This blog is not intended to give legal advice. If you want to learn more, check your state’s gun laws.
I have been openly carrying my pistol around town for a few months. It is legal to carry openly without a permit in this state. Years ago, I carried my gun in a different state, where it was also legal, and the city police charge me with disorderly conduct, but the city dropped the charges because they had no case But where I live now most people own guns and don’t freak out when people calmly exercise their natural right to self-defense.
In one restaurant, the waitress asked if my gun was real. I told her it was. When I was waiting in line to get the Nintendo Switch someone asked me the same thing. I told him there was no point in carrying a toy gun. But I’ve been to many stores, including big-box stores, with no problems.
It turns out that people aren’t so stupid, at least where I live, as to freak out by the sight of someone with a gun. Logic dictates that a criminal would hide his gun, even if it was legal to carry it openly. Someone intent on committing a crime would not want to draw attention to himself. But someone buying groceries, carrying a pistol on his hip, is not likely to use that pistol to rob that store.
I started doing construction work for a major retailer. I’m working at their distribution warehouse. There is a sign that says that no guns or knives are allowed in the building. I wonder if the 1st amendment is also banned there? During the safety orientation, they told us what to do in case of fire or tornado. And then they mentioned what to do if there was an “active shooter.” I so badly wanted to say, “but how can there possibly be an active shooter? You have a sign that forbids guns. Surely, a criminal intent on murder would comply with your sign, right?” They basically said that we would be allowed to defend ourselves if we had to. But he was quick to add that guns were banned. So, in other words, we can defend ourselves in theory, but not really.
As far as I can tell, businesses want to ban guns so that they don’t have liability if someone is hurt or killed. If someone hurts himself or someone else, accidentally or on purpose, with a gun, then the victim could try to sue. But if the business puts up a sign then they can declare that they are not responsible for any crimes that might occur there. That basically means customers are out of luck.
I don’t understand the logic in banning guns in banks, for example. There is a bank here that says “For your safety, hoodies and sunglasses are not allowed.” First, don’t tell me what to do and justify it on this nonsense, catch-all term of “safety.” You can justify anything in the name of “safely.” Second, I can just imagine a bank robber, wearing a hat and mask, running to the bank. Then he sees the “no hoodie” sign and says, “Damn! I guess I’m not robbing this bank.” If the bank doesn’t want me to carry my gun in there, fine, let’s set that issue aside for now. But wouldn’t it be logical to let the bank employees carry guns under the counter? As a customer, I want the employees, who are handling my money, to be armed. I want the guards to have AR15s. Which sign is more likely to discourage robbery: “No hats, hoodies, or sunglasses allowed. All employees and customers in this bank are disarmed.” Or, “Employees and guards, as well as customers, in this bank are armed. AR15s provided by Bob’s Gun Shop.”