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Thread: Wells Fargo / Wachovia accused me of breaking the law

  1. #1
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    Wells Fargo / Wachovia accused me of breaking the law

    A while back, I had to transact some business with Wells Fargo, so I headed to the Wachovia branch on Electric Road in Roanoke. I was openly carrying my Para-Ordnance, as usual, when I was approached by the store manager, Steven English. We had the following exchange:

    Code:
    English:   "You can't bring a firearm in a bank."
    Stevenson: "I beg your pardon?"
    English:   "You cannot bring a firearm in a bank.  It's against the law."
    Stevenson: "No sir, it is not."
    English:   "Yes, it is. You are not allowed to bring a firearm in a bank. Only law enforcement."
    Stevenson: "And which law is that, sir?  I am very familiar with Virginia firearms law."
    English:   "You are not able to bring a firearm in a bank.  There's a sign on the door."
    Stevenson: "I don't recall seeing a sign when I came in."
    English:   "There is. I can point it out to you, but we need to finish your transaction. I'm serious, you cannot bring a firearm in a bank."
    Stevenson: "Mr. English?  I believe you're misinformed, Mr. English."
    English:   "Uh, I'm not."
    Stevenson: "Is this a federal law that you're aware of, or a state law?"
    English:   "I believe it's a federal law. The FBI will not allow you to bring a firearm in a bank unless you're law enforcement."
    Stevenson: "The FBI?"
    English:   "Yes. Are you law enforcement?"
    Stevenson: "I am not."
    At that point, he escorted me to the door, where he pointed out their sign:



    Code:
    English:   "I don't know which law it is, but you are not able to bring a firearm in a bank."
    Stevenson: "I see.  Well, if that's your company policy, then I'll be glad to abide by that, but you are misinformed, sir, about it being the law."
    English:   "OK."
    Apparantly unwilling to converse with me any further, he disappeared back inside.

    Disturbed by the fact that an employee of my bank is telling me that I'm violating the law when that's not the case, I called the corporate phone number and lodged a complaint. The agent promised I'd receive a return call, which never came. Some time later, I sent a letter to the CEO of Wells Fargo, Wachovia's parent company:



    I received a reply:



    The reply completely missed the point of my complaint. I expressed my dissatisfaction:



    To date, I've not received any further reply.

  2. #2
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    Other than writing letters what are you prepared to do about it?

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    Wow, that "no firearms" sign is severely small. I almost couldn't find it at all. No wonder one could walk right past it and not see it.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Other than writing letters what are you prepared to do about it?
    ...like?

    The letters were written very well, and his dialog with the manager and response to the situation were great. He plans to move his accounts which is a no-brainer. Fine job I'd say.
    Last edited by t33j; 03-23-2011 at 10:08 AM.
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    Regular Member And2TheRepublic's Avatar
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    From what i've read on this site, no weapons signs carry no wait. They have to ask you to leave. However, I do not know of any wording in any law that confirms this.

    Regardless, i will take a mental note and make sure i never do business with them in the future.
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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by And2TheRepublic View Post
    From what i've read on this site, no weapons signs carry no wait.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-119
    Last edited by t33j; 03-23-2011 at 10:14 AM.
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    Consider me educated. Thank you for that. This is why i love this site.
    A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.
    _______________________________________

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Previous correspondence with Wells Fargo had indicated that the gun buster signs would be coming down as the change over of ID/signs took place. Indeed all of the No Guns signs have already come down in the Richmond, Va. market, except for those engraved in the door like the one pictured.

    The advice given was that they would honor the laws of the state in which the office was located. This new policy is unfortunate and not in good faith.

    I am in agreement that the falsely made accusation regarding illegality of carrying in Va. banks should not have been ignored.
    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.

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    That last letter was the most elegant "**** you" I've seen in a long time.

    I appreciate your efforts OP.

  10. #10
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    Perhaps the person that wrote the letter back is related to Rosie. Sure sounds like it.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Indeed all of the No Guns signs have already come down in the Richmond, Va. market, except for those engraved in the door like the one pictured.
    Well, they're not "engraved" so much as it is one large integrated decal and in order for the "revolver buster" (automags appear OK) to be removed the entire decal stripe would have to be removed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by t33j View Post
    ...like?

    The letters were written very well, and his dialog with the manager and response to the situation were great. He plans to move his accounts which is a no-brainer. Fine job I'd say.
    I didn't know if slander/libel laws would be applicable in this case. It might be a stretch though.

  13. #13
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    I didn't know if slander/libel laws would be applicable in this case. It might be a stretch though.
    Hmmm don't know much about that myself. From what I do understand, libel must not be fact, cause some actual harm (not perceived harm or a simple insult), and be committed with nefarious intentions. Seems like it'd be difficult to prove generally and not really applicable to this specific circumstance.
    Last edited by t33j; 03-23-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    It sounds like Ms O'Donnell clearly stated the Bank's policy regarding firearms carry, to wit, don't do it.

    Whether the OP gets an explanation of the manager's poor conduct from the Bank is not likely. If they choose to counsel the manager, it would be a "personnel matter". Since the OP has already stated that he'll take his business elsewhere because he can't carry his gun onto the premisis, the Bank has no incentive to share their efforts to correct the manager's attitude.

    What will likely happen is that the Bank will inform its managers that they are to call the police and pursue trespassing charges on individuals who violate the Bank's no firearms policy. Either that or rescind the policy.

    Either way, consistency will result.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Have I said lately how much I LOVE SUNTRUST???

    They always treat me with respect and NEVER have a problem with my OCing.

    I'm sorry so manhy of you have 'bank problems'. If Navy Federal didn't have the best rate (when I needed the very best interest rate I could get), I wouldn't have done business with them. I've seen previous posts where someone in NOVA wrote the senior leadership of Navy Fed a letter. I think it was ED and one of his amazing cards.

    Thank all of you for what you do!
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    Well, they're not "engraved" so much as it is one large integrated decal and in order for the "revolver buster" (automags appear OK) to be removed the entire decal stripe would have to be removed.
    Those that I have seen - example Wachovia at 3501 W. Broad St., Richmond - have the signage similar to the photograph in the OP engraved/embossed/pressed into the aluminum push bar on the door, then filled with a blue enamel. Definitely not painted on or a decal.
    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.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Those that I have seen - example Wachovia at 3501 W. Broad St., Richmond - have the signage similar to the photograph in the OP engraved/embossed/pressed into the aluminum push bar on the door, then filled with a blue enamel. Definitely not painted on or a decal.
    Hmm. They must REALLY mean it then.

    Probably makes more of an impression on would-be burglars that their signs are not to be trifled with.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    At my local Wachovia, one of the employees no doubt noticed my openly carried pistol as at the conclusion of my depositing a paycheck I was waved over and told "I just wanted you to know that in the future you can't carry in here. We have a sign saying 'no guns'."
    "Sorry, I didn't see it." (It was the same minuscule engraved at pictured earlier in this thread.)
    When he took me outside to show it to me I asked "That other one, it's the 'no smoking' sign right?"
    "Yes, you can't smoke in the bank."
    "But someone could carry cigarettes and a lighter inside without any problems, right? I figured the other one was the same way 'no shooting'."
    "No, it means you can't carry a firearm in here, unless you're a police officer."
    "I see. Well.. close my account then, right now."

    We went back inside and began the paperwork and then there was this awkward little pause, "You .. uh.. you want to leave the savings account here, right?" Yeah, you noticed the balance, did ya?
    "You just told me that you don't want my business, I just told you I'm taking my money. Close the checking, close the savings. I'll walk across the street and give them the money since you don't want it."


    The only thing I regret was in accepting their check. I should have insisted on cash even if meant coming back in a day or three to pick it all up.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 03-23-2011 at 01:11 PM.

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by And2TheRepublic View Post
    From what i've read on this site, no weapons signs carry no wait. They have to ask you to leave. However, I do not know of any wording in any law that confirms this.
    Opinions, even among lawyers, differ. Some take that stance, some don't.

    Typically, it matters little, since as a group we tend to respect the wishes of private property owners.

  20. #20
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    "But someone could carry cigarettes and a lighter inside without any problems, right? I figured the other one was the same way 'no shooting'."
    "No, it means you can't carry a firearm in here, unless you're a police officer."
    "I see. Well.. close my account then, right now."
    I really, really like that analogy - well played, sir.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Previous correspondence with Wells Fargo had indicated that the gun buster signs would be coming down as the change over of ID/signs took place. Indeed all of the No Guns signs have already come down in the Richmond, Va. market, except for those engraved in the door like the one pictured.

    The advice given was that they would honor the laws of the state in which the office was located. This new policy is unfortunate and not in good faith.

    I am in agreement that the falsely made accusation regarding illegality of carrying in Va. banks should not have been ignored.
    GRAPE,

    that letter is still on wachovia's letterhead meaning that is still wachovias old policy which isn't even a wachovia policy its a first union policy that they implemented system wide when they bought wachovia bank and dumped the first union name in favor of the better name wachovia bank had at the time. it will take a while to get the entrenched anti gun mantra out of former wachovia employees minds. until that letter comes in on western union letterhead i'd blame it on wachovia policies still in effect.
    Last edited by 67GT390FB; 03-23-2011 at 01:12 PM.

  22. #22
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67GT390FB View Post
    GRAPE,

    that letter is still on wachovia's letterhead meaning that is still wachovias old policy which isn't even a wachovia policy its a first union policy that they implemented system wide when they bought wachovia bank and dumped the first union name in favor of the better name wachovia bank had at the time. it will take a while to get the entrenched anti gun mantra out of former wachovia employees minds. until that letter comes in on western union letterhead i'd blame it on wachovia policies still in effect.
    Oh I recognize that, but obviously the CEO of Wells Fargo referred the OP's letter to a senior VP in Virginia to respond. Until countermanded, that letter stands as their latest policy statement. I do take note that the VP did not copy the CEO, who may not be aware of the wide spread implications - if not, shame on him.
    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
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    Tosta Dojen did you provide a copy of the letter Ms. O'Donnell sent to you in your last correspondence with the CEO?

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  25. #25
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    The letter is insulting

    Note that the Wachovia hack, Ms. O'Donnell, assumes customers who carry are prone to having 'an accident' -- does that assumption extend to off-duty cops, too?

    After all, why take chances with anyone inside? Better safe than sorry. And that includes liability issues, both real and imagined.

    Say -- maybe they provide an escort service upon request -- now that's customer service!

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