Courtesy Second Amendment Foundation
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From the Second Amendment Foundation:

BELLEVUE, WA – Declaring that so-called “gun-free zones are shooting galleries for maniacs,” the Second Amendment Foundation today is calling for an end to such designations by launching an advertising campaign aimed at print and online publications.

“Without a self-defense option,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “we are all at greater risk.”

The campaign has a simple message: “You’re a sitting duck in a gun-free zone.” The ad may be seen here.

Gottlieb referred to a report from the Crime Prevention Research Center that 98 percent of mass public shootings since 1950 occurred in places where citizens are prohibited from having firearms. He noted that in Europe, “every mass public shooting has occurred in a gun-free zone.”

He pointed to mass shootings at schools, shopping malls, movie theaters and churches as prime examples where “gun-free zone” designations did not prevent tragedies, but may actually have enabled crazed killers by making it impossible for the victims to fight back.

“Whether you’re talking about a high school in Florida, a theater in Colorado or a mall in Nebraska,” Gottlieb observed, “the common denominator has been that they all prohibited firearms on the premises. Of course, in every case, that ban had zero effect on the shooters who took innocent lives. There are numerous other examples where the gun-free mindset has been worse than a failure, and history has provided us the grim casualty counts to prove it.

“The evidence shows that gun-free zones are not the answer,” he stated. “Indeed, they provide an added danger because they prevent legally armed citizens from defending themselves and others, while creating the mere illusion of safety.

“For more than two decades,” Gottlieb said, “the U.S. has perpetuated a false sense of security with gun-free zones. It’s time to end this dangerous folly. Nobody wants to be a sitting duck in a maniac’s shooting gallery.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms.  Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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  1. It takes a lot for any “gun free” zone law to be repealed. Constitutional carry is more common than school carry for example. Montana can’t even get concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. I had to deep conceal every time we went out to eat when I was vacationing there. We’ve never for rid of one in Florida since shall issue became law in 1987. State and national forests, that’s it.

    • what did you mean, “We’ve never for rid of one in Florida since shall issue became law in 1987.”?

      my understanding is that in Florida you can CCW in a restaurant that serves alcohol, just not at the bar or at an establishment that primarily sells alcohol. which is one reason why the Pulse nightclub shooter had free reign.

      • Michigan is similar.
        It’s your duty as a citizen to know which establishments derive their primary income from alcohol, upon pain of imprisonment.
        But it’s not the establishment’s duty to show you their income statement.

  2. Wyoming is a little different. There, CCW is permitted in any restaurant as long as it is not primarily a drinking establishment. So any restaurant which also sells booze is fine to carry.
    As far as this article, I agree 100%. Gun free zones are a disaster waiting to happen. For myself, I always carry no matter what the business says. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

    • Fully agree with your approach. I think about that which could happen if forced to defend in a gun-free zone. “LifeSavor was not charged in his clearly defensive gun use, but was arrested and jailed for carrying in a gun-free zone”. A risk I am willing to take with the knowledge that my CCW insurance will provide bail and a lawyer.

      • Yea, we had an off duty LEO in a Gun Free mall a few years ago when a shooter opened up. The LEO engaged the shooter and ended the problem. He was not charged with anything, but don’t know what would have happened had he been just an armed citizen. I doubt in this state he would have been charged as this is a gun loving state.

      • Read the fine print before assuming that your self defense insurance will cover you after a DGU where carrying wasn’t legal. ACLDN will not if you were carrying illegally. For example, the BAC limit in Iowa is .05%, the same as for driving. In Nebraska, where I live, it’s zero. If I have a drink during dinner at a Council Bluffs casino and have a DGU on the way home, ACLDN will cover me if it happens on the Iowa side of the border but not on the Nebraska side.

        One of the other strong insurance programs has a similar exclusion if you are under the influence. However, they did tell me about one of their clients who defended himself in a road rage incident while above the limit for driving or carrying. Because his defensive actions were correct, they represented him on the charge for shooting the other guy. But he was on his own for the drunk driving and illegal carry charges.

  3. At a dinner with about 12 colleagues, in a “gun free” restaurant, one of my co-workers noticed my Sneaky Pete holster. This was a person who has never even held a firearm. He did not say anything during the dinner, but, afterward said “At first, I was alarmed, but then I realized I should feel safer”. We then discussed how almost all mass shootings happen in gun-free zones.
    I have had two such incidents.

    • Leading by example.
      You should be pleased with the fact those whom you influenced were mature and discerning enough to determine the truth behind your behavior and intent. Some people will never understand.

  4. The federal Gun Free School Zone Act, and its state analogues, makes open carry essentially illegal in every urban area of the country. Not only does it disarms students and teachers, it disarms anyone within 1000 feet of a campus who does not have a concealed carry permit. But the probability that any lower court will overturn any one of these laws on constitutional grounds is essentially nil, particularly in any one of the “ban” states. To make matters worse, the legislatures in such states typically (but not invariably) have gun banner majorities. Without Congressional action, or a particularly powerful opinion from the Supreme Court (which Heller seems to indicate will not be forthcoming at least within buildings or on campuses) a repeal of any of these laws is extremely doubtful.

    • And it is pretty easy to be within a thousand feet of a school and not even realize it. Feels a lot like entrapment.

      • I live right across the street from a school.

        We do open carry on public university and college campuses. Yellow Springs Ohio tried to push the thousand feet nonsense to claim we couldn’t open carry in Yellow Springs. We ignored them and carry there anyway; including long guns.

        Thankfully, nobody is complying with the 1000 feet fiasco.

    • What I’d like to know is how the federal law works in states which allow CCW permit holders to carry on school property. My state allows it so what do the feds say about that?

      • The federal law, as well as MOST BUT NOT ALL state analogues have an exclusion for concealed permit licensees. California USED to, but a particular state representative is bound and determined to eliminate concealed carry, or failing that, to make it too expensive for most people to even apply. The elimination of the right of a CCW holder to carry on a campus was passed and enacted despite a complete absence of ANY evidence of ANY incident on a campus involving a licensed concealed carrier.

        • Good deal. That’s why I escaped Kalifornia. Such a shame, as it was once a great place to live. It’s gone to hell in a hand basket.

        • In Ventura County 1st time CCW application fees and a typical CCW course will total around $450. Then to renew, every 2 years, the total is around $200. A few years ago, it took up to a year to start the initial process. Now it’s around, maybe, 4 months because VC Sherrifs Office hired more staff, due high demand for CCW permits.

          • At least you can obtain a permit. Most Kalifornians can’t, except for some of the normal counties in N/E Kalifornia. How’s buying ammo going for ya?

      • In the winter, I live across the street from a school here in WY. I got a permit so I could leave my house carrying without committing a felony:-\

        • What ever happened to the 10th Amendment? I very heavily doubt whether my state would allow for the enforcement of such a law by city, county or state LE. Another good reason not to live in a city or town.

    • The Gun Free School Zone Act was, of course, enacted under the “Commerce Clause”.

  5. the bad thing about a tax free entity is that they are at the mercy of the government. just like churches who start to preach about scary subjects are basically told to shut up.

    • In Chicago the churches DO preach scary stuff. Mostly politically left campaign speeches. No one complains.

  6. Two old geezers sitting on a park bench in front of a mall. Behind them a prominently displayed sign, “Gunn Free Zone.” Geezer #1, “Why do you suppose there are so many shootings in gun free zones?” Geezer #2, “For the same reason there aren’t any on gun ranges.” Any questions?

    • Side story …
      After one incident at a public range that involved a negligent discharge by an unsupervised child I began to wear body armor. Unfortunately, zones that do have guns aren’t free of careless or stupid people, so prepare accordingly. You never know who may be standing next to you, and this is what I told my wife when we last went out.
      I put armor on her, too.

      • You have caused me to think about the time I spend at the range. I’ve read other stories about accidental shootings at both indoor and outdoor ranges. Armor…seems like a good idea.

        • I feel lucky. The county range (outdoor) is almost always empty Mon-Thurs.
          Target stands are available free of charge. Best thing; most police their brass, butts and shotgun shells.
          Being the only one there is fantastic.
          Weekends, very busy. Lots of gun club types. Skeet shooters, etc.

      • On the topic of body armor, I believe a few TTAG commenters carry a ballistic insert in their backpack. What’s to stop a bad guy from discreetly doing the same? All more reason to have a spare mag if you’d have to mag dump on the BG’a ass.

        • Or practice “failure to stop” drills. Also known as Mozambique drills. That is completely different from Buckwheating somebody however.

        • @Jedi,

          The “Mozambique” is explicitly discouraged at the facility where I take my gun classes for the reason that any D.A. will argue that you had intent to kill, as compared to intent to simply stop the threat.

          Better to put two rounds to the thoracic (center mass), and ONLY if the perp continues to present as a deadly threat (could be high on drugs, for example), then pop another round to the ocular (center of head). Pausing between the two steps could make all the difference to your freedom when a D.A. looks over the resulting police report.

  7. But if they did away with gun free zones they couldn’t teach “Run, Cower and Die” anymore.

  8. The only thing More stupid than gun free zones. Are the people Who feel safe in them. I have Absolutely No Sympathy for anyone who dies in one unarmed. It’s no different than being killed by a shark,bear or big cat in the wild. When you choose to cede the protection of your life to a law or organization that cannot/will not protect you. The consequences of your actions fall upon your choices.

  9. There are two primary reasons why self-defense opponents will vigorously oppose ending “gun-free” zones.

    (1) They actually believe that armed citizens will increase the body count if a spree-killer attacks — claiming that armed citizens will shoot several bystanders as well as other armed citizens.
    (2) They oppose armed citizens on philosophical grounds claiming that we should not have to be armed in the first place and that being armed is just stooping to the low level of the spree killer.

    Yes, gun-grabbers really do believe it is morally superior to be an unarmed dead victim of a spree-killer rather than walk around armed and able to defend yourself. And nothing that we can say or do will change that.

    Gun-grabbers are quite literally a death cult. We are thus left with two choices: submit to the death cult or defend ourselves from thugs, rapists, murderers, spree-killers, and armed agents of the state who directly seek to deny our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  10. From the Second Amendment Foundation:
    BELLEVUE, WA – Declaring that so-called “gun-free zones are shooting galleries for maniacs,” the Second Amendment Foundation today is calling for an end to such designations by launching an advertising campaign aimed at print and online publications.
    “Without a self-defense option,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “we are all at greater risk.”
    The campaign has a simple message: “You’re a sitting duck in a gun-free zone.” The ad may be seen here.

    Couldn’t explain it any better than that. Especially in Religious Centers, movie theaters, like that. When are these politicians gonna wake up.

  11. Here’s a novel idea. Get window stickers made of the SAF sitting duck graphic and casually place them right next to the GFZ signs of establishments.

  12. “Of course, in every case, that ban had zero effect on the shooters who took innocent lives.”

    Incorrect, the ban had a tremendous effect on the murderer’s choice of location for their crime.

  13. It’s past time to drop the “law abiding” trap from gun owners. In some places, it isn’t a violation of the law to ignore gun free zone signs. In other places, it is a violation of the law. Given enough time, there won’t be many “law abiding” gun owners left so consider ditching that part of the label already.

    I avoid gun free zones. When I can’t or the reason to go is compelling enough, I sometimes ignore the signs and carry anyway. Although, it is very rare for me to do so. For the most part, a gun free zone means that they don’t want me or my business. Thankfully, I have no reason to enter a public school these days. When I did some occasional teaching in the public indoctrination system, I had inside pockets sewn into my trousers so I could carry in deep concealment.

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