Concealed Carry Corner: The Hassle Of Gun-Free Zones

Matt E
by Matt E

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we discussed how competition can help your concealed carry skills. If you happened to miss that article, be sure to click the link here to check it out. This week, I wanted to take a look at a personal experience I have had with gun-free zones or even larger cities where the average American is unable to carry a concealed firearm. Even if you don’t carry, it can still cause all sorts of trouble for you while you visit. Let’s take a closer look at the hassle of gun-free zones.

Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:

The Obvious Problems

To address the obvious right off the bat, going into certain gun-free zones presents the carrier with two choices. Either you have to disregard the laws and risk the consequences of legal actions or you will have to take your gun off and go into the various gun-free zones unarmed. The vast majority of people will end up taking their guns off and leaving them in the vehicle to avoid any legal issues. When you go into something like a post office, school, or federal building, you will have to take your gun off to avoid any issues. This isn’t much of an issue since people can oftentimes just avoid these areas and never have to risk themselves or take their guns off while they go throughout their day.

Even areas like bars and establishments that sell alcohol aren’t hard to avoid when carrying concealed. Most people will simply avoid that situation altogether so they don’t become trapped in an awkward situation where they are consuming alcohol while carrying a concealed firearm. Sometimes it’s not always possible though when you live in larger areas or surrounding cities that are not friendly towards gun owners. They can pose their own problems even if you’re not carrying a gun at the time.

Larger Gun-Free Zones

Larger cities like Chicago or New York City can be tricky places for people who have concealed carry licenses. Some of you are wild enough to try and carry anyway regardless of their laws which I would advise against. There was a personal experience I went through a few years ago while visiting Chicago with my family.

My dad decided to drive and at the time we both had Michigan concealed pistol licenses which didn’t seem like a big deal since we had no firearms with us on that particular trip. One night, we decided to look for a parking spot and briefly parked in a no-parking area to try and look for an open spot and get out of the way of traffic. It wasn’t more than five minutes and we had a Chicago police officer stopped but instead of asking if everything was alright, he immediately asked for both of our licenses as well as the vehicle registration. We sat in the vehicle a bit confused and that confusion grew even more when a second and third police cruiser pulled up with their lights on.

They asked us to step out of the vehicle and then proceeded to ask for permission to search the vehicle. After roughly 45 minutes of sitting on the sidewalk, the police officers determined we weren’t a threat and said we were free to go. We did not receive a ticket or anything but were told the spot we were in was for loading and unloading only. My dad asked one of the officers as they were packing up why it took three cruisers for a simple stop and he claimed the only reason everyone came to the call was because we were concealed carry permit holders. If it wasn’t for our carry permits, we would have just been asked to move out of the area and that’s it but since we had out-of-state licenses they had to be as careful as possible.

The Easy vs Risky Solution

When it comes to avoiding situations like this, there are two different types of thoughts to handle the situation. The first way to deal with it would be the easy solution. The easy solution is simply taking your gun off and abiding by state and local laws even if that’s less than ideal. Some will be shaking your head absolutely no which only leaves the other option of the risky solution. Clearly, the risky solution is to carry regardless of local laws, and not only will that cause extra stress but can put you into serious legal trouble if you are caught.

My Chicago story is a prime example of how concealed carriers are treated in states that are not exactly supportive of individuals who carry concealed firearms. I know the idea of being unarmed is uncomfortable but there are areas of the country that are actively looking for people bending or breaking the laws when it comes to concealed firearms. When it is possible to avoid the situation entirely, it’s important to avoid but there will always be situations where you’ll have to choose between leaving your firearm at home or risking legal actions by carrying illegally. It ultimately comes down to personal choice and it’s important to go through this concept in time well before you get put in a situation.

Overall Thoughts

It is never a fun topic to look at when it comes to carrying concealed but it’s certainly an important topic to take a look at well before you’re ever put in the situation on the fly. I write this story as an example of my experience and hope it gives a perspective that certain police departments are actively looking for people who may be breaking the concealed carry laws set in place by the local or state laws. Some of you may have strong opinions on the matter and that’s certainly understandable.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Remember to keep them civil but I’d love to hear what you guys do in this situation about gun-free zones. If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you next week for another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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2 of 41 comments
  • Bob S Bob S on Apr 06, 2024

    Legally mandated "gun-free" zones increase the risk of injury by gunfire for everyone nearby.

    A pistol in a holster is inert and safe. Accidents happen during administrative handling, such as drawing or reholstering. When that handling happens in an awkward confined space, such as while seated in a car, the likelihood of an accident increases. When the person is trying to avoid attracting attention, or when they're in a hurry, or when the kids are screaming in the back seat, or when they're scanning the area for potential threats and egress routes before they embark on their disarmed walk, simple distraction increases the likelihood of an accident.

    Ironically, since that in-car disarmament happens across the street from the post office where it's legal to park while armed, any associated ballistic events would count against the statistics of the surrounding neighborhood, not against the post office itself. Similarly when a traveler disarms before crossing the border into a hostile jurisdiction: any accidental gunfire would happen in Oregon or Nevada or Arizona, although the increased risk is due to California's distrust of law-abiding Americans crossing their northern or eastern borders.

  • Aim right Idaho Aim right Idaho on Apr 06, 2024

    I have another solution. I don't go to states where my carry permit isn't honored. That means there are a lot of places I am no longer willing to go, but I'm OK with that. I am retired, so I have a bit more leeway then people who have to go to unfree states for work.