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Should businesses be able to prohibit concealed firearms?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 30, 2006

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Photo of Billy Wassung

“Yes, definitely. I don’t think people should be carrying them anyway. Why would you need a gun to go shopping?”

Photo of Leila Menguc

“I think the business should be able to decide what goes on inside their building if they are going to be responsible for what happens there.”

Photo of Tony Schwager

“I would say that if they own the business, they should be able to make their own rules about it.”

Photo of Kathy Piller

“I think they should be able to prohibit them. I think it would make it a lot safer for the people who work there. I think it’s a very dangerous law in the first place.”


jonas 11 years, 12 months ago

They should just make aisle 5 the "stand-off" isle for duals, should such become necessary.

Blue: Yo!

Redzilla 11 years, 12 months ago

I think the condition "if they are going to be responsible for what happens there," limits the home run to a base hit. Doubt business owners would be willing to accept responsibility for the health care costs for their patrons who are exposed to second hand smoke.

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Of course businesses should be allowed to prohibit firearms. After all, they own the place. The same goes for smoking. Don't like smoke or guns in businesses that allow them? Exercise your right not to go there. That should be simple enough for even Lawrencians to understand, although I'm not holding my breath.

Bob Schumm spouts ignorance. Concealed carry has been the law in other states for years. If such incidents as he fears were common, don't you think the Old Media would be shouting them from the rooftops? Permit holders are actually less likely to commit firearm crimes than the general population. We get screened more thoroughly.

enochville 11 years, 12 months ago

Heck, yes. If I owned a business, I surely would not want people coming in my store with concealed weapons.

Fangorn, I know the statistics show that permit holders are less likely to commit crimes than the general population, but I worry that a bad guy or group of bad guys may be able to steal or wrestle a firearm away from a permit holder.

justsomewench 11 years, 12 months ago

yes, but good luck enforcing it. would Yarn Barn start doing pat-downs?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

Enoch, in that case, maybe the police shouldn't carry guns, either. In fact, I'm getting concerned about sharp objects, too. And then there's cars hijacked as getaway vehicles ... maybe those shouldn't be allowed in the city.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

I'm told everything is bigger in Texas. Are those signs bigger in Texas, too?

Redzilla 11 years, 12 months ago

JustSomeWench, you kill! I especially like visualizing a pat down on my little old Pent-e-costal granny, who used to carry a 357 in her handbag. (without a permit...those were the wild old days.)

neopolss 11 years, 12 months ago

"I would say that if they own the business, they should be able to make their own rules about it."

  • Tony Schwager, teacher, Lawrence

Excuse me while I choke on my food. Not in Lawrence Tony!

enochville 11 years, 12 months ago


I read all of that because you asked me to and none of it said anything about the following scenario: "I worry that a bad guy or group of bad guys may be able to steal or wrestle a firearm away from a permit holder."

I had already admitted that: "I know the statistics show that permit holders are less likely to commit crimes than the general population".

It is very bad form to link 4 articles without quoting the relevant passages.

We are talking about businesses prohiting concealed weapons in their business, not the general right to conceal weapons out in public.

sgtwolverine: I'd much rather face an opponent who has a sharp object than one who has a gun (Although I rather not face an opponent at all). Equating the two is just silly. And I'd trust that a police officer is less likely to be stolen from than a permit holder.

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Marion: I think Enochville's "concern" falls short of a "doomsday scenario", but either way his worry is unfounded.

Enochville: If someone tries to wrestle a firearm away from me, they'll (briefly) have additional options for breathing. Opening up direct passages into the lungs will do that. The only unarmed people who charge someone pointing a firearm at them are idiots, those with a death wish, the very desperate, and Jet Li.

Macon: "kommis

sunflower_sue 11 years, 12 months ago

A friend of mine had me pat him down a couple weeks ago. Turns out he carries all the time. He's never shot me and I can get quite vocal sometimes. (He's bopped me on the head a few times...but never shot me.)

If a person has a permit to carry, they should be allowed to. So, my answer is no.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

Enoch, the potential of a bad person to take it and do bad things is not, on its own, good reason to prohibit something. I was noting that really, most anything has bad potential. If you are aware that statistics of permit holders are quite positive, and if you are unable to reference something concrete to say that guns being wrestled away from permit holders is a serious wide-scale danger to be addressed, then I would say your fears are groundless on a larger scale (anecdotal incidents aside).

That said, I support the ability of businesses to prohibit firearms if they so choose.

allateup2 11 years, 12 months ago

I really have no problem with any business, muncipality, or government entity completely banning any means of self protection. ie. firearms, chemical or edged weapons etc. With the provision that they are completely responsible for the protection of everyone. Furtermore responsible for any injuries incurred from criminal attacks including supporting my family if I am permanently disabled or death occurs.

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

I guess owners could posts an employee at the door in a fashion similar to the method used in bars to check ID. Customers would be required to declare if they are concealing and present their permit and another form of picture ID before entering. Those who state that they are not concealing to cover the fact that their gun(s) are illegal and later either rob the business or shoot another customer will of course be banned from returning.

Tony Kisner 11 years, 12 months ago

When they outlaw banning concealed carry by individual businesses only outlaws will ban concealed carry in their businesses!

beatrice 11 years, 12 months ago

Yes, businesses should be able to say whether or not guns are allowed in, although I don't see how they will enforce it. However, it is not the same thing as saying businesses should be able to allow smoking. Smoking is a basic health concern, and banning it protects employees. Think of it as a hardhat for the lungs.

For those who feel businesses should be allowed to do anything they choose, if a bar on Mass wanted to allow fireworks indoors, should it be allowed? If gas station owners don't have a problem with customers smoking while at the pumps, we should give that a big thumbs up too? These examples would be too dangerous for the public safety -- just as smoking has been proven to be, hence the ban. And it is happening all around the country, not just in Lawrence.

So suck it up y'all, and realize the days of smoking whenever and wherever you want (or want others to be able to) are over.

That is all I intend to say on the smoking issue, as we have gone round and round on this one. Have a great Friday!

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

bea, all roads seem to lead to smoking :)

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

Ha ha! Bea said "suck it up" in reference to smoking. Isn't that what you're trying to avoid? ;-)

sunflower_sue 11 years, 12 months ago

I think we should only allow people who drink decaf and aren't in dire need of a cig to pack heat.

bankboy119 11 years, 12 months ago

This issue completely goes back to smoking. Yes the business owner should be able to decide. Since they are not allowed to decide about smoking though they do not have the right to decide about the guns.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 12 months ago

yes yes yes, if you can not take it into court then you should not be able to take it in to a bussines.

mom_of_three 11 years, 12 months ago

If you are going to the grocery store, would you actually stop and grab your gun on the way out the door? What would you be afraid of - the sample lady getting too aggressive or the bag boy squishing the bread??

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

The bag boy, definitely. I'd take a baguette to the sample lady if she got too aggressive.

Can I get a concealed baguette permit?

Janet Lowther 11 years, 12 months ago

Businesses should have the right to forbid concealed carry on their premises, but at a price: They should be held fully liable for the safety of their customers and employees.

If you forbid me the means to defend myself, you must be ready to defend me.

Just personally I object to the provision forbidding guns in schools: Teachers should be allowed to carry. There are a lot more teachers I would trust with a gun than there are those with law enforcement credentials.

In Israel there has not been a school shooting in decades. Why? Most of the adults in the schools are not only ARMED, but ready, willing and able to defend their charges.

beatrice 11 years, 12 months ago

sgtw, is that a bagette in your pocket, or ...

harley, it seems the guy should have given up the cash. Who can say with certainty that he would have been able to pull out a pistol from his fanny pack in time to protect himself? Regardless, it is a shame and I hope the punks get very, very long sentences if not the chair.

momma - can you really take a concealed weapon into court? Is that true?

jrlii - "teachers should be allowed to carry"!? Now that is just silly.

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Beatrice: Choosing not to work at a place that allows smoking will also protect a person. A person has an absolute right to choose NOT to work for someone. No, wait. That's not exactly right. Most of us work for Uncle Sam from January 1 until late-April or early-May, and we're not given any choice in that. So I retract my remark. Businesses have a right to force people to work for them, snatching them right off the street if necessary. And all their concealed carry customers can help ensure that no reluctant employee tries to sneak out the back door. // Our language would be so boring without irony and satire! ;)

sunflower_sue 11 years, 12 months ago

Teachers should be the LAST group of people allowed to carry! Yikes!

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Ooo! I just noticed in Top Ads that Mother Earth News is looking for an editor. I think I'll send them my resume....

craigers 11 years, 12 months ago

I agree with ruck, how are they going to know you are carrying if it is concealed? Would the carrier get a ticket or violation if the place banned concealed carry and they drew down on a robber and saved the place from losing any money? I say during the class they should have showdowns with Roman candles and the ones that can't take a good flaming ball in the chest can't have one! What do you say? We don't need little sissys carrying concealed weapons.

Kelly Powell 11 years, 12 months ago

Teachers should be allowed cattle prods.......

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

Let's give the middle school teachers the first cattle prods. My brother taught 7th grade this year.

beatrice 11 years, 12 months ago

fangorn: so you are against all safety issues that relate to American commerce? In your view employers should never be required to provide a safe working environment? True, people can choose whether to work somewhere or not, but does that mean employers are in no way responsible for safety once someone is hired? In your opinion, there should be no regulations on coal mines, for instance -- is this accurate? Again I ask, if an owner of a gas station doesn't mind if customers or employees smoke while pumping gas, should we allow this?

I suspect you don't agree with all of the things I ask above. So I suggest we leave the smoking issue (to which I will not change my mind) at the fact that we have a different take on where the line should be drawn when it comes to an employers role in providing a safe working environment. I include the air the employees are required to breath, while you don't. More and more people are seeing this as I do, hence the changes.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

"More and more people are seeing this as I do, hence the changes."

I am not in any way trying to make a statement on the smoking topic with this post -- read it again for emphasis -- but I would like to note that lots of people seeing something one way does not actually make it right. Just popular. Again, that is not a statement on the smoking topic; just a note on the fallability of popular opinion.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

Maybe joggers should carry concealed mountain lions, but not within 200ft of concealed weapon permit holders.

beatrice 11 years, 12 months ago

"... but I would like to note that lots of people seeing something one way does not actually make it right. Just popular." It doesn't necessarily make it wrong, either.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 12 months ago

You are correct. It is a singularly neutral statement. That's why it doesn't really mean much if you're talking about right and wrong.

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

For those easily offended by off topic and long posts - - - just suck it up :) When I saw this poem sent from a Marine to his Dad I wanted to share it. While I do come from a family of Marines, it makes me truly thankful not only for the Marines, but for ALL of our service men and women.

By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert US Marine Corps USS SAIPAN, PERSIAN GULF


   We all came together,
   Both young and old
   To fight for our freedom,
   To stand and be bold.

   In the midst of all evil,
   We stand our ground,
   And we protect our country
   From all terror around.

   Peace and not war,
   Is what some people say.
   But I'll give my life,
   So you can live the American way.

   I give you the right
   To talk of your peace.
   To stand in your groups,
   and protest in our streets.

   But still I fight on,
   I don't bitch, I don't whine.
   I'm just one of the people
   Who is doing your time.

   I'm harder than nails,
   Stronger than any machine.
   I'm the immortal soldier,
   I'm a U.S. MARINE!

   So stand in my shoes,
   And leave from your home.
   Fight for the people who hate you,
   With the protests they've shown.

   Fight for the stranger,
   Fight for the young.
   So they all may have,
   The greatest freedom you've won.

   Fight for the sick,
   Fight for the poor
   Fight for the cripple,
   Who lives next door.

   But when your time comes,
   Do what I've done.
   For if you stand up for freedom,
   You'll stand when the fight's done.

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Bea: You are correct to assume that I don't agree with having no safety rules at all. However, as I've stated before, nothing is categorically safe or categorically dangerous. It is a continuum, not an either-or. Wearing a shirt may seem safe, while smoking while filling your gas tank may seem dangerous. But I can assure you that smoking while filling on a cold, windy day is safer than wearing a Red Sox shirt in Yankee Stadium (or a Jayhawk shirt anywhere near Columbia!). The gain in safety may be very small, while what is given up may be very costly. This rarely comes into consideration when the regulators and rule-makers believe the cost will be bourne entirely by someone else. A point that Jonas made quite well a day or two ago.

fletch 11 years, 12 months ago

For those of you wondering about enforcement, I'll tell you what happens in my home state of Texas. If a business has a sign posted that says no concealed handguns and an employee sees somebody with one, they do their best to stop the person and/or identify them. Usually they get store security to approach them or wiat for them to check out so they can get their name off a driver's license or credit card. If they don't ahve security, most places usually try to get the customer in front of a security camera. My old roommate actually followed a customer to his car to get his license plate down.

Once they've got some form of identification, they notify the police, who usually find the guy (unless it's a crappy description or blurry security camera picture). It's considered a felony here (not sure how Kansas worded their language) to bring a concealed handgun into a place where it is prohibited. So usually the person gets arrested, spends a week or so in prison (I've been told it's more like 2 days + community service) and pay a hefty fine. Their concealed permit is revoked, and they are permanently banned from the program. They've been pretty heavy handed about it, even when people claim it's an accident. The logic being it's one thing to forget you have your cell phone in your pocket, it's a much different thing to foget your Glock 9mm strapped in a holster.

So yeah, it is treated very seriously down here where a vast majority of the state supports concealed carry. The whole goal is RESPONSIBLE gun ownership, not a bunch of yahoos trying to be their own police force. There was one big case that happened in the first few months where some guy walked into a grocery store, didn't like how the cashier treated him, and brushed back hit jacket to show the butt of him gun to the cashier to threaten him. All of this was caught on a security cam and the guy was made an example of statewide. After that, people knew not to jerk around with their guns, but you still hear about it every now and then.

The funny thing is that you can barely find a place to carry your gun here anymore. Most shopping centers haved banded together to create blanket policies across their whole property. The only places you can really go with your gun are out in rural areas where everybody had shotgun racks in their cars to begin with.

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

:-o That explains the strange hand signals I receive in Columbia. I just thought they didn't know how to correctly signal when turning.

beatrice 11 years, 12 months ago

Fangorn: True on all accounts. However, and not to sound harsh, but thus is the price of doing business. I'm sure the safety standards of today would have been laughable a century ago. Since they cost businesses back then to impliment, does this mean they should never have been put in place? Same applies today. It costs money to run a business, and sometimes new costs arise when new laws are put in place. Such is the nature of the beast.

To be honest, the only argument I've heard that actually made a bit of sense to me was someone who wrote, "It's a bar, not a gym." That makes sense, but not quite enough to sway my opinion from being in favor of smoke-free buildings, just as my claim for safe working conditions doesn't appear to be enough to sway yours.

But I do enjoy the debate.

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

omb: so I carry just about every time I stick my head out the door ;) you sure slid right into a good old boy diden cha? In the Rio Grande Valley you just assume everyone is carrying [except for the Snow Birds -- expecially those Canadians:-]

Good to see the state represented by such nice people (I unabashedly include myself -- just in case no one else would :)

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

Speaking of Texas -- has badger been around? Is he still with us? I've only been able to peek in at comments for the last couple of weeks, but don't remember seeing him post.

If I had known they really wanted me to work 8 hours a day!! FIVE days a week!! I might have given it more consideration before accepting this position.

My family and I are off this weekend to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. Have a wonderful holiday -- here's hoping you also have the 3rd off!

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

omb: Thanks for the info. That will work well with our plan to go to the drive through Safara (or whatever is it called:) just west of Omaha on Monday afternoon before coming home -- the Air Force museum sounds like something my grandson would really love to see.

TOB: It was one of those moments when the OTS board pops up in our "real" lives. My daughter said she just bought a new garbage disposal, a Badger somethingorother :) which sounded like it could really tear things up. Then I realized I hadn't seen his name for a while. Didn't tell her why I look puzzled for a moment -- some people just don't understand the "draw" of the OTS board. Oh well, their loss :)

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Bea: I agree with you that some things are simply part of the cost of doing business. In Mexico (and a number of other places), paying bribes is considered simply part of the cost of doing business. I do not mean to equate safety morally with bribes. My point is that merely accepting it sidesteps the issue of its rightness or wrongness. What safety regulations boil down to for me is two-fold: 1) what's the trade-off between cost and safety and 2) who is required to bear the cost (and who gets to feel good about themselves simply because they've "done something" about safety)? I can real world examples of both, but that may be a discussion for another day. Thanks for the counterpoint today. I've enjoyed this week.

Everyone: I'll be traveling the next few days and may have to be off-line again. I've really enjoyed interacting with all of you again. I've missed this board. Hopefully I can sneak a few minutes in at work to continue participating after I get home. Somebody please say Hi to BunE for me the next time she shows up. I didn't see her this week.

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

Ciao, Fangorn. Did you get my message?

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 11 years, 12 months ago

Why carry a pistol to the grocery store? An armed robbery perhaps, grocery stores have lots of money. Why carry one while jogging, maybe encountering a cougar. There are pukes (criminals) everywhere and they don't obey laws about carrying guns, they just carry them. Today, even kids carry guns. They do not have the emotional maturity to make good decisions, so they are extremely dangerous. My problem with the concealed carry law, and I helped in getting it passed, is that there are so many places you cannot carry your gun. As the Johnson County Sheriff said recently, this isn't an exact quote, when you find out how many places you can't carry it, you eventually just leave it at home. To be safe, when you first get your permit, just carry your gun in your car with a list of all the places you cannot carry it. Once it has been in effect a while things will settle down, people will learn the rules and where they can't carry their gun. If you are not mentally and emotionally able to kill someone, I urge you not to carry a gun. They make painful enemas. Also, expect violent crime to go down in Kansas after this law is in effect. Plus, I know this is very difficult for the liberals out there so Saturday counselors will be available. Thank you, Lynn

beatrice 11 years, 12 months ago

How about that, a civilized discussion while maintaining differing points of view. Nice to have you back around, fangorn.

TOB: I have no idea where Badger be. I was away for a couple of weeks myself, and I haven't seen any of his posts since my return. Maybe he was like Ceal and went and got a job that requires his undivided attention. yuck.

Have a great holiday everyone! We aren't doing anything special here, just trying to stay cool in the 110 degree heat. I hope to spend plenty of time in the pool, and enjoy some nice, cold, adult beverages. Cheers!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 12 months ago

Maybe with just a proper call: "Here badger, badger, badger, badger...BADGER! Yodel, yodel, badgeroo....where are youuuuuuuuu???" Hope all is well in Badgerville.

RI, Do I have something against teachers? Nawwwwwww. Just sayin that if I were a teacher and had to put up with 25 hormonal kids everyday...

james bush 11 years, 12 months ago

Thank goodness for the good people who believe in the USA............... from 1776 to present............and willingly fight for our way of life! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

bea, it's hot here, too! It's been a long time since I had to water, water, water, to keep my flowers alive in JUNE :-/

Things have been crazy at work --- but never underestimate a Celtic woman's ability to find a way to communicate :):) especially when she's allowed to voice her opinion.

Fangorn 11 years, 12 months ago

Ceallach: Yes. And you can see how successful I was at making time to reply. I got a couple paragraphs in a note to you and ms_c, got called to the flightline and stayed there too long. I'm borrowing a computer to check this.

Bea: I agree. Actual discussion is kind of nice. I miss some of the old names (badger, remember_username) and see a lot of new ones. But the melee goes on!

From the Right, I'm Fangorn, signing off. Good night, everyone!

Ceallach 11 years, 12 months ago

All y'all have a great weekend!!


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