Why CC Holders Should Ignore Anti-Gun Signs Posted in Stores

They are popping up all across the country, little stickers on the front doors of businesses, restaurants and retail outlets informing concealed carry holders that they are not welcome to carry their legal firearm inside. But if you are a concealed carry holder you should ignore these attempts to curtail your rights. If you are legally armed, feel absolutely free to enter and patronize those stores with your firearm no matter what these anti-Constitution store owners want.

First of all, these stores have no right whatever to tell you that you aren’t allowed to observe your Second Amendment rights inside their establishments. No mere shop owner has the capability or the right to prevent Americans from enjoying their Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

This may sound like a contradiction for many conservatives. After all, most conservatives and gun owners are very supportive of rights in general and the right of private property owners to do what they want on their own property is no less important than our Second Amendment rights. So, how can conservatives and gun owners on one hand claim to support private property rights yet on the other feel it perfectly OK to tell the owner of that property that they cannot ban a CC carrier’s gun inside?

For one thing, the ship has sailed on the claim that owners of private property have free reign to do anything they want on their property. The Supreme Court has repeatedly, for instance, told business owners that they cannot discriminate against patrons based on their sex, race, creed et al. The law states that a mere store owner cannot hamper people’s civil and Constitutional rights just because they have private property rights. One right, in other words, does not trump all–or any single–other rights.

Therefore, it is perfectly logical to state that if a store cannot refuse to serve a gay or a person of a particular race or religion because this refusal violates their Constitutional rights, then a store owner cannot act to prevent a patron from observing their Second Amendment rights, either.

But, some may still be stuck on the whole idea that a private business has certain rights to say what they want allowed on their own premises. Here a quote from Thomas Jefferson reveals why a business has no right to summarily remove a patron’s Second Amendment rights.

In his Report on Navigation of the Mississippi, 1792, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following: “It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say, that the means follow their end.”

In other words, if a shop owner says he isn’t curtailing your Second Amendment rights by just keeping you from carrying in his shop, he is not correct. For telling someone they cannot have the tools (the gun, in this case) to observe their right then they are essentially barred from having those rights. This, incidentally, is a good argument against ammunition restrictions, too.

There is also a safety issue to consider. The whole reason that every state in the union has enacted concealed carry laws was to give citizens the means to prevent crime. A cc holder carrying his gun is just as much for the safety of those around him as it is for himself. If a store, then, is telling patrons not to carry their firearms, that store is inviting criminals to prey upon their patrons.

Here it is apropos to note that a restaurant in Durham, North Carolina was recently robbed at gunpoint even though it had its little “no guns” signs on its front door. Note that the sign only prevented legal, law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves. It didn’t stop any crime–in fact it may have invited it.

Then there is the whole point of a concealed carry license holder carrying a concealed weapon. A concealed weapon is not visible to those around the carrier. Therefore, if no one else even knows you are carrying, this cannot possibly hurt the store. This means a shop owner’s whining about your gun is nothing else but a political act and his political ideology does not trump your legal right to carry.

Speaking of legality, if the state says you are legally allowed to carry your firearm, how is it that a shop owner imagines he has the right to trump even state law?

Many store owners, though, are telling gun owners that this is no big deal. An easy solution, they say, is that gun owners should just leave their guns in their cars. This is an entirely dangerous thing to do. Leaving a gun unattended in a car invites break ins and theft. If my car gets broken into and my gun stolen while I am in Starbucks shouldn’t the coffee shop be held liable? After all, they insisted I leave my gun in may car before I went in for some coffee, didn’t they?

In the end, gun owners who are legally carrying their firearms should feel free to ignore these little no gun signs. These signs do not hold any legal restrictions over your right to carry. Certainly as a gun owner you may realize that these businesses are telling you that they do not want your business and you may just refuse to spend your money with them. But if you don’t care what these shop owners think and you like their wares, then feel free to ignore their powerless little signs and patronize them with your gun.

So, yes, dear store owner. Your little sign means nothing to me. It has no force of law and your little sign cannot trump my Constitutional rights. I will ignore your sign and carry my gun into your establishment whether you like it or not.

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  • Dan Moore

    I tell the owner/manager that I, and my extended family, will spend our money at his competitors until the sign comes down. It is a matter of trust. If you don’t trust me I don’t feel safe around you.

  • Eduardo Blanco

    As a supporter of individual rights I have to disagree with the author. I support a persons individual right to carry a gun just as I support someone else who isn’t comfortable around guns. They should have the right to create rules on what is their private property.

    It’s kind of hypocritical to demand that someone recognize my rights by ignoring theirs.

    I will just choose to shop elsewhere which is my individual right.

  • James Glass

    Why would you, as a second amendment supporter want to give these businesses (who are so anti second amendment they post these signs) your dollars so they can donate to anti second amendment causes. Its my personal belief they have every right to regulate their customer base, as I have every right to deny them my dollars. I recently dropped Verizon Wireless service because of one of these signs being posted. I will not patron a business whose management does not recognize my rights.

  • Carl Stevenson

    In PA such signs have no force of law. All they can do is ask you to leave if they discover you’re carrying, if you don’t leave when asked, you could be charged with trespass.

  • Dennis211

    Here in PA we can ignore the signs….If the business owner does not want guns on their property they must approach the person carrying the gun and ask them to leave…..If the gun owner does not leave then they can be charged with trespassing, but they cannot be charged with any weapons violations

  • Jim

    On their property, their right to decide who comes on the property trumps my right to carry on their property. But at least in Texas, that little sign does not qualify as sufficient notice to concealed carry holders. They would need to make a specific request to not carry on their property, if that is their only notice, which they probably wouldn’t be doing because they wouldn’t know who was carrying. I would be less likely to visit any store that posts that though!

  • CaliforniaRightToCarry

    First of all, concealed carry is a privilege and not a right. Secondly, the one case which pitted the Second Amendment against private property rights ended up with the #2A on the losing end. Finally, it makes no sense to give your money to businesses who oppose your right to carry. You might as well be giving money to Nancy Pelosi’s reelection campaign.

    • cjohnson44546

      carrying a weapon, period.. concealed or not, is a right. Its a right that is infringed by the state and they give you a privilege to carry some chosen weapons with a license… its wrong, and unconstitutional, but currently “legal”

  • MKE gal

    As much as possible I refuse to give money to businesses which do not honor my civil rights.
    (A couple places like the post office & some hospitals are impossible to avoid.)
    Some places I can’t avoid I might carry anyway (only concealed, of course), and some places I can’t avoid maybe I don’t carry.

  • MKE gal

    However… I also think that any business should be able to refuse service to anyone, for any reason IF they clearly post at every entrance and on every advertisement to let people know who is & is not welcome to spend money there.

    Signs for doors should be at least 9″ square, blaze orange with large bold black letters/lines and standardized graphics, and posted no more than 2′ laterally from the open edge of a door (so it has to be ON the door) and the entire sign must be between 3′ and 6′ off the ground. That leaves enough room to ban more than one group, and to work around any other signs they have.

    For ads, keep the standard graphics, and require that the graphic be no smaller than a capital letter in the product or company name. (Or maybe no smaller than their own logo.)

    Do away with having some groups which are more special & more protected than others, like religious or skin-color groups are now, compared to people who simply exercise their civil right to bear arms.
    Either protect ALL civil rights from discrimination, or none of them.

    And no taxpayer-owned facility should be allowed to ban lawfully-possessed firearms unless (as with a court or prison) they have armed guards, metal detectors, and provide free secure storage while citizens are using the building. (Thank you, Utah!)

  • Carl Taylor

    If you’re doing your part right as a CCW holder, how in the hell would anyone know that you were armed? They have metal detectors at the doors next to their now CCW signs? Yeah, I didn’t think so. My motto: It’s better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

  • gramavegas2010

    In NV, they can ask you to leave and if you do not, then you are violating the law. Now, if you’re carrying concealed well enough, they won’t see your firearm and thus won’t ask you to leave. 😉

  • carlos

    “First of all, these stores have no right whatever to tell you that you aren’t allowed to observe your Second Amendment rights inside their establishments.”

    Sorry. This is dead wrong. You might make a case for them not serving you because you’re an NRA member or something. But carrying your weapon is an act. It’s one thing to say you won’t serve gays and be smacked down by the law, but the law won’t say anything if you kick them out for lewd acts. You can come in and have a burger, but leave your gay porn in the car.

    There is no discrimination against you, the person, as you are welcome without the gun. And your rights have not been violated since you can still carry to your hearts content elsewhere.

    You may as well try to make a case that someone can’t ask you to take off your muddy boots before coming into their house.

  • Jon Winters

    Those little signs mean I’m not going to spend my money there. I don’t want to bring my family into a free-fire zone without any armed good guys.

  • John Hunter

    If my rights & the rights of my family aren’t important to the owners, then, apparently my money isn’t that important to them, either. I’ll just take my business elsewhere & watch while they’re robbed out of business

  • James Clements

    In TN, gun buster signs, properly posted, carry force of law and is a crime to violate. I’m a CCW holder and a daily Glock carrier but I also respect property owners wishes as I expect them to respect my property. I simply don’t patronize business that are gun free zones.

  • Michael Zellhart

    While I understand some of your concerns, we must remember that we are under NO obligation to obey unconstitutional laws. I know some of you don’t want to push that issue, as it would be a costly battle. However, at some point that battle will have to be fought. Those of you saying that owners and patrons have a right to feel safe, as CCW holders that is scary to hear. The time that owners and patrons are most unsafe is when these signs are on display. Just in the past month Bojangles restaurants have been robbed 3 times since adopting this policy, a bbq restaurant also robbed shortly after placing their sign. The way I see it, you have 2 responsible options, don’t enter these soft targets or disregard the sign and carry concealed. Any other choice places yourself and family in a dangerous place with no way to defend against criminals.

    • jim_m

      It is all well and good to be all high and mighty and claim that you aren’t going to obey what you believe is an unconstitutional law. Just be aware that it remains the law and you had better be prepared to go to prison for your beliefs. There have been many unjust laws that even the SCOTUS has upheld. (I’m thinking of Dred Scott and the Runaway Slave Act as examples)

      Cloaking yourself in self righteousness does not mean that you won’t still find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

      Mind you, I think that these signs are stupid and are tantamount to painting a target on your business for criminals. It still doesn’t mean that violating the law is wise or that it is in any way helpful toward the end of extending gun rights.

      • Michael Zellhart

        It’s not self-righteousness, it’s just right. I stated that it is a risk, but I’d rather take a legal battle than a gunfight with nothing to fight with. I don’t blame anyone for not taking my chosen plan of action. The sign on a door is not a law, and my state does not place legal weight on them either. I have a US Constitutional right to bear arms, I have a State Constitutional right to bear arms, and I have a State license to carry concealed. If they want to argue that their sign trumps ALL of that, I am willing to take that fight on. Others may not, and I have no problem with that. I am single and have no children, which allows me to act on only my own accord. Someone witha family probably would have to think much harder about the consequences. Drop the attitude, I made no judgement of anyone else’s choices.

  • http://davidtinsc.tumblr.com DavidTinSC

    In South Carolina:

    SECTION 23-31-220. Right to allow or permit concealed weapons upon premises; signs.

    Nothing contained in this article shall in any way be construed to limit, diminish, or otherwise infringe upon:

    (1) the right of a public or private employer to prohibit a person who is licensed under this article from carrying a concealable weapon upon the premises of the business or work place or while using any machinery, vehicle, or equipment owned or operated by the business;

    (2) the right of a private property owner or person in legal possession or control to allow or prohibit the carrying of a concealable weapon upon his premises.

    The posting by the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control of a sign stating “No Concealable Weapons Allowed” shall constitute notice to a person holding a permit issued pursuant to this article that the employer, owner, or person in legal possession or control requests that concealable weapons not be brought upon the premises or into the work place. A person who brings a concealable weapon onto the premises or work place in violation of the provisions of this paragraph may be charged with a violation of Section 16-11-620. In addition to the penalties provided in Section 16-11-620, a person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this paragraph must have his permit revoked for a period of one year. The prohibition contained in this section does not apply to persons specified in Section 16-23-20, item (1).

  • Spencer Williams

    People are arguing on here about when and where it is legal to carry. Sign or no sign I will carry wherever I feel unsafe. No one will know I am carrying unless there is a need for me to present my weapon to protect myself, then I will take my chances with the law. My dad always said it is better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six!

  • FrontRowNews

    A business is PRIVATE property and can say.. GUNS NOT ALLOWED.

  • Saman

    In Mississippi, the law concerning the signs is the trespass law. There are two of them. You can be fined up to $500 and serve up to 6 months in Jail. The advice to carry against the wishes of the property owner is poor advice. I don’t like the signs but the property owners rights are as valid as mine. I will not do business with a private business with a no gun sign. There is a cuurent lawsuit on the signs being the reason for a mass murder. I will not mention where but if they win, these signs may be harder to post. If they post the signs, I believe they should have a viable armed guard in their business. Not a retiree guard on a walker. The Author needs to keep this opinion to himself.

  • Saman

    The Mississippi Law concerns Trespass with warning. If you are property owner, you can refuse entrance to your property for any reason. 2nd Amendment rights do not supersede property rights. They are equal in my opinion.

  • Dillon

    Lol because it doesn’t stop the people who want to rob or hurt others? It only stops the people who carry weapons to defend themselves from others lol.

  • Johnny Rich

    I completely disagree with your suggestion to go ahead and patronize the
    businesses. I will never knowingly spend my hard earned money at a
    place that doesn’t support the 2nd Amendment by allowing people to conceal carry and open carry. Even though 98% of the time I do conceal carry, I still will not patronize a business that bans open carry. Along with sending a letter of disgust, my way of showing them that I don’t agree with their policies is to not spend any of my money in their stores. To a corporation, profits and losses speaks louder than words and if you continue to spend money in their stores then you’re allowing them to get away with their idiotic policy while making a profit off of you.

  • Scott Wennemann

    I just dont give these stores my business. I am sure there are other similar businesses in the area that will allow me to exercise my constitutional rights.

  • cjohnson44546

    Sadly, many states, like TN, that little sign does have force of law…

  • buffalocharlie

    Wow! The author is encouraging CC permit holders to break the law. He claims the signs have no “force of law” but that varies from place to place and state to state….making such a suggestion is inviting such CC permit holders to possibly be charged with a crime and even lose their right to carry….not very bright. The author uses the following backwards logic to support his argument: “If my car gets broken into and my gun stolen while I am in Starbucks shouldn’t the coffee shop be held liable? After all, they insisted I leave my gun in may car before I went in for some coffee, didn’t they?” Well, no, they didn’t insist…you were the one who insisted you have to have a gun with you at all times, and they don’t want you to bring it in their store…I am sure they could care less where you put it. If you don’t want to enter a business that prohibits firearms unarmed, then don’t. But blatantly ignoring their policy is plain wrong. The proper way to address these issues is through our political process…gain support of sufficient numbers of citizens and perhaps you can get a law passed, or persuade a business owner to change their policy.

  • CritiKiL

    I’m trying to find the penal code that “must be posted on the building” for the ‘no guns’ signs to be valid. If this penal code is NOT shown, then a person with a CC has every right to enter the business. Can someone help me find that code? It’s almost ALWAYS on hospitals, government agencies and maybe some banks.

  • Ohiomike5150

    In Ohio, private business has the right to choose if they will allow or disallow CCW in their establishments. What WAS a felony… has been amended to be a misdemeanor charge if caught. That being said. My view is that I don’t think any person who is pro 2A should spend one nickel at ANY establishment that doesn’t respect the constitutional rights of all of us. I will go way out of my way (if necessary) to ensure that I don’t give my hard earned $$$$ to a business that posts signs. If all CCW/open carry folks did this there would be a lot of change happening quickly. I also write letters to the offending companies and their parent companies. I was surprised how effective this has been. Many times a company policy is to follow state law. Unbeknownst to them a rogue anti-gun manager decides to bad the 2A with signs. Many of those types of signs come down quick but sometimes it takes someone like you or me to enlighten them.

  • art57
  • art57

    What difference is it to allow this to go on when a Libtard can enter a Christian Bakery and demand a cake be made against their religion? THIS IS ABOUT OUR Constitutional Rights! I would think it trumps? Enough cow towering to this BS

  • beerandpolitics

    In Illinois a CCW permit holder is prohibited by law from entering an establishment with a clearly posted No Guns sign. If he is discovered, and the violation reported and confirmed by authorities, he will likely forfeit his permit.

  • Sean Kennedy

    For the love of god they’re not constitutional rights! They’re natural rights, at the least PROTECTED by the constitution not granted by it! This is an important distinction get it right

    • Scalia

      You are right, Sean. It is important that we understand that our rights are not granted by the government.

  • Joe Turcotte

    “Gun free zones” are open invitations to those with evil intent. It’s a guarantee that they will meet no resistance and be unopposed. It’s basically confirmation that this specific venue will be a shooting gallery. Almost every mass shooting has occurred in a “gun free zone” It is moronic to enforce such a rule against law abiding gun owners. Does anyone really think that someone intent on murder cares about breaking such a rule?

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