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Whose idea was it, exactly, to add the word “common sense” to “gun control”? Common sense has nothing to do with it. For example, common sense says bad guys prefer to work in a gun-free zone. It’s safer. You know: for them. If you think about it (a bit of an oxymoron when you’re talking about common sense but stay with me), the less gun-free zones in any given community the greater the chances that the bad guys will attack in the ones that remain. Something to think about the next time you choose to spend time in an establishment (or city for that matter) that bans guns. And here’s a card [above] you can use to help the people who run these establishments re-think their decision. Click HERE for 20 cards for $1 (covers printing, shipping and handling). Please let us know how they’re received; we’ll publish merchant reactions here.

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    • Back when I lived in Abilene, our local gun range had a variation of these, only it was with Texas CHL requirements and ended with “so, how well do you know your *other* customers?”

  1. Where I lived before college was awesome. Only a couple of places had no carry signs and not a single one of them was compliant with Texas law. Unfortunaly here if I dont have much of a choice in college carrying.

  2. This is a great idea, but there is one thing you might consider changing – specifically the line that reads, “given photograph and fingerprints to the local Police and FBI.” That may be true in some jurisdictions, but neither are required to obtain a permit in NH (although a background check is run) and in some states (like Vermont), no checks are done as there are no prohibitions against carrying concealed.

    It would be good to have more than one version of the card for situations like that.

  3. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but I never see these signs in CT. Of course, any place that serves booze is off limits already, plus courts and state assembly, but other than that I don’t see signs. Maybe folks don’t know that a simple sign can ward off the evil boomstick fairy?

    • They are around. The problem with the CT law is there is no rules on the size of the sign or where they need to be placed so in places like the Brass Mill Mall there is a sign at on of the entrances but no place else. There is a sign at the Milford Mall but it is a plaque in the middle of the mall on some obscure wall. The Danbury Fair Mall also has one on one back entrance but that is it.

      Over at they have threads on the subject from time to time but most businesses in CT do not have such signs so I don’t bother looking for them.

      My problem is yes you cannot carry where there is booze, but in places like New Haven and Hartford or Waterbury do you want to really keep you firearm in the car where the car can get stolen and which you may need just to make it back to your car?

      • Interesting.

        I guess I go into stores, but I cannot recall the last time I was in an actual mall. Between and, malls just aren’t part of my life any more.

        The whole places where alcohol is served thing pisses me off – I mean, I wouldn’t want to carry into an actual nightclub, but what’s the difference between McDonald’s and Appleby’s, so long as I am not drinking?

        • The difference is that you COULD. Those evil demon spirits can inhabit your soul without you drinking them. Just like when your gun fires that occasional, “come play with me” shot that somehow always kills someone.

        • And what does it matter if you ARE drinking? Does beer turn you into a salivating blood-thirsty monster? (If it does, maybe you shouldn’t drink with or without a concealed weapon.) Some draw an analogy to drinking and driving – but has any study anywhere established that people are less capable of carrying (note, I do not say “using”) a firearm after drinking? Point is, if someone has a couple of beers, their guns doesn’t just fly out of the holster and start shooting people. Odds are very, very good that the gun will do what it will probably do for 99.999% of the time… ride in the holster and do nothing. (Note: 99.999% of the time is on the order of 10 people carrying 8 hours a day, 365 days a year for 5 years (146,000 hours) and having less than 1 hour of use. With about 8 million concealed carry permit holders in the US (and probably a couple million who aren’t required to have a permit) if 1 in 10 used their firearm for self-defense once every 5 years the number of uses would be about 200,000 per year… which when you look at Kleck’s research, would seem to at least be in the ball park. Kleck’s number run from 1.5 to 4 million DGUs per year – but it seems reasonable that the majority of DGUs would not involve concealed carry, but rather, firearms in the home/business.

          Frankly, I think banning firearms in locations that serve alcohol, or prohibiting someone who is carrying from drinking is just more nanny-statism. It comes from the same people who predicted “blood in the streets”, “a shootout over every fender-bender” and Florida as “the Gunshine State” prior to passage of Florida’s concealed carry law in the mid-1980s.

        • That’s why I like Florida’s law (mostly, it still precludes bars and “bar-areas”), because I can still have a beer with a meal if I want. Florida law only precludes the use of a weapon, when under the influence AND “when affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired.” And even that rule doesn’t apply to lawful self-defense.

    • There is nothing in the statutes regarding any prohibition about carrying where alcohol is served. There is the .10 BAC limit (can’t recall if its been changed to .08 yet) while carrying. On the BFPE website they say:

      The permit to carry handguns allows people to carry them openly or concealed, but mature judgment, says the Board of Firearm Permit Examiners, dictates that (1) “every effort should be made to ensure that no gun is exposed to view or carried in any manner that would tend to alarm people who see it. . . [and] (2) no handgun should be carried unless carrying the gun at the time and place involved is prudent and proper in the circumstances. ”

      For example, according to the board, handguns should not be carried:

      1. into a bar or other place where alcohol is being consumed;

      So no law is being broken, but if you were to get in trouble the BFPE indicates they may be inclined to revoke the permit.

  4. It really depends on where they have a “no guns” sign. For a movie theater, i think you should be allowed to carry to put down a crazy gunman. For a convience store, it’s cheaper to let them steal the $100 in the register than it is to have bulletholes in the freezer window or possible escalation into loss of your life or the clerks. It’s the store owners choice as to which side to gamble. Gamble on the side that the criminal will simply take the money and run, or they might take the money and shoot you anyways. It’s also your right to not enter the establishment where the store owner has taken the first position of letting the criminal take the money and run.

    • “Letting the criminal take the money and run” is no option. Some may run, but some will kill you whether or not you oppose them. Some out of sheer evil, others in an attempt to limit witnesses. A shop owner that takes this as an option is a fool.

  5. I’m amazed by the number of gun stores that don’t allow carrying. I called a place that sells ammo and asked them about carrying (before they get my business). The guy said they have a sign (due to fire regulations), but they never enforce it. Seems odd, but I can live with that.

    • Gun store employees are almost always OC and considering the nature of their wares I can understand their request no customers carry. In a gun shop the employees are providing armed security for the facility.

      • I’m less concerned about them “providing security for the facility” and more concerned about my own security, which, quite possibly, they couldn’t care less about. Sure, it’s their choice, but it’s my choice to use Bud’s Guns and Cabela’s for a transfer. No animosity, but no dollars either. Their choice affects my choice.

      • I think this scenario and others similar would happen at least once a week, if they allowed their customers to carry in the gun store.

        A customer walks in wearing a handgun in a holster. He draws the gun, and every employee draws down on him. He slowly and carefully sets the gun on the counter, and says “Can I get this fixed here?”. The nearest employee says, “Are you crazy? We nearly killed you!” The customer says, “You guys scared the hell out of me. Why’d you do that?” Imagine that you are another customer or browser in that gun store when this scenario goes down. Nope, I don’t want to be around when that happens.

        No, let’s keep gun stores a no carry zone, please. You want to bring a handgun in, put it in some kind of a box or case so it looks like you’re just transporting it, not going to use it there.

        • No. I disagree with you Bob. If you need your firearm repaired or modified carry it to the shop in a case. Not in your holster. Otherwise, properly carrying a loaded firearm in a gun shop should be acceptable.

        • While I easily understand that scenario would make Darwin proud, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened, I simply chose not to do business with them.

          I don’t dispute their right to refuse service to me, and I don’t dispute their right to control their own property.

          They simply make my choices a little more narrow, but more safe for me.

        • I think this scenario only really exists in the Wild West invented by pulp writers, co-opted by Hollywood, and taken by anti-gunners as real history.

          I can’t speak for anyone else, but I wouldn’t pull my locked and loaded firearm out of my holster, put it on the counter, and ask for service (This being the internet, I’m sure there’s an IGOTD out there that did just that–but we’re talking about non-idiots here). If I was bringing a firearm in to be serviced, it would be unloaded and cased.

        • The gun stores and range I go to all allow you to carry your weapon into the store. They post a “keep it holstered” sign to prevent you scenario from happening.

          FYI for Virginians:

          Guns and Ammo Warehouse on Rt 28 off the Prince William Parkway
          Virginia Arms on Rt 28 at West side of Manassas
          Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly.

          My local Dick’s doesn’t allow employees to carry but you are free to conceal carry. Same for Barnes and Noble.

    • The “gun store prohibition” surprised me too, at first, but most stores I frequent in Orlando don’t disallow it. Most of the stores have some variation of a “concealed means concealed” sign. One sign says, “We respect your right to carry concealed. Please keep it that way.” Another sign requests simply that any guns being brought in for use on the range be unloaded while traversing the sales floor.

      Only one of my frequent stores has an “Absolutely no loaded weapons or magazines allowed inside” sign. They know I carry, they’ve seen it, and they’ve never said a word to me. Of course, I’ve also never removed my gun from the holster anywhere but on the range. I queried them about it, and their response was basically that it was meant for the less well-informed. It’s designed to keep people from carrying in guns for sale/trade/repair while they’re still loaded. Licensed CWFL holders who know better will treat it like any other “no guns” sign in Florida, in that it doesn’t carry the force of law. Those same better informed carriers will also generally be the ones smart enough to keep their weapon concealed and not to draw the weapon in the store. They’re not “part of the problem.”

      • Stores I’ve seen around here have a policy that guns must remain holstered or cased. If they’re being brought in for trade or repair or something like that, they need to be cased and unloaded until you’ve reached that part of the discussion. Gun shops as gun free zones is just a weird idea to me.

        • Except gun stores aren’t gun free zones – they are customer restricted zones. The owner and most employees, in my experience, are packing.

      • Local gun shop (Franktown Firearms) recently had an “open carry BBQ”. They don’t really have a problem with people carrying in their store.

        • Wow I guess I should count myself lucky. Every shop I’ve ever gone to let’s you carry, though holsters aren’t a bad idea. And as to Bob’s idea of an OK Corral gun shop shoot out, you need to wake up and come back to reality. You’ve been listening to the antis too long. My friend was new to guns and pulled his .380 out of his pocket and was talking with his hands while holding his pistol. Both myself and the gunshop staff politely and calmly reminded him of the four rules and that he was breaking them. No one drew on him, no one was an ass. Did I mention that my friend is a large African American?

          I really hope that Bob was being sarcastic.

  6. I like the idea; a professional appearance is a big asset for this kind of communication strategy. However, they don’t apply in every state. For example,WI doesn’t require photos or fingerprints, and I think it would be irresponsible to imply otherwise to the gun rights-ignorant.

    • Yep. The photo + fingerprints –> police and FBI definitely doesn’t apply everywhere. Here in CO, we’re photographed and fingerprinted, but that info doesn’t (to my knowledge) go to the federales.

  7. I don’t like the wording about accommodating your “right” to self defense. Your right to self defense should apply to property you own, and common spaces. Other private property should be the owner’s call. If he wants a gun free zone, he should be aware of the consequences.

  8. I’m not sure how helpful these would be. Most of the businesses that I know of that have these no guns signs are major corporations, such as movie theatres. Trust me that the guy selling popcorn getting paid minimum wage doesn’t give a crap about your guns. It’s the guys at their corporate headquarters that do, so I doubt this will do much. Writing a letter to their corporate office would atleast get the message to the right people, but they also don’t give a crap.

    • I talked to the manager at the Wehrenberg I was at in MO, and he may not have had any say with the policy of no firearms, but he was certainly willing to argue for it, so I considered it a fruitful experience.

    • For the guys in the corporate office it is all about money. They could care less about a small minority of their customers.

      Their insurance company offers to give them a better rate, but they have to make all their franchise locations into gun-free zones. Insurance costs can be a huge expense for a large company. A reduced rate can equal big money, and posting and enforcing the gun-free signs equals almost no expense.

      What does the Board decide? They do the math (a cost/benefits analysis), they write up the company policy, and the signs go on the doors. Just another victory for corporate greed over public safety. “I’ve got a 2:00 tee time.”

    • They care. But they listen to lawyers telling them about all the money lost because a bystander was shot by a citizen. They won’t be held accountable if the cops shoot bystanders. Bottom line and PR is more important.

  9. I’m also amazed that we don’t protest pizza chains when one of their driver’s get robbed, pulls a lawfully concealed firearm, and then is fired from the job. Way too many drivers are killed and they’re expected to die silently.

  10. Wow, just wow.

    So dissapointed by the response, especially from the readers of the ultimate gun blog in the US.

    Hearing a lot of ” no such signs by me” and that’s cool , but if you live in a place that does – (and even if you don’t -I’m here in Cleveland Ohio – too many everywhere) – I think they could do some good.

    So many pro-2a’s visit this site every day. I think if every one of the thousands (upon thousands) of “people of the gun”-[reference several TTAG articles], dropped one of these off wherever applicable we would do much to further our cause. Money talks….

    WE ARE WINNING- Let’s win more.


  11. The only place in Portland that I’ve noticed ‘no guns allowed’ signs are the big national chain movie theaters. BTW, when I first moved here in the summer 2008, about one-third to half of the houses had front lawn signs that supported Obama for president. This year, I’ve seen maybe two or three for Obama and one for Romney.

  12. So why doesn’t that back say:

    “A person licensed to carry a firearm:

    Has clearly had their rights violated by the FBI’s NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) [which] is a clear infringement on our Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure; buying a firearm is a lawful act. And any felon should be able to purchase a firearm without any verification.”


  13. Here in Missouri if a merchant posts a sign like that, all he can do is ask you to leave if he somehow discovered a person was carrying. I carry in stores all the time that say they don’t allow them. But allow me to add that I totally obey the signs when it comes to government buildings, schools, etc, you get the idea.

  14. I concur, except at the line that says “Criminals Don’t Obey “No Guns” signs”, I like this better:

    “Criminals LIKE “No-Gun Zones” because it makes THEM feel safer
    Do YOU feel safer now that you know the REAL TRUTH?”


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