Concealed Carry in a Gun Free Zone: Violations Have Consequences
First, we here certainly do not condone the violations of any laws. You may not like the laws, they may seem or may actually be unfair on the face of it, and even be stupid laws in some cases, but the law is the law, and violations of the law can cause you to lose your Concealed Carry Permit, possible forfeiture of your firearm, fines and/or prison sentences in some cases.
Most rational gun owners realize that gun free zones in most cases, do not save lives or curb gun violence, and gun free zones may even entice mass shooters to target those areas.
There are gun free zones enacted by private businesses that to some people seem more like a statement against the Second Amendment, than an attempt to curb gun violence. However, in the United States, we not only have the Second Amendment we also have the First Amendment, which is the freedom of speech and expression. The two seem at odds with each other at times.
Each business has their own reasons for not allowing guns on their property unless carried by law enforcement personnel and in some cases, even police officers have been asked by some establishments to leave when they have entered with a sidearm in view.
However, in a few high profile incidences where an officer was asked to leave, the corporation or establishment puts out a statement throwing the employee who asked the officer to leave under the bus. Usually stating there was a mix-up, and so on and so forth.
The employee was probably only doing what they had been told to do or were taking their cues from management. Businesses do not like that kind of exposure, even though they may foster an anti-gun environment among their employees. Having your company’s name bandied about on Twitter or Facebook is not always the kind of coverage some companies want so they claim a mistake was made.
Federal Gun Free Zones
Military posts, recruitment centers, courthouses, federal office buildings, prisons and probably a few other places we may not even be aware of that the federal government has control over, are all gun free zones. Violating a federal gun free zone is not something you as a concealed carry holder want to do. You will lose the case more than likely, and lose your firearm, and possibly lose your freedom for a few years, not to mention the fines levied against you.
Private businesses even though they serve the public they are still private companies, and so they can, within limits refuse service or ask that you leave if they see you are carrying a firearm. Most places will put up signs to cover themselves. In some states, businesses do not have the inherent right to declare themselves a gun free zone unless public statements to that effect are made in advance of the policy. Signs in the window are public statements.
Typically, you are asked to leave and if you do, it stops there in most cases. However, refusing to leave may open you up to civil and possibly criminal charges. Your recourse is social media, and refusing to do business with those companies that have gun free zones, and in some cases, your vote can help change the laws in your state.
In your own home, you can set the rules for who can come into your home and who cannot. You can ask someone to leave if you do not want him or her carrying a samurai sword or even a salami sandwich into your home, and if they refuse, they can be charged with misdemeanor trespassing or worse if the situation escalates.
States’ Gun Free Zones
States can tell you that you cannot carry a firearm on some college campuses, state-run offices, and certain hospitals and onto school grounds.
If you get convicted of a felony for violating gun laws, you will never get a permit to carry or even own a firearm again. You would essentially need a pardon to clear your record, and what do you think your chances are of that happening.
Constitutional carry can be confusing, and some gun owners may assume that if the state allows constitutional carry, then a handgun can be carried anywhere. This is not the case, of course. Public property is property funded by the taxpayers of the state. Private businesses are not funded by taxpayer dollars, and thus, can set their own rules with limitations of course.
You can open carry in public and in places that allow you to, but if some business asks you not to, then you have to decide if it is worth making a stand or not.
The above is only an opinion. You have to decide whether to carry concealed in a gun free zone, but before you do, know the laws in your state and make sure you are aware of the consequences.
Often times it comes down to good judgment. If a business has, a policy of no guns allowed and they do not know you are carrying one, where does that leave you. These are the questions you have to ask yourself before deciding if it is worth it to visit the business or not, or to violate the businesses’ policy of no guns allowed.