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Thread: Virginia Commerce Bank = No Carry Zone?

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    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
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    Virginia Commerce Bank = No Carry Zone?

    I recently had an interesting open-carry experience at the Virginia Commerce Bank in Manassas: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...84#post1840484

    I have finally finished the letter to the manager, and it will hit the mail tomorrow morning, along with a separate letter to the corporate office (which will include a copy of this letter), asking for confirmation on the 'no guns' policy. I would appreciate a critique of my letter from you folks, if you have a moment.

    Thank you for your call Thursday afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the concerns of your staff.

    As you noted, I am a firearms instructor by profession. However, that is not why I carry a firearm. I carry it for self-defense. Frequently, I carry it openly while conducting my day-to-day business, as I did in your branch Wednesday afternoon. The vast majority of the time, the presence of my holstered sidearm is not a problem for anyone.

    As for your suggestion that I leave my firearm in my vehicle while banking with your branch, I’m sure you can understand that leaving it there – where it can be more easily stolen, and my empty holster tends to advertise its probable location – is much riskier than having it safely holstered on my person.

    Just as it is my constitutionally-protected right to bear arms, it is your right as a private entity to prohibit guns on your property. I can respect that. As I said on the phone, because my sidearm is not welcome in your branch, I will avoid doing business there. There are other branches – and failing that, other institutions – where I can conduct my business. Should I hear from the corporate level that law-abiding citizens are barred from possessing firearms on all VCB premises by policy, I will have to reconsider my family’s banking options at that point.

    Thank you again for your time. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss this further, the easiest way to reach me is via e-mail at XXXXXXX@XXXXX.XXX

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Very Good!

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Seems there shouldn't be a branch-by-branch decision on this. If there is, and the only punishment to corporate is that you will use a different branch, well, they don't really lose anything.

    I like to mention that police OC for the same reasons, PERSONAL protection, and that it is absurd to "freak out" when someone other than a cop does it. Reminding them that criminals do NOT OC helps to associate us more with being okay, just like cops.

    You know, if I owned a bank, I might make a rule: "Concealed firearms are not permitted. All firearms must be openly holstered."

    In addition to theft concerns, we try not to handle our loaded firearms, it is safer in the holster than being moved around on their absurd whims.

    But these are just my thoughts. Your letter actually works quite well as is.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Your letter

    Short and to the point.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I like to mention that police OC for the same reasons, PERSONAL protection, and that it is absurd to "freak out" when someone other than a cop does it. Reminding them that criminals do NOT OC helps to associate us more with being okay, just like cops.
    Not only that, but it is also extremely likely that you are better trained and certainly more practiced than an average police officer. Most LEOs only shoot when required, at their periodic qual tests.

    If a CHP was discussed, you can also state that CHP holders are statistically less likely to commit a crime than cops.

    TFred

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    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Seems there shouldn't be a branch-by-branch decision on this. If there is, and the only punishment to corporate is that you will use a different branch, well, they don't really lose anything.
    That's why I'm sending a letter to the corporate office, asking if this manager was correct in stating that law-abiding citizens may not be armed on bank premises, along with a copy of the above letter. I expect one of three possibly outcomes:

    1. They confirm that corporate policy is not to allow carry, and I close all our accounts and find a new bank.
    2. They confirm that it's up to the branch manager, and I avoid doing business at that branch (not really much of an inconvenience)
    3. They deny the policy, and tell me to carry on.

    In options 2 and 3, I expect the branch manager is going to hear from corporate to stop telling people it's corporate policy to bar firearms - that she's the one who doesn't want guns on the premises.

    Of course, I suppose they could just ignore me, which will probably make me revert to avoiding that branch while looking for a new bank, then closing the accounts.

    It's corporate's response that will make my decision. If the ban is corporate-wide, then I will close all my accounts and move my funds elsewhere. Which will really suck, because I like the branch where I bank 99% of the time - good folks there.
    Last edited by Riana; 10-19-2012 at 11:10 PM.

  7. #7
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    The letter seems fine to me. Well done.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riana View Post
    That's why I'm sending a letter to the corporate office, asking if this manager was correct in stating that law-abiding citizens may not be armed on bank premises, along with a copy of the above letter. I expect one of three possibly outcomes:

    1. They confirm that corporate policy is not to allow carry, and I close all our accounts and find a new bank.
    2. They confirm that it's up to the branch manager, and I avoid doing business at that branch (not really much of an inconvenience)
    3. They deny the policy, and tell me to carry on.

    In options 2 and 3, I expect the branch manager is going to hear from corporate to stop telling people it's corporate policy to bar firearms - that she's the one who doesn't want guns on the premises.

    Of course, I suppose they could just ignore me, which will probably make me revert to avoiding that branch while looking for a new bank, then closing the accounts.

    It's corporate's response that will make my decision. If the ban is corporate-wide, then I will close all my accounts and move my funds elsewhere. Which will really suck, because I like the branch where I bank 99% of the time - good folks there.
    Nice letter.

    Of course, their No-Guns policy will give every would-be bank robber pause, especially after the manager tells him that he should have left his gun in the car.

    Keep us posted.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Nice letter.

    Of course, their No-Guns policy will give every would-be bank robber pause, especially after the manager tells him that he should have left his gun in the car.

    Keep us posted.
    Yes. That policy has certainly worked wonders for BB&T bank. For a while there, it seemed like they were getting robbed once a month.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Steeler-gal's Avatar
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    Virginia Commerce Bank = No Carry Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riana View Post
    I recently had an interesting open-carry experience at the Virginia Commerce Bank in Manassas: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...84#post1840484

    I have finally finished the letter to the manager, and it will hit the mail tomorrow morning, along with a separate letter to the corporate office (which will include a copy of this letter), asking for confirmation on the 'no guns' policy. I would appreciate a critique of my letter from you folks, if you have a moment.
    I think it's worded very well and look forward to see what kind of response you get from the corporate level.
    =============================
    NRA Certified Instructor & Range Safety Officer
    Teaching classes in Lorton VA & Springfield VA
    PM me if you need a class, RSO or safety briefing

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Let me know the final response too.. I don't want to pile on, but i will draft up a postcard ;-)

    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
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    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  12. #12
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Riana, you are one class act.

    Should your adventure not work out in your favor, I hope you inform them in your business severance letter that you have taken the liberty to broadcast your experience to many hundreds of other Virginians of a like mind.... just so they'll know.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  13. #13
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    From Riana's earlier post:

    As I worked with the teller, the other teller was called over to the desk of the other employee. Now both of them were out of my field of vision (directly behind me), and given the distance and the fact I was talking with the teller, I couldn't hear their conversation, either. But as I left, it was obvious I was a topic of conversation. When I turned to leave, they were both staring at me with the stereotypical "deer-in-the-headlights" look. I smiled, waved, told them to have a nice day, and went out the door. When I approached my van, I could see (reflected in my window) the male employee peeking out the partly-opened door behind me, presumably making a mental note of my description, my vehicle description, and probably my license plate number. Thinking I might be greeted by law enforcement any moment, I remained in the parking lot a few minutes, taking care of some notes and phone calls. About 5 minutes later, I left, thinking the incident resolved (or at least over).

    The guy peeking at you thru the door wasn't looking for those things; he wanted to see if Clyde was with you. He apparently thought you were Bonnie.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

  14. #14
    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    From Riana's earlier post:
    When I approached my van, I could see (reflected in my window) the male employee peeking out the partly-opened door behind me, presumably making a mental note of my description, my vehicle description, and probably my license plate number. Thinking I might be greeted by law enforcement any moment, I remained in the parking lot a few minutes, taking care of some notes and phone calls. About 5 minutes later, I left, thinking the incident resolved (or at least over).
    The guy peeking at you thru the door wasn't looking for those things; he wanted to see if Clyde was with you. He apparently thought you were Bonnie.
    LOL! For all I know he may have been admiring the view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    SNIP He apparently thought you were Bonnie.
    I was going to say she is bonnie; but after her last comment, its apparent the lass' self-esteem needs no help.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
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    Well, after a week, I finally got my response.

    For reference, I mailed a copy of the letter sent to the Manassas branch manager (see the first post in this thread), along with the following letter, to corporate. I didn't have an individual to send it to at the time, so I addressed it to "Customer Relations" :

    I am a depositor with your institution. I recently had the opportunity to discuss something with the manager of your Battlefield Branch, Ms. Nancy Lindgren. I have attached the letter sent to her, so you may perhaps put the following request in better context.

    I would like to know if Ms. Lindgren was correct in stating that the corporate policy of Virginia Commerce Bank is to bar law-abiding citizens from entering their premises while legally armed.

    As you may be aware, Virginia is an “open carry” state – meaning anyone who can legally own a handgun may carry it openly. I was carrying in this fashion when the incident at the Battlefield Branch occurred, which is why Ms. Lindgren contacted me the following day.

    Neither Federal nor state laws prohibit carrying a firearm on bank property, but as a private entity, you have the right to bar carry by policy.

    Should it be the case that I am not allowed to conduct my day-to-day business at your branches with my sidearm present, it will be necessary for me to reconsider my family’s banking options.

    I am looking forward to your prompt response.
    Attached is the letter I received yesterday from the corporate office:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So, the Cliff's Notes version is that if I choose to carry, I am not welcome in any VCB building. I may, however, leave my sidearm in my vehicle, or bank by mail, Internet, or through the drive-thru.

    I don't know about you, but that's just not acceptable to me.

    So this afternoon, I threw on a jacket, and went to my local branch. I spoke with the branch manager, and told her I wanted to close one of my accounts. When she asked why, I explained that because corporate has informed me that I am not welcome in the building with my sidearm, I will be closing my accounts with the bank. She seemed very concerned, and apologetic, even asking what had happened, who I'd spoken to, etc, so I related my story to her.

    I told her it wasn't her fault, as this branch is not bothered by someone carrying a firearm, but I could not in good conscience continue to bank with an institution with such a policy, and I didn't want to get them in trouble for not following the policy. I requested that the account be paid out to me in cash so that I could take it to another bank to open an account. She took care of the necessary paperwork and gave me the cash.

    Then I asked that the CD we have maturing in two weeks be rolled into one of our savings accounts, and told her that I would be closing that account as soon as the CD was deposited to it (not a trivial amount of money). I shook her hand, thanked her, and left.

    Based on her reaction when I told her I was closing that savings account, I expect there was a phone call made shortly after I left the bank.

    I then drove up the street to Middleburg Bank, and opened an account with them. I explained which bank I had been with, and why I was leaving. They welcomed me with open arms most graciously.

    I will be closing most, if not all, of our accounts at Virginia Commerce Bank, but it is going to take some time - electronic banking, while making life easier, can also make it harder to sever ties with a banking institution. It sucks, because I really like the people at the branch where I do most of my banking.
    Last edited by Riana; 11-01-2012 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Spacing, and to calm the Peanut Gallery :)

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riana View Post
    They welcomed me with open arms.
    The were open carrying too!!?? Woo hoo
    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
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    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    The were open carrying too!!?? Woo hoo
    Same thought I had when I read it.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  19. #19
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    Note to self: When writing one of these letters, just go ahead and close the door to the standard BS replies about concern for safety and anxiety caused by guns. These letters back from corporate almost always say some variation on that theme; so, no point in giving them the opportunity to use those lies.


    I like how the VP said they respected your rights, and then refused to respect your rights. What an a-hole.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  20. #20
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    If I may divert just a skoosh for a moment, I have a question about my Visa credit card. My Visa is issued through the notoriously anti-gun Bank of America. While their service has been excellent, it does make me cringe to support their business with my dollars. The only reason I have stayed with them is the very low interest rate I am charged (5.24%). I have not found any other bank even close to this rate.

    So my question is, does anyone here know of a bank which offers Visa at a rate competitive to what I am currently enjoying?

    Thanks for the diversion.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  21. #21
    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
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    Update: The manager over at Middleburg Bank just called, and told me that she had checked with her higher-ups regarding their firearms policy, and it turns out they also prohibit firearms. So I guess I will be closing that account.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    If I may divert just a skoosh for a moment, I have a question about my Visa credit card. My Visa is issued through the notoriously anti-gun Bank of America. While their service has been excellent, it does make me cringe to support their business with my dollars. The only reason I have stayed with them is the very low interest rate I am charged (5.24%). I have not found any other bank even close to this rate.

    So my question is, does anyone here know of a bank which offers Visa at a rate competitive to what I am currently enjoying?

    Thanks for the diversion.
    Oh, my. Bank of America had a central role in the housing bust economic disaster. Hunt up articles by Matt Taibbi. If you can pay off your balance monthly or can afford a slightly higher rate, go for it. That bank deserves nobody's business, not just gun rights people.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  23. #23
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Oh, my. Bank of America had a central role in the housing bust economic disaster. Hunt up articles by Matt Taibbi. If you can pay off your balance monthly or can afford a slightly higher rate, go for it. That bank deserves nobody's business, not just gun rights people.
    The prime driver of that debacle was the federal government. But that's a topic for another time and discussion, eh?

    I have been looking and recently called my own bank (Wells Fargo) they are not willing to match the rate I am getting. I'll keep looking... perhaps something will pop up.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  24. #24
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    I'm afraid that you are going to find most banks are going to be anti carry around here at least open carry. If you conceal carry how will they ever know?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    ]

    The prime driver of that debacle was the federal government. But that's a topic for another time and discussion, eh?

    I have been looking and recently called my own bank (Wells Fargo) they are not willing to match the rate I am getting. I'll keep looking... perhaps something will pop up.
    Ooooo. What an unintended pun. Prime.

    The prime driver was the Federal Reserve. The fedgov steered the malinvestment into that sector, but it was the Fed's easy funny-money low interest rate that flooded money into that sector.

    With that said, you really want to check out the shenanigans of Bank of America both before and after the crash of '08. If half of what is reported is true, some of those people should have been hanged.

    It is a topic for discussion. Why limit the objection to a no-guns policy. A no-guns policy is hardly a blip on the radar screen compared to the economic damage they did. Conversely, even if they didn't have an anti-gun policy, the rest of the stuff is easily far more reason not to bank with them.

    See if there is a little regional bank who stayed out of the housing mess. Burke & Herbert for example. If you just gotta participate in fractional reserve banking, that is.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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