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).

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.


Based on our Reciprocity map:

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

Hope that helps!


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


Old thread… but this video pops up today on my PC :slight_smile:
It’s dated 2012 :grimacing:


Honor the intent and spend you’re money elsewhere. Giving your money to an anti gun business doesnt mean you won. It means you are lazy and the business has won.

I have successfully gotten businesses to remove their sign through polite pressure. Usually via social media or email. Basically first email says because of your sign I am shopping elsewhere. Second email is a receipt from one of their competitors. Always be polite.


As a security guard I see people carrying frequently in gun free zones. Or should I say, ibsuspect people to be carrying :wink:

I’ve never once hassled any one of them. Point I’m trying to make is, it’s not hard to tell when someone is carrying.


If they’re concealed it should be… :thinking: What things tip you off @AlphaKoncepts?


Concealed from most of people… but not form smart security guard or LEO… they know you’ve got concealed gun… :roll_eyes:


That is what I have found, too. I’m not a security or LEO, but I can usually tell when someone is carrying. My conundrum is whether to tell someone or not that I have seen their weapon - not printing, but weapon visible.


Very few people conceal properly making printing a real thing. That’s obvious though. Just be aware of your surroundings.

Grunt style shirts. Nine line shirts. Thin blue line shirts. Cargo pants. Tactical boots. Pants sagging slightly more to one side or another. Unconscious touching. Unusual clothing adjustments.

I’ve seen the grip sticking out of one guys pocket once when in line at dunkin donuts. One time while guarding a bank, I spotted a guy carrying on his way in. He went to one of the bankers, did his business, as he stood up the grip and holster of the firearm were in full view of everyone. He covered it and continued to walk, looked at me, saw my smile and looked away. The interesting thing is not one person in the bank, other than myself, saw what was essentially an open carry gun, albeit for a brief moment.

Just people watch sometime. It’s fun.

The us secret service put out a multi page document on how to spot someone carrying a gun.


Us secret service guide to spotting a conceales firearm


Dude… according to that, I look like I’m carrying 100% of the time regardless if I am or not :laughing:
Pulling up my jeans after I stand up, cargo pocket heavy on one side of my 5.11’s, baggy sweater, stiffer gait on one side, jacket unzipped in the cold, weighted bulge in my bag (keys), checking around me… yep, apparently I’m printing ALL the time withOUT a firearm :unamused::roll_eyes:

And it has nothing to do with firearms… since that’s securely tucked in the carry corset and you really can’t see it.

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Perhaps you misunderstand. Those things are not what I use to determine if someone is carrying. Those are indicators that someone is likely carrying and worthy of another look. Is it profiling? Yes it is. But it works. And since you indicated that you would be carrying, i’d have been right :wink:

Practice the “grey man”, blend in instead of standing out, and don’t show off any of those indicators and nobody will give you a second look.

:laughing: there is NO possiblity of displaying NONE of those indicators … I wear sweaters, short stride on one side from joint issues, and wear my jacket unzipped in the winter because I overheat … I carry stuff in my pockets and my bag, and I surely know better than to not be looking around… :woman_facepalming:
Maybe my “somebody’s grandmother” looks and the purple stripe in my hair will provide some cover :laughing:

If the FBI’s list of things to look for to find people who we should be worrying about having firearms is turning up me … I think they’re doing it wrong. Just sayin’.

In Missouri here’s how we do it… are they in Missouri? Then they’re carrying. :wink:

I talked with a number of sheriff’s departments in our area a little while back and that’s basically what they said… we just assume everyone is.


@dawn pic taken today…