Possible campaign to "compel" businesses to publicly disclose their gun free policy?


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ezkl2230
February 6, 2013, 09:18 AM
This report appeared in the Grand Rapids Press yesterday, "BBB accepting complaints against retailers charging credit card fees without warning."

Consumers are being urged to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan or the Federal Trade Commission if a retailer charges a surcharge for using a credit card without proper warning.

The warning must come in the form of a sign near the entrance of the business and a receipt explaining the percentage and cost.

“Our goal is to educate people before something bad happens,” said Phil Catlett, CEO of the BBB of Western Michigan..."

The choice of a company to pass this fee on to customers is completely voluntary, yet the BBB and FTC both accept complaints about businesses that fail to disclose their policy - essentially forcing them to publicly disclose the policy whether they want to or not. The public's right to know about the policy - and its potential effect on them - trumps the business' right NOT to disclose it.

I'm thinking this may be a way to "compel" businesses to disclose their gun free policies as well. After all, while the choice to enforce a gun free policy is completely voluntary for the business, the public's right to know about it and it's possible effect on them trumps the business' right NOT to disclose it.

So here's what I propose: The next time a carrier is told that they may not carry on the premises of an organization or business entity that fails to publicly disclose their policy, contact the BBB or FTC and lodge a complaint. Argue it all you want, business owners, but the precedent is established that the public's right to know your policy and how it potentially effects them trumps your right not to disclose it.

In the meantime, for you Michigan residents, I am still trying to get the following proposed bill into the hands of a state legislator who will run with it in Lansing:

A BILL TO AMEND MCL 28.425 BY ADDING SUBSECTION P, PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF GUN FREE POLICY

28.425P PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF POLICY PROHIBITING THE CARRY OF FIREARMS ON PREMISES; “PREMISES” DEFINED; PRESUMPTION; VIOLATION; PENALTIES; INDEMNITY.

SEC. 5P

(1) ANY COMMERCIAL OR NON-PROFIT ENTITY ENFORCING A POLICY PROHIBITING THE CARRY OF FIREARMS ON THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED OR OPERATED PREMISES SHALL CONSPICUOUSLY POST DISCLOSURE OF SAME. SAID DISCLOSURE SHALL CONSIST OF SIGNAGE THAT SHALL MEASURE NOT LESS THAN 5”X7” AND SHALL BE AFFIXED PROMINENTLY AT ALL EXTERIOR ENTRANCES OF PREMISES OWNED OR OPERATED BY SAID COMMERCIAL OR NON-PROFIT ENTITY.

(2) AS USED IN SUBSECTION (1), "PREMISES" DOES NOT INCLUDE PARKING AREAS OF THE PLACES IDENTIFIED UNDER SUBSECTION (1).

(3) THERE SHALL BE A PRESUMPTION THAT ANY COMMERCIAL OR NON-PROFIT ENTITY NOT CONSPICUOUSLY DISCLOSING A PROHIBITION OF FIREARMS CARRY AS REQUIRED IN SUBSECTION (1) PERMITS FIREARMS CARRY.

(4) ANY COMMERCIAL OR NON-PROFIT ENTITY ENFORCING A POLICY PROHIBITING THE CARRY OF FIREARMS ON THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED OR OPERATED PREMISES WITHOUT CONSPICUOUSLY DISCLOSING NOTIFICATION OF SAME AS REQUIRED IN SUBSECTION (1) SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CIVIL INFRACTION, AND SHALL BE LIABLE FOR COSTS INCURRED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONDING TO A FIREARMS CARRY RELATED CALL OF TRESPASS.

(5) A LEGAL FIREARMS CARRIER ENTERING THE PREMISES OF ANY COMMERCIAL OR NON-PROFIT ENTITY ENFORCING A POLICY PROHIBITING THE CARRY OF FIREARMS ON THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED OR OPERATED PREMISES WITHOUT CONSPICUOUSLY DISCLOSING NOTIFICATION OF SAME AS REQUIRED IN SUBSECTION (1) SHALL BE INDEMNIFIED WITH REGARD TO A FIREARMS CARRY RELATED CHARGE OF TRESPASS.


Disclosure is the law of the land. This doesn't require businesses to do anything that isn't already required by law. I would rather not have to deal with gun buster policies in the first place, but if companies are going to enforce such policies then they should be required to disclose that fact. If you can get behind this, then take a moment to send it to the state legislators from your district.

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brboyer
February 6, 2013, 12:50 PM
Any such law would fail on First Amendment grounds.

sota
February 6, 2013, 01:09 PM
there's a big difference between public disclosure of a monetary fee and your business's stance on guns.

there are laws on the books surrounding the disclosure of fees that make it illegal to charge an additional fee based on method of payment without disclosure ahead of time.
whether or not you're allowed to carry inside an establishment and the disclosure of said only becomes relevant if there are legal ramifications. the BBB and FTC aren't in the business of law; they are in the business of monetary transactions. they don't or won't care about firearms legalities.

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