It’s that time of year where every office employee or staff member is getting those invites to the company holiday parties. Sometimes hosted at a venue, other times at someone’s house, these are sometimes loved or hated events that many of us have to endure. If you love Christmas parties, roll up your reindeer socks and get ready to have some fun while you’re carrying concealed over the holidays.
Carrying Concealed For Office Holiday Get-Togethers
Whether it’s a pot-luck dinner at a co-worker’s house or a large group of employees at a venue, it’s always good to keep a few things in mind if you’re carrying concealed.
#1: Company policy may still apply at get-togethers
If you work for a company that absolutely prohibits firearms in the workplace, they may heavily frown on any spotted handguns during a company get-together away from the office. If you decide to carry concealed during a holiday party that’s off premise — and your company typically frowns on carrying during work hours — consider carrying a micro-compact or sub-compact handgun that minimizes your exposure to printing or showing.
#2: Don’t drink if you’re carrying concealed
It’s always a good idea to never drink and carry. Your judgement is impaired and that’s the wrong place to be with a gun. Even if other co-workers you know are carrying concealed are drinking, it’s in your best interest (legally, morally, and financially) to not take a swig of that ole’ rum-soaked eggnog.
Concealed At Family Christmas Gatherings
When you’re with your immediate family, you probably make no qualm about letting them know you’re carrying concealed. However, when extended relatives and family members, friends of friends, and college dorm roommates get involved, it may just be best to avoid the hassle and keep quiet about that gun in your waistband. So far as they don’t see it, it’s not a topic of conversation. And you may just save yourself from listening to another long tirade from your niece’s boyfriend about how guns are silly and he thinks laws should be written on the back of cocktail napkins.
The previous rule of “don’t drink if you’re carrying a gun” still applies. You shouldn’t drink and carry. It’s a bad habit and, when surrounded by family, you have way too much to lose. It’s better to put the gun away or just go without.
Carrying Concealed During Holiday Shopping
Unfortunately, a lot of malls have a very strict no weapons policy. In those situations, you arguably shouldn’t be carrying concealed but, let’s be honest, it’s a mall. And at a mall, there’s the potential for bad things to happen. Because of this gray area — and it really is gray — I would advise caution and covertness. If legal, packing a smaller pistol that minimizes exposure to printing or showing can help you avoid any unneeded hassle from private security or other mall shoppers.
Outside of the mall, individual businesses have the right to refuse business to people they see carrying guns. Sometimes it’s a policy backed by state law or it’s simply the lessee’s rights as a tenant of the property. Whatever the situation, the same rule applies: what they don’t see, they can’t create a fuss over. That said, you should always be legally aware of the ramifications of your actions. In many states, you can be charged with trespassing — but in most cases you’ll just be asked to leave.
Pay attention to signage requesting, specifically, no weapons of any kind entering an establishment. That can be taken as posted legal warning that such behavior won’t be tolerated if detected.
And lastly, if you’re like me, you shop online. When I go to the post office to pick up or send out Christmas gifts, I have to remember to lock up my gun in the trunk prior to going into the post office. Post office buildings are federal property and that federal property isn’t friendly to carrying firearms of any kind. Don’t do. Don’t risk it. It’s not worth it. Put it in the trunk or lock it up in a glove box. Go do your business and then get back to carrying concealed once your business with the federal government’s postal service is through.
As always, be safe this Christmas and New Year’s. Watch out for people who are either experiencing stress from the season or just aren’t in possession of their full mental faculties. Carrying concealed is a great responsibility that ought to be taken seriously and soberly. Be safe. Have fun. And Merry Christmas!