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Old July 24, 2014, 04:33 AM   #26
Baron66
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The "no guns" signs do not carry any weight in Florida so I say carry concealed, keep it concealed, and no worries. Idiots that bring in a loaded weapon and start messing with it should be thrown out.
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Old July 24, 2014, 05:25 AM   #27
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It's a business thing, not a gun thing. Same sort of reason you have to turn your car off at the pump.
A couple local places here just have the policy that if it comes in on your belt, it stays on your belt.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:30 AM   #28
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Gun Shows I can understand from the liability insurance prospective, and the high ratio of workers to nonworkers handling guns.

Gun shops and Ranges? ALL my local gun shops have some version of "legal concealed carry is fine, please leave it in the holster" language on their "No Loaded Guns" signs.

I wouldn't patronize a gunshop that wanted me to leave my CCW in the car, regardless of the law behind the sign.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:38 AM   #29
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Gun shows are one of the places it's very difficult to abide by the 'four rules'; there often isn't a 'safe' direction to point the firearm, we're actively checking triggers, the backstop is the crowd...you get the idea.

It is the nature of the gun show itself-and an implicit understanding we'll be (perhaps unintentionally) violating some of the most basic safety rules for handling guns-that makes them one of the very, very few logical 'no loaded guns' zones.


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Old July 24, 2014, 06:47 AM   #30
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C'mon guys!

I respectfully suggest that those in favor of loaded carry at gun shows, ranges, and gun stores do just a little homework.

Get in touch with the NRA - who offers the ONLY affordable insurance for show promoters - and check into the price for
coverage for a anything goes gun show where no firearms will be required to be checked and unloaded guns are not required.

They will hang up on you.

Call your local agent who you have your home and car covered with.
Ask them about getting a policy to hold a gun show of ANY kind and then mention that loaded guns are fine as long they are not taken out of the holster
or a gun store where loaded guns are okey-dokey because you do not want to hurt your customers feelings.

I do not believe you will get an answer to that one at all, just silence.

But rather than get upset at how others run their show/business, set up your own.
You will quickly see that getting insurance is the first prerequisite for any show public venue.
Very few business owners can afford to be without insurance, and certainly not if any borrowed money is involved.

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Old July 24, 2014, 07:04 AM   #31
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In any establishment or venue where guns are to be handled it makes reasonable sense to have a "cold range" mentality and policy.

A handled gun is not a safe gun. A holstered gun IS a safe gun, but holstered guns have a funny way of getting handled, when folks are in a gun-handling venue (even if that gun was intended to stay holstered). Gun shows or stores are very different from a Target or Chipotle in that aspect. (I mean what kind of idiot would handle a firearm in a Target or Chipotle???)

This is the primary reason why 97%+ of shooting events (IDPA, USPSA, 3-gun, etc.) are run as COLD ranges. Get caught walking around off the line with a loaded gun? Go home early. (Among many other very rigorous safety precautions.)

The same rules make sense to apply to a show, and maybe to a store to some degree. (Depending on how well the staff can keep control over the patrons and their opportunities to display bad habits.)

Having said that, if you can and will RELIGIOUSLY keep your concealed carry sidearm tucked away and untouched, there is no problem. Concealed IS concealed. Reveal or draw it and expect to find yourself on the sidewalk outside promptly.
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:25 AM   #32
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No. In public, the general rule is that lawful carriers are not handling their weapons and they definitely aren't pulling the trigger. They are leaving them holstered. This reduces the chances of a negligent discharge. It also decreases the chance of someone misunderstanding the situation and mistaking someone merely handling their gun for a threat.

Since those rules - don't handle guns in public and don't pull a trigger unless you want the gun to go off - aren't observed in the places you described, keeping loaded guns out of the equation is basic safety.

Go to a USPSA match. You will find that, except for the competitor actively running the course, the only place to handle guns are in designated safe areas. And the only place you cannot handle ammo - the safe areas.
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
Does anyone else find it kind of hypocritical when all these pro-gun, pro-open carry, pro NRA, etc gun shows and gun shops forbid people from carrying a loaded firearm in their places of business,
I frequent three (3) gun stores on a weekly basis, and have visited many more casually. I know of none that prohibit people from legally carrying a loaded firearm. Every single one, on the other hand, has a sign advising folk that guns brought in for work in cases are to be unloaded first, and that guns in holsters/cases ought to stay in the holster or case. Seems reasonable, and lots of prior posts have explained why.
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Old July 24, 2014, 08:02 AM   #34
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Many gunshops and ranges have signs telling customers that if they carry inside, the gun MUST stay in the holster until they enter the actual shooting lane. Seems like a fair compromise.

Gunshows used to allow carry, but stopped that a long time ago. There was 1 death a few years ago at an Atlanta area show when a vendor let a customer borrow his loaded revolver to try it out in a holster the man was considering. The man shot and killed his son somehow.
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Old July 24, 2014, 08:33 AM   #35
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Prax this is a very good post and thread. Thank you. It is good to think.
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Old July 24, 2014, 08:36 AM   #36
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This is a classic issue - collectively we understand the constitutional principle, but we also recognize the actual application.

I saw the same thing at the first OKC show I attended many years ago. A customer came to the table behind the one I was working, he had guns properly unloaded with ty raps thru the action. In the conversation he was haggling with the table vendor and added a small pistol to the deal. Pulled from his back pocket, the vendor immediately dropped the mag and ejected a round from the chamber. No harm no foul, but the big signs and his compliance on the visible firearms amounted to zilch. He circumvented the entire point.

The attitude that you can handle your loaded gun at all is where most go wrong. Like the samurai who holds to the cliched principle that he only draws the blade if it draws blood, we should hold that we only unholster the gun for two reasons: To shoot someone else, or immediately unload it.

The hundreds of anecdotes we read on forums reinforce that - how many times does displaying the weapon go bad, how many times does trying to check the fit or simply show it off go wrong? If we aren't going to use it, keep it holstered.

Gun shows in particular are all about showing it off, ergo, unload it first. If there was a safe middle ground option I think we'd discovered it over the last 200 years of gun handling. But, no, what we have confirmed most of all is that the stupid monster will freeze our risk assessment brain cells every time, and somebody eventually gets shot.

There is nothing good about having a loaded defensive firearm discharge when there was no threat or reason to have it out of the holster. So maybe the old samurai was right after all - don't pull it out unless you intend to pull the trigger. Otherwise, we just set ourselves up to hand over all reason to our inner trunk monkey.
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:18 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Field Tester View Post
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...ent-discharge/

Although I agree with your position, I offer up to you instances like this. Even the "Pros" can't keep their personal defense weapon holstered when they should.
Sadly, this type of thing happens more than it should. However, I will make the conjecture that negligence in 'protocols' of CC probably occurs at the same rate as negligence in remembering to unload a gun before entering. I'm sure there are plenty of incidences where someone came into a gun store with a gun they were intending to handle and that they were sure was unloaded.

I'm not going to begrudge a store having that policy (whether it's because of insurance or a false sense of safety), but I do feel a bit sad that I have to disarm before entering.

Quote:
On another note, have you seen anyone carrying outside the shows, just hanging out?
Yep. I do it myself. I don't disarm until I need to (usually at the point I'm ready to enter the show). Sometimes I like chatting with friends or other patrons out in front of the venue. Matter of fact, the NRA booth usually has one or too armed volunteers.
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:32 AM   #38
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I totally get what the OP is saying. On the other hand, I totally get that insurance legalities keep these events/locations "no loaded guns" compliant. There are TOO many people with whom I question whether or not they SHOULD be carrying. The rule is the best idea, I suppose.

I know myself. I trust me having my concealed handgun on me even at a range or a gunshow. At the range, I wouldn't be shooting that particular gun, and if I planned to do so, I'd have it unloaded and in the bag. At a gunshow, I'd never touch it. Not there for "items for my conceal carry pistol".

Again, I guess the rules are best kept.
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:36 AM   #39
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At a gunshow, I'd never touch it. Not there for "items for my conceal carry pistol".
And this is really the key.

I've never been to a gun show, store, or shooting match that had metal detectors or a pat-down before entry. If you CAN and WILL keep it concealed and secured, you may go about your business without a worry. If you need new grips or a holster for your carry gun, CARRY something else that day, concealed, and bring in your "EDC" gun unloaded and bagged, as is appropriate for doing your gun gear shopping.

IF you do forget or have a case of the "stoopids" and that gun ends up out in the public space, the venue can and should invoke the rule and toss you out.
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:40 AM   #40
NoVA Shooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach S View Post
Gun shows I can understand. I dont go anymore, and dont miss them. They looked too much like flea markets, didn't offer any better pricing, and I've seen enough bad gun handling at one show to last a lifetime.
Agreed (except for the fact that I still go to them ). I donít have an issue with the idea that certain venues are meant for handling firearms and because of that, itís only prudent to have a ďcold rangeĒ policy.

Quote:
Stores and ranges, I kinda understand. If not for the signs, "show and tell" can get nerve racking... The LGS I frequent has (had?) a "no loaded firearms" sign on the door, that accomplishes one thing: folks dont handle hot carry guns in the store. They either leave it in their car, unload it, or CC normally.
This still requires competence and compliance. Personally, at a gun store, I don't feel safe(r) with or without that policy. I'd rather have a policy that says "No loaded firearms except CC which must remain holstered".
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:54 AM   #41
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Gun shows I can understand. I dont go anymore, and dont miss them. They looked too much like flea markets, didn't offer any better pricing, and I've seen enough bad gun handling at one show to last a lifetime.
Flea market is a good description.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:00 AM   #42
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Most of the shops I frequent have signs honoring carrying of weapons but requiring that they remain holstered while there.
Of the three local stores I frequent, one does this, the other two don't mention or ban concealed carry. The one that does (in the "big city") has a large sign in the doorway that you actually need to step around stating something to the effect of "if you plan to unholster in the store, please clear the gun before coming in". Makes sense to me. I don't know about their insurance carrier, but they have been in business with this policy for a long time.

Quote:
If you need new grips or a holster for your carry gun, CARRY something else that day, concealed, and bring in your "EDC" gun unloaded and bagged, as is appropriate for doing your gun gear shopping.
This, in spades. Once in that big city guns store I noticed a holster that might could work for the carry. I told the guy to leave it out, I needed to run to the truck to get my gun. When I came back, he commented that the gun was pretty warm for being in the car (midwestern winter), but he appreciated me clearing it out there instead of in his store.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:12 AM   #43
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Changing track a little ...

Quote:
... but he appreciated me clearing it out there instead of in his store.
This is an area of serious problem that all of these venues struggle with -- or ignore, more usually. And that is, if there is no safe muzzle direction and backstop IN the store, show, or range, there sure as HECK isn't one out in the dang parking lot!

We've taken to issuing dire warnings at matches I run or work, to the effect that if we catch you in your car, out in the bushes, in the port-a-john, BEHIND the porta-john, etc., etc., or ANYWHERE but a dedicated safe backstop with your weapon drawn, you're OUT.

Don't know why folks feel that sitting in a sheet metal and glass box in a public place will stop a bullet, but it's a bad habit we (almost) all get into.

Unless you can cast "Zone of Protection" (area effect, 2d4 against bullets under .45 caliber, and +3 against dorky role-playing game references) on your car, this is NOT A GOOD IDEA.


And gun shops and gun shows are stuck in that same rut, pretending that they don't create an absurdly dangerous condition by encouraging (at least tacitly) their patrons to be drawing, unloading/loading, and holstering firearms out in the public space. I suppose their front door is "+5 against lawyers?"

I do get the idea that it is awful scary for a shop to create a safe area with a bullet trap and tell folks that it is ok to unload and load up there, in that spot inside the store, because that puts a lot of liability on the store. ("You TOLD him to draw his gun...you are responsible for the fact that he shot himself...") But the default reaction to that fear is to push people out into the public space to handle that detail. Out there where it is not the company's problem, except that now everyone in the area is at heightened risk.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:25 AM   #44
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The flea market analogy is a good one. There is a flea market close to where I live where the occasional person (well, there were two or three usual suspects) had a few guns for sale. I once had a .45 pointed directly at my gut while the guy proceeded to pull the trigger. Thankfully, it was unloaded. But that, and the ND another weekend, made me stop going altogether.

Most of the gun shops around here have signs prohibiting loaded firearms. Some specifically give exceptions for licensed, holstered guns, and others will give you verbal permission if you ask. It's totally the business owner's preference, and should be. In a small shop, particularly, it's much easier to "police" who is handling firearms and in what manner. At a gun show, it's usually a mad house and would be impossible to watch everything going on. The downside is they usually have the weakest security.

The SHOT Show takes it a step farther and requires all firearms to have their firing pins/strikers removed or be otherwise disabled. There's quite a bit of armed security there, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1911
(I mean what kind of idiot would handle a firearm in a Target or Chipotle???)
You'd be surprised.

Or maybe you wouldn't.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:29 AM   #45
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Yes/no

A gun is simply nothing but a dangerous tool ! If you're not an electrician, don't trust your own wiring, that stuff is dangerous ! If you don't know anything about flying would you steal somebody's airplane ? Let's see the average guy try and make their own black powder ? Same with a gun, unless you know about your own gun, don't go messing with it in public, which you're not supposed to anyhow ! A concealed gun in a ccp's possession should be concealed, it should not be handled by anyone in public. A gun in a rack or table at a gun show should be empty and verified so by the owner . Anyone handling any of those guns should be sure the gun is unloaded , but treated as if it is . Too bad so many people don't have the sense to know how to act in public ! Yeah, I know, I'm ranting, dumb ass people are exasperating !!
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:31 AM   #46
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I work as a vendor at quite a few gun shows. I know of two negligent discharges at shows within the last couple years, both were people pulling out their loaded CC gun. One was a private seller showing a potential buyer his LCP, which he then demonstrated the trigger pull by shooting a hole through his hand. The other was a customer who had a finger on the trigger of his Glock when re-holstering.
A gun shop is a much more controlled environment, and I have never seen one posted prohibiting carry. Most ask that your guns remain cased or holstered, because even at a gun shop someone walking in the door with weapons drawn will raise eyebrows.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:52 AM   #47
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To look at it from another angle, who here thinks they would ever need their defensive firearm in a gun shop or show? That is one respect in which gun shops and shows differ greatly from any other venue. What do you think would happen to the idiot who attempts armed robbery in either place? It may be rule that the patrons are disarmed, but I have yet to be at any example of either where the staff isn't.

But that is just another perspective on the matter; it really is about safety. Same reason MPs are the only ones allowed to be armed on a military base; it's obviously not because the military dislikes guns.

Having said that, shows are the only place around here I know of that require the guns be unloaded. All of the shops are fine with loaded, holstered handguns.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:53 AM   #48
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Hi Sam,

I agree that normally sending folks outside to clear weapons is just passing the problem down the line, but in this case it was probably OK.

"Big city" was somewhat facetious. I think they did have over 150,000 people at the last census, just barely. So picture a cinder block building, parking lot in front, nothing on on the right side of the store for quite a ways, the side of a strip mall about 200 feet down the road to the left, and a corn or bean field out back. My wife says it looks like the lonely buildings out on the interstate that advertise adult videos. I did find a sufficient backstop*, but I will suggest that they stick a sand barrel out there next time I go.

* I stood about 12 feet from the block wall, and aimed at the dirt just in front of the wall while clearing the gun. I had the strip mall to my back, and a dumpster to my right, and open fields to my left. What would you recommend? This place also has an indoor shooting range, so maybe I could have asked to go in there and clear it.
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:03 AM   #49
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Hank,

Sounds like you did the very best you could under the circumstances.

My issue is with the bigger picture. Stores (or gunshows, where the problem is x100) that put up a sign and now some unknown (but significant) number of patrons are out there, somewhere drawing and manipulating their firearms specifically BECAUSE OF that sign and policy.

When pressed, the venue or store owners will say, "we expect that people will unload and case their guns at home before they come here..." but the sign gives the lie to that theory. The folks who most need to see that sign will see it JUST before they set foot inside, and what then? Do they go home and unload their guns and come back? No way. They go out to the car, draw from that IWB while scrunched into the bucket seat of their Camry, point it at their feet (gotta keep it below the windows so no one sees... ) or point it through the door at the family in the minivan that just parked next to them, and do their business.
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:14 AM   #50
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gotta keep it below the windows so no one sees...

I was more worried that someone in the strip mall, or driving by, would think I was sneaking out behind the dumpster to take a leak. I coulda/shoulda planned ahead, but I thought I had the holster problem solved, and was trying it out on a longer trip to the big city. Decided I didn't like it, mentioned same to wife, who suggested I drop her at the sewing store and go look at the gun store for a suitable replacement. For you single guys, when the wife says "are you sure you don't want to stop by the gun store while we're in town, the answer is always "yes dear".
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