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Thread: Kicked out of Costco for open carry

  1. #1
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    I was "escorted" out of Costco today, with the excuses of being a private establishment and the fact that there were women and children walking around.

    Unfortunate news since I am a responsible gun owner.

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    In which city?

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    Chantilly, VA

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    There have been a couple threads about Costco.

    Some Costco's seem to turn a blind eye to OC but their corporate policy is anti. Yes they are private property so they have the right to ask you to leave or deny you entry.

    BJ's and Sam's seem to be OC friendly. You can write corporate or shop at an non-Costco OC friendly store. Since some locations don't enforce the corporate policy some OCDO members haven't had a problem and continue to shop at their local Costco.

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    45acpForMe wrote:
    There have been a couple threads about Costco.

    Some Costco's seem to turn a blind eye to OC but their corporate policy is anti. Yes they are private property so they have the right to ask you to leave or deny you entry.

    BJ's and Sam's seem to be OC friendly. You can write corporate or shop at an non-Costco OC friendly store. Since some locations don't enforce the corporate policy some OCDO members haven't had a problem and continue to shop at their local Costco.
    Which, for the life of me, I'll never understand.

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    When I returned without my gun, they requested to search me to make sure I still wasn't carrying. At that point I laughed in their faces and left. I'm sure I won't be returning to costco anytime soon.

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    I think a couple other members on here had issues at the Chantilly Costco as well. I go in that Costco quite often, but I have not carried there.

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    Regular Member tdbarge's Avatar
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    Who escorted you out? Management? Security? Who at costco wanted to search you? One of the old guys at the door checking member cards? I find that hard to believe... more details please.

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    My experience was identical to the link above, I was asked to leave/escoreted out by two employees, and when I came back into the store, the same two employees asked me to lift my shirt up so they could see my waistband. I was still wearing my holster, empty of my gun.

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    rff21 wrote:
    I was "escorted" out of Costco today, with the excuses of being a private establishment
    Well, it's a valid excuse and is backed by VA law. Private property is just that.

    If someone has a problem with me carrying, odds are, I don't want to knowingly give them any of my money.

    eta: and no one's going to search me without showing me some creds and a warrant or PC.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Very strange. Costco has a corporate policy of no firearms however I carry regularly in the Richmond and have never had anyone say anything. Not even the day I got into a very loud discussion with the skinhead at the photo center.

    The manager came over, said something to the skinhead and he went in the back of the store, apologized to me and went away.

    It's hard to figure who they're going to pick on...And no, I don't look like a cop.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    rff21 wrote:
    When I returned without my gun, they requested to search me to make sure I still wasn't carrying.
    "Sure.. go ahead.. search me.. I carry a Ruger LCP right behind my sack.. go ahead and gimme a little tickle while yer at it"
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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    Regular Member tdbarge's Avatar
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    Ditto to nova. Might want to look into the legality of them attempting to search you. Especially if they were just regular employees and not actual security recognized by VA DCJS.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    rff21 wrote:
    I was "escorted" out of Costco today, with the excuses of being a private establishment and the fact that there were women and children walking around.

    Unfortunate news since I am a responsible gun owner.
    Even though it is there policy and private property, blah blah blah.. you should still drop corporate a note and tell them. I write to the CEO, Jim Sinegalat: jsinegal@costco.comand the response they send me was:

    - - -

    As an initial matter, thank you for your long patronage of Costco. We hope and trust you have found value in your membership through the years, and will continue to be a Costco member for many more years.

    Costco's policy, applicable evenly at the more than 560 Costco warehouses worldwide, prohibits firearms within our buildings. Costco's policy with respect to firearms on our private property is consistent with Virginia law [Code of Virginia ยง 18.2-308.(O)].

    We appreciate the arguments raised in your e-mail, which, as you can imagine, have been occasionally raised by other Costco members. While we frequently review our policies, and will continue to review this policy, for now our policy remains in full force and effect.

    Sincerely,


    Derek Snead | Corporate Counsel
    Costco Wholesale Corporation
    999 Lake Drive | Issaquah, Washington 98027
    Direct Line: 425/313-6972
    Facsimile: 425/313-8114
    Email: dsnead@costco.com www.costco.com


    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
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    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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    I obviously didn't let them search me, and didn't make a big deal about it when I was there as to not make a scene.

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    tdbarge wrote:
    Ditto to nova. Might want to look into the legality of them attempting to search you. Especially if they were just regular employees and not actual security recognized by VA DCJS.
    They didn't search them, they asked if they could search him (consent). They are not acting as a role of government and Constitutional rules don't apply. Think of it as though it was a club: employees (bouncers) can search as a prerequisite to allow you into their private property.

    Costco employees performing Terry pats is still quite odd. If you want to contact corporate to determine if they may have violated company policy, that's up to you.

  18. #18
    Regular Member tdbarge's Avatar
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    He is a member of costco (I assume) so, as pointed out in the previously mentioned thread, he has rights by law. If it was "we search you or you don't get to come in" they might be in the wrong. Just something to look into, be it with corporate or other. That is all.

    Also pretty sure Terry v. OH doesn't cover private employees whether they are granting entry or not. Thats an entirely different subject.

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    NovaCop10 wrote:
    tdbarge wrote:
    Ditto to nova. Might want to look into the legality of them attempting to search you. Especially if they were just regular employees and not actual security recognized by VA DCJS.
    They didn't search them, they asked if they could search him (consent). They are not acting as a role of government and Constitutional rules don't apply. Think of it as though it was a club: employees (bouncers) can search as a prerequisite to allow you into their private property.

    Costco employees performing Terry pats is still quite odd. If you want to contact corporate to determine if they may have violated company policy, that's up to you.
    I never said they couldn't ask, I was just saying that they would not be searching me.

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    Boy, I just went to costco today with the girlfriend and her mother. Glad I pulled the T-shirt over right before I walked in after reading this. If a scene was made, my girlfriends mother (originally from NY) would have flipped out.

  21. #21
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    tdbarge wrote:
    He is a member of costco (I assume) so, as pointed out in the previously mentioned thread, he has rights by law. If it was "we search you or you don't get to come in" they might be in the wrong. Just something to look into, be it with corporate or other. That is all.

    Also pretty sure Terry v. OH doesn't cover private employees whether they are granting entry or not. Thats an entirely different subject.
    I believe his "costco member rights" would only apply civilly between him and costco and their contract. I'm sure they will have some clause that protects them in a situation like this. Small claims court only if they can prove they were in some way affected with some sort of injury (financial, mental, etc).

    In my post, I did say that Constitutional rights don't apply (terry)... only used the phrase "terry pat" because that's in essence what they were trying to do, ha. I guess I should have used a different word to avoid confusion.

    It's always interesting to see incidents involving private citizens or employees in search and seizure. Commonly, employees will search suspects, their friends, purses or bags, and at times, the cars of suspected shoplifters. After the officer arrives, all of that evidence is usable since the employee is not a government official. Makes me wonder why anyone would consent to such searches (but then again, criminals are dumb).

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    Ugh, that Costco is just annoying. They seem to eyeball everyone for a firearm. Why cant they just be awesome like Manassas?
    OC - Kimber Custom II - trijicon night sights, beveled mag well, and Wilson combat mags
    CC/OC Sig Sauer 229 - trijicon night sights

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    rff21- Welcome to the board. Fun experience you had there. Some friendly advice to someone who is either new to the site, or has been browsing but not logged in as a member.

    Try the search function -- BEFORE you go somewhere carrying, in the future. See if someone else has had a similar experience. It might save you some time. There is also a link (buried in the threads) for reporting OC friendly businesses in the USA. That way we know who likes us and who doesn't. That will save you from getting any flame responses from others. People here don't have problems helping you out as you will find, but it's nice if you have made an effort to look for information before you ask. The search button is up at the top of the page to the right of the banners.

    Have fun.

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