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Anti-gun Experiences with Doubletree Hotel?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by coloradokevin, Apr 23, 2012.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I just had an unexpected experience at a Doubletree Hotel, and thought I'd check around here to see if any of you have experienced a similar type of situation. Here's what happened:

    I'm a police officer, and I was recently sent to a Doubletree Hotel in my jurisdiction to investigate a disturbance. When I arrived at the hotel I was met at the front door by the manager and the head of security.

    The security guy explained that they went to one of their hotel rooms to confront a couple of guests regarding a loud verbal argument they were having in the room that was apparently disturbing other guests. While in the hotel room the security guy noticed that the guest had a "loaded handgun in a holster on the nightstand" (not sure how he surmised that it was loaded).

    The security guard said that he then told the guest that his handgun would have to be locked in the hotel's front desk safe because the hotel "has a policy that allows no weapons of any kind on the property". The guest apparently protested this request and told the hotel security guard something to the effect of: "your property isn't posted as not allowing guns, you guys didn't tell me that I couldn't have my gun, and I'm legally allowed to have my gun in Colorado, so I don't need to give it to you". This response, coupled with the argument, apparently caused the security guard to contact my department for assistance.

    Before I could ask for more information about the situation my sergeant (who appeared equally bewildered) asked the hotel staff if there was any kind of written policy on guns at the hotel. Both the manager and the security guy waffled on this issue a bit, and stated that it is a hotel policy that is apparently not written anywhere. They said that the policy was in place for the safety of their guests. The security guy claimed that "we even have the U.S. Sky Marshals who stay here place their guns in the safe", then said that "we have sporting events in town from time to time and also require our guests to place their purchased firearms in the safe". (NOTE: I've worked in this same jurisdiction for nearly a decade now, and have never heard any other mention of this policy at this hotel. I have no idea if any Sky Marshals actually stay at this hotel, but it doesn't seem like it would be the most likely place for them to routinely overnight).

    Anyway, we asked what they were hoping to accomplish from this situation and they told us that the guest would be trespassed from the location if he didn't agree to check his gun. As such, we went to the room in an attempt to talk with the guest, who had already left the location prior to our arrival. So, I have no idea what his side of this story would have sounded like, though I can probably guess.

    Regardless, this attitude on the part of the hotel staff did bother me a bit. Colorado has no law that would prevent a hotel guest from legally possessing a firearm in their hotel room, and we don't have a provision in our law by which businesses can "officially" post their establishments as a "gun free zone". Of course, as always, the owner of a property retains the right to refuse entry to anyone they don't wish to have on their property, which in this case apparently included gun owners (and it isn't good policy for me to play politics while I'm working).

    I've stayed at Doubletree Hotels a number of times in the past (probably 30 nights or more), and I've always liked the experience. In fact, I've gone as far as to seek out Doubletree Hotels on a number of occasions. I've always had my gun with me while traveling, but the hotel has never been aware of this fact (I carry the gun concealed, I don't flash it around like a fool, and I don't leave it laying around the hotel room when I'm not there). Nevertheless, I generally don't like to frequent establishments that don't like to honor our rights as citizens. There are plenty of nice hotels to choose from, and I'd really like to know if this was an isolated incident!

    Any insight you guys may have would be appreciated! I also might make a phone call to their corporate office when I have the opportunity, just to see what they say (I'll approach that merely as a concerned citizen... again, I don't like to mix politics with my job).
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  2. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I'm not a lawyer, but my belief was that a rented hotel room becomes, for the duration of your stay, your domicile, and you get all of the benefits and such that go with this, which should include the same right to possess a firearm as if you were in your own home in that state.
    I would say that the hotel would have no legal leg to stand on with regard to forcing guests to give up their guns. If the guest was already booked into the hotel and received a room key, the attempt to trespass the occupant wold be an illegal eviction. Not that that would be the thing to argue with the officer 'on the side of the road' so to speak, but it would be a civil matter.

    I would also say that how far has the hotelier dropped in terms of discretion, when the duty and job of a hotelier is to ease their guests' travels with hospitable treatment, ensuring the tranquility and satisfaction of the guest.
     
  3. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    write corporate, personally if I was the guest, I'd contest the bill and leave a nice message with the manager and the owner and corporate, gist is this

    MAKE IT RIGHT
    or I'm gonna smear you up one side and down the other, when they look you up on the web, the first thing they will read is my experience with your hotel.

    If it was me, I would have been there, cause they would have been reversing my charges. That said, it also depends on the type of person, it may have been the type that rather wouldn't like to talk to the cops about his gun, cause he ain't supposed to have it, or it may be the type that would rather walk away than do something stupid cause he was so mad.
     
  4. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    Before I could ask for more information about the situation my sergeant (who appeared equally bewildered) asked the hotel staff if there was any kind of written policy on guns at the hotel. Both the manager and the security guy waffled on this issue a bit, and stated that it is a hotel policy that is apparently not written anywhere. They said that the policy was in place for the safety of their guests. The security guy claimed that "we even have the U.S. Sky Marshals who stay here place their guns in the safe", then said that "we have sporting events in town from time to time and also require our guests to place their purchased firearms in the safe".
    This sounds like someone went to a guest room and got their feelings hurt when they engaged in a battle of wits unarmed.
    I would contact Corprate on Department letterhead and ask them to resolve the issue or to quit wasting your time next time the Manager and Security get sand in their panties.
     
  5. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Member

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    I never understood the logic of taking a firearm from someone(who likely has handled it many times and knows it well), and putting it into some one elses hands/control that might not know to handle it.

    But I would deffinately contact their higher ups. It sounds like maybe some one got their feelings hurt because they had no authority over the situation.
     
  6. crracer_712

    crracer_712 Member

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    Good for the tenant for not turning over his firearm. Also what a great way to handle it by the Police.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If it isn't posted and there isn't a prohibition on anything the guest is signing (which I don't remember seeing on DT checkin sheets) I'd assume they were either making it up or they are a franchise operation and the franchise has a policy somewhere.

    Regardless, if that isn't posted or on a guest checkin sheet the franchise doesn't have a basis to allow the manager to make up random rules.
     
  8. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

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    If I remember right one of the prefered hotels for the tulsa show is the double tree.
    I could see denver area being jurks about it but the springs not really.

    But they left anyways so they got the results they wanted. But then again if they had not been called to the room nobody would of even known they had a firearm.
     
  9. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    I would be suspicious of the hotel staff. Are any of them prohibited persons? It's not like a felony precludes you from working at a hotel. Who else has access to the safe? Sounds to me like they made up the policy as they went along.

    Honestly, the staff sounds rather stupid to me. I would never have confronted someone about a firearm in the room whether it was against the hotel policy or not. Situation 1) you're being a jerk to a law abiding citizen and you're going to lose business for the chain. Situation 2) that person is not law abiding and you basically just antagonized an armed criminal.

    If anything can be gleaned from this it is that people need to do their jobs and mind their own business. It was a noise complaint- they could have called up to the room and said to keep it down.
     
  10. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Chances are the Doubletree has a policy which forbids gun possession by employees on on corporate property during working hours. Either the manager & security guard were confused and thought it also applied to hotel guests or they were attempting to intentionally misapply it to the particular hotel guest in this situation.

    I travel with my pistols and stay at hotels frequently. I've had zero problems with hotel staff nor am I aware of any hotel that forbids guests from possessing firearms in their rooms.
     
  11. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    Doubletree is a Hilton property. Hampton Inns, Hilton, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, Waldorf and a couple of others. I am a Diamond member of their travel program and have been for many years. I have never seen a notice in any of their hotels regarding firearms of any kinds and I have stayed several hundred nights all over the country. I have carried what were obviously firearms cases when travelling on hunting trips and none of them have ever even looked at them. If it was a corporate policy then at least one of the locations would have objected to my rifles. I have actually carried a hunting rifle and stayed at the Doubletree near the Denver Airport, Aurora maybe?, with no issues. This was sometime last year.

    I carry a pistol when possible but I have never had it in plain sight so I do not know what the reaction might be if it were noticed. I do NOT leave it in the room when I leave the room for any reason any more than I would leave my wallet.

    If they were responding to a noise disturbance then it must have really been out of hand since their normal action is to make a polite call or two. They probably were freaked out when they saw a "loaded" gun (correct assumption since all guns are loaded in my book) sitting in the room of someone who was so obnoxious they needed an actual visit from the hotel security guard. Calling the police was probably a valid decision at this point but it sounds like they made up the policy on the spot trying to get the guest removed from the hotel. Hotel manager(probably the desk manager on duty) and hotel security guard are not way up the ladder on the employment scale of the corporation and they were trying to diffuse a scary situation.
     
  12. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    I was staying at a Westin Galleria back in college days in Houston, Texas. After a day stay we swapped rooms and I forgot my Beretta. When I went back to recover it, security already had it. They said I could have my magazine or gun back but not both. Of course I took the gun as I had spare mags. Hotel policies forbid firearms in rooms generally. Texas law says its ok, like your house or car pretty much.
     
  13. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Don't the rules have to be printed on the registration card you sign before they can be enforced? If this were a lease on an appartment they would. I knew a guy who got into a dispute with his landlord about having a cat. It went to court and he won because there was nothing in the lease he signed restricting pets. When his lease expired and the new one came in January it did say NO PETS so he refused to sign it and had to move. A lease is a contract.

    How is renting a motel room any different?
     
  14. Henhouse1

    Henhouse1 Member

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  15. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Well, the good news that I'm seeing in this thread is that no one else has had a negative gun-related experience with this hotel chain. So far I've also found no written policy of any kind regarding the possession of guns in their hotel rooms, and this isolated incident is the only one I've been involved in at the Doubletree chain.

    As such, it is certainly quite possible that the hotel security guy in this particular case was creating policy as he went. Lets hope that is the case!
     
  16. denton

    denton Member

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    I think evan nailed it.

    When you rent a room, you make a contract. If a firearm exclusion is not part of the contract up front, the hotel does not have a leg to stand on. The renter is entitled to the undisturbed use of his rental, and the owner of the property cannot even enter the room without his permission any more than he can come to your home and just barge in.
     
  17. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    Doubletree is a Hilton property. Hampton Inns, Hilton, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, Waldorf and a couple of others. I am a Diamond member of their travel program and have been for many years. I have never seen a notice in any of their hotels regarding firearms of any kinds and I have stayed several hundred nights all over the country.
    I always stay at Hilton,I often bring long guns and pistols. I have never had an issue in either Anniston Ala. or Colorado Springs Colo. and clearly the staff was aware that was a weapons hard case.
     
  18. Vector

    Vector Member

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    Ive stayed a DT as well as many hotels, even some in anti-gun cities. I've never seen or read any restrictions on entering or staying in the hotel with a firearm.
    Rest assured if I ever do that chain will be taken off my list, and corporate will get a letter and a copy will go to the local paper, NRA, and any place else I can think of to let people know.
     
  19. Tempest 455

    Tempest 455 Member

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    I have never seen a disclaimer as well. Even so, all the more reason why my gun is always in my bag when I check in.
     
  20. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Embaressing BIG oopsie

    I once made a BIG oopsie. I left my revolver under my pillow (not loaded) and left for the day. When I returned, the maid service had made up the bed including the pillow and had obviously discovered the revolver. It was still in place and I never heard a word about it in the several weeks I stayed there..

    Don't remember the name for sure, but think it was Embassy Suites.
     
  21. PR-NJ

    PR-NJ Member

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    I think the guest made the error. He should have kept the gun out of sight when answering the door. The reality is that most folks are not comfortable around firearms.

    Further, if I were hotel security, I would be on "heightened alert" if I went to a room to quiet down a domestic squabble and saw a gun -- loaded or not.

    The hotel is interested in managing risk, not violating 2A rights. If another guest were to get shot and the hotel knew that the guest doing the shooting had a gun, the hotel's exposure to a significant tort claim would be exponentially increased.
     
  22. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Ok heres a real world perspective. Forget the silly contract or policy arguments.

    The hotel has the right to ask for the gun so that they don't get sued by an estate or another guest. There's already been complaints about the domestic argument. If they were concerned about the woman they have the right and maybe the duty to prevent a pissed off guy from possessing a firearm. And if he doesn't like it then he shouldn't have caused such a scene.
     
  23. denton

    denton Member

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    Not to be disagreeable, but I don't think so. Well, they can ask, but nobody is under any obligation whatever to hand it over. The room you rent is as much yours as your home is, as long as your rent is paid. A landlord who enters a rental without permission (often given in a rental contract) can be charged with trespassing. Seize your firearm? Clearly out of bounds unless you knowingly agreed to something in advance.

    A hotel is not the judicial/law enforcement establishment.

    Here in Utah, state law guarantees your right to have a loaded firearm in your temporary residence, such as a hotel room.
     
  24. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    my understanding was that hotels in general could not prevent guests from having legally possessed guns in their rooms.
     
  25. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    Lol that's great. Keep your gun. But when you engage in a loud argument that disturbs other guests, and security has to come, and you've got your gun sitting there, the hotel can certainly require you to calm down and check the gun if you want to stay there. This isn't a landlord tenant case or a contract case, it is a nice hotel that doesn't want to be sued if someone gets shot. And they don't want to lose business from other guests. I do note that the op didn't say this was a domestic dispute, i presumed that. But the hotels actions are nevertheless justified.

    Most hotels have a don't ask and don't tell policy. They don't want to know what or who you have in that room, and they don't want any problems. But if you cause problems and there's a gun involved, things get complicated. The guy actually did the smart thing by leaving after he caused a problem so the police didn't have to deal with it any more than they did.
     
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