View Poll Results: Have you ever been stopped in Kroger?

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Thread: QUESTIONED AT KROGER

  1. #1
    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    QUESTIONED AT KROGER
    After leaving my second job on Sunday October 7th I met my wife Sarah at home, changed clothes, and left to run errands. The last thing we did was swing into Kroger Lynnwood on North Parkway here in Jackson to pick up a few groceries. As is 90% of the time, whenever I go out I carry my pistol and it just happened to be one of those days. I had carried in Kroger multiple times in the past with no incident and I had no reason to believe this would be any different.

    We were held up in the parking lot in order to jump off another couple's minivan then we headed into the store. Sarah grabbed a shopping cart for ME to push and off we went. I have to admit that Kroger was busier than I had seen it before but it was Sunday after all. After going down each isle and getting to the last one with soft drinks and chips I heard someone behind me ask
    in a low tone of voice "Excuse me Sir?" She was a middle aged white woman with a Kroger vest and her name badge. "Yes ma'am…" I replied. "Are you a police officer?" she asked. This threw my brain off track as I had just been thinking about what my wife had asked about the chips. After I realized where this lady was going with the question I answered "No…" Thinking she may have been confused by the Handgun Carry badge I wear next to my holster I began to take it off inorder to show her. As I did so she looked down at my sidearm and in a timid tone of voice asked "Then why are you carrying THAT in here?" "I'm licensed to carry by the State" I replied. She cocked her head to one side as if confused and asked "In a Grocery store?" "Yea … anywhere that doesn't serve alcohol, a court house or other Government building" I explained. "I don't think it's allowed in here" she stated in a very sheepish tone, almost like she didn't want to upset me. "I didn't see anything posted when I came in" I replied. "We don't have to" she quipped back. "State law says you do" I quickly anwsered but then I turned the tables and asked her if she "would you rather me leave it in my vehicle where someone could steal it; where it would most likely be used in a crime." At this point she didn't seem to have an answer and as she turned to walk away she said "I just don't think you should have it in here…"

    Sarah was taken aback by the conversation; she just recently received her permit and is scared to death of situations like this. When the lady first asked me about my law enforcement status I could see Sarah pulling herself away from the situation. I don't know if the Kroger employee was told to say something to me or if she did it out of curiosity. I do know that there was no sign prohibiting customers from carrying firearms which is required according to Tennessee Law Section 39-17-1315(b)(2): An individual, corporation, business entity or governmental entity or agent thereof is authorized to prohibit possession of weapons by any person otherwise authorized by this subsection (b), at meetings conducted by, or on premises owned, operated, managed or under control of the individual, corporation, business entity or governmental entity. Notice of the prohibition shall be posted or announced.

    I don't know if she had the authority but she didn't ask me to leave and had she done so I would have complied; leaving them a full cart in their isle and my money in my wallet. In hind sight I wish she would continued the conversation as the encounter was a teachable moment. Her opinion was that firearms shouldn't be allowed in a grocery store but what reason would lead to this conclusion? Does violent crime not happen in grocery stores? Are Kroger customers somehow immune from victimization coming from and going to their vehicle? The answers to these questions are self evident; criminals can commit acts of violence at any time and at any place however they so choose. I therefore exercise my right to carry at any time and at any place and in the manner in which I so choose within the confines of the law.
    I suspect the real issue which drove her to confront me was that I was wearing it in plain sight. (I'm not shy about open carry) She is what I have come to consider a gun bigot or a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false. Just as a racial bigot assumes that a person is a danger based on his or her skin color. Her prejudice is that a person carrying a pistol outside of law enforcement is a danger to others. The facts would show this to be patently false but her devotion to this prejudice was shown by her choosing to confronting me. A dangerous person, intent on doing harm to another, would not carry a weapon in the open. A dangerous person would not have addressed her as respectfully as she was. Those who legally carry wish to never have to employ deadly force but simultaneously prepare for the day when they may be forced to. Her opinion was misguided and uninformed but the old saying goes, opinions are like butts, everybody has one.
    Lastly, I do not intend to stop carrying my sidearm into Kroger unless they post a warning or actually ask me to leave. When they do so Wal-Mart isn't far away and they have never made an issue of legally armed customers.



  2. #2
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Never been stopped at Kroger...but never been there either.

    Sounds like you handled it pretty good. I would just correct you in that the statute that says owners can post signs is T.C.A. 39-17-1359

    Do you have a pic of the badge you have? I have thought at times about getting one, but to be honest I figured it would cause more problems of potetionaly impersonating a cop that problems it may stop.

    Does Kroger sell beer? If so she maynot know the law has changed about being armed where alcoholic beverages are sold since the "We don't have to" comment.But maybeshe just doesn't think people ought to have guns in public.

    If you really think it mab be a continuing problem it might be worth talking to the manager.....either way hope if you continue to go there it all goes smooth.

    Oh and good deal on the GF getting her permit!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    I think you handled it pretty well. I'm planning on stepping up my OC when I get my pistol permit. Here in AL, I can't carry a pistol in a vehicle without it, so I pretty much only OC around my residence and when jogging, etc. I'll probably OC in TN first (My family lives up there so I visit every so often) to get used to it before trying it more in AL (It's not widely accepted in AL).

    One thing you should be careful of: Even though they are required to post a sign before you can be charged with illegally carrying the pistol, they still can ask you to leave. Not leaving is a violation of trespassing laws...

    I won't wear an 'OC Badge' or whatever either. Fallguy is right on the 'impersonating police' aspect. Also, I don't want people to think I'm a police officer. People should know that 'mere citizens' can carry firearms too...

  4. #4
    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    I've attached a photo of the badge to show you exactly what it says. My wife's HCP class was taught by a county constable who owns his own security company here in Jackson. His reasoning for wearing a badge is for quick identification in a hostile situation. The badge plainly says "Handgun Carry Permit" with the seal of the State of Tennessee in the middle & only represents that I have a HCP issued by TN. It says nothing about being an LEO despite what others may assume. In a tactical situation where an LEO may arrive after or during a self-defense shooting, it might save your ass from being mistaken for the bad guy. I don't wear it 100% of the time but I also think it puts the uneducated passer-by at ease when they see something which represents you are legally carrying a sidearm.

    If your ever in Jackson you can swing by MaxxGuard Security on N. Highland Ave. and pick one up for $55.

    ^kurt_max_0 - I knew the whole time if she actually asked I would have to leave but she never did and I wasn't obligated to tell her. Like I said, I was prepared to leave but as luck would have it I didn't have to.

    ^Fallguy
    - As far as impersonating an LEO goes, simply because someone might assume I'm an LEO doesn't make me guilty of it. It's not as if I carry handcuffs and a radio. So long as the badge doesn't misrepresent me being anything other than a HCP owner then TN state law says it's legit. I've OC'd with my badge on and off for 4 years now and it's never given me any trouble, but I could be the exception.

    Look forward to reading more.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    fullauto223cal wrote:

    ^Fallguy
    - As far as impersonating an LEO goes, simply because someone might assume I'm an LEO doesn't make me guilty of it. It's not as if I carry handcuffs and a radio. So long as the badge doesn't misrepresent me being anything other than a HCP owner then TN state law says it's legit. I've OC'd with my badge on and off for 4 years now and it's never given me any trouble, but I could be the exception.
    I totally agree that simply wearing a badge doesn't mean you are impersonating a LEO I have had a few jobs where I wore a badgeSecurity Guard, Firefighter, EMT. Still work as a Firefighter/EMT but don't have a badge at the place I am now.

    You have to admit though, the badge dind't help you that much with the lady at Kroger. I do like the looks of it though, the times I had thought about getting one from Gall's that is pretty close to what I was thinking. Guess know I can just get one at MaxxGuard if I want one. I spoke with the founder of MaxxGuard several years ago when he was first starting in Jackson...seemed like a good guy.


    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    ^^ Fallguy - You’re correct, although it's not 100% fool proof I've never claimed the badge would stop people from questioning my choice to openly carry. 90% is for the aforementioned tactical, don't shoot me I'm the good guy, reason and 10% is to keep the sheeple from just completely freaking out.

    With regard to helping me at Kroger, I'll never know for sure, but haveing the badge could have given her cause to speak to me first as opposed to calling the law down on me. I've had that happen once or twice when not wearing my badge.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Both fair statements.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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  9. #9
    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    I've been reading over the board at the link you posted. I might just reconsider what the constible told me during the class. Thanks...

  10. #10
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    In my opinion that might be a wise choice. I have only seen one person wearing one. I might have forgot to remove my firearm before enteringan establishment. I seen his badge clipped to his belt and then checked for my firearm and thought oh crap! When I got VERY close I could see what it was. He kept making sure it was uncovered. I started to say something, then thought better. For those of us that carry concealed, it either gives us away or looks like a LEO. You at least done your research!

  11. #11
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I think the badge is a very bad idea. Just my 2 cents, but I think it's way to close to the line of impersonating a LEO.

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    fullauto223cal wrote:
    I've attached a photo of the badge to show you exactly what it says. My wife's HCP class was taught by a county constable who owns his own security company here in Jackson. His reasoning for wearing a badge is for quick identification in a hostile situation. The badge plainly says "Handgun Carry Permit" with the seal of the State of Tennessee in the middle & only represents that I have a HCP issued by TN.
    Is the badge issued to you by the state?

    If not, does the state explicitly authorize you to carry this badge?

    If not, then I think it is a very bad idea to carry on this badge for 2 reasons: 1) You appear to be impersonating an LEO; and (2) People will assume upi are an LEO and authorixed to carry for only this reason and think that regular people cannot open c arry - this is educating the public OPPOSITE of what we are trying to do.

  13. #13
    Regular Member fullauto223cal's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    fullauto223cal wrote:
    I've attached a photo of the badge to show you exactly what it says. My wife's HCP class was taught by a county constable who owns his own security company here in Jackson. His reasoning for wearing a badge is for quick identification in a hostile situation. The badge plainly says "Handgun Carry Permit" with the seal of the State of Tennessee in the middle & only represents that I have a HCP issued by TN.
    Is the badge issued to you by the state?

    If not, does the state explicitly authorize you to carry this badge?

    If not, then I think it is a very bad idea to carry on this badge for 2 reasons: 1) You appear to be impersonating an LEO; and (2) People will assume upi are an LEO and authorixed to carry for only this reason and think that regular people cannot open c arry - this is educating the public OPPOSITE of what we are trying to do.
    Did you guys didn't read the above? - "I've been reading over the board at the link you posted. I might just reconsider what the constible told me during the class. Thanks..."

    "Is the badge issued to you by the state?" -- NO
    "does the state explicitly authorize you to carry this badge?" -- Unless the badge says "Police" "Sheriff" or ortherwise represent you as anything but what you are then it is not prohibited by TENN. Law.

    "People will assume upi are an LEO and authorixed to carry for only this reason and think that regular people cannot open c arry - this is educating the public OPPOSITE of what we are trying to do." - VERY VERY GOOD REASON, thanks MIKE.

    It's for that reason, educating the public, that I'm not going to wear it in the future.

  14. #14
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    I personally think a badge is a bad idea. Mostly because it makes the public think only 'special' people can carry firearms. I doubt you could seriously get in trouble for 'impersonating' an LEO for displaying a CCW badge. If you started questioning people while flashing your badge and stuff it might be different :P

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    kurtmax_0 wrote:
    I personally think a badge is a bad idea. Mostly because it makes the public think only 'special' people can carry firearms. I doubt you could seriously get in trouble for 'impersonating' an LEO for displaying a CCW badge. If you started questioning people while flashing your badge and stuff it might be different :P
    I agree you would not be breaking any laws with the badge itself. I worked security while in college. I wore a uniform & a badge that looked totally different from any local LEO uniforms. People would still assume I was a LEO. Although I nor the security company was breaking any laws, the preception of LEO was there with some of the public.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    fullauto223cal wrote:
    "People will assume upi are an LEO and authorixed to carry for only this reason and think that regular people cannot open c arry - this is educating the public OPPOSITE of what we are trying to do." - VERY VERY GOOD REASON, thanks MIKE.

    It's for that reason, educating the public, that I'm not going to wear it in the future.
    FullAuto, you are now my hero of the week. Someone gave a rational suggestion and you kept an open mind and made a logical decision.

    How cool is that?

  17. #17
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    I'll be vacationing in Pigeon Forge in February, I might OC in the Kroger there and see if someone stops me just so I can answer the poll.

    Note: A SC permit holder can OC in TN right? I know I can CC.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Yes, Anyone with a valid permit/license from any state can carry in TN, CC or OC. Just like a TN resident.

    T.C.A. 39-14-1351(r)(1)


    A facially valid handgun permit, firearms permit, weapons permit or license issued by another state shall be valid in this state according to its terms and shall be treated as if it is a handgun permit issued by this state; provided, however, the provisions of this subsection (r) shall not be construed to authorize the holder of any out-of-state permit or license to carry, in this state, any firearm or weapon other than a handgun.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  19. #19
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    i don't see it as a problem.if it was,it would be addressed by the instructor in the class.

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    With all due respect, I don't think your logic did anything to change her mind. She clearly sees guns as a risk or threat, even when carried correctly and legally. In short, she's bigoted against guns, not their owners. So the arguement about if she would rather you leave it in the vehicle to possibly get stolen, only reinforces her anti-gun bias that the gun itself is threat.

    That being said, I'm not sure you could have said ANYTHING that would have made a dent in her bias. As for whether they would post notice... very unlikely. Store managers at grocery stores are taught to think of customer's in terms of their long-term value, which is to say that they generally assign a $40,000 value to each customer because that is the average amount of money that customer's spend at the grocery store over 10 years... so the only way it's worth $40,000 to them is if they had a reasonable expectation that they would lose more than that by allowing it (such as if multiple customer's complained). Simply put though, customer's don't complain about that sort of thing to management, even if they had the same bias that woman you dealt with had. Why not? Well because most customer's (including those who had her same bias) are not going to ask you if you're an officer or not, and therefore conclude that youcould be a plainclothes officer, and it would be absolutely silly to complain to a mgr about what could be an officer carrying a gun.

  21. #21
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    A note about the badge as we all know convenient stores are the most targeted spot for thugs. you may enter a store where they were robed a day or 2 ago if you have a badge on it may ease the clerk/owner who may have a gun of there own if you are not wearing a badge they may just shoot you. this is for open carry only if you ccw no one knows but you so you would not need to show a badge. I wear one every time I opencarry.JMO

  22. #22
    Regular Member Fallschirmjger's Avatar
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    I've never yet been stopped at any grocery store, including Kroger. If anyone in Kroger does ever stop me, I'll make sure to ask - -
    "......Excuse me, but do you realize that Kroger is one of the Corporate Sponsors of the organization called Georgia Carry which is committed to the preservation and expansion Georia's citizens firearms rights?"

  23. #23
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    Kroger here in Arlington and I have open carried there easily over 100 times. No one has ever said anything to me other than a Shelby County Sheriffs Deputy who was there, in uniform once. He just asked if I was an off duty LEO and whan I said no, he said well, it's good to see a civilian who knows how to look out for himself.

    Never had a problem at Kroger.

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