to know. There is no other legal piece to worry about.

      • Florida is pretty much the same as what you have.

        I think it’s a sly play to appease the antis. “See? No naughty guns here!” While the lawfully armed go about their business in peace. See no evil, etc.

      • Georgia is another place where the signs have no force of law. If you set a standard sign more states will give that sign the force of law.

      • Colorado resident here. I carry where I damn please except in places subject to search or metal detectors. About the only time I run into that is the major athletic venues in Denver, where you’re probably going to go through a detector.

        USPS property is still problematic. I’ll CC there, but no way would I open carry.

      • Exactly. Concealed mens concealed, and the mall cops are too busy looking at the teenage girls to see the belt clips for my holster.

  6. If the gov’t can protect people of different races, religions and sexual orientations from discrimination, they can protect gun carriers as well. I say they don’t get to have it both ways. You can kick me out for wearing a gun, but I can’t kick you out for wearing a headscarf? Where’s the justice???
    Boo this man’s proposal. BOOOOO!!

  7. At a marina I used to moor our boat, the boat owners had a meeting with the marina management. During the meeting someone asked about rules for living aboard. The rules we all signed as tenants neither allowed nor disallowed it, but other rules indirectly addressed doing so without creating a hard and fast policy. The few that were living aboard were careful to not violate them. One of the marina owners responded to the question by asking ‘do you really want to get into this? It may not be in your best interest.’ We’re no longer at that marina, but they ended up adopting a ‘3 days a week and 10 days a month’ rule.
    Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.

    • Think again. I have been carrying every day, everywhere, for over 15 years now, have never paid a bit of attention to the signs, and have never had a bit of trouble about it. The signs are eyewash for the morons, do not affect anyone else. As opposed to NJ arresting and prosecuting people for a damn cartridge case, or whatever. Find a person *prosecuted* for something stupid, before assuming that a simple unenforced law is a big infringement. If you are a PU55Y, I suppose it is an infringement; if not, just ignore it!

      • Just because it’s not enforced all that often doesn’t mean it isn’t a bad law. Universal background checks haven’t really been enforced here in Washington, does that make them a good idea? It’s on the books, so it could be used against you at any time. If it’s not being applied, then get rid of it.

      • If your argument is, as it appears to be, “We’re better than New Jersey!” maybe you should be the one thinking again.

        Texas is not the state we want to model gun laws after.

  8. There are 2 types of “no gun” zones in Georgia. Post a sign, if you carry there they have to ask you to leave, if you don’t you are trespassing. The only one that has the force of law requires that you have metal detectors and guards, that is the second type. The second type is usually only seen at government buildings and large event venues.

    • That’s the way it should be. Dang Georgia, y’all got that and drinking while carrying. You usually don’t think of Georgia as a place that has it’s shit together.

      • Yeah but thanks to our near useless governor, we don’t have campus carry, since that useless (explitive) vetoed a good bill on that this year.

  9. Sure! Great idea! Just show me, please, where in the Constitution the federal government has the authority to compel such signage?

    Oh wait…..are we doing that “I’m a Constitutional purist and I demand my unfettered rights, free of any government mandates, because ‘Murica! (Except when it’s something somebody else is or is not doing which really ticks me off. In that case, release the federal hounds to do my selfish, statist bidding, because Me!” thing, again?

  10. How about an act whose general provisions provide nationwide protections for Second Amendment rights.

    There should be a general provision that prohibits every state and local government from imposing any law that disqualifies or denies anyone their rights without probable cause, removing unfettered discretion from licensing authorities.

    Other provisions should specifically outlaw any smoke and mirrors that are used to disenfranchise law abiding citizens, such as ridiculous training requirements or high license fees.

    And another provision that requires strict scrutiny for any law, rule or regulation that limits Second Amendment rights.

    The Second Amendment should be as sacrosanct as any other Constitutionally-protected right. Period.

    • It seems paradoxical that no federal statute can successfully impose the suggested provisions unless the Supreme Court agrees that such legislation is constitutionally permissible as necessary to insure our rights under the 2nd amendment, as assured even against state and local predation by the 14th. Yet, if we gain a Supreme Court that finds that “shall not be infringed” means what it says, and that the14th amendment effectively protects second amendment rights against all levels of government, then we don’t need the statute.

      Here’s hoping.

  11. Picky nit:
    While a 30.07 (no open carry) notice must be posted at each entrance, a 30.06 notice need only be posted in “a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.” 30.06 does NOT contain the “at each entrance” provision that’s in 30.07.

    Other note: as I mentioned in a comment on an earlier thread, some Texas businesses are going with a fourth option: post what facially appear to be 30.06/30.07 notices, but do so in a way that probably makes them unenforceable. For example, Whole Foods Market. They use large clear decals with red lettering that they put on clear glass doors, and then typically put product displays in front of them. Are those enforceable? Well, they are not “in contrasting colors,” and putting product displays in front of them may well make them not “a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.” (Not sure I’d volunteer to be the guinea pig for the legal challenge, but there’s certainly an issue.)

    Why would they do that? For WFM, maybe they think it’s a “win-win” — the hoplophobes feel good because WFM is virtue-signaling its solidarity with them, and the gun folks see that they aren’t doing it right. Or maybe their New Age interior designers just didn’t like the look of those icky gun signs . . . .

    • “30.06 does NOT contain the “at each entrance” provision that’s in 30.07.”

      It did 10, 15, and 20 years ago when I took the course, before 30.07 came on the scene. When do you assert that changed?

      • Don’t know when it may have changed, but he’s right. Look up the code. It says:

        “(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.”

        Now compare that to 30.07, which says:
        “(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.”

        Don’t know what the law used to be, but that’s what the current law is, as of 1/1/2016. 30.07 must be at every entrance, 30.06 doesn’t even need to be on an entrance, it just needs to be “clearly visible to the public”.

  12. Nope. Roll back all signage laws, if they don’t want you in their store that is open to the public, they have to tell you to your face, not by proxy.

  13. There are plenty of states where there is no such thing as a 30.06/30.07 sign, and no law against carrying into businesses period (trespassing laws still apply if you refuse to leave).

    So, no, I’ll thank you and the federal government you’re riding in on to leave us alone lest we suddenly have more restrictions than we had before!

  14. NYS is certinly no pro gun state , but in 30 years of carrying I have never ever seen one sign, saying I could not carry there . Carrying where booze is severed is ok too!

    Never had to take a class or renew it either . Some of these ” free” states have messed up,laws as well it seems .

  15. Farago, your understanding of the law is wrong. You said:

    “Texans who want to transform their business into a mythical “gun-free zone” have to post BOTH signs — complete with their 1″ bilingual text — at the entrance to their establishment. Wait. Did I say “the” entrance? To be legal they have to be posted at EVERY entrance.”

    That is only true for 30.07. The rules for 30.06 are different. Nothing in the law says anything about 30.06 having to be posted at every entrance. In fact, there’s no requirement that 30.06 signs be posted at ANY entrance. The law only says that the sign must be “displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.”

  16. I said this on the last post about these things, but I actually kinda appreciate the “No 1911’s signs”. There’s a place in Houston with a 30.06 sign about 3″ square, which just seems to be an attempt to trick someone and screw them over.

    No 1911’s might just be a way to keep from having to talk to MDA people.

  17. No thanks. Signs don’t carry the force of law where I live, and I’d like to keep it that way. Although, I rarely, if ever, see no guns signs in my fairly liberal state. And the gun laws here are much better than Texas’ laws.

  18. I say tack on legal liability for the safety of those who enter. Should a peace loving immigrant from the middle east go off the deep end they own the responsibility.

  19. You may want to read the law, as there is NO requirement to post 30.06 at the entrances. Only 30.07 has that requirement.

    I wish it was a requirement for 30.06, as it makes it easier for me to know where NOT to spend my money.

  20. I would rather any business using 2A / self defense prohibitive signage to be held liable for any crime committed on their premises and their patrons compensated for any damages, distress, or loss of liberty / income, etc.

    Double fines if they have zero security measures in place.

  21. I would say no more laws. NC signage with specific wording has the force of law. I have only seen it on restaurants in trendy areas that appeal to SJW’s. I have never seen it on stores, on restaurants in tourist locations, nor on chain restaurants. I saw a guy open carrying a 1911 in a Cracker Barrel outside of Raleigh and no-one cared. Very few people here carry openly, at least in my experience, although it is legal. Of course, concealed means concealed, and outside of those few SJW places, I doubt anyone here would challenge a carrier, except for obvious open carry where the sign is posted. With the new regime in Washington, I would hope that outside of the usual states, other places will back off on anti-gun legislation.

  22. Bilingual? They should have to be in any language spoken in the U.S. by more than a million people, which would mean Chinese, German, and French as well as English and Spanish.

    But really — no: not even by putting up a sign should businesses be allowed to infringe on my personal right to provide as I judge best for my personal protection, especially when said infringement is backed by government guns.

  23. Not to nitpick here, a good article but “…more authentically pleasing…”.

    I assume this to be a “damn you autospell” moment and you meant aesthetically, that is concerned with the appearance of something, rather than “authentically” which would be suggesting that some signs are disingenuously or falsely pleasing.

  24. I can’t agree with this. If you believe in freedom than you believe that people should be allowed to do what they want with their property. if the property owners do not want to allow guns on their property that is their right to do so. Just as it is your right to not visit their establishment.

    These posters are just another abuse of big government power to punish those that you don’t like. Something that we in the 2A community should not be promoting since many of us frequently rally against abuse of government power.

  25. How about respecting other people’s property rights which are just as important as firearms rights. And no, you are not a “Texan”. The proper term is “carpetbagger”.

  26. I love the 30.06 term, tells me what I need to know.
    Robert, regardless of where you were born, if you live in Texas and your children, or grandchildren, or great-grandchildren…etc were born in Texas, you are one of us.🇨🇱

  27. These proprietors cannot prohibit me from entering their establishment and conducting their advertised business with me because of race, creed, color, religious or sexual preference–by Federal mandate. So why can they stick up a sign and prohibit me from entering or doing business if I am exercising an inalienable right per our US Constitution? What is the legal grounds for state legislatures creating these injustices? Maybe that is a question that needs to be settled once the new POTUS takes office and gets real Constitutional Justice on the Supreme Court bench.

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