Investigator investigates the scene of a 2015 shooting outside a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Note the "gun free" zone sign on the window. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
chattanooga marine recruiting shooting gun free zone
Investigator investigates the scene of a 2015 shooting outside a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Note the “gun-free” zone sign on the window. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The greatest danger of a “gun-free” zone is, of course, the possibility of a bad actor or actors slaughtering unarmed innocents. Something that’s both sickeningly well-established and obstinately, irrationally ignored.

But gun-free zones present other, less obvious dangers, too. Dangers gun owners need to be aware of in order to protect themselves and their property.

1. Disarming and rearming yourself to enter a “gun-free” zone is inherently dangerous

Everyone has to occasionally enter a post office or other federal building. That means leaving your gun behind unless you want to risk a federal felony charge. Being forces to disarm yourself to comply with the law is process repeated by tens of thousands of legal carriers every day, as they leave their vehicle to enter “gun-free” zones.

A car’s crowded confines may not be the most dangerous place to disarm or rearm, but it sure as hell isn’t the safest. If nothing else, it’s difficult to keep a gun pointed in a safe direction inside a car, given passengers, surrounding pedestrians and/or occupants of nearby vehicles. Self-muzzling may not be inevitable, but it’s likely.

Disarming and then rearming outside of a car carries its own risks. Passersby may freak out at the sight of a firearm, creating a dangerous scene (at least in the legal sense). While we’re at it, where can a car-free or public transport or Taxi-riding person safely disarm before entering a “gun-free” zone? Nowhere. Which may lead them to carry illegally into the GFZ.

2. “Gun-free” zones lead to firearms theft

Check out the Corpus Christi PD’s reaction, above, to the startling rise in the number of firearms stolen from vehicles. Take your firearms when you leave your car! Great idea! Thieves can’t steal a gun that’s not there.

Only you can’t take it with you. Not if you’re a law-abiding American who wants to, say, mail a package or buy some stamps.

Gun owners around the country face this dilemma: leave your gun in your car and risk theft or take it with you and risk the permanent loss of your gun rights (or even jail time). No need to guess which one they choose. Or why thieves target car guns.

As the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex constantly reminds us, bad guys getting “easy access” to guns is a danger to society. Of course, bad guys will get guns no matter what. But there is real danger in having criminals cruising the streets looking to break into cars likely to have guns and then using them to shoot each other or rob law-abiding citizens.

3. Disarming leaves you disarmed

After disarming to enter a post office, government building or my kid’s school, I often forget to rearm. For hours. It’s easy to do when you’re busy with lots to do. We know lots of people who go to put their gun away at night only to discover their holster is empty because they’d left it in the car.

What are the odds that you’ll experience post-GFZ Empty Holster Syndrome during a defensive gun use? Thankfully it’s pretty low But it’s still dangerous to walk around thinking you’re strapped when you’re not.

Bottom line: the less “gun-free zones” the better. For everyone.

48 COMMENTS

  1. You need to go to a different King’s, then. The one we shop at is the highest volume/square foot store in the company, and there are always at least 6-8 stockers on duty to keep up. The customer service there is the best of any chain.
    Agree on the veggies. Don’t eat a lot of meat, so no opinion. Sprouts is THE place for veggies. Whole Paycheck has nothing I want, and Safeway is a black hole.

  2. If Joe wins next week we might become a gun free country forcing all of us to lock everything up until they get around to a confiscation order.

  3. 1. Since I do not do this. The danger is nil.
    2.Refer to #1
    3.Refer to #1
    See how easy it is you just have to make the choice of Disarming, Not entering or Not Complying.
    The Only times I didn’t wear my Concealed Firearm anywhere. Was both times I flew to Costa Rica. TSA sorta frowns on such things and the Costa Rican Police are no one to screw with. They make the TSA look like mall security.

  4. One of the reasons I’ve thought about going to a left side cross draw holster….(see the picture above) Seatbelt has to come off, you have to lift your body away from console ect. It can be done fast if practiced, but not as fast as not having to do gymnastics.

    Safe’s in vehicles prevent snatch and grabs…I have an Toyota OEM console safe. Maybe the Hulk and a crowbar can get into it after about 30 min…it’s that heavy duty. A Toyota example.
    https://www.ebay.com/p/8017347899

    Like Darkman, I seldom disarm going in places..”Sign? What sign? Didn’t see a sign” “Ok, I go spend money somewhere else, no problem!”

    • A safe looks like you keep something valuable there. I keep my car gun in a separate compartment, but it’s built in as part of the car, no indication I keep something special there. However, that uses the compartment up, no room left for my carry gun, I just have to keep that on me, I’m sure the cops will understand (as they have a couple times before).

      • Here in South Carolina no special permission needed to have gun in glove box or console loaded. As a CC I do have to inform the police I’m armed in glove/console or on side at 3:00.

        Bad guys would have to steal the entire vehicle to get into either safe. I have one in the back for long guns as well. Breaking a window and grabbing stuff does not allow time or the tools to get into either. Maybe a cordless grinder, but due to the tightness of fit to the door to sides I would say it’s going to take alot of time. I have a kydex holster taped with 3m double sided 30lb stuff on inside. If I need to secure my weapon it goes in that and is held upright ready to grab. A 1000lum flashlight done the same way. Small opening in safe to fish USB cables to console 12v plug.

        Anyway, I think no-gun zones are an opportunity waiting to happen for mass shooter wackos. Many people have learned nothing from the various shootings. I believe they wish to remain in condition white and no matter how you approach them they refuse to accept reality.

    • Unless they’re running a metal detector or patting people down, I’m armed. That’s all there is to it.

      Well, not quite…

      I don’t have anything suitable for deep concealment in office-casual attire, so carrying at work is out. They do have armed security (they don’t say so, but the security team at this company is deadly serious) so at at least there’s that.

      But I’m not leaving an expensive (to me) pistol in my truck all day, so I’m disarmed going to and from work. It’s only a half-mile, so at least there’s that. But still… We should be able to defend ourselves how we see fit, wherever we are.

      • Try an ankle rig. I used one at my last job as they didn’t allow firearms on the property. At least any they were aware of.

      • Yes…. NAA makes a little item called a MINI REVOLVER….. it slips into a ankle holster arms is so light, you have to consciously try to remember you even HAVE A FIREARM!…. THEY ARE THAT GOOD AT THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE!
        Only a fool would explain away their safety like you do….

      • Get a cheap vehicle gun. Something like the ruger security 9 that’s only 200ish. Or hell even a high point.

        Better an ugly gun then no gun!

    • A good option is to attach a cheap holster under the dash or on the console of your vehicle to put your firearm in if it’s uncomfortable to wear while driving or you happen to be in a hinky neighborhood. I’m sure there are other options on the Interweb. The whole idea of carrying a firearm to have it easily accessible when you need it. When Seconds Matter…Lives Matter.

  5. I was taking my daughter to the Post Office today to send in the renewal on her Georgia carry license. Since we were in her vehicle my lock box wasn’t there and so I ended up shoving the gun under the seat as we parked across the street. Gun free zones are stupid and don’t do what the idiots pushing them claim they want.

  6. I seem to recall a whole bunch of airplanes that were gun free zones about 19 years ago. Anyone whole thinks that gun free zones are safe is a low grade moron.

  7. Like forgetting your kid in your car, no one should ever be so careless and complacent that they “forget” whether they left the kid in the car or their gun until the end of the day.

    Whine all you want about how easy it is to forget something like that and I’ll just look at you wondering how often you forget to zip your pants up after a piss or if you forget to replace your tampon with a new one.

    In other words it’s not something that should become that casual and most people don’t let it. Anyone who does should have their rights to firearms (and children too) revoked cause they’re not taking things seriously.

  8. Where are these gun free zones? Unless someplace is high security with all the bells and whistles, I guarantee there is someone armed. No gun signs stop as many evil people as restraining orders. Both have intent, neither can shield the victims.

  9. I NEVER go into a Federal post office. Here in Allentown, there are plenty of pack-n-ship places that sell stamps and function as an official post office. The owner of the one I use carries a gun.

    Other GFZs, I ignore. Even with my Sneaky Pete, which is only semi-consealment, no one ever challenges me; not security, not even the Karens.

    Lastly, today, my wife and I participated in our 5th roadside Trump flag-waving event. Tomorrow will be our sixth. Based up horn- honking, thumbs-up, and cheers, Trump will carry the popular vote here in PA.

    The Trump car caravans we’ve been in locally have had hundreds of cars and hundreds of people on the over-passes, cheering us on. Magnificent!!

    The support at the flag waving has crossed all racial, ethnic, and religious bounds. A car load of women in Muslim headscarves honked and raised thumbs-up.

    TRUMP/PENCE 202O.

    • “Based up horn- honking, thumbs-up, and cheers, Trump will carry the popular vote here in PA.”

      The problem will be with ballot-stuffing thanks to court ruling allowing votes up to 3 days past election day to be counted, without a postmark.

      They are planning on stealing the Pennsylvania electoral votes, after Nov.3…

    • Putting these two together, why would anyone wish to pat you down in a GFZ? I mean, it’s a GFZ, right? So it’s all good!

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  11. I keep a gun safe under the front passenger seat. The cable is looped around the seat frame. Most car thieves don’t carry the tools needed to cut the cable or pry open the safe.

    I don’t leave firearms in the car overnight, gun safe or not.

    There is the problem to remember to rearm. Also, most men carry their pistols on their belt or waist. As stated above, it’s not easy to tuck a pistol in your pants when seated in an automobile.

    • Check out the posts above that cover these exact areas. Do Not leave your firearm in your car…Ever…Period. The Regret of having someone you Love die because the sign said I couldn’t have my firearm for protection. Will haunt you until you for rest of your life. Life is full of choices and regrets. Choosing the ones you can live with make the regrets easier to deal with. Peace Be With You.

  12. Let’s not overlook our active and retired Sevice personnel and all civ that work on military bases that can’t be armed to/from because you can’t even bring it on Base. There are some minor exceptions for bases with off duty gun ranges, on base hunting and to secure some barracks residents firearms. CC, not without the expressed written consent of the Base CO!

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