When you decide to carry a concealed firearm, there aren’t many areas that are fully off-limits to individuals but there are a few different places that are always gun-free zones. These can sometimes be tricky to work around and oftentimes there are choices that need to made one way or another. It’s not commonly talked about within the community but sooner or later you’ll have to decide one way or another. Everyone has their own belief system on gun-free zones and that’s totally acceptable. Let’s dive into working around gun-free zones when it comes to concealed carry.
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Option 1: Avoiding Gun-Free Zones
The safest option both legally and ethically is to completely avoid gun-free zones altogether. Certain locations including post offices, schools, college campuses, large event venues, and airports are just a few examples of gun-free zones. Oftentimes, it can be incredibly tricky to avoid these places with daily errands to get things done. One of the most common places that cause me to change my routine is going to the post office. The post office is considered a gun-free zone including the parking lot, so most times it’s best to park on the street or outside of the post office property. It may seem a bit excessive but it’s better than committing a felony to some people.
Another subject that can be different depending on the state would be abiding by the gun-free stickers on private businesses. In Michigan, if someone is caught carrying a concealed firearm they must be given a warning and asked to leave. It won’t be a case where the police are called and the concealed carrier is automatically arrested. Other states like North Carolina are different though because if you’re caught carrying a concealed firearm in a business, you can actually be arrested without a warning. The big takeaway from this section is to know your local laws and regulations when it comes to concealed firearms. This is true both in your home state as well as when you are traveling. I learned about the gun-free zones after taking multiple business trips to the Carolinas and now I change how I carry down there as a result.
Option 2: Carrying No Matter What
This may not be the best option legally and I can’t really advocate this for legal reasons but I know there are more than a few of you who believe in carrying no matter what. There are plenty of people out there who say “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6” and there’s some validity to that. I understand the idea behind this type of thinking but there are a few flaws to it. The biggest flaw is the fact if you’re caught carrying a concealed firearm inside a gun-free zone you could be charged with a felony. Having that charge takes away your ability to legally carry a concealed firearm from then on in most cases so it’s a fairly large risk in the grand scheme of things.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact you’re a representation of the gun community every time you decide to strap a firearm to your hip. Non gun people will make assumptions of what gun people are like based on how they interact with you so it’s always good to put the best version of yourself on display. Being the best version of yourself will typically include having a truly concealed firearm. Last week, I talked about the issues of pulling a shirt over your OWB holster and many of you disagreed with me.
When it comes to gun-free zones, if you choose to carry inside them you better have your act together and be fully concealed. If you choose to conceal in a gun-free zone, there’s no room for being “good enough” when it comes to carrying a concealed firearm. I personally don’t think it’s worth the risk but understand some of you guys think it’s important to carry all the time no matter what.
What’s the Best Method?
So the million-dollar question everyone is asking is what the best route for carrying when it comes to gun-free zones? There’s no definite answer. It’s largely up to every individual and what they are willing to risk. For legal reasons, I would say to avoid gun-free zones entirely and if you have to go to them to take your gun off and quickly get your task done. Not everyone will agree with me on this and I totally understand. Some will say it’s their natural right to carry all the time and I’m not going to argue against that, but I want everyone to fully understand the consequences of that decision if you were to get caught.
I’ve made the case for both sides and it’s really up to you guys. I respect both decisions but there are consequences to both depending on the situation. I’m genuinely curious to find out what you guys think so please leave your thoughts down in the comments below. Is it worth the risk to carry in a gun-free zone to know you have a way to defend yourself or are the consequences of getting caught too much? Let me know down below. If you have questions on concealed carrying or just firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.