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Thread: Open Carry in a Bank

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    One of the places that people are always amazed that you can carry into is a bank. I had a humorous experience inmy bank a few years ago and thought I would share it.

    My friend Don and I (who both open carry)were standing in line at the bank when I heard the little girl behind us whisper to her mother, "Mommy? Are they here to rob the bank?"

    Her mother made my day when she leaned down and said, "Bank robbers don't usually stand in line honey!"

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    Another good line: "Bad guys don't usually wear holsters."

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    Hey J.

    That's a good'in and very true. Too bad our Credit Union doesn't feel that way. Posted on the front door of Langley Federal Credit Union here in Hampton is a warning that anyone bring a firearm into the bank...CHP or not will be charged with criminal trespass. Do you think I should give the Tiger's tail a good yank?

    3G

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    GodGunsnGuts wrote:
    Hey J.

    That's a good'in and very true. Too bad our Credit Union doesn't feel that way. Posted on the front door of Langley Federal Credit Union here in Hampton is a warning that anyone bring a firearm into the bank...CHP or not will be charged with criminal trespass. Do you think I should give the Tiger's tail a good yank?

    3G
    I believe that theLFCU is on the VCDL anti-gun list, so I assume thatsomeone has already had some kind of contact with them.

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    From the Virginia Citizens Defence League website.

    Langley Federal Credit Union

    This message was sent by member Jeff Reed:

    I was going to go into a Langley Federal Credit Union in Newport News when I saw on their front exterior door two of the international style "No Gun" signs and the wording, something to the effect of, "Firearms not allowed. Those found with them will be considered to be trespassing and will be prosecuted." Needless to say I won't be doing any business there.

    Langley FCU has 12 branches in the Tidewater area. I spoke with Eddie Allen (757-827-7200) who told me the board of directors established the policy and that it applied to all the branches. He didn't know who specifically brought it or when the policy was implemented but said he'd call me back with more info.

    Eddie never did call me back. All 12 Tidewater area branch numbers are the same number. I've checked all three of the branches in Newport News and they all sport the same decal on their doors.

    Member Thomas Robeson sent a copy of a letter he received from the Langley Federal Credit Union. Basically the letter said that the credit union did not want permit holders carrying in their bank and they would prosecute.

    Perhaps carrying your money to another bank would be less offensive to them.


    Photo by Jeff Reed


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    Virginia Credit Union, the largest state chartered credit union in Virginia (over 1.3 billion dollars in assets, 170,000 Virginia members, and the 77th largest credit union in the world) has no anti-gun policy. You can open carry into any branch. Withdraw your money from Langley, tell them you are taking it to a much better credit union (amazing, friendly service) then do so.... the only issue may be that VACU's branches are concentrated in the Richmond metro area and the Fredericksburg/Stafford area...

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    We used to bank at Langley Federal CU (LFCU) when we lived in Hampton, and I was always put off by their anti-policy. We were going on an extended Mexican vacation one summer, and wanted to put my handgun in our safe deposit box and they wouldn't even allow that. I also had an account at the Newport News Shipyard Employee's CU (NNSECU) and they were a little more accomodating, so I took all of our money out of LFCU (not an insignificant sum as I had just received an inheiritance from my father's estate), cancelled the safe deposit box, and closed the account all on the same day.

    On one of the papers I had to sign, they asked for a reason, and I wrote, "I am closing this account due to LFCU's disregard for my 2nd Amendment rights, and my right to be able to defend myself and others at all times. I will only do business with companies that respect and support my right to keep and bear arms."

    I then took the money, and the contents of the safe deposit box and went to NNSECU and they were more than happy to transact ALL of my business.

    We moved to Chesterfield from Hampton in 1997 and are members of Reymet CU (Reynolds Metals CU) and they have absolutely no issues with me carrying openly into any of their branches. As a matter of fact they opened a branch in our local Wally-World and neither W-W nor the CU have any issues with me carrying.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    so I took all of our money out of LFCU (not an insignificant sum as I had just received an inheiritance from my father's estate), cancelled the safe deposit box, and closed the account all on the same day.
    good job!!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    I posted before about OCing in Chevy Chase Bank in downtown Alexandria. No problems...and I don't even have an account, I was just using their free change counting machine!!

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    i was a member of LFCU and wachovia. i closed both accounts and moved to 1st advantage federal credit union. i can open carry AND still use LFCU atm's with no fee. thats right, 1st advantage has an agreement with all the credit unions in the area for no-fee atm usage.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Wachovia Bank and BB&T are the most unfriendly (No Guns - Victims Only) *italics are mine* throughout Va. & N.C. What really gripes me is that the NRA has an extremely large amount on deposit with Wachovia. Yata hey!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Wachovia Bank and BB&T are the most unfriendly (No Guns - Victims Only) *italics are mine* throughout Va. & N.C. What really gripes me is that the NRA has an extremely large amount on deposit with Wachovia. Yata hey!

    I haven't seen these "signs" that are spoken about at Wachovia banks in Springfield, VA (although, I wasn't looking for them, and, I have not OCed in Wachovia, either). However, if that is the case, I can understand why at least one Wachovia branch may post a "No Guns" sign (Springfield branch located at the corner of Rolling Road and Old Keene Mill Road). They were robbed twice in the same week. Moreover, I do believe that law abiding citizens should be able to OC in Wachovia (and any other bank) at all VA branches. Also, a "No Guns" sign will not prevent a bank robber from entering a bank with guns, and robbing it.

    Despite Wachovia's sentiment about guns (if it is true), I will continue to bank there. It's services are hard to beat, and, they have been good to me otherwise. I do hope their sentiment about guns change (again, if it is true)!:X

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    One of the first signs to get added to my First Union when it became Wachovia was the no gun sign.

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    We bank at Chartway federal credit union. The branch closest to my house was robbed about 3 or 4 months ago. Not long after that they put up a no firearms sign. I was going to change banks aft6er over 30 years of using the same 1 but before i got around to closing my account they took the sign down. My wife just told me they got robbed again in the last couple of days:shock:. Sounds to me like they need more legally armed citizens in their branch. This is less than a 1 minute drive from my house, about 1-3 minutes from the new "Town Center" & less than 5 minutes from the nearest police station.

    I have concealed carried there many times & open carried there once. The time i open carried i had some additional business to take care of besides the quick window trip & had a nice 10 minute conversation with the guard & the 2 nice ladies behind the counter. I don't think they ever even noticed my firearm........................................... ................................DF1

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    Smurfologist wrote:
    a "No Guns" sign will not prevent a bank robber from entering a bank with guns, and robbing it.
    A concept that seems so simple and obvious to us, but so hard to comprehend to those who are gun-ignorant.

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    What I can't understand is, why don't banks arm their tellers? Banks have been robbed since the first bank opened, yet no one seems to take any decent actions to prevent bank robberies. I think that if bank robbers knew that they would be going up against five or six armed tellers, we would see just about as many banks robbed as we see police stations attacked (minus the greattragedy at Sully, this isnot a common thing taken on bythe average criminal).

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    Regular Member Smurfologist's Avatar
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    VApatriot wrote:
    What I can't understand is, why don't banks arm their tellers? Banks have been robbed since the first bank opened, yet no one seems to take any decent actions to prevent bank robberies. I think that if bank robbers knew that they would be going up against five or six armed tellers, we would see just about as many banks robbed as we see police stations attacked (minus the greattragedy at Sully, this isnot a common thing taken on bythe average criminal).
    I can sum this up in an abbreviation: FDIC. The funny (and ironic) thing is that it all boils down to money. Most banks in VA have only one (maybe two) armed guards thatcarry a .38 andmaybe 18 rounds max. A robber will definitely have more than a .38, I am sure. The US doesn't care about the money getting robbed because if they did, every bank would be like Fort Knox or a Federal Reserve Bank (Federal Institutions). No Guns........that's going to make a robber turn around and leave.......I don't think so. I do like your idea of arming the tellers. H**l, there was a cry to arm the pilots after 911, why not arm the tellers. Even though, my personal feeling is that they should have Air Marshalls take care of 911 situations and the pilots should take care of flying the planes (too much they will have to deal with). But, again, it comes down to money (and perception - make people believe they are safe, when they really aren't, hence, the "No Guns" sign). Go figure!!:X

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    If they're smart enough not to prohibit carry, when I'm there they get 18 rounds of 454 Casull, 5 rounds of 357, and someone who has probably fired more rounds in the last six months than their guard has fired in his/her life.

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    As I teach Robbery prevention and response for a bank (among other things), I have to comment on some of the things Smurfologist said in his post.

    1.)Extremely fewbanks in Virginia have an armed guard, much less "two". Less than 5% of Virginia banks employ guards of any sort, mostly in urban areas, and most of those are not armed. Still, they tend to serve as a deterrant b/c "bad guys" usually don't know they aren't armed. Their main role tends to be in urban areas, where they keep homeless people out of banks (which are especially attractive because of the air conditioning, large lobby with seats, etc), etc.

    2.) It most certainly does not "boil down to money". The average bank robber gets less than $3,000. Insurance pays every single penny stolen -or even lost through fraud. The financial instituion I work for has no problem with customers concealed or open carrying - and we have customers who do - although we'd fire any employee immediately with any weapon, even in their car.

    3.) Smurfologist is "sure" the average bank robber will have "more than a .38". However, 80% of bank robbers neither havea weapon nor claim to have one (FBI stats), and of those who say they have a weapon (the remaining 20%), the weapon is only seen (and thus confirmed) slightly less than half of those times. The overwhelming majority of bank robberies (appr. 95%) are "lone bandits" - desperate individuals who patiently wait in line, show the teller a note, attract little attention, and then walk out of the bank with a relatively small amount of money.

    4.) Everything we do is designed solely to protect people - why risk anyones safety for the money when it is insured? The only cost to usfrom a robbery would be if someone were to get hurt - that's when we'd be on the news for more than 10 seconds, that's when we'd lose customers, that's when we'd lose money being sued. The $3000 a robber might get before they are arrested is nothing.

    5.) I share this only to educate everyone. My bank is fine with law-abiding guncarrying customers - openly or concealed. But please don't say things that aren't true because they sound good to you! Those who rob tend to be desperate - they needs drugs, etc. We want to make sure no one gets hurt. If our goal was to protect money in any way, shape or form, every single one of our bank robbery procedures would be radically different. However, because we could care less about the money (as is true at most banks), are robbery related policies and procedureslook very different than most people understand them to be based on seeing movies, etc. The over-whelming majority of bank robbers are caught and convicted as it is, and people are very, very, very rarely injured in a bank robbery (we've never had a single person injured in over 75 years of existence).

    6.) I am as pro-gun (and open carry) as you can get. I am just sharing some facts from a banks perspective. I do think all banks should allow all of their customers to openly or concealed carry. But I don't think anyone should ever pull a gun to stop a "normal" lone bandit robber, especially in a crowded lobby with children, etc. Of course, I feel differently about stopping the extraordinarily rare robbery "gone wrong" - when shots are fired. But that happens onlyonce or twicea YEAR in the entire state of Virginia.


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    Before anyone jumps on me - I do think it is inappropriate for companies to forbid legal firearms from their employees cars (as mine does). I wish we didn't do that. I support changing the law so that companies do not have this option. When it comes to forbidding weapons in the workplace, I think that is each individual companies decision - I support property rights as well as second amendment rights.

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    SicSemper: I'm with you on both posts. One's privately owned conveyance is an extention of one's home, and should be recognized as such by the law, meaning that no one should have the right to restrict anyone from keeping any lawful item inside. I also agree with you on the property rights question. One should have the right, as a private business owner, to make and enforce any rules they see fit in regards to how the business is operated, right down to who can enter their place of business and with what. If someone wants to create a "criminal-safe zone" by banning all weapons inside their business, they should have the right to do so. I always have the right to do business elsewhere. In fact, I feel that if one wanted, they should be able to refuse entry to anyone outside of a particular height, weight, hair color, etc. To do so would be at least as stupid as banning guns, if not more so, but we live in America and folks should have the right to be morons if they wish.

    Thanks for the insight on the banking mindset and procedures. What you said made a lot of sense. For the record, if I'm in a bank (armed, of course, otherwise I wouldn't be there), unless someone pointed a weapon at me or started shooting people, I would do my best Sgt. Schultz impression: "I see nothing..."

    Which bank do you work for? I always cringe whenever I OC into my local branch, half expecting them to ask me to take my weapon outside, which would result in the immediate and very inconvenient closure of my accounts. It would be nice to do business with one that has a known gun-friendly policy.

    BTW, welcome to OCDO!

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    SicSemperTyrannis,

    You make a really good point, and I think that I will take the word of someone who actually knows what he is talking about.

    BTW, I really like the name! Thus always to tyrants!

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    SicSemperTyrannis wrote:
    As I teach Robbery prevention and response for a bank (among other things), I have to comment on some of the things Smurfologist said in his post.

    1.)Extremely fewbanks in Virginia have an armed guard, much less "two". Less than 5% of Virginia banks employ guards of any sort, mostly in urban areas, and most of those are not armed. Still, they tend to serve as a deterrant b/c "bad guys" usually don't know they aren't armed. Their main role tends to be in urban areas, where they keep homeless people out of banks (which are especially attractive because of the air conditioning, large lobby with seats, etc), etc.

    2.) It most certainly does not "boil down to money". The average bank robber gets less than $3,000. Insurance pays every single penny stolen -or even lost through fraud. The financial instituion I work for has no problem with customers concealed or open carrying - and we have customers who do - although we'd fire any employee immediately with any weapon, even in their car.

    3.) Smurfologist is "sure" the average bank robber will have "more than a .38". However, 80% of bank robbers neither havea weapon nor claim to have one (FBI stats), and of those who say they have a weapon (the remaining 20%), the weapon is only seen (and thus confirmed) slightly less than half of those times. The overwhelming majority of bank robberies (appr. 95%) are "lone bandits" - desperate individuals who patiently wait in line, show the teller a note, attract little attention, and then walk out of the bank with a relatively small amount of money.

    4.) Everything we do is designed solely to protect people - why risk anyones safety for the money when it is insured? The only cost to usfrom a robbery would be if someone were to get hurt - that's when we'd be on the news for more than 10 seconds, that's when we'd lose customers, that's when we'd lose money being sued. The $3000 a robber might get before they are arrested is nothing.

    5.) I share this only to educate everyone. My bank is fine with law-abiding guncarrying customers - openly or concealed. But please don't say things that aren't true because they sound good to you! Those who rob tend to be desperate - they needs drugs, etc. We want to make sure no one gets hurt. If our goal was to protect money in any way, shape or form, every single one of our bank robbery procedures would be radically different. However, because we could care less about the money (as is true at most banks), are robbery related policies and procedureslook very different than most people understand them to be based on seeing movies, etc. The over-whelming majority of bank robbers are caught and convicted as it is, and people are very, very, very rarely injured in a bank robbery (we've never had a single person injured in over 75 years of existence).

    6.) I am as pro-gun (and open carry) as you can get. I am just sharing some facts from a banks perspective. I do think all banks should allow all of their customers to openly or concealed carry. But I don't think anyone should ever pull a gun to stop a "normal" lone bandit robber, especially in a crowded lobby with children, etc. Of course, I feel differently about stopping the extraordinarily rare robbery "gone wrong" - when shots are fired. But that happens onlyonce or twicea YEAR in the entire state of Virginia.
    SicSemperTyrannis, your points are well taken, but you totally missed the point I was trying to make. The very first thing that I said was that I could sum up what was said......FDIC. I know that the banks can care less about the money. I also mention that if the US cared about it, then all of the banks that you go to would be like Fort Knox and any Fed Reserve Bank. The point I was making when I said "It's about money" was that it would be inconceivable that every bank would have adequate security to protect the money especially when it is insured. I also was making the point about how people perceive things when they see a "No Guns" sign. Customers might perceive they are safe in a bank if they see an armed guard and a "No Guns" sign at at bank, but, the reality is that may not be the case.

    You may have statistics to back up your "vision" of what happens at a "typical" bank robbery, but those statistics went to h**l when the Wachovia in Springfield got robbed (twice inone week). I am certain that more than a note was used in those robberies (just ask the 80 cops that showed up after it happened - I did).

    I am not going to debate you at all. I will just say that I never suggested that anyone make any attempts to be heroic when a bank robbery is taking place. Since you put out there what you do for a living, I will throw out there a tidbit of what I do. I have been an Armed Security Officer (among other things) for over 16 years protecting several government facilities that include credit unions. I do know when it is appropriate to use deadly force and when not to. Obviously, you will need to be concerned about your backstop (Deadly Force 101). Without getting too technical, I will only say that there are a multitude of factors to consider as to when to use deadly force, and, I will leave it at that.

    I didn't know I was going to get plastered for commenting about "things" on this board. I don't profess to know everything. Like I said earlier, your points are well taken (I even learned a thing or two). But, I believe that you took the points I was trying to make out of context.:X

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    Smurfologist: I am almost certain we agree on far more than we disagree about! We both are on this site, after all.To the degree thatI misunderstood your point, please accept my sincere apologies.I just don't want people thinking that most bank robbers have guns, most banks have one or two armed guards, most robbers carry something more powerful than a .38, etc - it's just not true. Of course, you are absolutely right that a "No Guns" signs does not make anyone even a tiny bit safer -a robber wouldn't care about a sign, and no one has anything to fear from the law-abiding gun owner.



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    Interestingly, my bank has now prohibited cell phones! I can't find, on their door or on their web site, a prohibition against my 9mm, but I can't take my cell phone through the door.

    When I asked why, the teller said "security reasons". I decided from the look on her face (huh?) not to pursue that any further.

    Unfortunately, the branch I use most often is on Ft Belvoir (FT Belvoir Fed Cr Union), so I'm not armed when I go in.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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