By James England via concealednation.org
In a previous article, we discussed several large chains that had standing “no weapons” policies in place for a majority of their nationwide venues. This is very annoying for the responsible concealed carrier who tries to stay within the laws. A big one we keep hearing about: the issue of carrying concealed into movie theaters. Who doesn’t love watching a great movie on the big screen? Thankfully . . .
a lot of smaller businesses are wising up to the trend that concealed carriers stop armed criminals. This is also great because small businesses are more acutely aware of their need to be inclusive of all their shoppers — more particularly those who may come to their defense if the need arises.
Tips On Talking To “Gun Free” Business Owners
Your best bet for making any headway in dismantling a “gun free zone” is through logical, calm discussion with an actual manager or owner from the business itself. In almost all states, a business has the right to designate its premises as “gun free” — because private property is an inherent right observed by the state. States like Texas, though, require businesses that prohibit open and concealed carry to display those notifications in a uniform and clearly visible way (also called 30.06 signage).
If the business has markings that indicate it would like you not to carry inside that business, for the purposes of this discussion — concede to that request. The most counter-productive argument to have is one starting on the wrong foot.
Concealed Carrier: “I’d like to speak to you about your weapons policy. Did you know that criminals don’t acknowledge ‘gun-free’ signs?”
Business Owner: “Do you have a handgun on you?”
Concealed Carrier: …(silence)… “Y-y-yes?” (or) “I’m not legally obligated to disclose that information.”
Step 1: Respect The Signage
Step 2: Discuss Why Concealed Carry Is A Good Thing
The best way to understand a business owner’s decision to enforce a “gun-free zone” is to ask why he feels he needs one in the first place. If the reason is because he doesn’t want his business to be robbed, kindly point out that concealed carriers are generally law-abiding individuals interested in simply going about their business — not robbing the place. Armed criminals, however, don’t need to legally obtain their guns or their permit to carry concealed.
If the reason is because the business uses high-powered electromagnets with variable voltage and current, you’re probably in Doctor Frankenstein’s castle and should leave before his monster gets loose.
Step 3: Discuss The Benefits Of Added Business
Letting concealed carriers come and go as they please through a business improves foot traffic and increases the likelihood of business. If a concealed carrier has a choice between two shoe shops, for example, he will generally choose the one which allows him to go inside with his gun.
For small-to-medium business owners, they have to compete with a growing world of Amazon, eBay, and a slew of other online retailers. Even service-related professions are increasingly becoming Uber-ized. So, increasing a loyal base of customers is always in the business owner’s interest. Allowing concealed carry is a great first step.
Added bonus: Nobody has to know there are concealed carriers inside the business. Simply removing the ridiculous signage is enough.
Step 4: Invite The Business Owner To A Gun Range
The best way to get over an irrational fear of guns is to get to use one in a responsible setting. Going out to a beautiful outdoor gun range is the perfect way to get acquainted with firearms. This is an opportunity to learn that firearms are just tools — and in the hands of the ‘good guys’, they can be used to save lives.
In conclusion, if you speak to a business owner who has “no gun” signs on his or her doors, you’re creating the opportunity to open up a business to a new class of customers as well as promote the culture. Responsible concealed carriers are a boon to any business.