We've all seen the "No Guns" sign. Some times it's a gun with the famous circle and line through it,other times it words or a mixture of the two.
The question is what do you, as an advocate of self-defense, do when you see such a sign?
The first question to tackle is if the sign actually carries any weight of the law. In Texas for example, a sign must be in compliance with the law in order to be valid. In Texas a "51% sign", referring to the percentage of income derived from alcohol sales or a "30.06 sign" would carry the weight of the law and a person carrying there could get into trouble for violating the law.
On the other hand, in states like Indiana and Florida, "no gun" signs carry no weight of the law, unless it is already illegal to carry there anyway, such as k-12 schools or federal buildings. Laws vary from state to state, so make sure you know your states laws. In Indiana you can carry into a bar, regardless of what percentage of funds it derives from Alcohol. In Florida, bars are prohibited.
Let us move onto the question at hand, assuming it is legal to ignore the sign and carry anyway, what do you do?
Some people will automatically say "concealed means concealed" or "how will they know". Obviously that goes without saying, but it's a deeper question that that. This line of thinking also obviously ignores laws in states where Open Carry is legal or
where the carrier does not yet have a license to conceal carry (due to
age restrictions or perhaps personal feelings about needing a license to
exercise a Right) and must carry openly.
In any event, morally, what should you do?
First and foremost, my moral duty to protect myself and my family trumps any alleged property Rights claim by a corporation. At the same time, there are many other factors at play, lets take a look at them.
Do you want to give money to some douchebags who hate self defense? This is the real kicker. Is that bulk pack of hotdogs at Big Box store #1 really any better than at Big Box Store #2? Are the wings at the triple W as good as at the Lube? Do you have a viable alternative?
Property Rights. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more ardent supporter of property Rights than myself. Setting aside the fact I don't want to give money to someone who doesn't want me to defend myself, lets take a look at this. Maw and Paw own something, it's pretty clear that Maw and Paw have Rights, including property Rights and full control over their property.
What about Big Box store #1? They aren't a real person. They are a government created entity which has incorporated to gain a myriad of protections afforded to businesses under the law. Do fictitious entities have Rights? Under our system of laws, it's really privileges that are extended to corporations.
Some stores will try and claim "liability" or "insurance" reasons. Ask yourself, would stores like Starbucks, Target, Cabelas, Gander Mountain and dozens of others have corporate policies allowing carry in their stores (where legal) if this was really a concern?
I wanted to float these thoughts out there, I don't have any hard and fast answers here and I don't want to see any new laws, but from a moral perspective, the issue of property Rights isn't so clear cut when dealing with a corporation open for business to the public... and yes, a big box retailer whose only stipulation is a fee of $55 a year for membership is considered open to the public under the law.
What's the worst that could happen if you ignore the signs? Assuming they carry no weight of the law, the worst that can happen in most states is you would be trespassed if you were asked to leave and refused. No issues there. Unless....
Unless your name was Erik Scott. Erik Scott was shot and killed by Las Vegas Metro PD in the vestibule of a Costco in front of his fiancee after he exited Costco after finishing checking out and handing his receipt to the door checker. Erik was a West Point graduate who had a promising future with his wife to be. He was senselessly killed for committing no crime what so ever. A costco employee had seen his handgun when he reached up to get an item off a top shelf and called 9-1-1 to report a man with a gun. A wrongful death suit is pending after the corners inquest found the 3 officers innocent of any wrong doing.
Ultimately it's up to you to decide if you will patronize stores that wish to deny your Right to self defense. I say Right to self defense and not Second Amendment right for two reasons.
First, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is enumerated in the 2A, saying 2A right makes it sound like the Right originates from government. It doesn't. If it did, it would be called a privilege. The other reason is because the 2A applies to government only. It doesn't apply to private property or private individuals.
I hope this has gotten your mind thinking about how you should treat anti self-defense businesses and we would love to hear your stories and thoughts about this at:
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