NO GUN Signs, Signs, and more Signs!

By John Farnam

No Loaded Guns
No Loaded Guns
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( “No Guns Allowed” Signs:

In Washington DC, and numerous other places where “shall-issue” CCW laws are finally coming into effect, many among the chronically fearful, “only-criminals-should-have-guns” crowd have made it a campaign to encourage retail businesses to post “no guns allowed” signs on their doors and windows.

The purpose is, of course, to make concealed carriers of guns feel ostracized and unwelcome, thus discouraging the practice. I’m sure armed-robbery suspects will “feel bad” too!

These are the same naive, adolescent buffoons who interminably predicted a “bloodbath” when “shall-issue” CCW laws were first passed. When the “bloodbath” for which they were fervently hoping never materialized (in fact, violent crime sharply when down), they, of course, invariably developed amnesia!

Curiously, the only places where violent crime is increasing are the very places (mostly rotting, godforsaken inner-cities) where gun-ownership and going armed are severely restricted, at least among the few law-abiding who remain. Violent criminals, naturally, never give a thought to such restrictions.

Funny thing: violent criminals don’t pay much attention to “no-guns-allowed” signs either!

So, what to do?

The only correct course of action with regard to “no-guns-allowed-signs” posted on retail businesses is to ignore them. Our world overflows with signs as it is, and it is thus easy for one to fail to notice them anyway!

When you’re going armed, contrary to posted signs, the only thing a business-owner can do is ask you to leave. When you subsequently depart immediately, there is nothing else he can do.

However, the point is this:

How will he, or anyone else, know? Unless you tell him, or otherwise make a spectacle of yourself, the fact that you’re carrying concealed will be known only to you, and you can thus go about your business undisturbed.

No Guns
No Guns

Unless the particular business-owner wants to install airport-style metal detectors, and staff them during all business hours, the whole “sign” issue becomes meaningless symbolism, and a moot point, and should be!

As noted above, you can make a spectacle of yourself, and you can loudly and enthusiastically argue the point, when you’re so inclined. For one, I’ m not!

I try to get through my day, conducting my business as normal and necessary, doing my best to be courteous and polite to everyone, but otherwise minding my own business and maintaining a low personal profile.

Of course, while doing all this, I’m constantly armed and ready, but no one else knows, nor do they need to, nor do I think I need anyone’s permission!

“Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company.” ~ Mark Twain


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

  • 9 thoughts on “NO GUN Signs, Signs, and more Signs!

    1. Friends:

      I carry every day, from the time I put on my trousers in the morning until I take them off at night, I am carrying a sidearm. I counsel my students to do the same- carry always, carry everywhere that it is legal. I don’t violate the carry laws, however, and do not think it advances our cause at all to be a scofflaw.

      As a constitutional conservative , I believe in private property rights – I believe every business owner has every right to post a sign saying ” I don’t want any legally carried firearms on the premises” using whatever wording is common in the jurisdiction. The government should not be in a position of coercing that business to give up those private property rights.

      How to deal with the apparent conflict-? As my Fellow Texan CDR Christie has noted, I simply refuse to do business with a company that posts a “no-gun” sign. Typically I leave one of my business cards, explain I was prepared to spend money at that business, but since the business either fears or resents my presence, Ill do business elsewhere. A certain jewelry store in College Station lost $2800 worth of business from me- after a partnership distribution, I cashed the check and went in to buy a surprise from my wife. While browsing around I saw several items that were suitable and picked out a necklace that was just right- then I noticed a semi-hidden ( and probably not enforceable as such signs must be “clearly visible to the public”) PC 30.06 sign at the side of the main entry. After digesting the fact it was a real PC 30.06 sign, I left the surprised clerk and exited the store to lock my pistol in my car. Then I returned, in full compliance with the law, I asked the clerk to find me the manager. I asked him about the sign- ” we certainly don’t want people carrying guns in here”, was his response. When I pointed out that the sign had no legal or moral effect on Jimmy Joe Thug who dropped in the rob the place, he responded that “more guns means more violence” and ” at least we can keep some of the guns out of here” and ” what normal person would want to carry a gun around anyway ?”, as well as similar comments. I showed him 28 one hundred dollar bills and the necklace I had intended to purchase, and then gave him my business card and pointed out he had insulted me and every law-abiding Texan who carried a handgun, and per their request, I would go elsewhere. Then I left and spent the money at a pro-second amendment jeweler.

      As for the sign itself, in Texas, the sign is a Penal Code 30.06 sign that follows a very picky legally specified format and wording. To avoid confusion by the law-abiding, there is specific wording required for the sign to be legally effective, in English and Spanish, and the sign must follow this exact wording to the letter or else it is void. So in Texas, anyway, just sticking up a ” no guns ” sign has no legal effect other than to indicate a business owners “wishes”. Violation of the sign ( and therefore PC 30.06 ) was a Class A misdemeanor, trespass by holder of a license to carry a concealed handgun, and has historically been punishable by license loss and up to two years in jail; as of 1 January 2016, the penalty is dropped to a Class C Misdemeanor ( like a traffic offense) , punishable by a $200 fine.

      The long, ungainly and specifically worded PC 30.06 sign allows for private property owners to control their own property, but at the same time, the strict specifications regarding sign size, layout and wording means the business owner must provide a specific, detailed , and highly visible legally compliant notification to license holders. Most businesses, unless they are radically anti-gun, simply don’t bother, it is not worth the effort.
      Other states might look into the Texas sign model.

    2. I agree with CDR Christie and generally do the same thing. I have gotten several local businesses to take down their signs, and gotten at least 2 major chain stores, who ban guns nationally, to “temporarily” remove their signs for rewording. Neither has yet finished rewording and replacing them. One has had it down for 34 months now, so I suspect they are just letting the whole thing “die a natural death.”

    3. There are only 2 responses to these signs
      1) Don’t shop there.
      Be a real citizen and vote with your dollars. No one is making you shop there. The business is telling people that believe in self-defense, their business is not wanted.
      2) Any business that wants to post a NO GUN sign must be licensed and provide a bond that would pay the costs of anyone hurt by a crime committed on the premises. If jurisdictions can license outdoor signs, they can license these signs, too.

    4. The article fails to mention that some state/local laws (such as in Minnesota) actually give those signs the force of law, so there is more at stake than just a trespassing charge if you choose to carry there. As always, know the laws of the jurisdiction where you are carrying.

      As for me, I’ve found that there are generally plenty of other businesses quite happy to take my money without presuming me a criminal. A boycott is also the only real way to get those signs taken down – we can complain all we want, but to a business money talks far more than words.

    5. John:
      One thing that might stop this is for states to pass strict liability laws making a business civilly and maybe even criminally liable for any loss or injury to someone on their premises due to any criminal actions within the business. If they are trying to deny customers the ability to protect themselves, the law ought to hold them responsible for protecting their customers and punish them if they do not.


    6. Well written, but I disagree. Because you are ignoring the issue, and not addressing it. The business is still getting your $. A better course of action, I believe, is to enter the place, locate the manager (or owner if around), and tell them that you are a legally armed citizen, have passed a thorough background check, and are trained. But you will honor their request and do business elsewhere. To make this easier, the TSRA (Texas State Rifle Association) sells business-card-sized cards that explain all that, and you can give one to the owner / manager. Done properly, this puts gun owners in a good light – respectful, professional, and customers.

    7. Where I live, the Governor was about to sign a bill that allowed CPL holders to carry in gun free zones…if they completed extensive, additional training. I was all for it. Until I read the bill. It basically allowed anyone that wanted to, to put up a no-guns/gun free zone sign. This sign was always an option, but it was only trespassing if you had your gun there. Now, it would become a misdemeanor. And there was much talk in the media that more establishments would put up the signs if the bill passed. So, why would anyone pay the extra $$ (an extra $100 fee, and additional training fee, on top of the original $100 fee and training/CPL class costs) just to be dis-allowed to carry in potentially more areas?
      Anyway, the bill was to be signed on the exact day that the tragedy at Sandy Hook took place. So, it never passed, and it hasn’t come up again.

      1. Sandy Hook while an utter fabrication had the anticipated and desired consequences those who plannned it wanted, more fear and less thought.
        Its about time we start thinking about what is happening before, like the frog we are all cooked.
        Semper Paratus

    8. Please Mr. Policeman, when you respond to our 911 call, leave your gun in your vehicle?
      Thank you,
      Mr. DumbA

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