The question has been asked, if Texas is so full of Good Guys and Gals with Guns, why is it that none of them emerged to shoot the mass murderer in the Dallas Mall in time to save at least some of the victims before a courageous police officer killed the madman?
I believe we have the answer. My resourceful wife tracked down the website of the mall. It belongs to a large company whose policy is…
That is, no weapons allowed to be carried by customers.
Thus creating the hunting preserve in which the blood-thirsty punk could murder at will, unopposed, until the hero cop – the first Good Guy with a Gun to get there – cured the slayer’s obvious lead deficiency.
The website is here.
For those who haven’t seen it, here’s my take on “gun-free zones.”
The TX version of gun free zones is especially noxious as it provides for criminal penalties if the 30.06 sign is overlooked. Most other states require some owner/manager to asked the armed person to leave and only then does the trespass law apply. Texas really needs to fix this.
Texas Senate Bill 714, by Senator Hall:
“Relating to civil liability of a business in connection with prohibiting concealed handguns on the business premises.”
Business owners who post 30.06 will be liable for criminal acts on their premises.
Unfortunately, it’s still in committee and the 88th Legislature ends May 29.
The devil’s in the details. Business owners shouldn’t be liable for ALL criminal acts on their premises, sign or no sign.
However, I believe they should be liable if:
a. they post against lawfully carrying defensive items;
b. a criminal act occurs on their premises resulting in death, injury, damage, or loss; and
c. said criminal act could have been prevented — or the death/injury/damage/loss lessened — by citizens lawfully carrying defensive items.
IOW, the law should be written such that a business which denies its patrons the ability to protect themselves, assumes the duty to provide protection and the liability if they fail to do so.
Nothing more, nothing less.
And it should not be limited to businesses; it should also cover government buildings — especially those with compulsory attendance (e.g. courthouses, where subpoenaed appearances are mandatory, and public schools and universities) — and government-partnered buildings (e.g. the Post Office).
The TX version of gun free zones is especially noxious as it provides for criminal penalties if the 30.06 sign is overlooked. Most other states require some owner/manager to asked the armed person to leave and only then does the trespass law apply. Texas really needs to fix this. One thing I have noticed in TX is that some business post non-30.06 compliant signs. These have no force of law.
That is also common in other states that alow private venues the option of posting to create Certified Defenseless Victim Zone. States that allow such zones to be posted all have a specific form for the signs and specific requriements for location relative to entrances. If these rules are not followed, the signs may as well not be there. We who live in such places know what the sign rules are, and when non-compliant signs are seen, we ignore them. There was a shooting in Clackamas Oregon mall some years back where the perp had killed two and was working on increasing his score when an armed citizenm knowing the No Guns signs were not biding, carried his weapon anyway, drew down on the killer but held fire,as the bullet pathway beyond the shooter was not safe. He held his fire but perp noticed him, walked down a hallway went into a srvice corridor and made the best use of his rifle he’d made all day.. ending his own sorry excuse for a life. The Citizen defender, even in “violation” of the posted non-compluiant signs faced no consequences. He has been hailed as an hero for ending what would certainly have been a massacre with a very high body count. “What else could I do?” he asked. Ten years on those non-binding signs remain, we all still ignore them.
Yes – that was Nick Meli in case anybody would like to do a search for his story.
I remember that one. December 11, 2012, as I recall.
I also recall that as we were feeling really good about a “good guy with a gun” victory — a “mass shooting” that didn’t become a “mass shooting” — 3 days later (December 14) another shooting happened, that didn’t end nearly so well. At a school in Connecticut. Sandy Hook.
When Texas concealed carry first passed, any old “circle-slash” sticker would have been sufficient “notice”. Or maybe not. It was undefined, and would be up to the criminal justice system to decide.
The problem was that simple criminal trespass (PC 30.05) was a Class C misdemeanor (the same as a speeding ticket), but if someone trespassed while armed with a deadly weapon, the penalty was enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor (up to one year in jail and the loss of your carry license).
The very next session, the Lege created PC 30.06 so that “sufficient notice” would be on an unmistakably large and clear sign posted at all public entrances.
While Simon Properties are definitely anti-gun, they generally do not post legally required signs. Instead, they include their policy in their “visitor code of conduct”, usually on a side wall next to mall entrances (but not direct entrances to their prime tenants).
That means (in Texas, at least) that you must be found to be carrying, be told to leave by property management, and refuse to leave, before you could be charged with trespass.
Sounds to me like the people of Texas have New Jerseyites making their laws for them. The remedy for that would be intelligent, informed voting (assuming a fair election). Parents, educate your kids. Will Texas turn from red, to purple, to blue? Virginia did.
Unless of course, the property posts the specified 30.06 sign. It is my observation that most of the big box stores do so.
I carry to protect myself and my family. Period.
What the rest of you do, or don’t, is up to you.
I choose, whenever possible, to support businesses that DON’T disallow discreet self-protection.
And I choose, whenever possible, to inform those businesses that post against citizen (non-police, ‘cuz there’s always an exemption) self-protection precisely why I’m choosing to take my money elsewhere. I’ll sometimes include what I intended to buy/do and how much I intended to spend — especially if it’s a lot — so they know how much business they lost because of the sign.
“Voting with your wallet” doesn’t work if the businesses aren’t aware there’s a referendum.
A very popular and sound plan.
However, if the killer in your home town gets away, and they often times do, how effective is that protective plan?
Right now, there is no downside to companies, like the owners of this Mall, to implementing GUN FREE Killing Zones. By simply publishing a policy, on their web site, and posting a few signs at the entrances to their building, they can preen and strut as Virtue Signalers for the American Left. There is no legal liability for such virtue posing. If a mass-murder event does occur on their property, they can whine that they did their best to make their business “Safe” by turning it into a gun-free killing ground. The media and legal system will rush to support them.
No downside but a little cleanup to mop the blood off the floor. Once the incident fades from the news, then it is back to business-as-usual. Just put up new (and bigger) GUN FREE ZONE signs.
We need to change this dynamic. We need to create liability cost for the creation of these killing fields. I doubt that anything can be done in the Blue States. But, legal changes could be made in the Red States. Here is what I propose:
1) Model legislation needs to be drafted and distributed to all the States. Especially, to the Red ones. Perhaps some organization, Like the 2nd Amendment Foundation, could take the lead in drafting and pushing out this model legislation.
2) The model legislation should create a legal liability for making businesses into Gun Free Zones. In effect, it should say (a) by posting such signs, you suppress the Peoples 2nd Amendment Right to bear Arms, (b) therefore, you interfere with their Right of Self-Defense, (c) to compensate for this, any business, that posts their space as a Gun Free Zone, must assume liability for the safety of all persons on their premises.
3) In effect, it would require businesses to implement security (metal detectors, guards, cameras, alarms, self-locking doors, etc.) to secure the space from attack by a mass-murderer. The law should also create a tort for any security failures that occur. So, if a mass-murder event occurs, persons injured or killed (or their families) would have legal grounds to sue the business for damages. A presumption of liability would exist, in the law, for any security failures.
4) This legal liability would exist ONLY in the event that these business undertook to post their space as a Gun Free Zone. If they did not post their space that way, then the Right to bear Arms and to Self-Defense is not affected and, so, no tort or legal duty for the safety of persons, on the premises, would be created.
The model legislation should be drafted and pushed, for adoption, in every State legislature.
You see what this would do? Once such legislation was passed and written into State Law, it would change the current dynamic. Suddenly, Virtue Signalling with GUN FREE ZONE signs and policies, would no longer be easy and without cost. Suddenly, it would cost REAL MONEY to implement a GUN FREE killing zone because it would require paying for extensive security upgrades and, also, assuming additional legal liability.
The cheap and easy option would, suddenly, become the establishment of FIREARM CARRY ZONES. The cheap and easy option would be to allow people to bear arms in their space.
The dynamic that creates and supports these killing fields would be REVERSED. The Constitutional Right to bear Arms would be supported.
Our side, too often, just sits still and tries to fend off the unending attacks from the Left. By drafting and pushing this model legislation package, WE COULD go on the offense for a change. We could be the ones pushing new ideas. The Left would be the ones on defense. They would be forced to try to defend the continued creation of these bloody killing zones.
Quote of the Day:
“The best defense is a good offense.”
Or, as George Washington put it, in 1799, “…make them believe, that offensive operations, often times, is the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defense”.
Not to takeaway from your point, but there is another complexity to consider. Unquestionably your wife is correct that Simon’s policy is that weapons are prohibited on the premises. However, the language on their site is of little or no legal consequence, as Texas has pretty specific notice and signage requirements for banning firearms on a premises, and such signs are not present at most of the stores in this outdoor mall.
What strikes me as another significant factor worthy of consideration is that the Allen Outlets is more the kind of place upper income yuppies shop at, as opposed to, say, the Cabela’s across the highway. It seems so obvious as to foreclose debate that the shooter chose the Allen Outlets precisely because it’s the kind of place whose customers aren’t highly likely to carry. Had he chosen Cabela’s, he would have most certainly faced would-be victims who are more likely to be armed.
In short, whether through Simon’s no-weapons policy, the conscious choice not to carry by a large swath of typical mall customers, or both, the Allen Outlets were the more “desirable” target (from the perspective of a deranged killer) than other locales.
In other words, evil people can probably guess correctly that attacking a Whole Foods is less risky than attacking a gun store.
What frustrates me about these discussions is that partisans on the political left tend do to frame it as “Oh, yeah? Where are all the good guys with guns?!?!” while partisans on the political right tend to frame it as “If that kind of thing happened in Texas, it’d be stopped in five seconds.”
Both overstate the issue and ignore the role that coincidence plays. Obviously, there are so many examples of good guys with guns stopping or at least interfering with mass shootings that our friends on the left have to engage in willful ignorance to not see how often it occurs. Equally obvious is the fact that even in gun-friendly Texas, the overwhelming majority of the population doesn’t carry a gun, a fact our friends on the right tend to disregard.
It’s also my understanding that Texas’ PC 30.06 signage must be posted at EVERY public entrance (locked employee-only entrances don’t count). Company policy aside, if a customer can enter the premises and not have seen a sign, it’s not legally enforceable. Nor is it enforceable if it’s not “conspicuously posted”, i.e. if the sign is too small, or transparent, or behind a potted plant in the bottom corner of the window.
Added: IANAL, but I just checked and it appears most of the above should be correct. The law says:
(3) “Written communication” means:
(A) a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun”; or
(B) a sign posted on the property that:
(i) includes the language described by Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;
(ii) appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.
Block letters one inch high in two languages means a pretty big sign — approximately 12″x18″ at minimum (based on image search results). Contrasting colors means transparent signs don’t qualify, and “conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public” rules out obscured signs. The only remaining question is if it must be at all entrances, or all public (non-employee-only) entrances, or just somewhere “on the property” where the public can readily see it.
(I mention transparent signs because in my AO — not Texas — a lot of places post the transparent circle-slash “No Guns” stickers, which you’re more likely to see on your way OUT than on your way IN. Luckily, around here no sign is legally enforceable as anything other than simple trespass.)
Now a part of me wants to see someone winning in court because a business’ signage was printed on a sheet of standard 8.5″x11″ printer paper, resulting in letters that are only 5/8-inch high — verified with a pocket ruler. Or a color-blind person winning because some dunce decided green-on-red was “contrasting colors”.
This is a case where some revision of the state statute appears to be not only advisable, but required. Texans-and others-need to get busy. One of my personal beefs on gun free zones (especially government offices), is the lack of mandated safe storage for those who need to remove some personal items. Long ago in another state when entering the County Court House, I’d use the entrance by the Sheriffs Office, use a storage locker and then pick up my gear on the way out. Much safer than having to stash in cars.
Having noted that, heroics in gun free zones with criminal penalties brings to mind one of the two big things I took out of my Constitutional Law class: Don’t be a test case. Yes, you have the doctrine of competing harms, but it’s still gonna cost-unless you get a prosecutor who really does do Justice.
Exactly, Mass, and the biggest question I have is who was the coward in the Ford truck who could have easily ended the guy by running over his cowardly *** as the shooter’s back was toward the truck, but he drove the other way? Unbelievable cowardly response if that was a man driving that truck. He was parked 3 or 4 spaces away and the guy would have never known what hit him.
I typically do not spend money at places that have this policy. I vote against them with my wallet, for what it’s worth. I agree with Ed. There is a small family owned market that I do shop at. They have the green version of this sign, letting their customers know they are in a safer environment.
I try to let them know why I’m voting against them with my wallet.
Like I said above, voting with your wallet doesn’t work if they businesses don’t know there’s a referendum, any more than voting for or against a politician works if they don’t understand why.
Personally, I prefer the .30 ‘06 version
Are lawmen allowed to carry in US gun free zones?
Is there anywhere they are not?
We have the same Mall Property Owner in North Florida. However the policy under current Florida State Law according to the USCCA Gun Laws Reciprocity app is: Florida does not enforce “No Weapons Allowed” signs. “Violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense” I hope that other states make the same decision.
I totally agree that Gun Free Zones are not going to stop criminals or mentally impaired individuals from choosing to use them as an open game preserve.
Ed, you cannot carry at that outlet mall. I live 10 minutes from it.
Looks like a good reason to retain counsel and file “class action”. Of course, that doesn’t work. How many senseless murders must there be before sane people protect themselves?
Simon is particularly rabid about this. It was great when I lived in a state that didn’t allow for prohibiting carry.
Simple answer is to not go to these hunting preserves. Don’t give them your business.
Great research on the part of your wife, eventually this needs to be addressed state by state, that private places of business dont trump the Constitution.
Simon is the largest owner of malls in the US. Two of their properties have hand mass murders.
Here in Texas, I ignore any “no guns” sign that is not a 30.06 sign. I carry concealed which I feel is tactically superior to open carry. So, if my pistol is properly concealed why would the property owner know his/her “gun free” zone is being violated. Their stupidity and naivety does not trump me and my loved ones safety. If discovered and asked to leave I will do as asked.
If there is a 30.06 sign I will go elsewhere and spend my money. There is the 30.07 sign, as well, that merely bans “open carry”. Since I always carry concealed, the 30.07 sign does not affect my being armed.
Mas, I agree completely with everything you say in your video. My nephew’s wife is a grade school principal here in Texas. She has a carry license and knows how to handle a Glock. However, she falls back on the “I’m afraid one of the children will find and get the gun”. That doesn’t happen if you carry it on you at all times – especially in a retention holster. I understand her concern and feels that it can be addressed without falling back on “hope it doesn’t happen at my school”.
Seems to me that this whole thing could have been avoided if they’d just made their sign bigger.
Mas, I agree with you 110%. Excellent video, unfortunately with the American Left it will fall on deaf ears. I used to live in Idaho and unfortunately had to move to be nearer family due to our advancing age. In Idaho you can carry concealed or open without a permit. And there are very few if any gun free zones excepting courthouses, jails and airports. Thanks again Mas for the video!
There is a free-rider problem related to this: gun-grabbers benefit from private gun ownership. Don’t believe me? Then why don’t we see ‘gun-free home’ and ‘gun-free car’ signs everywhere? Even the most whacked out Commie pinko lefty knows that my guns help keep them safe at night. If gun-feee zones worked, all the hoplophobes would have those signs plastered everywhere.
Everyone victimized from a “Gun Free Zone” incident should sue the owners/proprietors of the location, for failure to provide security in lieu of a failed policy that only creates shooting galleries. If this happens on every occasion, ALL gun free zones will disappear, nearly overnight. And the shootings will drop to near zero.
Texas Republicans refuse to hold those businesses responsible…and there’s been plenty of pushback by our pro-2A groups…Texas Gun Rights, OCT, Texas GOA, GOA, FPC etc.
Let me expand on that, I live in Houston and almost immediately after Texas Republicans passed permitless carry, it’s nowhere near constitutional carry, they capitulated to their RINO base and made it even easier for private businesses to put up new 30.05 signs which bans the unlicensed carry of firearms in any business that puts up the sign, on top of the 30.06 and 30.07 signs. The most commonly believed myth is Texas Republicans are pro 2A, they are only slightly better than NJ Republicans, and with that came increased punishment for permitless carry past a 30.05 sign when those same Republicans refuse to pass any legislation that would make the business owner responsible for anyone in their establishment who would become injured or killed in that establishment barring firearms. Almost immediately approximately 90% of the businesses here pit up a 30.05 sign and the Republicans wanted it that way, it’s classic plausible deniabilty, also Texas Republicans in the House just passed out of committee making EVERY crime with a fiream, whether it’s used or not , a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence! Also Texas Republicans just passed out of committee the banning of 18 to 20 year olds from purchasing and owning “assault style rifles” ! As we seen from the ATF in the last 24 hours they are very happy to do their jobs and confiscate FRT triggers…did I mention Texas Republicans refused to let Rep. Briscoe Cains HB 1894, banning red flag confiscations, out of committee! Texas law enforcement is very happy to enforce every unconstitutional and illegal 2A infringements their tyrant bosses pass. Every single gun law, background check, permit, ban, registration, restriction and confiscation are unconstitutional and illegal infringements on our natural inalienable right to keep and bear arms which is above all laws. American law enforcement have become the very domestic enemies, tyrants and standing army our founding fathers warned us about.
Before the room temperature IQ knee jerk reactions come I’m a former NYC Housing Police/NYPD officer and the police today are nothing like we were…they are willing participants to disarm American citizens.
Democrats do evil, Republicans do nothing. Or, as you point out, RINOs do worse than nothing. That’s why they call it, “The Uni-Party.” Both sides against Patriots.
I carry every day and no one knows unless I tell them. Walk past those no guns signs everywhere I go (except schools and federal buildings or courthouses I’m no fool). Figure if I ever have to use it I would rather face a court than a mortician. In Kentucky you’re considered armed until it’s proved you’re not.
Here is what I put on my FB
I don’t even use FB at all, but I could see your EXCELLENT post on my little tablet!
YEA Gun free zone scared the shit out of the shooter didnt it. Think he gave a SHIT!
I live minutes from this mall. Had lunch there recently. This is an outdoor outlet with tons of stores, you won’t find No Firearms signs plastered everywhere. There are plenty of stores with nothing on the doors and windows indicating a no weapons policy. I believe that everyone who was shot, was shot outside. There are plenty of open spaces and sidewalks and you won’t see signs out there.
So, yes, the policy online is no firearms. I can’t say what you’ll find on every storefront because I’ve never gone to every store there. I’ve never seen a 30.06 sign. It’s a large location and does not scream NO FIREARMS at you from every direction.
Elisjsha Dicken killed a potential mass murderer in a mall near Indianapolis last year that had a no firearms policy. That mall is owned by Simon, the owner of the Allen Outlets. From what I understand, that kind of policy is not going to get you arrested for trespassing on the spot. You need to refuse to leave if they ask you.
I’ve carried at the Allen outlets, among other malls in the area. No one knows what I’ve got on me but me. Not asking anyone to follow suit or to even condone what I do, but that’s my policy.
CMKY and Colonel Travis,
What you two do is called, “civil disobedience.” When Leftists defy the law, they are praised and held up as brave examples of heroic action in the face of tyranny. Conservatives don’t like to break even unjust laws. It is difficult to unify conservatives because we tend to be hyper-individualistic. I have seen friends refuse to vote for a perfectly acceptable candidate, who differed from them on one issue, or voted in the past on an issue which offended the conservative voter. Our side is too perfectionistic. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Victories in sports, business, war and scientific endeavors are done through teamwork, not individuals. The Manhattan Project was the result of a huge team effort, working with slide rules, not computers.
Much depends upon state law. In Virginia, the “no guns” signs on businesses, in itself, have no legal force. However, if you are discovered carrying and refuse to leave, you can be charged with trespass. If not discovered, no harm, no foul. Signs on government buildings are different, they’re covered under statute law.
I’ve seen a couple of stores with their no guns signs located where you had to search to find them. Not sure if that’s the owner/franchisee trying to placate anti’s while not offending the pros. The largest local mall has discrete signs barring “illegal weapons”, but ya gotta search for those.
I choose to spend my money where I’m welcome.
As much as I’d love to blame the gun free zone for a lack of citizen response here, the reality is that a very small percentage of the population here in north Texas carries on any given day. There are 120 stores at the mall. If 5 percent of the 600 customers were carrying, that means one armed citizen for every 4 stores (or 1 armed citizen for every 4.5 acres of the property).
Until we all carry daily, the threat of an armed citizenry will never be a deterrent to a motivated bad guy.
The lack of carry is in part caused by gun free zones. If you are doing a multi-task outing and even one of the venues is a (30.06) gun free zone then you have to not bring your gun, carry illegally or leave it in the car for that one stop. Three bad choices. Just outlaw private gun free zones.
Careful. You don’t want to outlaw private property rights. The legislature could prohibit property owners/lessees/renters from restricting weapons, but the same step the other direction could prohibit them from allowing weapons. Once the precedent is set that private property rights are subject to legislative action — or worse, popular vote — anything could happen.
The property owner/lessee/renter should always be allowed to condition entry into their establishment however they want. If they don’t want their customers wearing plaid bunny suits, they should retain the right to prohibit them. Same for firearms.
We, of course, retain the right to not support that business. If the business fails because they’re discouraging potential customers, that’s on them.
As an aside: Realistically, those who carry as a lifestyle have already proven they have disposable income. Good guns, holsters, training, etc., are not cheap, so someone who has all these things is probably not living paycheck-to-paycheck with zero carryover. IOW, shutting lawful gun owners out is like telling the guy wearing a Rolex and driving a BMW that you don’t want his business. Why would you do that?
Nevertheless, we don’t want to mess with private property rights, whether the business’ decisions make sense or not. Best to leave that particular bridge uncrossed.
Agree with your general sentiment, but for here in DFW I don’t think the reason for not carrying has much to do with gun free zones. Again, this is just me, I can’t speak for others – but I’m gonna carry everywhere I think the risk is worth it. Some places, it’s not worth it. But a sign isn’t necessarily a deterrent for me. I live near this mall and carry concealed there, I’ve never seen signs at the mall itself. I’ve seen a tiny No Firearms sign at the door of different malls but no 30.06 signs. There could be malls that have those, I don’t know, I’m not really a mall person.
Texas has a cartoon reputation for guns. We didn’t get concealed carry until 1995. The requirement for handgun licensing ended in 2021. Gun ownership per capita is nowhere close to the top, among all 50 states. It’s in the lower half. Gun ownership in the major cities and suburbs? I couldn’t tell you what those numbers are but it has to plummet. We’ve had open carry since 2016. I’ve never seen anyone in DFW open carry, and you will see more signs prohibiting that than 30.06. I’ve seen open carry plenty in rural areas. Used to be a massive gun show in the city of Dallas not far from downtown, they don’t allow that one any more.
Private property rights have been outlawed ever since the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. And rightly so since private interests should have no rights to violate basic constitutional rights. Unfortunately, only some constitutional rights were protected. Not only 2A rights were neglected but also 1A rights which are now routinely violated by the tech oligarchs.
Private property rights are important, but safety is probably more important than private property rights. Human lives are worth more than business properties. Why should a citizen be defenseless because some property owner is squeamish about guns? I think the only place carrying guns should be prohibited is a courtroom. The reason is because in courtrooms, life-altering decisions are made, and plaintiffs and defendants could get highly emotional when decisions go against them.
For me, safety trumps private property rights.
Richard and Roger:
I respectfully disagree. Private property rights should be just as sacrosanct as Constitutional rights. (I’m pretty sure the 3rd, 4th, and a few other Amendments are based on private property rights being sacrosanct.)
That’s not to say that a private property owner that denies Constitutional rights shouldn’t assume responsibility and liability for doing so. I’m just saying that private property owners should be free to take that risk if they want, but must pay for it if it goes badly.
Noah Staitman wrote:
‘reality is that a very small percentage of the population here in north Texas carries on any given day.’
That answers the question i asked on a previous thread (think it may have prompted this one).
I couldn’t rely on ‘permit to carry’ figures. it doesn’t mean they are being used. if i was only a range shooter in the US. Which is what i am in the UK. I’d still get a carrry permit, just to make myself fireproof for transporting the gun.
True. In Oregon, for a long time, there was no legal way to transport a firearm by motorcycle. The law specifically said something akin to “locked in the trunk or cargo area of the vehicle”, and of course, a motorcycle has neither. An exception was that CHL holders could carry their guns on their persons, even on motorcycles.
The result was that a lot of motorcycle-riding gun owners got CHLs just so they could ride their bikes to the range. They had no intention of carrying for self-defense. (That law has since been changed — absent a CHL, a gun must be unloaded and cased, but no longer needs to be in the trunk or cargo area if the vehicle has none — and presumably many of those bikers let their CHLs lapse.)
Also, some part-time dealers get CHLs to make it easier to transport, not for self-defense. And then there’s all the people who have licenses but don’t carry regularly. (I’ve personally known several of both.)
The long and short is, I agree: you can’t reasonably infer from the licensing numbers how many people are carrying at any given time. There are plenty of reasons to get a license/permit to carry that don’t necessarily equate to carrying all the time for self-defense.
@ Archer – “Careful. You don’t want to outlaw private property rights. The legislature could prohibit property owners/lessees/renters from restricting weapons, but the same step the other direction could prohibit them from allowing weapons. Once the precedent is set that private property rights are subject to legislative action — or worse, popular vote — anything could happen.”
You make a good point. I certainly support it as far as Highly Sensitive (Home, car, etc.) Private Property, not open to the public, is concerned. However, you are stating the case too strongly for public business property access.
Let me make too counter-points.
1) We have here the possible conflict of Rights. One is the Right of the property owner to control public access to his property. The other is the Right of the People to bear arms which goes DIRECTLY to their Natural Right of Self-Defense. The conflict occurs when the property owner insists that a customer (a member of the general public) must disarm (by posting his property as a GUN FREE ZONE) before entering his place of business. When Rights conflict, we have to decide in the favor of the most basic (most important) Right. In my view, the Right of Self-Defense trumps the Right of the Property owner to choose to disarm his customers as the price of entering his property to do business. As noted above, for truly private property (your home) this may not be true. However, for a business owner who throws open his property to access by the General Public, I think the 2A SHOULD TRUMP the business owner’s private property Rights for the Carry Decision.
2) The legislature should not dictate the choice. As you note, that would set a bad precedent. You will note that, in my post above concerning Model Legislation, I did not suggest such a thing. What I said was that, If a property owner is bound and determined to trample on the Right to Bear Arms, then the legislature should require him to compensate (and reassure) the public as to the safety of his business by implementing security upgrades. Further, the legislature should create a tort to ensure that these (clearly necessary) security upgrades are implemented and to hold the property owner responsible for lax security.
I think that the Model approach, that I suggested above, respects the Rights of the Property Owner up to the point where he conflicts with the 2A.
However, private property concerns should not be used to stop ACTION on this issue. I suspect the democrats (who are ever ready to use our own Republican Principles against us) and their RINO allies, will use PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS as a stonewall to prevent anyone from addressing the problem of GUN FREE ZONES.
Do you really think that they would raise the issue in good faith? The democrats are Leftists (of the Marxist/Communist/Socialist) stripe. Do you think that these people care AT ALL about private property rights? They want to abolish private property and turn us all into serfs under BIG BROTHER GOVERNMENT.
No, that argument would only be made disingenuously by such people.
The businesses that post GUN FREE ZONE signs are, in my view, doing it mainly to Virtue Signal to the Left. It tramples upon the People’s Right to Bear Arms and is getting innocent people killed. IMHO, Legislatures can take action to change this dynamic without dictating the choice or (unnecessarily) trampling on the Property Rights of Business Owners.
A lot of the CEOs of major businesses are actually anti-self defense. So it is more than just virtue signaling. Raising their costs would be a good thing so my only objection to your proposal is that it doesn’t go far enough. I am reluctant to use only civil law to enforce basic rights. That is what the criminal law is for.
I’m happy to say, I’m pretty sure we’re not in disagreement on this one.
We are dealing with a conflict in Rights. Let me make a proposal, and write out my logic for getting there, and you can let me know if it’s reasonable:
Proposal: A private property owner who conditions entry into their property upon denial of Constitutional rights, bears the responsibility of both enforcing that denial and providing alternate protections for his/her entrants, and assumes liability for any damages that result in failing either of those responsibilities.
First thing, here are our First Principles:
1. We all have a natural right to life, and to preserve that we have a twin right of self-defense. Included in that is the right to carry any tool we deem appropriate to effect our self-defense and preserve our lives.
2. Property owners have a natural right to allow or restrict access to their property — be it their homes, cars, or businesses — by whatever condition they choose. Included in that is the right to physically bar or block entry until/unless those conditions are met.
Following that, with those rights comes some responsibilities:
#1 assumes that our right to defensive tools is limited to defensive use or display. We do NOT have the right to unlawfully brandish or threaten, or use force except in self-defense. IOW, our right to defensive tools comes with the responsibility to carry and use them appropriately.
#2 assumes that a property owner who wishes to place extra conditions — over and above societal norms (shirts and shoes required, etc.) — will take measures to enforce those conditions. #2 also assumes that where those conditions implicate individual rights, the owner assumes responsibility to protect those rights on his/her customers’ behalf. IOW, the right to restrict access to private property comes with the responsibilities to actually restrict access and, if necessary, provide alternate protections.
Given all that, a property owner who desires to maintain a “gun free” property should be required to take whatever measures are necessary to enforce that policy. At home, that’s usually as simple as keeping exterior doors closed and locked. At a business, it means keeping doors closed and secured (e.g. with security personnel and equipment) and verifying potential customers are, in fact, “gun free” before they are allowed entry. They should also be required, in the event the “perimeter” is breached or bypassed, to provide protections equal or greater to those the customers would provide themselves if the “gun free” policy were absent. Providing this security should indemnify them from damages arising from criminal conduct that violates their “gun free” policy.
Conversely, a property owner who maintains a “gun free” policy but does NOT keep his/her doors closed and secured assumes full liability if their on-paper-only policies are violated and damages result. Expanding slightly, an open-door, open-to-the-public, no-security policy should render their “gun free” policy unenforceable on both sides — if they won’t even try to enforce it, they can neither deny you entry nor eject you via trespass — but leave their liability and responsibility in place.
Finally, we as private citizens with a right to life and self-defense, maintain a right to NOT do business with or visit the residence of anyone who would deny us our rights. Expanding slightly, this means that facilities with “compulsory” attendance (places where we MUST go, e.g. courthouses, government offices, public schools, Post Office, etc.) have an ABSOLUTE duty and responsibility to EITHER provide robust security OR allow citizens to effect their own defense, and be held liable for damages if they don’t do either.
TL;DR version: A private property owner should be allowed to deny entry, but if they choose to then it’s up to them to actually enforce that, up to and including liability for damages that result from ne’er-do-wells violating it; it becomes the owner’s responsibility to BOTH prevent violations AND uphold the customers’ rights they are denying. A private property owner who chooses to allow the carry of lawful defensive tools does NOT assume that liability; a “guns allowed” policy leaves the responsibility and liability for defense (or lack thereof) with the individual customers.
If this makes “gun free” businesses look more like private venues and drives away potential customers, that’s just a cost of enforcing that policy. It’s on the business owner and a risk they have to take if they insist on being “gun free”.
Is that acceptable?
“Is that acceptable?”
It would be to me. You state the issues very well.
Rights must go hand-in-hand with responsibility. The problem we have, nowadays, is that we have People that want their “Rights” but still won’t take ANY responsibility.
At the heart of it, that is what is wrong with the current State laws that allow for the establishment of GUN FREE ZONES. States have given property and business owners the “Right” to establish GUN FREE ZONES. However, States make no conditions, require no responsibility, for those who exercise this power. Thus, it is cheap to establish GUN FREE ZONES. Typically, all a business owner has to do is post signs at the entrance of his business and, perhaps, draft a written “Policy” (maybe published on their web site) that firearms are not allowed.
However, no responsibly is required from the people who do it. They are not required to take measures to screen people to ensure that no firearms are brought onto the property. They are not required to provide adequate security so that people can disarm and still be safe on their property. When bad things happen due to their irresponsible zones, no one holds them “responsible” with claims for legal damages.
The States are giving businesses, and property owners, the “Right” to strip people of their ability to perform self-defense but fail to require any responsible action in compensation.
That is the entire problem with America in the 21st Century (in a nutshell). You can sort through one (1) million modern Americans and you know what you will find? 999,999 people screaming for their “Rights” and only one (1) person willing to take responsibility.
Once upon a time, the President of the U.S. had a sign on his desk that “The Buck Stops Here”. I bet you won’t find that sign on Biden’s desk. Nowadays, it is all about “Passing the Buck”. Indeed, “Passing the Buck” has supplanted Baseball as our National Pastime!
What makes a human being an American? Once upon a time, it was a belief in (and loyalty to) the Constitution of United States of America. A human being could be any color, be any sex, or have any kind of ancestral background but believing in the Constitution could make him (or her) into an American.
Now, after the Left has taken over education, young people probably come nearer to swearing loyalty to the writings of Karl Marx than the U.S. Constitution. They probably have more education in Marxism (and grievance collecting) than the Constitution. I doubt that 1 in a million young Americans have even read the Constitution.
So, what makes an American today? Someone who screams for their Rights and dreams of some utopian vision of “Social Justice” but has no conception of what it means to stand up and take responsibility.
This country is not aging like fine wine. It is turning into vinegar. It is sliding back down toward the lowest common denominator rather than climbing up to a higher level.
TN_MAN: Thank you. 🙂
I think the two key takeaways of all this are:
First, as you said, with rights come responsibilities — in this case, a property owner that demands his/her visitors surrender their ability to protect themselves, should be shouldering the legal and financial responsibility of protecting them.
Second, someone not willing to take the responsibility should not be allowed to demand or enforce their rights — again in this case, a property owner not willing to assume the legal and financial responsibility of protecting his/her visitors, should not be allowed to enforce defenseless (via “gun free zones”) upon them.
I agree with you that loyalty to the U.S. Constitution and belief in individual freedom and the American Dream used to define what it was to be American, and that they don’t teach this in schools anymore (and further, that it is intentional). Someone else wrote a great post (I would have to find it), part of which discussed how the Founding Fathers are portrayed in modern public school history books and how much context is missing — the real George Washington, for example, was quite wealthy, owned a lot of land, had successful farms and orchards, employed a LOT of free people to run it, and despite having a multitude of reasons to sit it out, HE RISKED IT ALL to defy King George III and fight (literally, lead an army and FIGHT against the most powerful military on the planet) for the essential liberties of ALL American citizens. If we had lost, he would have been hanged for treason, his lands and wealth seized by the Crown, and his family and employees — whoever wasn’t hanged alongside him — left destitute. But according to school books, none of that is important because he owned a few slaves. “George Washington was a slave owner,” is what public school students will remember of him.
And I agree that far too many “Americans” (in quotes because they do not meet the above definition) feel entitled to demand their rights but shirk the attendant responsibilities. We see it everywhere, from “hecklers’ vetoes” at universities, to Antifa “mostly-peaceful protests” on city streets. Their violence is “free speech”, but any speech they don’t like is “violence”. (And please don’t get me started on the “trans” issue; that would become a VERY long rant.)
Once upon a time, “With great power comes great responsibility,” was an essential concept that every adult understood. Nowadays, it’s just a cute line from a superhero movie, and we’re seeing the consequences of that loss of understanding, all around us.
Gun Free Zone, an excuse? In reading the comments about why Texas guys with guns are not involved in stopping mass shooting, I could not but help to ask, where have “all of you been”, to even ask such a question? Let me offer a reason/or excuse. For those who don’t follow current Texas politics, let me enlighten you with a short summary. For most part, large part of Texas’ well known conservative values are almost dead. Gone the way of mandatory criminal penalties and rule of law. This sad state of affairs started about 1995 and it has slowly but surely gain momentum. In the eyes of many of our residents, the californication of the state is alive and well. Cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston have made the jump with enlighten excitement. What caused it? Really? Lets start with the hordes of Illegal or maybe even legal immigrants coming into the state and not just from Mexico and South America but from the Middle East and now eastern Europe and bringing with them their political values(?) and cultures. Then lets not forget the infectious carpet baggers with their politics from the socialist state of California which for years now have found new fertile ground to plant their socialist roots. Currently the only thing keeping conservative values alive and well are the rural areas of the state and in some instances some brave but few politicians in the socialist cities. But for how long? So why would a good guy with a gun wish to be involved in preventing a mass shooting? Currently the political climate and in most cases the citizens may not support the efforts. Even in this great state with a long colorful history of law and order, a large portion of its citizens, legal and illegal, are demanding tougher gun laws and in some instances the banning for sell of some types. For large portion of our citizens (?), except in cases of personal or family involvement, the preventing of criminal activity to others even to save a life is not an option. The risks to one’s freedom and family financial future is too great.