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Lakewood WA AMC theatre - a rant and a request for help

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by Skribs, May 19, 2013.

  1. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    First off, been a while. I've tried not to come to this site lately because this site prompts me to go shopping for fancy toys, and I'm trying to keep my budget down. Anyway, I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness tonight (phenomenal movie IMHO, but I won't spoil it or discuss it beyond that here) at the AMC Lowes theater in the Lakewood, WA Towne Center. Those that live here might know that this theater has some awesome reclining leather seats, and it's the closest theater to where I live. That makes this story all the more depressing.

    After I picked up my ticket, I went up to the clerk who tears it in half and points at one of the individual theaters. Before I made it up to her, a security guard walks up and starts to accost me:
    Guard: Sir, here at AMC we have a no-weapons policy, so your knife-
    Me: My knife? (I was surprised that he could see my knife because it's in my back pocket, and these are loose-fitting cargo shorts).
    Guard: Oh, I'm sorry, is that a knife or a flashlight you have clipped on there?
    Me: It's a flashlight.
    Guard: Okay, sorry, sir.

    Now, on the one hand, at least a business that has a no-weapons policy has armed guards. On the other, this is an armed guard who mistook my flashlight for a knife, and did not realize at all that I did happen to have not only a knife, but also a firearm concealed. (I did not feel it prudent to point that error out to him). I'm not saying this to say "looky at me, I carried in a no weapons zone, I'm a rebel!" but to point out the fact that they are unable to stop weapons from coming in.

    Now for the help part. I've never had to write a "I will not use your establishment anymore" letter before. However, before I write my letter, I need to know what exactly I should put in it. I will definitely put that as a law abiding carrying citizen I do not feel safe in gun-free zones, and Regal will most likely be getting my business from now on. I am also very likely to put in the exchange I had where a guard was ready to take action on me for a flashlight. I'm tempted (and I'm guessing you guys are going to talk me out of it) to put in there how easy it is to actually get weapons in past these guys. I will at least say it's good that they provide armed security if they don't let private citizens carry, but will also stress the above.

    You guys have always been good to me; sometimes giving me much-needed admonishment but also giving me the advice I need. Well, now I definitely need the later (and hope not the former).
  2. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Well-Known Member

    That would have pissed me off. I'd want to sleep on it before writing the letter, so I'm going to do the same before responding with advice. I agree about the new Trek, though, it's excellent.
  3. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Well I figured by the time advice rolled in I would have slept on it ;)
  4. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    You have two options regarding this, but first we need to know whether or not you actually want them to successfully repel weapons. If so, you could suggest the use of metal detectors at the ticketing checkpoint. Problem is, if you admit you carried a gun and broke the law, the letter needs to anonymous. Problem with that is it likely won't be taken as seriously as if you leave this out, but make the letter personal by including your name and (possibly) some very basic contact info.

    Bottom line is the letter you send depends on what you want to achieve. AMC isn't some mom-and-pop delicatessen, so you probably won't be very influential regarding a change of policy. If you know that and want to send a letter to make a personal point to the managers who read it (and probably nobody else), your letter should sound very different.

    I think your time would be spent well either way, but especially if your goal is more in line with the latter point in the previous paragraph. This would be a fun, fruitful letter to write, IMO.
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure I didn't break the law (I would verify before I sent the letter in). I just broke their company policy. Worst that can happen is they trespass me (meaning I can't go there legally) which would basically reinforce my decision to go to Regal instead.
  6. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    I was under the belief that Washington state gives private businesses lawful authority in declaring their own weapons policy, the same way Arizona does. If so, you broke the law. If not, my mistake and I apologize. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me either way - I didn't mean to insult you.

    After a quick check on handgunlaw.us, "No guns" signs do not have force of law in Washington. My mistake.

    Based on that, you could have told that guard that yes, you were carrying a weapon, and walked away to enjoy your movie. There would have been nothing he could have done about it. If I were you, I'd write that letter, and I'd tell them that you'll continue to exercise your right to carry whether they like it or not.

    Can they trespass you for violating a company policy that directly contradicts your right to carry based on state law? That would defeat the purpose of the law.
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  7. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Well-Known Member

    You mentioned that the guard said they have a no-weapons policy, but did they have a sign saying no weapons or no firearms? Another poster said that even signs don't have the "weight of law" in WA state. Unless you were asked to leave, you did nothing wrong.

  8. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Well-Known Member

    Bobson, you are incorrect. If the sign has the force of law, then you break the law by entering the premises with a gun. If the sign does not have the force of law, then they can still tell you that you need to surrender your firearm or leave it elsewhere, or else you must leave the theater, at which point you would be in violation of the law if you were to stay.
  9. Matt1911

    Matt1911 Well-Known Member

    Maybe,just maybe the way to go is contacting local ranges and shooting clubs, explaining the situation, and asking for a boycott whilst informing the management via letter campaign. Seems "voting with your wallet" seems to get the most response..................
  10. riceboy72

    riceboy72 Well-Known Member

    Make sure your voice is heard here, too.


    You may have to enter your zip code and save it when you first enter the site. I know many who read the reviews here and base their patronage (or lack therof) on what's left on this site.

    There are several reviews already of this theater, none of which are complimentary to carrying anything in there. Specifically, one reviewer cites the guard who is good at noticing everything. Sounds like you may have run into the same guy.
  11. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    First you write:

    Then you add:

    I don't think he mistook a flashlight for a knife. I think it really was a knife.

    That being said, I would not go off on how "useless" a no-weapons policy is at keeping armed bad guys out (I took my wife and daughter yesterday to a local Chuck E Cheese's and strolled right past the "No Weapons or Firearms" sign.) Keeping out evildoers is not the reasoning behind those policies. Those are simply lawyer-signs, intended to offer a defense against lawsuits by allowing the establishment to state that anyone who caused harm while armed on site was already against the establishment's rules. I also would not say anything about having already "defeated" their system.

    I see no harm in advising that you'll be taking your business elsewhere, but you should keep in mind that "elsewhere" will likely be adopting similar policies in the near future.

    Funny thing about the Chuck E. Cheese's sign was that the firearm silhouetted on it looked more like my Heritage Rough Rider than any "assault weapon" capable of massacre.
  12. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Posted on FriendorFoe.
    What he saw was the flashlight clipped in my front pocket, and mistook it for a knife. When he mentioned the knife, my first thought was that he saw my knife in my back pocket. However, when I asked "my knife?" he pointed to the thing clipped into my front pocket, which was not a knife.

    Maybe I can suggest a "no murder" sign instead of a "no weapons" sign, because people who carry into an establishment are statistically very unlikely to cause problems...It's half tongue-in-cheek, half not.
  13. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Well-Known Member

    Since we have a supreme court ruling saying saying the second amendment is a right, why not compare their no weapons policy to racism and throw it back in their face?
  14. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    The stuff in the {tentative} section is merely tentative.

    Good idea, Aiki, just not sure how to work it in there.
  15. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    Skribs, your response in #14 clears it up for me. Thanks.

    Incidentally, I was headed into court several years ago to testify as a witness in a traffic accident case. I was carrying an OC-spray weapon designed to look like a pen or marker. When I checked my "metals" at the security entrance and they were returned to me, I handed the security officer the "pen" and told him to check and keep it for me until I exited. I showed him what it was, and he appreciated that, remarking that he "would have let that go through", thinking it was indeed a pen.
  16. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    Costco has the same policy against weapons in WA state. I carry in Costco all the time. Its not violating any law, just their policy. Worst that can happen is that they ask you to leave and cancel your membership. Anti weapon policies are wrong, unjust and ineffective. Anyone planning on using a weapon for crime does not care what the law or a company policy dictates. Sad thing is, if you had to use your weapon in the establishment to counter/stop/prevent a violent criminal act, you would not be seen as a hero, you would still be removed and banned from the business and likely arrested for discharging a firearm and "endangering" the public, no matter how many lives you saved in the act.:banghead:
  17. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Eh, I haven't been to a theater movie in many years. I've mostly stopped supporting professional sports and Hollywood because of their anti-gun stances.

    I can watch movies at home on TV for nearly free, or inexpensive DVDs if you can wait just a while for them to come out, and watch sports free on TV. Revenue to these industries in nearly nothing from me....

    I vote with my dollars, so should you.
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Have you checked CO laws on what sort of knife is a weapon? The state defines what is and isn't a weapon, unless a local law is more restrictive in the absence of preemption, so knowing whether you're actually carrying a weapon as the law defines it or not is important information to have. CO law prohibits carrying a knife with a blade longer than 3.5in concealed.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  19. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    For Washington state there's no apparent blade length restriction and the only prohibition in general is switchblades or gravity knives.-
    RCW 9.41.250
    Dangerous weapons — Penalty.

    Every person who:

    (1) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;

    (2) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or

    (3) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

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