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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  • Jeff Muirhead

    The only way to catch a CC patron is by searching them. If you are law abiding otherwise, what would be probable cause for such a search? ……. My point being. Screw it, I carry anyway. I’m not going to a “Luby’s Diner Victim”.

  • IamBetter ThanYou

    the author of this article is a complete and utter moron.
    he’s suggesting that private property owner’s rights are second to some hillbilly, idiot’s right to carry his weapons of murder.
    NOPE SORRY… try carrying or concealing a weapon on private property that has either verbally warned you or posted a notice… ITS CONSIDERED ILLEGAL AND A CRIME; YOU WILL BE ARRESTED AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED.
    I say charge them for attempted armed robbery; at least you will have legal justifiation of shooting them dead.

  • grman

    Concealed means concealed.

  • Max Most

    What that sign says to me is.. if shit jump off.. don’t help.. just casually leave out the back door..

  • Herring

    I would try to patronize establishments that don’t have such signs. But keep in mind, some places may be pressured by gun control organizations to put up signs like that…they may be doing it just to keep the peace. I agree with the author, I certainly would not feel obligated to obey a sign like that. The weapon is concealed, no one need be the wiser.

  • jameskellum

    Even if it’s not illegal state of TN says I have the right to refuse device to anyone. Our policy states no firearms. I don’t agree with it but I do enforce it. If I ask you to leave and you don’t you are trespassing which is a crime.

    • jameskellum

      Guys like this are what give responsible gun owners and responsible ccw holders a bad name. If the sign says no firearms the no means no. It’s not about what the law says like I stated if you are violating a company policy they can ask you to leave and if you don’t then they can call police.

  • Shelly Fawn Rose

    I was stopped on my way into a library here on in Ohio…I mean the sign was there so I went home. Should I have ignored it and gone in? I refuse to leave my poor harmless gun all alone in the car. 🙂

  • fishydude

    Private property owners have a right to decide what customers can bring on their property.
    However, if a property owner mandates disarming those who enter, that property owner is then taking on a duty to protect all who enter from those who see the sign as providing a safe target zone.
    Such property owners must provide metal detectors and armed security to ensure the illusion of safety for the customers who enter.

  • Mike Rebel Carman

    Actually CCW is not a right. The author is confusing the 2nd amendment right w/ CCW.

  • Bob Upson

    “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.”

    Not worth reading past that point. They have every right to set conditions for entry onto private property. The Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with a citizen’s right to bear arms. It does _not_ prohibit property owners from setting conditions for others to set foot on their property. _Their_ rights are protected by the Constitution, too.

    • Scalia

      Most correct that the Second Amendment restricts government, not private parties.

  • mlee952

    You are completely wrong. The second and all the other amendments apply to the govt. ONLY.

  • Bonnie Jordan

    my family was requiring a form several days ago and located an excellent service that hosts a lot of sample forms . If people are interested in it too , here’s a http://goo.gl/QfepXN

  • It’s a stupid policy, but all rights are property rights. If you can’t handle an establishment’s rules, no matter how wrong-headed, you should not be there. Besides, making a point of telling them why you will not patronize them sends a strong message.

    The bottom line is the author has no principles, and is fine with “whatever the government allows.” There’s right, wrong, and government rules, and government rules do not care about right and wrong. They’re without principle, much like you are. Property rights matter, even though the government has trampled them in yet another way.

  • Ohiogunr

    History is rife with patriots who died defending their rights. IF you decide to follow these recommendations, expect to be made an example of. Where law gives the right to ban to property owners, as in Ohio, You’ll go to jail, and /or pay a fine. You may possibly lose your right to have a Concealed Carry License. . In Ohio, the property owner is specifically exempted from responsibility for posting a ban or Not posting. This is where the action should be concentrated. Take away their protection from lawsuits!Make the property owner responsible for their actions . Make them securely store guns at the entrance where banned and make them responsible to their safe return. Ignoring another law is not the way to change the current laws. Paul Revere, Samuel Prescott, which one was the Patriot.

  • Earl Louks

    In some states if you go in you will be charged with trespassing. So this articles is telling you to break the law. The writer does not know what they are talking about

  • Randal L Tuttle

    Some states are getting smart and telling people they are allowed to post the signs but they must protect there customers if a shooting breaks out and if someone is hurt they are responsiable for them as they disallow weapons in there establishment. In those states the signs came down almost overnight.

  • Ammo ED

    In Florida, unless stated by law, the signs have no legal authority. Now, the property owner can ask you to leave and if you refuse, then you are trespassing and can get arrested for that.

  • Howard Scho

    Kind of funny how the left and the ACLU is not UP IN ARMS over this. A business cannot discriminate against a legal right. Would they feel the same if it said Catholics may not enter? What if it said Black can only go in through the back door? This is BS and nobody should obey it.

  • RobbieK

    I saw this post and a logo popped into my head that I thought should be attached to these signs to protect the various businesses from lawsuits…Haha!

  • Steve Baker

    you are so wrong, this is private property and they have the right to say no (just like you do on your property), you are free to not to bnusiness with though.

  • Bruce Rowley

    So, to make matters simple…If the store has a “No Guns” sign at the entrance, go somewhere else. They are the losers because the more CC holders that do not patronize the store, the more money the store loses. Also, those signs are equal to saying “Come rob this place, we don’t care, we don’t fight you!”. The store owners suffer the major loss of profits as well as patronage.

  • Walter J. Alexander IV

    What sign? I didn’t see a sign. And besides, there was no intent to break any laws. Worked for scHiilary.

  • Clearly the author is one of the dimwits who really think you have the legal right to take your gun anywhere you want.

    Good. Let’s send the author into a court room armed and see how that goes over.

    This person is an idiot. A business is private property so you do NOT have the right to ignore posted rules. In many states it is a FELONY do to this but don’t let the law dictate what you do let some brain dead gun nut tell you so you can go to jail quicker, get a felony and lose your right to carry all together.

    Freaking idiots.

  • Donna

    While I agree with the sentiment of this article, I will say that in Tennessee we will lose our carry license if we frequent an establishment that has posted no guns. It’s a felony.
    Here’s my take on it…why would I ever want what’s inside their doors when they don’t respect the law of the land? They have NOTHING that is worth my loss of rights, or safety. I don’t need Starbucks, Panera, Buffalo Wild Wings, Fresh Market, etc…they are all a bunch of whining liberals, who can attempt to justify the deaths that could occur inside their stores because they removed the right of protection from their patrons…

  • Chris

    This is patently wrong. While they may technically not be allowed to make you remove your gun, leave it outside, etc, they are not required to allow you entrance to the business if you do not follow their rules.

    Property rights are the central right of the constitution. They supercede many rights. In fact, the Constitution had to explicitly state that businesses are forbidden to not allow services to “protected classes” of people by virtue of that class.

    The bottom line is that I am simply not required to let you in to my private property. Just like businesses can exclude people not wearing shoes, or they can choose to not allow customers that have stolen things already.

    • Scalia

      Hi, Chris. You are correct in your assessment, but we also favor state laws which obligate the proprietors of such establishments to incur liability in the event a CCP (or open carry) holder is killed or injured during a criminal attack while patronizing said proprietor’s business (if said holder disarms before entering said establishment). Agree?

      • Chris

        I do not. No more than I would assume the owner of a house has liability if he asked friends to not brings their guns when they come over and then someone breaks into the house and attacks them. Patronizing a business is a voluntary activity, and there are also too many variables to assume that they would have been fine had they just had their gun.

        Ultimately my view on this is that property rights are property rights. Nobody is forced to go onto anybody else’s private property, and that person should be able to set their own rules for that property so long as anyone who is refused service was not refused service for any kind of discriminatory “class of person” reason. Clearly someone cannot violate someone else’s right while they are on private property, however if said person is aware of the rules prior to entering, then that is that person’s choice. Much like the First Amendment doesn’t allow you to say whatever you want on Facebook. You sign up? You agree to the Terms of Service.

        The only punishment they should be subject to is the loss of business if someone decides they want to go somewhere else.

        • Scalia

          A place of business is open to the public; your home isn’t. You can deny anyone you choose to have access to your home, including racial minorities and homosexuals. That can’t be done with a business.

          Moreover, legal liability is incurred by business owners for many things. Owners must provide adequate means of escape in the event of a fire or some other emergency, a working sprinkler system if a fire occurs, adequate warning signs, etc. If a person is prevented from leaving an establishment due to a jammed door (that should have been fixed) or is burned in a fire due to a non-working sprinkler system, he may most certainly incur liability because his actions or inactions resulted in somebody’s harm. Likewise, if a proprietor prevents a patron from defending himself, he should be held liable. He should not be liable if the gun owner is both armed and killed, but if he prevents the gun owner from having the means to defend himself, he should be held accountable.

          • Chris

            No, there are only a few things that you are not allowed to turn people away for, and those are any protected class. Anything that is an integral aspect of a person: race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc. You are allowed to turn anyone away without shoes for example. You are allowed to turn someone away if they don’t have a ticket or some kind of appointment. You are allowed to turn someone away for any non discriminatory reason. Private property, you set the rules so long as the existence of rules themselves do not violate someone elses right, and since someone’s right to bear arms would only be violated once they choose to patronize (unlike discrimination) it is not the same thing.

            And legal liability is ONLY incurred when the law deems it so. If there is a law requiring that you have health standards, and you don’t follow it, then you have liability. If there is a law requiring multiple exits, and you don’t follow it, then you are liable. Since I am against a law that would consider voluntary entry and lack of a firearm to be a liability, then no, I don’t think the business owner should be held liable.

            There are tons of good reasons why a business owner should have to make sure their establishment is safe in terms of exits, building codes, etc. The lack of such things is a near guarantee to be a hazard in a time of emergency. The same is not true of a gun. Not only is the gun usage not part of the establishment, it is also not under the control of the owner. It is also not even remotely a “near guarantee” to prevent violence since it depends highly on the user.

            Furthermore, when someone patronizes a business, that person assumes for example that upon entry things like building codes and sprinkers are operating. They don’t have the control. If however you know that you cannot take a gun into a certain place, and you feel that makes you unsafe, then you are aware of it and you lose that liability by entering said establishment voluntarily. No different than if a business put up “Caution, wet floor” signs and you chose to walk on the floor and then fell. Business are typically not liable if you are made clear of the risks and you choose to ignore them.

          • Scalia

            You’re missing the initial point. You may deny access to ANYBODY in your home. You don’t have the same latitude in a business. A proprietor has a lot of latitude to bar certain types of people and regulate dress, but he has significantly less latitude than a homeowner. That’s an obvious point, and your cause is not served by trying to fight over that point.

            Of course sprinkler systems and outward opening doors, etc. are required by law. Nobody said otherwise. The point is if a business owner deliberately does something to prevent a patron from saving his life in violation of code, it of course follows that he incurs liability. The reason such codes are in place is that most municipalities believe that a business is responsible for ensuring the safety of its patrons in the event or an emergency. That principle is not moved merely because the owner doesn’t own the weapons his patrons might carry.

            Your standard of “near guarantee” cuts both ways. A criminal will not obey a gun ban, and knowing that a store is gun-free lets him know that nobody will be shooting back if he decides to rob the place. News reports are common about gun owners successfully intervening during a robbery and/or shooting. Banning guns isn’t a near guarantee; it’s a FULL guarantee that nobody will be able to defend themselves when the shooting starts. With a gun, you at least have a better chance. Even if he’s a bad shot, many criminals run when a weapon is brandished.

            A proprietor is legally barred from have defective sprinklers, doors, etc., but gun owners are not pulling for that. We believe that he should legally be entitled to ban firearms on his property. He’ll only incur liability if somebody gets hurt. Yes, he has control over what comes onto his property, so in that sense, what gun owners are looking for us more lenient than the codes we’ve discussed.

            Bottom line:. A gun ban is a barrier by definition. It is something over which a store owner has complete control. It is logically indistinct from a barrier he puts across his emergency exits. Emergencies rarely occur, so most of them have nothing to fear in that regard. Yes, it’s his building, and it is also his space. A barrier is a barrier, and that makes him liable for the same reason that a blocked door makes him liable.

  • Jay F

    In IL in order to be enforceable it must be the official sign. Which is a 4″ x 6″ sign with a white background, a depiction of a handgun in black ink with a circle and diagonal slash across the firearm in red ink, and a black border around all four sides.
    A court case actually got dismissed and the charges dropped against the concealed carry holder because the sign posted didn’t have a border around it.

    We were taught in class that all they can do is ask you to leave, refusal to do so is simply trespassing. Still not something I want on my record though. The real question is why would you insist on giving your money to someone who’s willing to permanently stain your record for executing a perfectly safe and legal right?
    Like Autozone. If they want to have such a hard-on about it then I’ll take my business to Advanced Autoparts. Same for Buffalo Wild Wings. There’s much better quality, locally owned options around so I choose to patron elsewhere.