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Harbor Freight (courtesy


Harbor Freight Tools is a “gun free zone.” Americans cannot legally exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms within their stores. Legally (deepening on your state). There is nothing to stop American carrying their guns into the store illegally – except the law. Which honest Americans observe and criminals have a habit of ignoring. In Harbor Freight Tools stores. Take this story [via wacotrib,com], for example . . .

A man was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on charges connected to a July 12 robbery of Harbor Freight in the 3900 block of Bosque Boulevard.

Chase Colten Goeke, 24, was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of evading arrest.

The charges stem from an incident in which three men robbed the store at gunpoint after assaulting several employees about 10 p.m. that Saturday, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

The men allegedly accosted a Harbor Freight employee as he was taking out the trash before pushing him into the store and pistol-whipping him.

One of the men assaulted another woman who worked in the store by choking her and pushing her to the floor, Swanton said.

The three men — who were armed with handguns and wearing black clothing, ski masks and gloves — took an undisclosed amount of checks and cash, he said.

I wonder if the Harbor Freight employees and customers felt safe before the violent robbery. I imagine they didn’t feel safe during the attack. And definitely not after.

Not that I’m implying that a gun would – or should – make someone feel safe. It should help them be safe. Which it can’t if it’s in your car and you’re in a store. Of course, there are more than a few gun owners who wouldn’t put themselves in that scenario. And for good reason. [h/t SS]

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    • If I understand correctly, it is a “soft” policy for all stores … although the company leaves it up to individual store managers whether to openly and actively post and enforce the policy.

    • Maybe the company will be forced to change policy if multiple lawsuits occur due to their failure to provide security such as from law offices of Hupy and Abraham.

    • The last Harbor Freight I went to in the Chicago suburbs wasn’t posted. I don’t believe the one in Peoria was posted either. I’m sure I would remember.

    • I shop in THAT store. There is no 30.06 sign. It wouldn’t suprise me if company policy prevented the employees from being armed however….

  1. Great way to show your love of liberty and democracy: buying tools made by slave laborers in a communist police state.

    • … from a store that doesn’t respect the rights of it patrons to defend their lives.

      At least they are self-consistent.

    • Well I hate to break it to you but over half of your non-parishable products are made in that communist country. Even a large portion of the products that are “Made in USA” are only assembled/completed here.

      • Compounding that wrong doesn’t make the situation right or even better does it?
        At east other stores that sell me products made in a Communist nation by prison labor at government-communist-party-owned factories don’t also make me surrender my RKBA constitutional right.

    • Good luck protecting your right to produce firearms for personal use without foreign made machine tools. My lathe will make things the Chinese makers will never have the ability to legally produce for themselves.

      • While I have no love for the Chi Coms, I have spent some money In Harbor Freight.

        For tools that will get very infrequent use, like spring compressors for McPherson struts, gear pullers and whatnot, it simply isn’t cost effective to spend 4X on a high-end US made Mac or Snap-On.

        I own quite a few Craftsman tools as well and I have some bad news for you – A lot of current Craftsman tools aren’t made in the USA.

        Where Craftsman excels is their warranty, but watch what tools have their full warranty. Being open 7 days a week means replacements are usually on the shelf. That’s real peace of mind if I have my car-truck in pieces on the driveway Sunday morning.

        As for their no-guns policy, it’s not posted here in Florida that I’ve seen yet and having no force of law in Florida means it can be cheerfully ignored.

        And is.

  2. Unless they post a 30.06 sign here in Texas, I will still shop there. If they post it, I will just find somewhere else to buy cheap ass tools that I will only use once.

    • I look at every store or restaurant I go into. No 30.06 in my local HFT store… Put one up and I am done. Not that I am a big spender their, but I do buy there.

    • In my experience, most of their tools can’t even pass that low bar.

      It’s more like: “Harbor Freight Tools: For when you want to have to go back to the store for a better tool halfway through the job…”

  3. woo a phone screenshot of a phone screenshot. WTF is happening here?

    Also according to their facebook it is now a franchise-wide policy.

  4. Not currently posted or enforced in Louisiana… at least as of last week at the one local to me… always OC, nobody has so much an batted an eye.

  5. I have no idea what a “Harbor Freight” is, but one cropped up near my house here in Plainfield, IN. I’ll stop in and see if they’re posted or anything. It’s on the way to my favorite gun store, anyway, and I need to see if my special order is in.

    • They are a store that sells disposable tools for next to nothing. Occasionally they give coupons for completely free stuff, like screwdriver sets, tape measures, LED flashlights, etc., without any purchase necessary. These are good children’s toys.

    • 95% Chicom crap. Very cheap (as in the inexpensive junk definition rather than “a good value”). If item has no moving parts may work out.

      • Some of their stuff is actually pretty decent. Would probably not buy for everyday work but, as someone else said, for using occasionally some of their stuff works well. Bought the cheapest of their rechargeable drills a few years ago. Noticed an odd smell when it was turned off and laying on a deck I was working on. Turned out the thing was burning up. Guessing some kind of short in the electrical system. Pulled the battery and took it back to the store. They asked if I wanted another one ? I told them that I thought it best to buy the one that was a bit more expensive rather than burn my house down. Had that one for a few years now and no issues.

    • “I have no idea what a “Harbor Freight” is, but one cropped up near my house here in Plainfield, IN. I’ll stop in and see if they’re posted or anything.”

      Spend 10-15 min. wandering the isles. You may be somewhat pleasantly surprised.

      A very inconvenient truth is that China manufacturing is getting better all the time. But watch what you’re buying.

      In the 1960’s a common saying was “Jap Crap”. Fast-forward 30 years to the 90’s. Japan’s quality was among the highest in the world.

      Japan listened closely to Ed Deming.

      Deming taught the Japanese the concepts of quality control. Things like when manufacturing things, quality inspect at each stage in the manufacturing. Keep errors out of the manufacturing chain. Engineer quality into the product, don’t just pass-fail the finished product.

      The most prestigious engineering award in Japan is the Deming Prize.

      China now is roughly where Japan was in the late 60’s to early 70’s.

  6. I did not know. I probably spent well over $1000 per year over the last 5 years at Harbor Freight. I guess I will have to spend my money elsewhere. Question: I am sure I seen their advertisements in gun magazines, and if so, why advertisement in a magazine of something they so hate?

    • I doubt they “hate” guns. They appear to have made a blanket corporate policy and left it up to the individual store managers to post or not post “no guns” signs. None of the HF stores I’ve seen in Texas, for example, have the proper signage that would make it illegal to carry there.

      That tells me that this isn’t a political stance, but a dumb “cover your ass” action inspired by some weaselly corporate lawyer.

      Either way, I don’t shop there much anymore.

  7. One of the few benefits of CA. Even if a chain has a “no guns” policy, stores in CA don’t put up signs prohibiting guns, because it is assumed that no one is armed in CA.

    • thanks for the levity: I need it as a subject living under the yoke of the People’s Republik of Kalifornia and it’s nonsensical draconian gun laws that are ever-increasing.

    • I saw one posted at an ikea once, first time I had seen a “No guns allowed guys! I’m serious!” sign on a business it was worth a chuckle. Either way I don’t go inside of ikeas anywhere, I don’t appreciate being made to feel like a lab rat.

    • You mean like the way California permit holders can go practically anywhere with their guns? Even schools?

      It would be like exempting unicorns from the speed limit, except some areas of CA do issue the permits (see Sara Tipton’s recent post).

  8. Just sent this to Harbor Freight Tools Customer Service:
    “It has come to my attention that Harbor Freight Tools prohibits the legal carrying of handguns on store properties. Please remove my address from your mailing list as I will no longer do business with Harbor Freight Tools until and unless this policy is changed. [Name/Address]

  9. It might not be posted in every store, but it’s a company policy. Just something g to consider when spending your hard earned money, even if it is for a cheap tool.

  10. Dumbassed anti’s and hoplophobes simply can’t make the distinction between the ‘illusion’ of “feeling safe” by not acknowledging the possibility of violence stepping into their false sense of security and the reality of taking every precaution to actually be safe, at least too the best of one’s ability, in case that possibility materializes.

    The lack of logic simply boggles the mind. Willing sheeple to the slaughter.

    • Lol yes. And do you know the kind of stuff lying around a HF? Sledgehammers, axes, crowbars, machetes… they even sell a cheap “combat knife,” pepper spray, and stun guns! So if they think “nogunz” is gonna make them safer in there then they have probably never been inside. Remember, your average hipster is about as handy as a sack of rocks.

  11. I haven’t been to the Harbor Freight store that is nearby, but in South Dakota any “No Firearms” signs posted by businesses do not have force of law. All they can do is ask me to leave.. not that I will be shopping there anyways!

    • None of them have the force of law anywhere in the USA: a private business entity cannot create their own penal code (at least yet though I’ll bet Hiltery would like to). the most they can do is ask you to leave and if you refuse press charges for trespassing if the LEOs come and arrest you.

      • Depends on the state. Here in Colorado, it’s illegal to carry into any business or establishment if there’s a sign saying you can’t. (Or any building that has a metal detector, even if guns aren’t restricted.) As far as I know, that (the thing about private signs) is specifically written into the law here.

        Other states, the signs either have to refer to a specific law or they have no force of law at all.

        CO is getting way too much CA influence these days, though a lot of it simply isn’t enforced. (Far easier to buy a 30rd mag here by going to a local gun shop than it is to get one online.)

        Similarly, lots of people ignore the signs and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone being prosecuted for carrying beyond a businesses sign. Not that I’d test that law or anything, of course.

        • Can you cite the relevant CO law? Last I heard, this was one of those states where you could be “trespassed” if you ignored a sign.

          Even if my understanding is correct, a couple of lawyers have told me that if the sign is prominent ehough a judge is likely to rule you already trespassed by passing it, and that you don’t need to have been been asked to leave and refuse to comply to be guilty of trespassing.

      • In Illinois, carrying a firearm onto the premises of a business that has properly posted the official sign authorized by the State Police is committing a Class B misdemeanor, $150 fine plus court costs and fees. Second offense: Class A misdemeanor and a 6-month license suspension. Third offense: License revocation.

        And Danilushka really should quit pretending to be a lawyer.

        • I think everyone here assumes that there are very few bona fide legal opinions to be found within the Comments section.

      • In Tennessee, properly posted gunbuster signs on private businesses or property most definitely have the force of law– backed up by state statute. A Class B misdemeanor with a $500 fine, plus about a 95% chance of suspension of your carry permit if convicted. T.C.A. 39-17-1359. There are a few exceptions specifically for permit holders in public parks, state parks, recreational areas and a couple of other places… in these cases, permit holders are exempted from complying with legal postings.

        • Tennessee is screwy like that. However, he should have said “many states” such as Florida and Georgia.

  12. I bought a handy magnet pickup tool at HFT (Rockford, IL) two days ago. Works great to pickup steel cartridge cases at the range. $10.98 and worth about that much.

    I saw no anti-gun signage. If I ever do, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  13. People sue for really dumb stuff nowadays..I court…if it would hold up…If I sued Harbor Freight for emotional distress because I was in their store when it was robbed and was not allowed the “comfort” of my firearm for protection….I sure hope so.

    Post this all the time..join NRA..heck join every group if you can swing it. Here’s a link with a discount I got with my last Ruger

  14. It WAS the perfect store for sand paper and zip ties. But I’d rather buy used good tools at a pawn shop if it has moving parts.

  15. This make me think I need to OC my handgun next time I feel like going there. That way I know right off if the local store wants my business or not.

  16. Since I buy and use so many tools, I have an opinion on what I like to call “Horror Freight:”

    Their stuff is usually the lowest quality ChiCom crap. The castings will have inclusions, bearings in their machinery will fail, their electric motors are often over-rated, and you really should be careful about any of the weight ratings on any of their jacks.

    As I like to tell people: There’s metric tonne, an English/American ton, and a Chinese ton. They have values of 1,000 kg (or 2,200 lbs), 2,000lbs and about 1,250lbs, respectively. Think about this when you crawl under a vehicle held aloft by a jack, and think about whether the money you saved on the jack was worth your safety and possibly your life.

    • “… think about whether the money you saved on the jack was worth your safety and possibly your life.”


      4 cinder blocks filled with concrete costs about 10 bucks in materials at ‘The Home De(s)pot”.

      Been using them about 20 years now as jackstands.

    • You shouldn’t be under a car that’s only supported by a jack, anyway. There’s a reason that jackstands exist.

  17. You could see if they really care about ‘feelings’. Mention in your correspondence that you don’t feel safe entering an establishment that prohibits firearms.

  18. I see companies that prohibit firearms and then end up getting robbed or shot up, due to no law abiding citizen concealed carrying to stop the threat, as natural selection.

  19. The Harbor Freight I have been in a few times is in a pretty nice area, yet all the employees seem to be from a shady trailer park. I’ve been there about six times, four times to get a free flashlight, once to get a lock cutter and once to return it. Since the staff generally doesn’t care about anything they’ll take anything back no questions. Every time I have been there I have been concealed carrying. Now that the free stuff has stopped flowing there isn’t any reason to return. I wouldn’t trust their tools and definitely don’t go for the atmosphere.

  20. I don’t think “environment where all our customers feel comfortable” means what they think it means.

    If I can’t legally carry, my legal firearm with me into your store, I am uncomfortable. And I am one of “all of your customers”.

    I am uncomfortable because I now lack the most efficient means of personal (and of others if it came to it) self defense. The likelihood of that requirement is moot to this argument.

    I am uncomfortable because you clearly have a bias against carriers of firearms for protection and do not respect the local laws where it is legal to carry a firearm, nor the Constitution.

    I am uncomfortable because this bias of persons who desire to protect themselves and a bias against religion and race are this close || to one another. How would you be vilified if you disallowed black persons or persons who practice Islam into your store, under the guise of making “all your customers comfortable” by singling out a specific group that, in fact, only makes you uncomfortable. When did discrimination in any form become acceptable?

    Does any of my discomfort as an “all of your customers” count? I do not think that it does.

    Your tools are crap, and your policies are crap. I will shop where I can find better of both.

  21. My local Harbor Freight doesn’t have a ‘no guns’ sign, and more than one of their employees are pro gun. I think I’ll continue to shop there.

  22. Some of HORROR Fraught tools are good quality. A bunch aren’t but like others have said, they only have to work once. I do have a 20 ton press that I will be using to build AKs. I guess I’ll be going elsewhere for my cheap ass tools.

  23. “We want to provide an environment where all our customers feel comfortable,” they say.

    Not going to happen. There’s no way to do it. Somebody is going to be made uncomfortable by something you do, no matter what.

    Their choice of whose comfort to prioritize says a lot about them.

  24. I’ll keep shopping there, too. In this state a business open to the public can’t prohibit concealed or even open carry, and the local folks working there need the jobs. As far as quality goes, it ranges from one-use crap tools to machine tools sold at twice the price under other labels but made in the same factories to the exact same specs.

  25. Meh. I doubt he HF here in Orem is posted (no force of law in Utah, so I’ve never checked), and I OC there all the time. Never been a problem. How else am I supposed to get cheap powder coat for my cast boolits?

    • Same for the ones north of you, at least in my experience.
      As far as this kinda thing goes, I’m strangely non plussed. I guess I’m just shit out of outrage these days.

  26. I just stopped by the local Harbor Freight. Didn’t see any signage on firearm policy. I checked their website, didn’t see any policy in the fine print links at the bottom either. They did have a Supplier Code of Conduct listed regarding slave labor and such. How much that’s worth I don’t know. Seems like a bad move though, gun guys buy a lot of tools. Last time I was in there I bought two ammo boxes and have been looking a tumbler they have for polishing brass. Guess I’ll wait to see what comes of this. MidwayUSA has a similar looking one on sale, probably made in China too.

    • MidwayUSA has the same tumbler, the same hypersonic cleaner, the same digital calipers, etc. Maybe with a different brand on it or maybe not.

  27. I guess if I want junk tools I’ll go to Menards-never been to a store but the ads are all over the place. And YES they advertise in NRA mags…

  28. Harbor Freight Tools is a “quality free zone” that advertises heavily in the NRA publications. So HF targets legal gun carriers, and then excludes them by corporate policy. WTF? Maybe HF only wants our mail order business.

  29. As Floridian POTG are wont to say – “concealed is concealed”. Gunbuster signs on private establishments (with the exceptions of bars and so on) in the state don’t have the force of law. If you are shopping in an IKEA around here, all of which have gunbuster signs, you could, in theory, carry on the premises and not be breaking any laws, despite their gunbuster signs. If you have an accidental reveal and some employee decides to call you on it, the most they can do is ask you to leave. They cannot summon the cops immediately, and expect them to prosecute you. The only time they can prosecute is if you decide you don’t want to leave.

    Prudence pays in that situation though – if you choose to carry on a premises in Florida with a gunbuster sign, be prepared for mass hysteria if caught.

  30. All property owners have the natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to free association. Which involves the right to control access to said property. If you don’t like it, shop elsewhere.

    • To some degree. However, HF is an open to the public with an invite. The sidewalks, roads etc. leading up to there store is subsidized by the public. If they were “closed to the public” and open to members only like a country club, that would be a different story. When I am walking down the sidewalk at a strip mall, I am not throwing my piece in the trash can because of some libtards in SoCal pushing feel good policy. Fortunately, in Florida they don’t have gun buster signs because they don’t mean jack.

      • You do realize that the other 49 states consider Florida at the bottom of the intellectual ladder ever since they couldn’t figure out a “hanging chad”.

    • Private property rights have jack squat to do with firearms, and property rights do not trump any other natural rights. By invoking property rights, a property owner can trespass someone and compel that person to remove his person from the property – but he cannot, by invoking property rights, forcibly disarm that same person.

      • He wasn’t saying you could; he said the property owner could control access to his property–i.e., forbid you to set foot on it for whatever reason.

  31. This policy blows, but (off topic incoming) it doesn’t concern me much ’cause I have a strong, call it conspiratorial distrust of buying newly manufactured tools. I’d rather a 50 year old, beat up American pipe wrench from a garage sale than a shiny new Chinese one that will survive less than half the wear and tear of the former. I doubt there are even any boutique tool manufacturers left in the US, but if so I’d gladly give them my money if I absolutely needed something new.

    • There are but getting newly-made handmade equipment like that is shockingly expensive. Was researching some old-school woodworking tools for making handmade timbers, would need to spend about $2500 to get the 3 axes needed. Hand-forged in Austria. I’m sure they are the bees knees but I got quickly discouraged.

  32. Sorry, but I don’t submit to unconstitutional laws or silly signs telling me that I can’t defend myself or others with my chosen tool for self defense. If you want to submit to their policy just leave your gun in the car and strap on a machete to your belt. I’d go up against a guy with a gun before I got into a close range fight with a screaming machete head hacker.

    • eBay.

      I’d ask Dyspeptic on recommended used brands.

      Set your search to inside your driving range to save on shipping.

  33. OC’d a the HF in Sterling, VA, many times without so much as a peep directed my way. Ironically, I bought a cheap compressor, blast media and spraying setup there a couple years ago. I used the works to Cerakote my rifles. 🙂

  34. There tools are too cheap in price not to give them my business. I’ll still be shopping there. If you have the right coupon you can even get free tools without a prior purchase.

  35. Harbor Freight sells second rate tools. They don’t want customers to have a gun for a reason. When you make a living scamming your customers you have reason to be scared of guns. If you shop around you can find the same tool made by a reputable manufacturer for the same price.

  36. This applies to one store. There are 600 other Harbor Freight stores where this is not the case. Someone got their panties in a wad and attacked the entire chain because of one bad store manager. THIS IS TERRIBLE JOURNALISM.

    • Um, no. This was their corporate facebook page, which I assume officially represents their company. It is a company-wide policy change, even if it is a by-store voluntary policy.

  37. I have a few of there tools some are decent some are crap I tend to look up what I buy before hand any way so I have avoided v the lemons. Alot of the tools they sell are sold buy other companies for more with a different sticker. The 30cal looking can they have Is sold by every company under the sun. I have a hdx (huskys new name) hammer the same one is available from hf it’s just grey as aposed to home despot orange. Unfortunately 90% of new craftsman tools are the same quality and to be frank I dont have snap on $.

    Now as to the no guns thing the ones here in phoenix arnt posted as far as i have seen. And as far as i know every company in existence has thar little soft policy on the books do to lawyer bs.

  38. I like how the responder totally missed the point of why the customer is boycotting, as if a grabber can’t even fathom a person remaining true to his principles.

    Also in typical hypocrite leftist fashion, they want people to feel safe, except gun owners who feel safe carrying.

    • The responder didn’t miss the point, he was intentionally not going to get into a pissing contest, while at the same time acknowledging his email.

  39. They said the magic word “feel”.

    It’s not about customer or employee safety, they are worried about “feelings”.

  40. In light of recent concerns, Harbor Freight Tools would like to clarify its position on ‘open carry’ (openly carrying a firearm in public). We understand that there are a wide range of views on ‘open carry’ and other policies concerning firearms. We believe these policies should be addressed by the appropriate government agencies—not by Harbor Freight Tools. As a company, it’s not our policy to take a position on these issues other than to respect federal, state and local laws currently in effect. Accordingly, we permit ‘open carry’ for our customers in jurisdictions where allowed, provided the firearms are carried in compliance with all applicable laws. We also ask our customers to be responsible and respectful of each other and our store associates.


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