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Reader Blake Hiatt writes:

I have been in the market to purchase a pendant that matches some earrings I purchased for my wife. My regular jeweler had not been able to give me a hand, so, I decided to try another jewelry store. As luck would have it, a brand new “Jared” opened not far from where my wife and I live. I noticed, as I was entering the store, a “no guns allowed” sign” My first instinct was to turn away, but, in the end, I went in . . .

While in the store, I received excellent service and the manager was extremely helpful, even though the store did not stock what I was looking for. After chatting with the manager for a while, he gave me his card and we discussed my return, next time with pictures of the earrings.

After I left, my conscience got the better of me and I reluctantly concluded that I could not do business with Jared because of their policy. However, I also thought I owed the manager an explanation as to why I wouldn’t be doing business with Jared. I went back to the store, asked for the manager and requested that we speak in private.

The manager was extremely attentive as I explained my position. I did make a point of asking if the sign was his policy or corporate policy. (The sign is corporate policy. I was pretty sure it was, but thought I should verify.)

As I said to the manager, the sign isn’t going to keep out people intent on robbing the store and, in fact, the sign would only keep out those who might be his only line of defense, should a robbery occur. The manager agreed and told me he would try to kick my position up the corporate ladder. I pointed out that people who have guns also tend to have a few dollars and, more than likely, I’m not the only sale Jared is going to lose due to their no guns policy.

I also told him I’d write about the experience and my disappointment with corporate policy.

On the upside, the manager was extremely nice about the whole thing, which made me regret my stand, but, not to the point of changing my mind. During our chat, I remained pleasant with the manager and, as he is new to the area, I invited him to church, and also offered to take him shooting.

Because the photo above is a little hard to make out, I’ve transcribed it:


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      • As someone who doesn’t buy a lot of jewelry, what are the better options? Just thinking ahead, I know the wife will be mad when I get a milling machine or another motorcycle.

      • I live in Maryland. The only “no guns allowed” sign I have seen this isn’t on/in a government building is on the Jared entry doors. I am 99% sure it is a corporate policy to have this sign on the “victim hunting area”.

      • … you have a problem with the fact i might want to buy jewelry? Why? Why in hell would you remotely care?

        Kind of a moot point anyway as I don’t actually care for jewelry anyway. I just said that as a general statement. And that’s pretty much what I say each time I find out I can’t carry in a place. I just don’t go there unless I must.

        • Dont get so emotional, was joking. Where we live it is an inside joke about buying retail jewelry. Maybe not so where you live.

  1. Very similar to what happened with me and Raising Canes. I used to eat there a lot, like once a week or more. One day I walk in and there’s a no gun sign. I sent a letter directly to corporate and got a very nice personal response from someone, but the signs remain. I still go there, but it’s more like once every 2 months rather than once a week. Oh, and I still carry while I’m there.

  2. In Illinois that is a non compliant sign, the Jared’s here have not taken (that I have seen) to posting compliant ones. Some of them DO have armed security, it is very low key, guys in suits who hang around looking like they are reading a paper or browsing for a little too long so be careful. The Jared I used to shop at had one of those signs before concealed carry was even legal in Illinois, I always got a kick out of that.

    Most big time jewelers and honestly corporations are ant gun if you dig deep enough.

    • It’s a good time to recheck your state law. As with Illinois, our state requires a VERY specific “No Guns” sign: a big ugly sign that does not “match” anything. Just the kind of thing that no art director, exterior designer or such would allow on company doors. I have walked past such non-compliant signs, but only when there was no option choice: cable TV company, for instance. It felt nice giving a hidden finger to an ineffective government-mandated monopoly that may not be long for this world.

  3. I ignore no weapons signs. I carry concealed. This is Washington State and we have Marijuana stores. A few days ago, a long time friend of mine who I’ve know since the mid 70s who has a terminal lung disease, I was giving him a ride to drop off his vehicle at a tire store when I noticed a pot store that I didn’t know was there. He has been using Kronic Tonic since he can’t smoke. He has never been in one of these stores. I bought the first vile of kronic as a gift for him. I’m a nice guy but not that nice and I’m not going to keep buying 35 dollar viles of oil for him. So I told him we’re going to check this store out. As I got to the front door, in plain letters was NO WEAPONS. I turned around and zipped up my coat a little as I carry appendix and if a person really looks hard, they could possibly see my weapon. Other than school yards, court houses and government buildings that could get me arrested, these no weapon signs mean absolutely nothing to me. If our laws were different and it was a crime, I’d have to reevaluate my actions.

    • If you set foot on somebody else’s private property, you have an obligation to follow their rules. Otherwise, you are trespassing. And that is indeed a crime.

      Most of the time, they will just ask you to leave if they detect you are carrying. But they may call the police, and this would be a great way to lose your permit.

      Don’t do it.

      • Yeah maybe, since cannabis stores are regulated by the Washington State Liquor board, it’s like carrying into a bar. I never go into bars and I have been in a pot shop twice now. I suspect you are right and that actually is against the law.

      • I ignore these signs in all but areas that hold the weight of law. In Pennsylvania, the list is very limited. Stores, Malls, and Hospitals do not. The way I see it, I carry a small Glock 42 IWB that is not visible. It won’t go off by itself. I’m not going to commit a crime. If I happen to need, they’ll be glad that I broke their infantile rule. As it happens, In Pennsylvania, a psychiatrist named Lee Silverman had the same policy. He was not arrested, to the contrary, he was credited with saving his own and the lives of others.

        • The other day I went to the Penndot office for my photo driver’s license and they had a “no guns” sticker on the door (the one with the 92FS with the red line through it in the red circle).

          Penndot offices are not on the prohibited places list. This seems to be a violation of Pennsylvania law.

        • Force of law is exactly it. My error was not realizing the new pot shops in Washington State are are statutorily prohibited places. It’s all under RCW 9.41.300
          A person who ignores signs at locations that are not statutorily prohibited can’t be arrested unless they refuse lawful requests to disarm or leave. Only then can a person be arrested for trespass. Being in a grocery store that has no weapons on their door can’t get you arrested if you comply with their requests after they found out you were carrying a weapon on their property.
          Like I said, I have been in a pot store twice. Once to get my dying friend some Kronic, and then again so he would know where to go next time.

          Interestingly, under RCW 9.41.300 the employees of such a pot store can carry a firearm, just not the patrons or other people. The first time I went in one of the stores, the employee was obviously really stoned. He was high as a kite. I don’t drink or use any drugs and I’d rather be carrying than the bake-head who worked there.

      • In WA, and I suspect most places, in a place that is open to the public you are not automatically trespassing just because you ignore rules that do not have force of law. In WA this includes no guns signs, unless it is a place where you are prohibited to carry. They have to ask you to leave (and you refuse) before it becomes trespassing.

    • I really hope that you didn’t give them your name/address/DL#…as cannabis is still illegal under federal law. If the feds get a hold of state data bases…you may very well not pass the federal NICS check and lose your right to own a firearm…I wouldn’t go anywhere near a pot shop.

      • Since I don’t use it, I’m not in violation of the questions on the form that asks if I’m a user of illegal drugs.
        I’m a never smoker of tobacco, don’t taken any prescription medication and don’t use any other drug legal or illegal.
        I’m also a licensed pilot and I take that very VERY seriously. I’d be happy to pee in a cup anytime for any reason.
        My long time friend of 40 years from high school has Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. It’s advanced and he’s going to die from it. Federal law can SMD.

      • @ Jimmy
        And no, you don’t show your ID unless you look underage to buy.
        There’s no way to track you. It’s a cash sale. $35 and away you go.

  4. I’m just like “hey, your call”. I’m not that worried about robbery, and private binnesses being able to say ‘no’ fits in my world view, as something that’s OK.

    Not to criticize the OP. Did what he thought was right, in his own way, for the interest we share. It’s great.

  5. I do the samething I always do, mind my business, do what I gotta do, and quickly leave.

    I don’t wear super tight clothes and I’ve never been strip searched at the store, so who’s gonna know but me.

    Concealed means concealed.

    • Concealed means concealed only until it doesn’t, as in until you must use it.

      It’s one thing for a respected doctor employee to use his illegally carried concealed handgun to halt a spree shooting, and be neither terminated nor prosecuted. Its quite another for some random customer at a retail store to draw, for whatever otherwise legal reasons, and not face charges for the original illegal carrying.

      A conviction like that will cost you your carry license in Texas, which extends the danger far beyond having gone into just that one store unarmed.

      • I was going add this before my phone crapped out.

        The only “otherwise legal reason” I would draw in a situation like that would be if my life was directly in danger.

        Not for a robbery, or cause someone was stealing me truck, or for the store’s money, or someone’s life, only if I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it home to my family. And in that situation, I’ll rather take my chance lawyering up as a criminal who carried against the law, rather than be dead and in good legal standing with state law.

    • I completely agree. I don’t change my shopping habits based on somebody else’s antics. If I’m ever asked to leave, I’ll reconsider how I’m carrying — not where I’m shopping.

  6. I ignore them. Fortunately in Indiana, signs don’t carry the force of law to violate my rights. That said, given the option, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  7. So basically you have to enter and park in the parking lot to walk up to and read the door sign to find out that you just unlawfully entered the parking lot with a firearm?

    They should be obligated to put a sign large enough to be read from a moving vehicle before entering the parking lot?

    Didn’t Jared just get busted for kiddie porn? I don’t think I’ll spend my money there.

    • Different Jared entirely. You are thinking of the Jared who was a spokesman for Subway sandwich shops. No connection.

    • “…So basically you have to enter and park in the parking lot to walk up to and read the door sign to find out that you just unlawfully entered the parking lot with a firearm?”

      These are the same people who put the ‘legal disclaimer’ in their email footer saying that if this email isn’t for you to delete it.

      In other words…. useful idiots.

  8. The most annoying and most hypocritical are gun ranges that do not allow carrying of holstered firearms. Big Sandy MG shoot doesn’t allow carrying of sidearms. A couple of ranges near me do not allow carry, either. They argue that it’s for safety reasons, negligent discharges, insurance, etc, i.e., the same argument any business uses to prohibit carry. There’s a tinge of hypocrisy there.

    • The range nearest my house allows holstered weapons. It’s a combo store and range. Their policy is don’t unhoster unless you are in the range and on the firing line, and then no drawing to fire. While I miss not being able to practice drawing and firing, it’s an indoor range and usually fairly full, so the policy makes pretty good sense.

      • Mine allows you to draw and fire…provided they have checked you out and seen you know what you’re doing (not sweeping the guys next to you, etc.) Obviously such considerations would rule out cross draw and shoulder holsters, but strong side carry can work.

    • This is especially true of the (non-profit) gun clubs in my area. I belong to two different “NRA affiliated” clubs and they both prohibit concealed and open carry.

      I think these clubs are hypocritical and maintaining a “no carry” policy only provides fodder for the gun control crowd.

      Then again, they are full of FUDDs that didn’t bother to come out to vote in the past election, turning over control of the PA Supreme Court to the Democrats by a 5 to 2 margin. If the FUDDs had come out to vote for the Republicans, the Democrats would have lost by a substantial margin. The overall turnout was very low.

      The (for-profit) gun ranges in my area allow both open and concealed carry.

  9. I’ve said it before – I’ll say again: no guns allowed signs are for law abiding gun owners. They are not for criminals. They are for you.

  10. Osage Beach Premium Outlets mall have metal no weapons signs posted at the parking lot entrances. Yesterday I finally noticed them, decided to hell with it and went elsewhere.

  11. I try to boycott anti-gun businesses as much as possible. Unfortunately, I live in an anti-gun state. Concealed means concealed.

  12. What’s excellent about New Mexico is that most businesses here don’t post GFZ signs. Those that do are mostly schools, government buildings and post offices.

    The few that do, mostly mandated by state law, like Bars, are places that I don’t frequent.

  13. My wife is having her cataracts removed at a local eye doctor’s office that does not allow anything–no food or drink, no smoking, and no carry of firearms “or other weapons” (with a nifty symbol I’d never seen before with a big knife inside the circle with the gun). The only thing missing is a “no loitering” sign.

    • The doc must be a Jehovas Witness, not having the “no loitering” sign. I had to put up a “I’ll pray for your salvation” sign for them to leave me alone!

  14. Here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with a total population of 12,787,209 and the number of licenses currently at 1,064,360 (the second highest number in the country), roughly one out of nine adults is licensed to carry a firearm concealed.

    That’s a lot of law-abiding customers to turn away.

    True, not everyone who’s licensed carries, but…..

  15. My Grandfather taught me if you can’t say anything good don’t say anything at all. Enough said.

  16. If that sign is in Texas, then the sign and policy is a clear violation of law. By statue a business can not ban employees from possessing a firearm and ammunition in their vehicle in the parking lot (except under a few circumstances like the parking lot for a nuclear power plant).

  17. I don’t spend my $ where I am not wanted. And Dan-retail jewelry is possibly the greatest legalized theft in any arena of life. Been an antique dealer for many years and it is shocking the great quality diamonds/gold stuff you can get in a good auction. Diamonds are NOT rare either.

    • Even at a ‘good’ auction, it’s *very* rare you will ever see gold sold below it’s melt value.

      That just rarely happens.

      New furniture sales have the same kind of markup jewelry is sold for in the malls.

  18. “I pointed out that people who have guns also tend to have a few dollars…”

    Heck, some of ’em are doing well enough to have a “regular jeweler”. 🙂

  19. I think the two biggest losers of my business due to their gun policy has been Target and Starbucks. Use to go to Target seemed like several times a week back in the day till they made it clear how they felt. Since then I’ve maybe been back twice in the pass couple of years. Starbucks to has lost about half or more of what I bought before. Dutch brothers coffee has picked up the extra business due to their pro-2A stance. The only reason Starbucks hasn’t lost all of my business is because they are every where in western Washington and I know what I can get there. Even the Seahawks have lost a some of my support after Paul Allen the team owner was a big supporter of I-594. I’m not so quick to buy any NFL gear.

    On the flip side of this Fred Meyers (Kroger owned) has gotten %100 of my families grocery shopping. Also Walmart. Very rarely I see open carry even though it’s legal with out permit. Never have at Freddies even with all the hand ringing by the anti’s. Two of those times have been at the Lacey Walmart and once at the Puyallup Walmart. As one would expect no one really noticed and there was no blood running in the streets. Sears to has also gotten more business from me too. I’ve bought several gun parts from their Sears market place.

    • It’s ironic you mention those two establishments, since I regularly open carry into both of them without any problems.

    • Except neither Target nor Starbucks have banned guns. They expressed a preference that you should keep them home which really means don’t ask, don’t tell, i.e., conceal it so some soccer mon doesn’t freak out.

    • I give discounts to open carriers (or concealed if you show CPL) at my job in Centralia. Pretty regularly at that.

  20. I just finished writing a “review” on Yelp for an upscale coffee shop near where I am staying in Scottsdale, AZ. I was very polite and stated that I was sad that I could not spend my money there. I believe the owner can have reviews like that removed from Yelp, but at least they will get the message.

  21. I’d love to see a high profile case where a merchant is held responsible for customers safety since they don’t allow people to bring their own legal protection.

    • In Wisconsin they are if they post a legally binding notification which is similar to a Texas 30-06 sign. That is why there are very few legally binding signs in the state. My local Y has one and I asked them if they were aware that they are assuming legal liability. The manager said he didn’t know that.

  22. i stopped buying Fat Tire beer several years ago due to their anti-gun position. told them no response back
    used to shop at Orvis until I saw via an in-store sign that they were opposed to the Pebble mine in Alaska. I don’t need politics when buying things. keep such things to yourself. but if make your position publicly known then I have no recourse then to let you know I’m opposed and I won’t be patronizing your store

  23. So are you saying I should not sh!t on the floor and smear “2A ownz U” in the feces on their glass doors?

  24. Being an Arkansas boy I’m sad to say that walmart is not pro gun. They no longer sell AR 15 “sporting rifles”. They are going the way of the dick. Sporting goods that is. They claim they sell few but it’s not true, most of my friends and theirs all came from there. As for supporting business’, if they don’t catch you, it’s not illegal.

    • Walmart didn’t stop selling AR & “tactical” shotguns because of being anti, it was purely a profit/cost decision. They just weren’t making any money selling them, and needed to make room for the traditional rifles & shotguns that do sell.
      In addition, with the exception of stores in highly anti-gun communities, nobody cares if someone open carries. Even then it won’t be anyone working for Walmart that will call the law about someone carrying, it’s other customers you gotta worry about.

  25. At least the manager agreed to see what the deal was. Most stores wouldn’t even give you the time of day.

  26. My wife and I both carry, and ignore these signs. Unless it’s a police station, courthouse or school, I’ll take my chances. I do not drink, or go to bars, but if I did, that would also be an exception.

  27. Respect their wishes since THEIR PROPERTY, and make it known that you aren’t shopping their because of that sign. They have every right to set the rules in their house, so just don’t go to visit.

  28. So long i not work there and it s not a felony in state law i would ignore all “gun free zone” sigs and carry concealed.

    But 4 Shall Issue States (expet Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Vermont and Maine) i would follow the state law
    for concealed carry and get an state issued ore honored permit !

  29. I’m not obligated to educate them. But life is damn near infeasible if I avoid all free kill zones. If it’s not a governmental building with a metal detector, I’ll just keep packing and shut up. If anyone screams, I’ll take off running. If the cops come quietly, I’ll be real nice and show my ccw and promise I didn’t see the sign and buy them a coffee.

  30. Be careful with that… in some states, you automatically lose your legal immunity if you have to shoot someone in a private, posted gun free zone. Yeah, judged by 12 vs carried by 6, but is losing your entire life’s savings worth it? Perhaps it is, but perhaps you could have avoided the shoot completely.

    I’m not arguing against the author’s premise, just sharing what I learned.

  31. As in a lot of states the signs carry no weight except in the worst circumstances here in Florida a trespass summons. I have made it an issue to not shop in any store that has a posted sign. With 2 exceptions here.
    FedEx. If Im sent something unknowingly by FedEx and not home. They leave a delivery notice. I will walk right in and pay the sign no mind at all.
    The last 2 times Ive had a delivery notice left. Its been to pick up of all things ammunition Ive ordered.
    I also no longer buy from this vendor and have told them why. The main UPS also has the same policy.
    So whats a person to do?? I also ignore their sign. Thankfully UPS will redeliver, FedEx not so much.

  32. thats too funny.was at the jareds at the mall wensday to buy my girl something for her birthday seen the same sign,thought about turning around and walking out also,then i thought to myself,its no ones business to know what i am carrying ,or not,went inside spent a couple of bucks,and walked out, no one frisked me,no metal detecters ,there little sign does not supersed state law as far as iam concerned, same with movie theaters.none of your business,both my brother in law and my best friend also carry and they both ageed with what i did and feel the same way as me ,none of your business

  33. I met my wife for lunch today at a place called the University Mall, in South Burlington, VT, earlier today. We had already finished lunch at a restaurant near one of the entrances when curiosity got the better of me and I stepped outside to see if they had a sign (I had never noticed one before). Sure enough, “for the safety of our customers…no firearms” on a crowded sign (that also forbids dogs) below eye-level – about two and a half feet above the sidewalk (not really very effective).

    While walking back to my car I kept thinking, after the Westgate (Nairobi) Mall massacre, why wouldn’t they WANT law-abiding citizens carrying firearms to visit their businesses? And how is a legally carrying firearms owner, with a holstered pistol, “unsafe”?

  34. Every anti-gun lobby, group, and politician should be liable for any injuries from crimes that occur in Gun-Free Zones. Put your money where your mouth is.

  35. The 2nd amendment guarantees that our “freedom of arms” will not be infringed by the government. It says nothing about what a business may do to one of its patrons. If a business does not allow weapons on the premises they are free to tell me to leave.

    …The fact that they dont happen to know I’m carrying one isn’t my problem.

    • This is a great way of exercising YOUR freedoms and completely disregarding THEIRS. If you’re unwelcome, you’re unwelcome. Being hush hush about it only shows that you’re prone to breaking any law you don’t agree with and that you have no respect for someone else’s rights to manage their property and life as they wish. We’re all even or Obama is right. We should shut the hell up and turn in our guns if we can’t obey the rules evenly.

    So they would have a CCH person arrested for trespassing if they go back to their car and try to leave because of the sign? After all, one must be on the land or parking lot just to read the sign. If enough people send letters they will change the policy.

  37. Julian:
    I can be in the Scuba Squad?
    Well sure! All you have to do is work hard and don’t tell a soul about the Scuba Squad because then everybody’s gonna wanna join! Oh, and one more thing! Be nice to the Delivery Guy, will ya? It’s not his fault he can’t read.

  38. The only places in my town with “no guns allowed” signs are doctor’s offices and the hospital. There is a grocery store two blocks from my house that put up a sign a while back, but it was eventually taken down. I’m not sure anyone actually saw it, because it was really small, and they put it about six inches up from the bottom of the entrance doors. A friend of mine knew the sign was there, but open carried in the store anyway. Nobody said ever said a word. Which isn’t surprising, since the people actually running to store are all local. Putting up the sign was probably decided by the owner, who lives in a big city almost two hours away.

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