Carrying Concealed in Non-Permissive Environments

First and foremost,
this is not advice, and I am not encouraging anyone to break the law or disobey
any ordinances. However, this topic is something that comes up frequently
regarding concealed carry into non-permissive environments (read gun-free
zones). Should you ignore the business that posts a haphazard sign, carry on a
campus that outlaws it, or the movie theatre?

While this comes as a shock to most, criminals typically don’t
obey laws, hence being a criminal. This fact is further illustrated by several high-profile
shootings that have taken place in these zones. Every school is a gun-free
zone, but Columbine and Sandy Hook happened there, like the Aurora movie
theatre shooting, which was gun-free, which obviously didn’t stop that
incident. Look up the Luby’s restaurant shooting, and the daughters call to her
state legislature and higher about watching her dad and mom die because he left
his gun in the car based on their sign. I could illustrate dozens of more
incidences where this same action was carried out. So, should you, a
law-abiding citizen, carry if the sign on the door says not to carry? Legally
the answer should be no. If it is private property, such as a business, they
have the right to refuse service and ask you to leave, and based on my
conversation with a local Sherriff, they can’t push charges in my state if you go
with no issues. If you don’t leave, you could get charged with trespassing or
criminal trespassing, depending on your state. I personally tend not to support
those businesses with my money and encourage others to do the same (I have not
shopped at Dicks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and several others in years based on
their stances). That said, many states must have the correct signage, and it
needs to be on every door in accordance with state standards…know your state.
For example, if a homemade sign doesn’t fit the regulation…. technically, you
could argue it is invalid. Again, I am not a lawyer.

What about using your firearm should an instance occur?
Well, I am sure that I can accept any punishment handed down if it means my
family and my life are protected versus being helpless. This fact would ring to
the adage “rather be judged by twelve versus carried by six.”. Everyone needs
to address what they would be willing to kill/die or potentially be
incarcerated for and make their own risk assessment. If you are going to carry
in this way, I would highly recommend a deep carry holster such as the Original and Roughneck magnetic holsters offered here to minimize printing. Again, this
is NOT legal advice, and I am not responsible for your choices.

What about other areas like schools, government buildings,
etc.? When I went to college, we had concealed carry and frequently had some
good ol’ boys parking their trucks with their deer rifle in the rack in their
truck. Many college campuses have gotten “woke” and prevent the carrying of
firearms and threatened being kicked out. Additionally, it is harder as you
need to be 21 to carry, leading freshmen through juniors without the ability to
carry a concealed handgun. I would look at other means of defense in these
situations. As for government buildings, a felony to me is not worth the
benefit of a firearm, however as I said, I maximize what I am legally allowed
to carry. Assess your own risk tolerance. I would highly recommend you talk
with your local authorities, read the laws, and a few books by John Mosby,
Massad Ayoob, Jeff Cooper, and others, and make a decision that is right for
you and your personal security.

Author: Ian Bolser