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Thread: Should retail businesses be able to prohibit firearms?

  1. #1
    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    I am a business owner and do not place any restrictions on my customers as long as they are not disruptive or engaging in unlawful conduct.
    Should businesses that accommodate the general public such as retail stores and malls be able to prohibit firearms on the retail floor or other public areas of their businesses?

    Maybe this should be a poll?


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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    Whether or not a retailer or other merchant places restrictions on a particular activity is a private property issue. We, as consumers then can make a choice of whether or not we will spend money with that business, and have the freedom to tell others about it.

    What has been emphasized here before in other posts, is thatbusinesses placing an irrational ban on lawful firearms owners, is alsomaking a declaration to all the criminals that none of the people who patronize the establishment are armed. I think Ive even seen a sign depicting an unarmed man being mugged, with thewarning "No Firearms, Crime Zone".

    Here in California, I have yet to encounter a sign specifically denying the carrying of firearms, lawful or otherwise. The only place I would heed such a sign would be at the county courthouse or other official building.


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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Being you are in Illinois I am guessing firearms in your business isn't much of a issue.

    Personaly, I think a business owner/property owner can make any rules he or she desire regarding their business/property.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    VA, you are correct about public carry in my business, only cops and crooks. I do like the idea of that gun free mugging sign, I will keep my eye out for that one.

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    What about other rights?


    Should businesses discriminate and deny serviceson the basis of race, religion, political affiliation, or just because you live on the wrong side of town?

    A business must conduct its operations within legal limits. Similarly our government's operations should be restricted to pre-established limitations but WeThePeople have failed to adequately enforce those limitations. Anyone who patronizes suchestablishments ispart of the problem rather than part of the solution. Sorry, but nothing you sell is worth a nickel to me and I'll either shop elsewhere or do without.


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    store owners allways have the right to throw people out, whether they're open carrying or not.
    we also have the right to open carry.

    tough call!

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    But as to Inn Keepers, Common Carriers, and Places of Public Accomodation, I think state statutes should clarify what the common law required - that they be opne to all persons who conduct themseves lawfully, armed or not.

    That is what Utah is doing right now - see http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660193680,00.html

    SNIP

    Two bills making it easier for concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns on buses and in hotel rooms passed a House committee Wednesday.
    Rep. Mark Walker, R-Sandy, sponsored the two bills, which he said cleans up inconsistencies in Utah law, making it easier for concealed weapon permit holders to carry their guns wherever they go.
    HB355 amends the Innkeeper's Rights Act to forbid motel and hotel managers from denying service to a concealed-permit holder. Currently the law states an innkeeper can deny service if they believe a person is in possession of a dangerous weapon.

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    ne1 wrote:
    What about other rights?


    Should businesses discriminate and deny serviceson the basis of race, religion, political affiliation, or just because you live on the wrong side of town?

    A business must conduct its operations within legal limits. Similarly our government's operations should be restricted to pre-established limitations but WeThePeople have failed to adequately enforce those limitations. Anyone who patronizes suchestablishments ispart of the problem rather than part of the solution. Sorry, but nothing you sell is worth a nickel to me and I'll either shop elsewhere or do without.
    Why stop at businesses? Why not also private organizations? Should they be allowed to discriminate against gun carriers or others based on race, religion, or political affiliation. In a word, I will say yes, yes, and yes, and I believe my reasoning is sound. Just as property owners have a right to administer their property as they see fit, private organizations have a right to run their organizations as they see fit, including deciding who can or cannot belong to their organizations. I cannot remember the name of the case, but in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court in a 1980s case ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts, in effect upholding its prohibition against gay scoutmasters. I believe this was the correct ruling; if the opposite ruling had been made, it would have been akin to requiring the Ku Klux Klan to include Blacks among its members.

    The point I'm trying tomake is that whether people like it or not, private property owners and private organizations have the right to run their property and organizations as they see fit without fear of reprisal. This includes banning the lawful carrying of firearms by otherwise law abiding citizens.

    Law abiding citizens who carry guns should also be aware that nothing requires them to patronize businesses or organizations that discriminate against them. If they do not like the policies of any particular business or organization, they can withhold their money and spend it at a place whose policies they do agree with.

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    tattedupboy wrote:
    I believe this was the correct ruling; if the opposite ruling had been made, it would have been akin to requiring the Ku Klux Klan to include Blacks among its members.

    Organizations that require membership or charge an admission for entry can set their own rules and standards and that I understand.

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    I may be crucified for my opion on this. While I wish that everyone was open to law abiding citizens carrying their firearms, I have to say that I feel a store owner should have the right to control what goes on in his/her establisment. I also have the right to not do business with someone that prevents me from exercising my 2nd amendment right. I guess it'sind of like one controling their own home. I don't allow smoking inside my home. My smoking friends know this and they have the option of visiting and going outside to smoke or not visiting. I do not spend money inbusinesses that prohibit me form carrying, but I do feel that they have the right to make that choice.



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    Fine, let businesses do whatever they want with their private property, but how about they do it without any government support and incentiveswhatsoever. You forget that many businesses receive tax breaks, patents, licensesand other perks to encourage them to serve the public. A private homeowner, on the other hand,is under no obligation to openthe door to anyone.

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    The idea that retail establishments open to the public have carte blanche to freely discriminate against patrons went out the window a long time ago.

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    ne1 wrote:
    Fine, let businesses do whatever they want with their private property, but how about they do it without any government support and incentiveswhatsoever. You forget that many businesses receive tax breaks, patents, licensesand other perks to encourage them to serve the public. A private homeowner, on the other hand,is under no obligation to openthe door to anyone.
    Tax breaks are not perks, they're just less of a burden.

    And licenses are just burdens.

    Forcing private businesses to "serve the public" is strictly a leftist idea. As Adam Smith would say, free market businessmen serve others by serving themselves.

    Just 2 cents from my peanut gallery.

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    If you do not believe businesses get special perks from governmentI am willing to bet that you are not a resident of New London CT. Many private individuals would also like to have "less of a burden"- far too much of our individual tax burdens are used to subsidize business operations. I can cite any number of cases where businesses moved into an area to take advantage of special incentives, then relocated elsewhere after the incentives dried up....

    With regards to "forcing" entrepreneurs into public service I did not imply that- the word was encourage (look it up in your favorite dictionary and have another peanut:P).

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    Do not lump together private (that is, non-state owned property) that is generally open to the public (a retail store) with that which is not (your house). As a general rule the former is by default open to all. The property owner (or agent) can exclude persons or classes of persons, provided such exclusion is not prohibited by law. Therefore, Wal*Mart cannot exclude persons on the basis of race, sex, religion, etc. but may on the basis of age (minors), apparel (no shirt, no shoes...), behavior (not coming to shop but price compare for Target), condition (intoxicated, unruly) or possession of certain items (firearms, an axe, a goat, a pizza) provided such exclusion is not a pretext for exclusion on the basisone of the protected classes listed above.

    On the other had, the owner of private property not held open to the public (or other defined group) has an absolute right to exclude anyone with but a few exceptions (those with contractual rights - a tenant, law enforcement (under certain conditions), firefighters, health inspectors, etc.)

    So unless your state has a law specifically forbidding exclusion of armed individuals, a business is perfectly free to bar your entry. Even the most generous interpretation of the Second Amendment reads it as a restriction on government action not an exception to private property rights. You, of course, are free to express your displeasure and take your business elsewhere. Just as you could if there is an alternative that welcomesbarefoot, goat-toting, pizza-eating shoppers.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    The original poster was asking for opinions, not point of law.
    "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 can definitely understand the arguments on both sides.

    At this point, I come down on the side of they should not be allowed to forbid carrying.

    All natural rights should be able to exercised in public, including businesses open to the public.

    I use the example of a store not being allowed to allow murder on its premises because it's private property (like "snuff films," etc.).

    You cannot deny the right to being secure in one's person and the right to being free, and as such, you should not be able to deny the right to self-defense with or without arms, another basic, natural right.

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    My take on this is.... If you open a business..."To the Public", then it should be open to every law abiding citizen who wishes to step foot into your establishment as long as they are not doing anything to cause criminal or health related problems.

    Yes I know, I have the right,choice etc. to take my business elsewhere, but a business owner should know going into this type of "Open to the Public" venture that it means everyone.

    I shouldn't have to choose to take my business elsewhere just because some one is paranoid of the 2A.

    Private Clubs, which require special membership requirements are a different story. And like previously stated... lets not compare apples and oranges here. Private and Public property are two differnt areas.

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    Regarding the question of the thread,

    Put me down for pursuing the common law angle on Innkeepers, etc.

    Put me down for pursuing the legislation to make gun-banning businesses responsible for damagesif a citizen is injured by a criminal, and/or make businesses that don't prohibit firearms immune.

    Otherwise, I'll vote in the direction of property rights for now. We've got far too much government intrusion into property rights already. I would head in the direction of getting more people on board with 2A rights; all but the most leftist businesses would come to our side to have us as customers as our movement grows.
    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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    VAopencarry wrote:
    The original poster was asking for opinions, not point of law.
    Really? He said (note the highlighted area):

    I am a business owner and do not place any restrictions on my customers as long as they are not disruptive or engaging in unlawful conduct.
    Should businesses that accommodate the general public such as retail stores and malls be able to prohibit firearms on the retail floor or other public areas of their businesses?

    So my clownass friend (love that term!) he asked about the ability (that is a question of law) not the advisability (a question of retail management). The short answer is stores already have that ability and I know of no state that restricts it. Now if you want to ask the question sans the "be able to," you will have what you want.

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