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Thread: My attempt at reason with Costco.

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    Regular Member Chris.R.Anderson's Avatar
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    This is a copy of my letter to Costco, and below that, their response.



    Note this message was submitted through the costco.com web site customer suggestion page on 01/05/2010 17:33:46 PST

    Comment/Suggestion/Request/Question Text:
    Hello, I would like to start out by saying that I am a long time fan of your franchise and much enjoy being a member and shopping at Costco.

    I recently heard something that disturbed me though, I was told that Costco has corporate policy banning firearms in all stores. This is particularly disconcerting as I am a concealed carry permit holder, a supporter of the second ammendment and of the open carry of firearms.

    I am greatly interested in your response, as it will determine if my family and I ever renew our membership or return to a Costco store. I would like VERY much to continue to do business with you, but I cannot do so at the expense of my rights, and my protection.

    I would also like to inform you that (not because of me) your business has been placed on the Do Not Patronise list of a large community of supporters of the second ammendment and the open carry of firearms. This community currently has over 25,000 members and is growning.

    Please put much consideration into this issue, as the constitution is a very important thing to most people in our nation, and supporting the rights therein is the foundation of our society, and our nation.

    With respect,
    Chris Anderson


    ------------------------------

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you for your email to Costco Wholesale.

    Costco Wholesale is a membership-only warehouse club. It is not open to the general public. It restricts membership to a limited group of qualified individuals who agree to membership conditions. We have the right and the obligation to our members, to enact and enforce membership rules. The Member Service Employees at the exit doors are obliged to follow these rules. By obtaining a Costco membership card, our members agree to comply with the Membership Rules and the Privileges and Conditions of membership.

    Costco does not believe that it is necessary for firearms to be brought into its warehouse stores, except in the case of authorized law enforcement officers. For the protection of all our members and employees, we feel this is a reasonable and prudent precaution to ensure a pleasant shopping experience and safe workplace. Our policy is meant to protect our members and employees in all warehouses around the world. This is not a new policy and we do not customize the policy for each individual city/county/state/country where we do business.

    Our primary goal at Costco Wholesale is to keep our members happy. If you believe that our policy restricting members from bringing firearms into our warehouse stores is either unfair or excessively burdensome, or you cannot agree to abide by this policy, or you are dissatisfied for any other reason, Costco will promptly refund your annual membership fee in full.


    Thank you,

    Beth
    Costco Wholesale Corporation




    CRA
    “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.” -- Ronald Reagan

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    This might be what my response would look like.

    1) I appreciate that you have the right, as a private property owner, to ban firearms.

    2) One of the issues that I have with your policy is that criminals and terrorists are not known for their willingness to abide by the law. Therefore they are just as likely to endanger the public in Costco by bringing and using a firearm. They might also be more willing to use a firearm in Costco due to the lack of armed response should they commit crimes in your stores. Due to this, your policy prevents me from defending my family in the event (however unlikely) of a criminal action that might target me, my family, or the general public.

    3) Another issue that I have with the policy is that if I were to choose to abide by your policy I can either give up my right to self defense everywhere I go or leave my firearm unattended in my vehicle in a large and largely unpatrolled parking lot. I do not believe that this action is safe as my firearm could easily be stolen and used in the commission of a crime.

    Thank you for your letter clarifying your policy. At this time I do not intend to patronize your stores and would appreciate a refund of my membership fees. If in the future you recognize the right of Americans to defend themselves and their families in a law abiding and safe manner, I will seriously consider renewing as I have enjoyed my experiences shopping with you.

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    Regular Member OrangeIsTrouble's Avatar
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    Unless you shop A LOT there, the membership fee vs how much you possibly save doesn't even out too fast.

    I never liked their warehouses anyway. But hey, it's a criminals playland! Nobody is armed!


    Been harassed by the police? Yelled at by the anti-gun neighbors? Mother doesn't approve?

    Then this is the place for you! Click here to get back at them!

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    Poosharker wrote:
    Unless you shop A LOT there, the membership fee vs how much you possibly save doesn't even out too fast.
    I have discovered that much of what can be purchased at Costco in the food arena can be found at Cash and Carry stores for about the same price. I buy cheese, meat, and larger containers of many items for comparable prices as Costco. They also have small quantities of many items as they break open the case lots and put them out for individual sale which is nice.

    No membership fee and no one has ever said a word about my pistol.

    In Bellingham it is on Iowa Street but a quick search on google turned them up all over the place.

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    I did not renew my COSTCO card because of this over 2 years ago. I can get everything for less at the cash & carry or by simply using coupons. I never liked the herd mentality there either. I dont miss the lines or having to deal with the people that go there.
    Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack.

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    Poosharker wrote:
    ... But hey, it's a criminals playland! Nobody is armed!
    Don't be so sure... Not everyone follows the "rules".

    A fair number of their members (and employees as well) shoplift.

    I imagine a fair number are in possession or under the influence of controlled substances as well.

    I've seen non-handicapped folks park in the handicap stalls.

    Show me a person who never breaks any "rules". They don't exist.

    They have a "no firearm" rule to pacify the customers and employees who get all nervous at the sight of a gun, or for insurance reasons, or because of the personal beliefs of those in charge. As far as I am concerned, their reason doesn't matter. Out of consideration for their concerns, I don't show my gun when I am at Costco, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. I like to think that "we agree to disagree".

    This will probably fuel the whole "respect private property rights" argument, but I don't care. As far as I am concerned, when you open your "private" property to others for the purpose of making money, it lessens some of your ability to strictly exercise your control over it.



    I consider it "quasi-private" - I have no business being there for purposes other than doing the intended business with you, I should behave with an appropriate comportment for that business transaction, and if I create a disturbance or interfere with your business I should expect to be asked to leave and made to leave if necessary.

    Who I am, what I legally possess, my personal beliefs, as well as the corporate beliefs of the company or the beliefs of it's employees, are all irrelevant and have no bearing on the business transaction.

    You find me with a gun and breaking your rules - fine ask me to leave or revoke my membership. But if you are going to have a rule and not actively enforce it (magnetometers, bag check, etc...) don't be shocked or surprised when folks break it. I know I can't expect the store to protect me from the bad folks who break it, so I just might break it as well for the option to protect myself from the rule breaker you won't protect me from.



    Costco's stand is well known. It is foolish to think they will change it over something like this. If you disagree strongly enough that you don't want to shop there as a result, fine. I save hundreds of dollars a year shopping there, maybe even over a thousand. The rebate on my executive membership covers the membership cost (and usually have some to spare). Not shopping there will have far greater impact on me than it will on Costco.

    If there was an option that provided the same value AND supported the rights of their customers, I would be all over it and happy to tell Costco why they are refunding my membership. If we had the strength, numbers and support to expect a boycott to actually make an impact, I'd be happy to help. For now I'll look the other way and keep giving them my business while in all appearances I follow their silly little rule.





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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    My aunt is a big-wig at Costo corporate. I've made it well known to her that I shop at Sam's and not Costco because I refuse to comply with this idiotic policy. It might piss off people in my family, but I have to do what I have to do. If I was to go there because I was with a family member and they decided to stop in there, I'd conceal.
    Certified Glock Armorer

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Once a business as large as Costco makes a policy of such, it will not as you know, change.

    If you still want to shop there, well then shut up and cover up.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Do they do background checks when you apply for a membership so as not to put you in harms way, with known convicted and release robbers, rapist, and murderers? Have they contacted the Phsycic Friends Network and asked Dianne Worwick when someone is going to come in and start shooting the place up, so that they can prevent it?
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    oops
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." - Norman Thomas

    "They who can who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve niether liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    oops2
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." - Norman Thomas

    "They who can who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve niether liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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    amzbrady wrote:
    Do they do background checks when you apply for a membership so as not to put you in harms way, with known convicted and released robbers, rapist, and murderers? Have they contacted the Phsycic Friends Network and asked Dianne Worwick when someone is going to come in and start shooting the place up, so that they can prevent it?
    My personal belief is that when one entity restricts an individual from having the means for self defense that the restricting entity ought to have a higher burden to provide that protection themselves. Now if I could just get the rest of the world to go along with my personal beliefs.

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    heresolong wrote:
    This might be what my response would look like.

    1) I appreciate that you have the right, as a private property owner, to ban firearms.

    2) One of the issues that I have with your policy is that criminals and terrorists are not known for their willingness to abide by the law. Therefore they are just as likely to endanger the public in Costco by bringing and using a firearm. They might also be more willing to use a firearm in Costco due to the lack of armed response should they commit crimes in your stores. Due to this, your policy prevents me from defending my family in the event (however unlikely) of a criminal action that might target me, my family, or the general public.

    3) Another issue that I have with the policy is that if I were to choose to abide by your policy I can either give up my right to self defense everywhere I go or leave my firearm unattended in my vehicle in a large and largely unpatrolled parking lot. I do not believe that this action is safe as my firearm could easily be stolen and used in the commission of a crime.

    Thank you for your letter clarifying your policy. At this time I do not intend to patronize your stores and would appreciate a refund of my membership fees. If in the future you recognize the right of Americans to defend themselves and their families in a law abiding and safe manner, I will seriously consider renewing as I have enjoyed my experiences shopping with you.
    I might also consider adding that many corporations have a simple policy tofollow state laws on this subject, which means they do not have to "customize the policy for each individual city/county/state/country".
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    heresolong wrote:
    Poosharker wrote:
    Unless you shop A LOT there, the membership fee vs how much you possibly save doesn't even out too fast.
    I have discovered that much of what can be purchased at Costco in the food arena can be found at Cash and Carry stores for about the same price. I buy cheese, meat, and larger containers of many items for comparable prices as Costco. They also have small quantities of many items as they break open the case lots and put them out for individual sale which is nice.

    No membership fee and no one has ever said a word about my pistol.

    In Bellingham it is on Iowa Street but a quick search on google turned them up all over the place.
    Yep Cash and Carry is a great place and nothing said about my pistol either.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    If "Cash and Carry" is a chain of grocery stores, I've never heard of them.
    Weather permitting, I go to Costco several times a week for the free samples. It beats cooking for myself. Cheaper too.
    Oh yes, I always CC there.
    Perhaps if you would use a real computer you wouldn't have to apologize for not being able to do so many things on the internet!

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    jeeper1 wrote:
    If "Cash and Carry" is a chain of grocery stores, I've never heard of them.
    Weather permitting, I go to Costco several times a week for the free samples. It beats cooking for myself. Cheaper too.
    Oh yes, I always CC there.
    LOL what are you then, 95 pounds?

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    I guess I riskmy membership everytime I go there, then. I CCW there all the time, and could give a damn if they want to ban people for wearing purple socks. If they don't see your purple socks, they can't kick you out, can they?

    I understand the principle behind making a point, but my boss bought the membership, so I have no $$$ invested in it.

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    LOL what are you then, 95 pounds?

    I wish!
    Perhaps if you would use a real computer you wouldn't have to apologize for not being able to do so many things on the internet!

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    jeeper1 wrote:
    LOL what are you then, 95 pounds?

    I wish!
    Must be of the fairer sex. Average height men wouldn't say that. LOL

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    I am a man and weigh 2.5 times what I should and wish I would weigh a heck of a lot less than I do.
    I was just trying to say that I would like to weigh a lot less, not necessarily 95 lbs.
    Perhaps if you would use a real computer you wouldn't have to apologize for not being able to do so many things on the internet!

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    N6ATF wrote:
    jeeper1 wrote:
    If "Cash and Carry" is a chain of grocery stores, I've never heard of them.
    Weather permitting, I go to Costco several times a week for the free samples. It beats cooking for myself. Cheaper too.
    Oh yes, I always CC there.
    LOL what are you then, 95 pounds?
    thats to funny, When I was working construction in Redmond a long time ago, a coworker and I used to go to the Albertsons for a free sample lunch. we would walk the store like 3 times got to where we knew all the workers and free samples soon became meals.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." - Norman Thomas

    "They who can who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve niether liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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    jeeper1 wrote:
    I am a man and weigh 2.5 times what I should and wish I would weigh a heck of a lot less than I do.
    I was just trying to say that I would like to weigh a lot less, not necessarily 95 lbs.
    Ah.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Chris.R.Anderson's Avatar
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    The evolution of threads amuses me, lol! I will let you guys know if I have any more communication with Costco, I am thinking about sending them some of the things you guys have suggested, but don't have the time at the moment.

    CRA
    “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.” -- Ronald Reagan

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    Regular Member killchain's Avatar
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    Not to be specific, but I conceal carry in a lot of places I shouldn't.

    Criminals ignore their policies. So do I.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

  25. #25

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    killchain wrote:
    Not to be specific, but I conceal carry in a lot of places I shouldn't.

    Criminals ignore their policies. So do I.
    The only places I consider as I "shouldn't" carry in are the ones that the LAW says I can't.

    Everything else is just a request. They can consider their request noted and declined. They've declined several of my requests over the years, so it seems fair to me.

    I understand they don't wish to see a gun on their property, so I won't show them one. Sounds like a fair compromise.

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