There are times when I ignore signs that prohibit the lawful carry of firearms here in the great state of Texas. Thankfully, most of these establishments violate the strict requirements for legally-binding signage. Which are as follows [via texas3006.com]:
In Texas there are three different signs that restrict a License to Carry holder from carrying their handgun into a place of business. They are a 30.06 sign, a 30.07 sign, and a 51% sign.
A 30.06 sign is a sign that a business owner can post to restrict a LTC (License to Carry) holder from entering the business with a concealed handgun. The sign must contain the exact words required by Section 30.06 in both English and Spanish [as above], be placed in an area visible to the public, and have 1″ lettering or it will not be considered a legally-binding 30.06 sign.
“Gunbuster” signs, or signs with a red slash through a gun, are not considered valid 30.06 postings.
A 30.07 sign is a sign that a business owner can post to restrict a LTC holder from entering the business with a handgun carried openly. The sign must contain the exact words required by Section 30.07 in both English and Spanish [as above], be placed in an area visible to the public, and have 1″ lettering or it will not be considered a legally-binding 30.07 sign.
“Gunbuster” signs, or signs with a red slash through a gun, are not considered valid 30.07 postings.
A 51% sign is a sign that a business is required by law to post if 51% of their revenue is obtained through on-premises drinking, such as at a bar. Unfortunately this also has the consequence of not allowing LTC holders to enter the premises where the drinking is taking place while carrying their handgun.
Additional places are not required to post a sign to forbid LTC holders from entering the premises with their handgun as Texas law already forbids it, such as court houses and certain educational institutions.
These signs are huge AND they must BOTH be posted at ALL entrances to a private establishment if it wishes to ban BOTH concealed AND open carry. Which is why most Austin businesses put up a translucent decal instead (e.g., Whole Foods, as above). Or use a legally invalid “gun buster” sign (e.g., Lamberts BBQ).
Businesses that don’t want to “desecrate” their establishments with the proper, legally binding signs may instead provide written or verbal notice to a patron, who then must leave the premises. Obviously, that only really works for people who open carry.
Once informed, if you leave, there’s no penalty. If you get into an argument and the cops are called, it’s a misdemeanor rap the first time. Gun rights may be suspended temporarily for the second offense. Permanently for the third.
Bottom line: most of the time, when I carry concealed “illegally,” I’m not carrying illegally.
It’s not a point I’d like to pursue in court. But as concealed means concealed, I don’t anticipate having to do so. And if I do end up in front of a judge after a defensive gun use, well, so what? Better to be judged by twelve, etc.
Carrying a gun for self-defense in a public place is not an option I’m willing to forgo. Unless I am. I don’t carry in my daughter’s school, where firearms are prohibited under Bush the Elder’s Gun Free School Zones Act. If I’m caught carrying it’s a federal beef; I’d lose my gun rights forever.
And I don’t carry in Whole Foods. If I’m caught there I’d face a permanent ban from the store. Say what you will; I value their food and the occasional recipe exchange with exceedingly healthy members of the opposite sex.
OpSec demands that I not reveal places where I carry illegally, full stop. Let’s just say they’re the kind of crowded public environments where spree killings have occurred. Locations where I place my ability to defend myself and my loved ones by force of arms above any and all legal restraints.
A part of me would like to open carry somewhere where it’s completely forbidden. Where I would stand my ground and be ticketed. So that I could fight that ticket in court, asserting that my right to keep and bear arms trumps private property rights. But there’s a problem with that.
I’m a small “c” conservative. Someone who believes the less government interference in any and all aspects of our lives, the better. I don’t think that gun rights DO trump private property rights. If a private business wants to exclude gun owners, or Jews, or blacks, so be it. (If it doesn’t want to bake a cake for gays, same deal.) If that’s the case, I don’t want to give them my money.
Which makes me a hypocrite. I respect property rights but I don’t respect property rights. My only defense is . . . selfishness. Self-preservation. Preservation of my loved ones. Does that make me a bad person?