Gun-Free Zones

It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 and I’ll carry wherever I want, whenever I want are two phrases that I despise hearing from others who carry. In my opinion, they are cocky and against how responsibly armed Americans should be acting. We should be doing everything we can to show that we are level-headed, law-abiding citizens.

Most who carry believe that gun-free zones are wide open targets for criminals, but how we handle those zones says a lot about the people we are and our integrity level.

Tom Grieve delves into the legal aspect of carrying in a gun-free zone:

*Please note, the opening comments are my opinions, not stated opinions of USCCA.


I respect all LAWS, however there a places I go that the signs are not posted properly and in accordance with state law. I do ignore those signs. I’ve had minimal problems, only one over aggressive security guard who made a scene. It was peacefully resolved with the local sheriff department and they changed the signs. I haven’t returned


If all I see is that redline sigh with a gun in the middle of it my gun stays on me. The only time I return to my car and lock up my gun is if the sign saying no guns is part of the official state law prohibiting guns in that specific place.


If the zone is a public area not private, publicly funded etc, CHL exempt.

Private business can make their places gun free but it they fail to place legally required signage, then their zone is not valid.

If its gun free, I typically don’t go, there are exceptions for me like the courthouse…


Take Mount Vernon for example. The website has a policy which says guests are prohibited from bringing firearms to the estate. From what I know, these “signs” or “policies” are not enforceable in Virginia from a criminal perspective, although you could be asked to leave. Am I reading this correctly? Would there be any other consequences from a legal standpoint?

EDIT: it appears that these signs/rules are enforceable in VA if it is private property. Reference 18.2-308.01©.

C. The granting of a concealed handgun permit pursuant to this article shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property.

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I do my best to respect the wishes of the property owner and the local laws. If they don’t want me to carry there (wether or not the sign isn’t exact 14 inches square, level, red, with Times Roman font). I will not go in or if I absolutely must go there I leave my weapon in my car. Respect is a 2 way street.

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Based on our Reciprocity map:

You can see all of the laws here, @JTS:

Hope that helps!

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Thanks, @Dawn! I posted a separate thread about the USCCA laws listing for Virginia regarding the enforcement of the “No Weapons Allowed” signs/rules.