CCW and Anti-Gun Businesses: Dealing with the Opposition

CCW and Anti-Gun Businesses: Dealing with the Opposition

We’ve talked in the past about how concealed carry in particular (and firearms ownership in general) tend to be flashpoints in public discourse. Self defense, safety, and violence are all highly emotional issues, and folks on both sides have been known to fly off the handle.

So with that in mind, we’re going to talk about how we as a community of CCW holders deal with businesses that do not allow weapons on premise. I hope we can do so politely and rationally.

As in all things gun related, the laws vary from state to state, but most places have legal provisos that allow a business to ban weapons. Generally, this involves posting a notice to that effect by the entrance—I’m thinking of Texas’s famous 30.06 signs—and those signs do carry weight of law. The penalty for violating them is generally fairly mild, most often a misdemeanor of some sort.

But hey, “concealed means concealed”, right? As long as no one knows, what’s the harm?

I’d argue instead that we need to obey the law, and not just for fear of penalty. If we enjoy freedom in the form of the right to keep and bear arms, then business owners too should have the freedom to decide whether or not they want firearms in their establishments. They’ve made the choice, and we need to respect it. If you must protest, do so with your wallet by spending money elsewhere.

That is not to say that there’s no point in reach out, just that we need to be tactful in how we do it. I’ve written before about the ways in which we talk to anti-gunners,  and I hold that polite discourse is the best way forward. A letter or email to the owner of a business which bans CCWs can make a big difference if phrase properly. Be polite. Point out that folks with CCW are some of the best-behaved citizens in this nation. Be polite. Explain that you’ll be taking your business elsewhere, but you’ll consider coming back if the policy changes. Offer to answer any questions or concerns that have about CCW, self defense, or guns in general. And be polite.

If you have a local gun club, however casual, work with them on doing some public education about the right to keep and bear arms, self defense, and concealed carry. Bringing new people into our circle is a great way to expand and protect our rights, while having a good time in the process.  One of the chief battles we face as a community is fought out in the press—the media has decided that guns are bad and goes out of its way to portray us in a bad light.

In order to fight back, we have to be the bigger people. More open minded, more tolerant, and more accepting. We have to embrace the freedoms of all people—even those who disagree with us.

Photo by bradhoc.


  • CrustyOldGeezer

    I have dealt with it by writing letters to the management and district manager/vice presidents stating that by:

    “Publicly stating that no guns will be allowed creates a ‘free fire zone’ for those who would choose to make a name for themselves.

    Such an action on the part of the business ACTIVELY CREATES a dangerous place for their employees as well as the customers.

    By creating the situation, the business assumes 100% of the responsibility to protect and defend every person on their property.

    You now have a choice, ALLOW concealed carry permits, provide armed guards on all properties in numbers large enough to protect every person, or increase your liability insurance to hundreds of millions of dollars.

    One instance of violence against your employees or Customers can easily lead to even hundreds of millions being inadequate.

    YOUR CHOICE, please do not choose poorly because I will make it known that you do not care if your employees and CUSTOMERS are murdered on your premises.

    Remove your signs outlawing defensive weapons or do not expect me, my family or any of my acquaintances to offer our lives to make you think you are doing something of value to this Nation.”

  • tru6

    While I do respect some businesses for not wanting guns in their establishment, the point still remains that lawless people will bring guns into the establishment no matter what and then we as respectable citizens are left without protection.

    • Bruce Slack

      Don’t patronize “Criminal Safe Zones”. Then your safety is not an issue.

  • getyourCCW

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it if that business provided armed security in place of my own. However if someone was a victim in such a place that had no protection and survived that would have grounds to sue them for not providing protection and denying them with their own protection I would think.

    • VT Patriot

      No, no, no. The State of CT just ruled that the Mfg, distributor, and seller of the gun used by Adam Lanza can be sued. Not the school that didn’t protect the kids.

      • getyourCCW

        My response was about “businesses that do not allow weapons on premise.”

  • Sgt. Blutwurst

    In California, bizarrely enough, considering the rabid anti-gun stance in the legislature, “no gun” signs on private businesses do not have legal weight, so if you enter, it’s not a crime. Of course, refusing to leave if asked by the owner can be considered criminal trespass, but just going in is not.

    • MoArk Willy

      It’s pretty much like that everywhere. The act of carrying where it’s not “allowed” in a business is not a crime…..refusing to leave when asked is.

  • Susan Tweeter

    I have a “Concealed Carry License” issued to me by my local Sheriff’s Office many years ago. It presents the Sheriff’s Badge on the front, and say’s “Concealed Carry License” along with my I.D. and issue number. Many of these local doctor’s offices have these little signs at the entrance doors, which states “No Weapons Allowed, Except for Law Enforcement” I read that to mean, fi you’re a boy scout just out on an adventure, please do not bring your .22 in with you. My “Concealed Carry License” as I Said shows the Sheriff’s Badge on the face, and by this I am under the assumption that he wouldn’t have issued it to me, if he hadn’t wanted me to have his back, in his absence, and if a crime was being committed, such as a mass slaying of innocent bystanders, by a very determined mass murderer. I carry my weapon wherever, and whenever I go somewhere, and I am not about to leave this very expensive piece of hardware just lying around out in my vehicle, for someone to simply break out a window, and make off with it either, thus placing it within the hands of a criminal, with possible motives to take things to the next step. A huge part of gun ownership, is also responsibility of making sure that it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. I will never become a victim of a crime either, because some idiot would rather that I was unarmed, when the mass murderer’s decide to throw a party for those who can’t defend themselves. I do not advertise the fact that I am carrying, but at the same time, will not surrender my 2nd amendment rights, because some folks just can’t deal with it either. We live under a constitution that was designed by our forefathers to protect us, while also providing for self protection, and for those who disrespect our rights as citizens under this constitution, perhaps you should find a new country to dwell in. Perhaps a move to Canada is in order for them, where hand guns are 100% illegal to own. That country has a very high crime rate, but the “Canadian Mounted Police” do their best to protect the citizens, if they just happen to be there, while a crime is going down. That’s about all I have to say on this subject.

    • Mike D

      Susan, I would not leave my weapon laying in the car for anyone to see and remove. I have a safe installed and bolted to the floor out of sight from prying eye. In Illinois, I have no choice but to stash my weapon in my vehicle safely if i wish to go about my business. I value my freedom to carry and my freedom in general therefore I find it best to comply with the law. It is the responsible way to conduct yourself. You need to soften your stance and stay legal. Not doing so gives all of us who carry an irresponsible reputation. All it takes is one instance and the newspapers will do a fine job of trying to show how irresponsible we all are. Be safe!

      • Mikial

        I have no idea where Susan lives but in my state, unless you are entering a government building where firearms are prohibited by law, if you are found carrying in a private establishment such as a store or a doctor’s office, etc., all they can legally do is ask you to leave. If you leave that’s the end of it, if you refuse to leave then you are technically committing a trespass and can be charged as such. I scrupulously obey the law and never carry in government buildings, the USPS, etc. But I also do not disarm myself in a store or doctor’s office simple because they have a “Gun Free Zone” sign up on their door.

        As the LEO who taught the obligatory concealed carry training I attended told us, it is a “concealed” weapon after all, and he advocated carrying everywhere you weren’t actually violating the law. If there is an incident where I need to defend myself or my family, I will be ready to do so. I applaud you for having a secure place to store your gun in your car, that is a very wise thing to do, but it’s not going to do you any good out there if some madman bursts into the movie theater and starts shooting things up while you and your family are watching a movie.

    • Steven

      It presents the Sheriff’s Badge on the front, and say’s “Concealed Carry License” along with my I.D.

      If you believe that qualifies you as law enforcement, you belong in a MENTAL HOSPITAL, not carrying a gun. That said, I don’t believe you are belong in a mental hospital. You probably belong in jail.

      • Mikial

        She never said anything about being considered law enforcement, nor did she say she presents her permit and claims to be a LEO. You’re passing harsh judgments on her based on things she never even said. That’s a bit presumptuous and self righteous, don’t you think?

  • Howard Last

    A friend had the perfect response. He would hand the owner or manager a card that said, “I will follow your request and not enter your establishment. I will patronize other establishments that allow armed citizens. I will also inform my friends and acquaintances of your policy.”

    A few months ago we were visiting a friend in Colorado. We ate lunch in Shooters Cafe in Rifle. We were carrying concealed and the waitresses were carrying open. Everyone in the restaurant felt completely safe. I am glad I live in Wyoming where carrying either open or concealed does not require permission from big brother.

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  • Like anything else, ideas and actions have consequences. I don’t have to patronize a business if I don’t want to, particularly if it prohibits guns. Same thing with the bakery debacle. Let the free market exact it’s penalties and leave it at that. Of course there’s nothing wrong letting like minded friends know of such places too. 🙂

    • Pete

      I agree. I boycott all businesses that post no weapon signs or support things i am wholeheartedly against like abortion. I let my money talk for me. I shop where me AND my gun(knife etc) are welcome.

  • Mike D

    I live in Illinois where the no weapons signs carry the full weight of the law. I am not in agreement with them but I do honor them. I do not push my beliefs on any persons or business and I do not carry where it is illegal to carry. I visit many business in the industrial sector and there are many business that do not allow cc on their property. I have gotten response from a couple of business that I visit and have found that, with those who have responded to my request, that most have had bad experiences with employees carrying weapons and when the state of Illinois offered the legal protection of the signs, they put them up hoping to solve the problem. Most said the signs helped since it was a legal protection for the company. One owner said he did not mind if I carried on his property but I offered that the signs prevented that.

    I don’t know how I feel about those retail owners who post signs, but I do know that many are deathly afraid of guns and don’t understand what cc is all about. They worry that if they allow guns on their property, they are may create gun fights similar to those in the old west as depicted in western movies.

    The answer……..not sure. But an educational campaign would certainly be a step in the right direction. It could create an understanding of why we carry and perhaps a softening of their anti-gun stance.

    • Bdpenn

      I understand weak supervisor and subordinate relationships but I don’t understand a sign replacing employer leadership. I also don’t understand how you understand and respect this business owners/ employers position, since you carry for a reason, right? You must be his number 1 customer. The owners are happy because of a law or ordance that applies weight behind a sign sounds politically corrupt for providing cover to the owners. What is the cover for and what are the employers afraid of with their employees?

  • petedoc810

    I don’t accept your premise that business owners should have the right to deny its customers a Constitutional Right within their 4 walls. Suspending the Constitution should not be allowed anywhere in USA territory.

    • MoArk Willy

      Well you need to accept it. If you want your rights respected do the same for everyone else.

      • petedoc810

        One is a basic Constitutional Right that’s guaranteed to every American citizen and the other is a local “right” to exclude those carrying a gun but no one else.

        • MoArk Willy

          The 4th amendment protects the business owners rights as well. One amendment is not more important or valid than another. A person has the right to be secure on their own property. Perceived threats, whether real or not, are valid under the fourth amendment. If you lock your door, install an alarm system or determine that you don’t want firearms in your establishment or home, that is your protected right under the 4th amendment.
          To be clear, I am a CCW holder and have been a firearms owner for decades. I strongly support the 2nd amendment but I have no problem with people who think that keeping a firearm out of their business will keep them safe. Of course they are wrong, because anyone wishing to do them harm won’t obey the signs or respect their wishes. But that is not the point. It is still their constitutional right.

          • petedoc810

            That’s certainly a weird interpretation of the Fourth Amendment.

    • David P

      Once you understand that a business owner has rights to their property it will all start to make sense. By saying property rights do not exist it means that you do not own your property. It is a very slippery slope we go down if we start to say that someone who purchases property has no rights to that property. They are not forcing you to be there. Is it ridiculous that they would reject your business? Absolutely! But no one right is greater than another. Now I will say this though, I respect all rights until mine are no longer respected.

    • Steven

      I don’t accept YOUR premise that you have the right to enter a PRIVATE BUSINESS. The Constitution applies to GOVERNMENT, not to MY business.

      • petedoc810

        You can’t outlaw freedom of speech in your business, you can’t ban Muslims or Jehovah’s Witnesses from your business, so why should you be able to ban people carrying firearms for personal protection?

  • petedoc810

    What other portions of the Constitution should business owners be allowed to suspend inside their buildings? Why are they able to deny anyone their 2nd Amendment rights anywhere in the country? Can they change other laws on their own property as well?

    • Steven

      Banning you from MY business for ANY reason CANNOT violate the Constitution. The Constitution defines what the Government can do, and the Bill of Rights clarifies SOME of what the Government can’t do. YOU have ZERO right to enter a private business and the business owner has TOTAL rights to decide under what circumstances you can enter.

      Note: I have a CCW and choose to vote with my wallet when I see no guns signs,

  • petedoc810

    Why are bakeries forced to go against their First Amendment rights while other businesses can just void the 2nd Amendment inside their businesses?

    • Because baking a cake for a gay person doesn’t prevent someone from practicing their religion. Substitute african american for gay or some other ethnicity or whatever that someone could claim some religious bias. That said I don’t think bakers should be forced to do it, I think they are foolish and confusing their cultural norms for religion, but they should be penalized by the state. The gay couple has every right to boycott and protest the business though. SO, if a business person doesn’t want my business because I carry a gun or I somehow violate their cultural beliefs, that’s their loss and they’ll never get my business and I’ll be damned sure to make sure all my friends know too so they can make their choices whether or not to patronize said business. In a perfect world, that’s how it should work.

      • Steven

        There have been EXACTLY ZERO cases of a baker refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual. Forcing someone to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding DOES force them to violate their religious beliefs.

        I DEFY you to find anyone that can claim a religious objection to self defense.

        • VT Patriot

          Yes, and if they find it offensive to be involved in any way in a queer ‘wedding’, they get sued out of business. Equality works for those who are ‘equal’, not for the rest of us.

  • Bill

    As a concealed permit holder. Hospitals and Malls usually do not allow firearms, I disregard those signs. Small businesses, If there is a sign at a small business I will just go to there competition.

  • Dave

    I do not patronize businesses that don’t allow CCW permit holders to enter.

  • Bdpenn

    Self defense is a “human right” granted by God and guaranteed by The Bill of Rights.. So, as another ” highly controversial” human right recently nationally debated all the way to the Supreme Court and upheld as such; how can a proprietor legally refuse and deny services for carrying a firearm for self defense be anything but discrimination and unconstitutional?

    With that said, I obey the law and refuse and deny my business to unconstitutional zealots!!

    • I guess it only matters if one believes in god.

      • Bdpenn

        Your are absolutely right! The Constitution and The Bill of Rights only exist for the belief in God or in a creator of man.

        • Wrong…Reread the 1st amendment. There is no official religion. That’s the point or part of it. Basically, there is no official religion and you can believe in whatever you like. Worship a sears lawnmower if you like. The government can’t stop you from worshipping whoever or not worshipping. Even Jefferson was a deist at best.

          • Bdpenn

            Your absolutely right again. Damn your smart. Inalienable rights granted by your creator. Hence, The Bill of Rights. In other words these rights are natural rights and because of this can not taken away by man! I didn’t speak religion. Since you brought it up. The First Amendment is to keep government out of religion and not religion out of government. Agree. God in itself is not a religion. God is a name given to a force greater than man. Which is acknowledged throughout all of our establishing documents.
            You can play your games all you want. Have fun.

          • Both participate in magic and the make believe.

          • Bdpenn

            I got some magic for you. Since you seem to be a Jeffsonian re-read Jeffersons own words in The Declaration of Independence. Maybe that will provide you with some clarity as how our freedoms and rights are justified and codified. Good night and good luck.

          • And read what Jefferson wrote after.

          • Jefferson used the word creator, he did not say god, nor jesus or mohammed. Further, he didn’t believe Jesus was the son of god, just a man and didn’t believe any of the miracles, magic or supernatural. Later in life he became an atheist, more or less.

          • Steven

            Now you are calling yourself a hypocrite. If there is a creator, the creator MUST be God. You can argue all you want about the nature of God, but you can’t claim there is a creator that isn’t God, and be intellectually consistent.

          • Jefferson used creator to assuage others. The document was a compromise as there was a lot left out too.

          • TCDrDave

            where are your sources for this BS?

          • Do your own research.

          • Thomas Wyble

            Actually James if you do some reading you would see that many of the framers of our Constitution actually stated their belief in Jesus Christ.

          • Thomas Jefferson didn’t. Not in the sense you do.

          • Mikial

            Do you have a citation to support your comment that Jefferson did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God? If so, I’d be very interested in reading it.

          • He didn’t. Look up the jefferson bible. He removed all references to the supernatural. While he thought the teachings of jesus (not his given name) were the best for man to get along, he didn’t believe he was the son of god or god.

          • Mikial


          • Steve Neuses

            I guess you have never been in a combat/war zone. There are no atheists.

          • There are atheists, agnostics and all sorts of beliefs in war zones, even military religion. Your trite comment displays your facileness.

          • Steve Neuses

            I am sure you are veteran with many years of service with time in a zone to where you have first hand knowledge of this but if you are a bookworm utilizing your right to the first amendment save it. Otherwise thank you for your service.

          • My dad was a WWII vet. 35 missions as a tailgunner on a B-17 in the 8th AF. My dad was quite a bit different than the jackasses today that have to brag about serving in the military and make a religion out of it. He rarely talked about and you’d have to drag it out of him. He wasn’t ashamed of it, but it didn’t define who he was. When he was finished with the air corps, he got on with his life. Today, we have self interested, self absorbed narcissists that want to make everyone bow at the altar of military service and admit their debt. Sorry, but not everyone thinks the same way. I think in my dad’s mind, it was something he had to do, did it and was glad to be done with it. In his mind, no one owed him anything from his service or anything else. I wish people today would show the same humility. I had a choice to serve in the Army, but it’s not for me. I am not good at following orders and I don’t automatically trust authority, the former probably follows the latter. SO, if believing in the military religion or the other religion that believes in the magic of waking up after being dead for 3 days, have at it, but leave me the fuck out of it.

          • Steve Neuses

            Like I thought someone exercising 1st amendment, you can thank me and your father for making sure that right stays in tact. Have a nice holiday weekend

          • I don’t subscribe to your religion. If soldiers were freedom fighters, they’d be in DC. Such is not the case. Soldiers dying in Afghanistan and or Iraq doesn’t secure my freedom. Sorry for the reality check, but it’s so. The military is a tool of any given administration’s foreign policy. Whether or not they fight for my or your freedom is moot and most of the time ain’t so and hasn’t been for quite some time. The next thing you know you’ll be tell me you can raise people from the dead and change water into wine. Little kids believe in fairy tales, I do not.

          • TCDrDave

            You drank the cool aid. Jefferson was very definitely a believer in God and if you had read his writings you would know this. I was fed the same BS in school, but have read his writings and have been enlightened.

          • As Jefferson aged, he went from a Deist to atheist.

          • Thomas Wyble

            And you Sir are dreadfully wrong. Do a little studying before you state supposed facts. Check the facts that a majority of our founding Fathers not only believed in one true God but they held church services in our nation’s capitol. Look up David Barton video’s. Some have smeared him but the facts are strong and true. So before stating a misled liberal view of the facts look the truth up for yourself. You may even care to read a book called the Jefferson Lies.

          • I am talking about Jefferson. I find it interesting how people put their born again beliefs on people when there was no born again movement.

    • David P

      Just as we have the right to bear arms for self defense, they also have property rights which includes having say on who can and cannot be on their property. You also have those same rights at your house and can limit whoever you do not want on your property. I agree its very frustrating, but it is the way it is. However, I will say this, I respect all rights until there is a lack of respect shown for my rights.

      • Bdpenn

        I agree 100% with you.

      • VT Patriot

        Now if there was only some way they could convince the BG’s to not carry guns, just the good guys, I’d agree. Until then, I make it very clear why I will not patronize their business.

      • msg51

        Your comparison is faulty. Personal property rights are not the same as public property rights. If gays can force their rights on a business, what is the difference. What do you do when all of the medical facilities in your area have criminal welcome signs. I happen to live in a state where do not carry signs do not have the force of law. If you are “caught” they can ask you to leave. When business owners can refuse to bake cakes for gays, then I will honor their right to refuse my right to carry in their business.


    smaller places that dont allow firearms just lose my business thats all. big places like the mall or movie theaters, i just ignore the signs. i’m sorry, in general i follow the rules. but there are times when u just have to go to the mall or movie theater. i dont care what the sign says. my safety is more important than the rules. looking back how many people have been exicuted at shopping malls and movie theaters in recent years..? will signs on the wall prevent those psychos from murdering people? no. but what does happen it it makes their mission to kill all those innocent people that much easier because they cant fight back.

  • Reloader54

    I went to a Peter Piper’s Pizza place in Tempe where I live. I was OP. And saw a sign that I went back to my car and hid my gun and went in. I also talked to someone about their no guns sign. I told them that they were asking for problems to happen because criminals choose places like their to rob. and that most mass shootings happen in Gun Free Zones which their sign said that they were. I also informed them that most mass shootings since 2006 were in Gun Free Zones. And that it was because criminals know that people in them are unarmed and not able to defend themselves. And I left it at that. And then there was another time my wife and I wet to a new place that we had not been to before. And I was OP carrying and there was a bar in this place. There were no signs saying no guns allowed. We ate dinner and we were waiting for a to go order that we made to bring home to a friend. While I was waiting for the order to come a manger came up to me and asked if I had a gun on my hip. I told him that I did. He told me that he was told me that because of the bar that guns were not allowed. I told him that under AZ law that a permit holder could go into eateries and bars with their gun as long as the were not drinking alcohol. And I was not drinking any. I also was able to show him the law from an app that I have on my phone that showed what was allowed and what wasn’t. And that was that. No yelling or screaming and everything went well. And I feel that this manger learned something and that he was going to pass it on to the other mangers to let them know what the law is.

  • Caribu

    In Alaska the signs have no legal backing. If you are asked to leave you must do so immediately or it is trespassing. That is true whether you are packing or not. Some places around here try to make the sign fairly obscure but if I see the sign then I vote with my wallet and spend my money elsewhere. I make one polite phone call explaining why I will never return, and my shadow never graces their place again.

  • Rick

    In Nevada you can post a sign that says “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED”, but if it isn’t followed by a specific NRS Code then it is just a request from management. They can ask you to leave because it is private property but the authorities cannot help them.

    • Steven

      Actually, the INSTANT you refuse to leave when TOLD, not asked. you are trespassing and the authorities not only can assist them and removing you, but can’t refuse to do so.

  • Onteo1

    I Carry anyway. It’s just a request I intend to ignore, if I have to go in.

    • Steven

      It is NOT a request legally. There may not be criminal charges for not complying as such, but AT MINIMUM, you are trespassing if you ignore the sign.

  • Charley C.

    I just refuse to do any kind of business with these places. I feel that if they don’t want to allow me to protect me and mine they don’t need my money or business,it’s that plain and simple. thank you for your respect in this matter.

  • Mikial

    Simple, they don’t get my business. I don’t spend a dime there. I do occasionally hand out the cards our state 2A rights group provides telling them I will not do business there because I don’t feel safe in an establishment that does not allow me to carry the means to defend myself and my family.

  • rev_dave

    I carry everywhere, and I don’t tell anyone or ask permission. So I deal with these establishments by trying my best to stay out of them. If I get the chance to tell them I’m doing that, I will, but it’s a bit difficult to tell somebody inside his / her business without going in that you’re not spending your money there because of their feelings about your gun – and if you do go in you may be subject to prosecution for your trouble.

    I do have an iPhone app called GunFreeZone, which was free, and it permits me to label a business as gun friendly or unfriendly, so that others can check to see if someplace they are thinking of going to is a place they want to spend their money. But it seems to need a lot more downloads and users, as lots of businesses are not tagged by anyone. It does one thing I like – if will give you the location of apparently every registered business in the vicinity of wherever you are, as it shows up all of my neighbors who have their own businesses registered to their homes, even if they work elsewhere.

    • Mikial

      That sounds useful. Where did you find the app?

      • rev_dave

        I did a search on the Apps tool on my phone. Just look for it.