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Thread: Asked to leave Home Depot in Roanoke

  1. #1
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    The Incident: 7/21 6:30 PM - Home Depot #4609, Hershberger Rd, Roanoke

    My closet collapsed over the weekend, so after work on Monday, I went to my local Home Depot to pick up some hardware. I was armed with my Para-Ordnance "Carry" 6.45 in a Fobus C-21 holster.

    I'd picked out the stuff I needed for the closet and had just finished browsing the lighting section when I was approached by an employee. He told me that firearms were prohibited in the Home Depot, regardless of whether or not they were carried legally, except for off-duty police, and that this was corporate policy.

    I was skeptical of this claim; I figured that if the Home Depot had such a sweeping corporate policy against firearms, I would have found out about it before now. I asked him specifically whether this was a store policy or a corporate policy, and he confirmed that it was a store policy.

    I asked for his name and whether he was a manager. He affirmed that he was a manager and identified himself as David Strouth. I handed over the merchandise I was carrying so I could write that down. He passed it off to one of the other employees who had gathered around, and asked if I had a permit. I replied that no permit was necessary for openly carrying a firearm in Virginia.

    At that point, David added that there were signs posted at the store entrance indicating that firearms are prohibited. I always check for such signs wherever I go, and I didn't remember seeing one, so I was very surprised to hear him say one was posted. I told him as much, and he began to escort me to the exit. As we were walking, he again asked what kind of permit I have. I reiterated that no permit is required for open carry, and he said he'd check with the City Police on that point.

    When we reached the exit, we checked the entrance and found no signs posted. David and I conversed for a bit about my carry. He made it clear that I was welcome to shop, but that my firearm would have to stay out, and suggested I could leave it in my vehicle. I declined to do so, explaining that I carry a firearm for personal protection, and it can't perform that function when it's locked up in the car. He told me that my firearm was making people nervous; they were coming to him saying, "That guy's got a gun!" (I should have asked whether those people were other customers or employees, but I didn't think of it until later.) He made a remark about "the way things are these days," and I pointed out that this was the reason I carry.

    David offered to give me the corporate phone number, which took him a few minutes to locate. When he came back with it, he told me he'd found out the reason no signs were posted was that the glass at the entrances had been replaced. He also indicated that he'd called another manager, who assured him that since the store was private property, they could ask me to leave. I agreed, and left.

    I got the hardware for my closet at Lowe's without incident. By the time I got home, the Home Depot corporate office was closed for the day.

    The Follow-up: 7/22 9:10 AM - Home Depot Customer Care

    I called the number for customer care the next morning, and spoke with a nice lady named Vickie. I asked about Home Depot's corporate policy on carrying firearms in their stores. She looked it up for me, and it reads, in effect, that firearms are not prohibited as long as they are being carried in compliance with all applicable laws. I told her about my encounter from the day before, and she was apologetic, but went on to read another section of policy which read, in part, that customers openly carrying firearms could be asked to leave.

    It was a little difficult for me to understand everything Vickie was saying, but it seemed to me that this clause was meant to apply only where firearms were required by law to be concealed. Vickie was unsure, though, and I had to get to work, so I asked if she could have somebody review the relevant policies and get back to me. She agreed, gave me a reference number, and told me it could take up to 72 hours for somebody to call back.

    The Follow-up to the Follow-up: 7/25 7:15 PM - Home Depot Customer Care

    Since it had been more than 72 hours, and I hadn't received a call, I called back and was connected with Ebony. She looked up my case and confirmed that my interpretation was correct: Where the law requires that a firearm be concealed, customers carrying openly may be asked to leave. In general, legally carried firearms are not prohibited. Ebony also told me that a copy of the complaint had been sent to the store, so the management there should certainly be aware of corporate policy. In short, I'm welcome to patronize the Home Depot with my legally carried firearm.

    The real test, of course, will be what happens when I go return. When I do, I'll report back.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to OCDO! Glad to see another aboard. Too bad your first post was a bad encounter. Well handled though, I might say...

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Another welcome to OCDO, and another pat on the back for a job well done in dealing with your local Home Depot.

    In no specific order -

    * are you planning to go back to the Home Depot with your receipt from Lowes?

    * are you going to ask Ebony from Home Depot corporate to email you a confirmation of the policy interpretation, so you can share it with local manager - in case he has a hard time figuring out policy-speak?

    * how did you find OCDO?

    Heck, I'm just excited to see a newbie (to the boards at least) doing such a great job! But I'm not so excited that I would forget - newbie buys the berer & ammo. Mine is Shiner Bock & .45acp.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  4. #4
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    You should interrogate the manager as to whether or not he has an FFL to sell nail guns, caulk guns, etc.......
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  5. #5
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    Print this out, go back to that Home Depot, and politely ask the store manager to follow corporate policy.

    http://www.tennesseefirearms.com/law...s/homedepo.pdf


    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!!

    Excellent handling of the encounter!

    ETA: Great letter to have Sgt Jensen! Thanks for posting it!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Welcome to OCDO! Thanks for the post! It was a job well done. Our rights as citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and this great nation are preserved and protected, in large part, by grassroots activism by regular ordinary citizens. You have done a great service to the rest of the citizens in this state. Thanks for your activism.



  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the welcome. I first came to this site after seeing a reference to it in a news article. I've been reading for quite a while now, and I've wanted to post about my positive experiences, but I had trouble registering for an account. I guess I didn't have enough motivation to work through that trouble until this Monday.

    At this point, I'm willing to let the corporate office handle things. Although he was wrong, David treated me pretty well; he was very courteous throughout our encounter. He's either misinformed about corporate policy, or more likely, he tried to wing it with a situation that he'd never before handled, and mentioned "corporate policy" as a means of both invoking authority and deflecting blame. In either case, I don't feel angry with a man whose main problem is a bit of ignorance. A reminder from corporate about their firearms policy should rectify that. If it doesn't, then I can take it to the next level.

    If it comes to that, I have a lever with which I can apply some pressure: In the two years I've owned my home, I've spent about $12K at that Home Depot, most of it using a Home Depot line of credit that I'm sure the corporate office knows about.

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Tosta Dojen wrote:
    If it comes to that, I have a lever with which I can apply some pressure: In the two years I've owned my home, I've spent about $12K at that Home Depot, most of it using a Home Depot line of credit that I'm sure the corporate office knows about.
    There, ladies and gentlemen, is a man with a large lever and the knowledge of how to swing it.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Tosta it's good to see you on the site and good to see you taking an active role regarding your safety and making the places you spend money know that you'll take your business elsewhere if they don't respect your safety. Although I live in Lynchburg I ran into a similar Home Depot experience in the Columbus, Ohio area where I'm from. From discussion with the Home Depot I was made aware that the Home Depot does not prohibit customers from carrying firearms within their store, provided they are carried in compliance with applicable laws. Unfortunately the manager of the store at issue apparently didn't get the message and he/she isabout to get another complaint to the corporate office from someone else just like me and you. Here's a link to my thread for the State of Ohio. Again good to see you!

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum43/12920-1.html

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    Wow, I just Googled Open carry and got to this site and one of the first things I read this thread about the Roanoke Home Depot. Well, I just had to sign up and post to show my support. Since I live in Roanoke and I do shop at both of the Roanoke Home Depot locations I will make sure they know of my displeasure about this incident. I am interested in open carry and I need to learn about how to handle the problems that one could face when they do. I have some reading ahead of me.



    Great site,



    Barn Owl

  12. #12
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Barn Owl wrote:
    Wow, I just Googled Open carry and got to this site and one of the first things I read this thread about the Roanoke Home Depot. Well, I just had to sign up and post to show my support. Since I live in Roanoke and I do shop at both of the Roanoke Home Depot locations I will make sure they know of my displeasure about this incident. I am interested in open carry and I need to learn about how to handle the problems that one could face when they do. I have some reading ahead of me.



    Great site,



    Barn Owl
    A hearty welcome aboard!

    The problem does not exist at Home Depots, even in Roanoke - see letter posted above.

    Lots of good reading here - never take anyones opinion as gosple though. That is why we so often ask for cites/law reference.

    You might look for postings on OC dinners in your area - it is a good way to meet like minded people and share experiences.

    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.

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Another welcome to Barn Owl

    Seems OCDO is getting its name around :celebrate

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  14. #14
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    In Georgia there's been some very recent similar events where legally permitted persons were asked to leave from Lowe's or Home Depot. Some relevant threads are at GeorgiaPacking.org here:
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=16506
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=16406
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=10570

    Be sure to listen to the 911 call.

    Also, we've had great results coming from upper level management concerning these incidents.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    To Tosta Dojen and Barn Owl, welcome aboard to the both of you and please enjoy you time here. There are a host of friendly and supportive people on this forum who will be happy to help you along in your OC journeys.

    Sorry to hear of Tosta's problems at Home Depot. I live about 35 miles from Washington, D.C. in the western end of Prince William County, VA and have carried many times into both Home Depot and Lowes with not so much as a hint of a problem.

    Roanoke, on the other hand, is entrenched in the heartland of Virginia so you would think the mindset there would be even more open and friendly towards gun carriers than it is up here.

    Next time Tosta carries into that Home Depot, he might want to wear a light colored shirt so as to make sure his sidearm stands out like a sore thumb and can't be missed.

    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!

  16. #16
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    smn wrote:
    In Georgia there's been some very recent similar events where legally permitted persons were asked to leave from Lowe's or Home Depot. Some relevant threads are at GeorgiaPacking.org here:
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=16506
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=16406
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=10570

    Be sure to listen to the 911 call.

    Also, we've had great results coming from upper level management concerning these incidents.
    What is amazing about all of this is this. Approximately 22-23% of the households in the northeast have guns in them. Over 78% of the households in the Southern states are gun homes. You would think that with this overwhelming proliferation and acceptance of firearms for that region, you would not be seeing this kind of behavior in that part of the country.

    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!

  17. #17
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    smn wrote:
    In Georgia there's been some very recent similar events where legally permitted persons were asked to leave from Lowe's or Home Depot. Some relevant threads are at GeorgiaPacking.org here:
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=16506
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=16406
    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...ic.php?t=10570

    Be sure to listen to the 911 call.

    Also, we've had great results coming from upper level management concerning these incidents.
    What is amazing about all of this is this. Approximately 22-23% of the households in the northeast have guns in them. Over 78% of the households in the Southern states are gun homes. You would think that with this overwhelming proliferation and acceptance of firearms for that region, you would not be seeing this kind of behavior in that part of the country.
    The politicians and newspaper in Roanoke tend to be notoriously anti - but it is getting somewhat better.

    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.

  18. #18
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    If anyone is looking for it, the 911 call is here...

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...d&p=152200
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  19. #19
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    AbNo wrote:
    If anyone is looking for it, the 911 call is here...

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...d&p=152200
    The link only got me to their main page - not the topic specifically.

    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.

  20. #20
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    Here's the recording:
    http://www.allgoodsdomain.com/Audio/...11%20track.m4a

    It's about 6min long... the caller sounded like he needed new underwear.

  21. #21
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    Sorry, I was up all night. Apparently, I fail at internet this morning.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  22. #22
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    smn wrote:
    Here's the recording:
    http://www.allgoodsdomain.com/Audio/...11%20track.m4a

    It's about 6min long... the caller sounded like he needed new underwear.
    This is truly a pathetic waste of manpower and resources. Does anybody have a follow up on this?

    Could have been resolved with simple, direct response:
    "Yes sir, it is legal. Thank you for your interest."

    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.

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    AbNo wrote:
    Sorry, I was up all night. Apparently, I fail at internet this morning.
    It doesn't count for your final grade!

    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.

  24. #24
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    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...=152725#152725

    Here's your followup.

    Also Grape, I DID finish a PC hardware course last Wednesday.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  25. #25
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    I've OC'd in the South Roanoke Home Depot numerous times and have never had an issue with it.

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