Unarmed and Afraid in a Gun Free Zone

By Rob Morse

Slow Facts
Slow Facts

Louisiana- (Ammoland.com)  There are places in America where is ILLEGAL…actually AGAINST THE LAW…to save the life of someone who is in danger.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Imagine it being a crime to act as a first responder inside a first-aid-free zone.  Politicians have passed laws that say “a person who possesses the instruments and skills to save lives may not, under threat of legal action, use their training and tools in these protected-zones”. Does that sound ridiculous to you?  Well, it does to me too.  But, that is EXACTLY the reality of so-called “gun-free” zones.

Can a business owner welcome the public, yet tell his customers they can’t protect themselves?gun-free-zone

I understand the property rights arguments, but I don’t condone so-called “gun-free” zones.  What bothers me even more is that some states have passed laws making it a crime for a gun owner to enter an area “protected” by plastic signs.  It is a crime for Good Guys with guns to stop Bad Guys on the other side of a plastic sign.

Stop!  Stop right there.
You can’t enter because you have a medical kit in your purse.  Medical accidents kill almost a half-million people a year, and this is a first-aid free zone.
You can’t enter here because you’ve been trained in fire rescue. There are thousands of structure fires each year, and we only want professionals to fight them.  This is a fire-extinguisher-free zone.
You can’t go here because you know water rescue and CPR.  Thousands of people drown each year.  Lifeguards promote unsafe swimming so this is a lifeguard-free zone.

You.  Stay.  Out!

I’m as libertarian as the next person, but a property owner’s rights end where my rights begin.  If a property owner claims the right to disarm us, causing us to be vulnerable, he should assume the liability and responsibility to protect us with trained staff and equipment to stop criminals.  Most property owners don’t do that.  They don’t install metal detectors and x-ray machines.  Instead they stick a thin piece of plastic on their window, a printed sign saying no-guns-allowed.  It seems criminal.g vt

Business owners buy insurance to cover damages caused by violent criminals, while the same business owners do nothing to protect their law abiding customers.  The owner of a “gun-free business” is telling us that his property and staff are valuable… but his disarmed customers are worthless.  That goes beyond an owner exercising personal choice over his property.  That is criminal negligence!  The plastic sign is designed to stop honest people, yet the sign does nothing to stop a violent criminal.

Gun free zones are a failure.  Almost all of our mass murders happen in gun free zones.  When we look at our most violent cities, most of their violent crime takes place in gun-free zones.  Criminals are not dumb.  Thugs look for gun-free zones and disarmed victims.
Hide Your FaceWhen I ask property owners if they think a thin plastic sign will stop criminals, they say “But I had to do something.”  What these property owners are saying is that violence is too toxic to think about.  Violence is so abhorrent that they want to cover their eyes and make violence disappear.  I understand that reaction from a child, but not from an adult.  Most adults understand the harmful effects and won’t play peek-a-boo with violence.  Blindness costs us too much.

Self-defense is what we do to stay alive until the police arrive.  Firearms are simply tools that allow the weak to defend themselves from the strong, and the few to defend themselves from the many.  They are one choice along a spectrum of tools.  If it weren’t for their political implications, guns would be as unremarkable as knowing CPR and carrying a medical kit… except in a gun-free zone.

Armed citizens save lives every day… where they can.  Let’s change the laws and end gun-free zones.

Please read my friend David Cole for a cold-hearted view of gun-free zones and financial risk assessment.
My friend Dr. John Edeen talks about the legislative issues in eliminating gun-free zones.

Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

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Who in hell gives these fine folk,the right to refuse my 2nd amendment.what’s next,no moslems,no christians,no talking.it is not a private party decision.


I do my best to stay our of the gun free zones but sometimes you cant. What to do? If it is a place like a school that carries stiff penalties you are risking your life long gun rights by carrying. If it is just a business with a sign, then in most states they can ask you to leave and if you refuse you are trespassing. It is unlikely that a careful ccw would get noticed in a place like a resturant or a movie theater so the risk is minimal. I would like to see some legislation defining… Read more »


Places for carry revolver and walk away. Duty to retreat afterwards right ! Depending on your state/ DA / police they might get really pissed off. But he may have had people coming to meet him.

Clark Kent

First of all, don’t patronize establishments that post ‘gun free zone’ signs. Secondly, if you must go into such an establishment, unless they have metal detectors or frisk you, who is going to know if you (discretely) carry a concealed weapon? ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’.