Corporations need to ban guns in their stores


NickThe gun possession debate is still raging on and the controversial subject continues to divide the country. Whether it is conceal and carry or open carry, no side seems willing to budge on the matter. Just as divided are state legislatures. While some are creating more regulations for gun ownership, other states continue to make it easier to carry guns in public.

The most recent, and polarizing, figure to weigh in on the subject is the CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz, who recently stated that guns are no longer welcome in Starbucks cafés across the country. This applies to Starbucks in states regardless of carry laws.

However, while Schultz has asked that guns not be brought into the popular cafés, the request is not an outright ban. Patrons can still bring their guns into Starbucks, they’ve just been asked nicely not to.

While the gesture is nice, I think it is time for major restaurants and stores to take a stand against guns being brought into their stores. There would be some who would no doubt see this as an infringement on their rights, but people should be able to visit a business without having to see or worry about armed individuals. An outright ban on guns being carried into major businesses creates a safer and more pleasant experience for everyone who visits.

Surprisingly, only a few major corporations have made outright bans on guns in their stores. CVS Pharmacies and Chuck E. Cheese are some of the handful that have. Meanwhile, major chains such as McDonalds and Wal-Mart allow guns in states where guns are permitted.

Even if a state has open carry laws, corporations should take initiative and ban guns in their stores. Just because the state allows it doesn’t mean that all customers are comfortable with it. In fact, it could even be bad for business.

Not everyone wants to see a gun as soon as they walk into a McDonalds. Even if the gun owners are law abiding citizens, that doesn’t change the uneasiness someone may feel when they see a gun. This is especially worse when trying to bring children to a restaurant or store. If children see guns in these places, it can create the feeling that the place they are in is unsafe, causing them to be paranoid whenever they go out in public.

If a cashier sees a man walk into a store with a gun, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were immediately on edge. After all, there are enough stories about stores being robbed. Employees have enough to deal with on a daily basis that they shouldn’t have to worry about armed customers. Employees also run the greatest risk of getting hurt, as they are constantly exposed to an environment that welcomes guns.

Many of the problems that come from allowing guns in major businesses stem from the prevailing notion that guns are dangerous. They are, but if handled responsibly, they are considerably less dangerous. While many gun activists urge that more gun education should be provided that would erase these prevailing notions, the fact is it would be far easier if gun owners simply left their guns at home when they went out to eat.

People shouldn’t have to adapt to seeing guns whenever they go out in public. Due to the millions that visit their place of business every day, corporations need to take the next step and prevent guns on their property. It simply doesn’t make any sense that someone needs to bring a gun to Wal-Mart when buying groceries. Starbucks has moved in the right direction, but until it fully commits to banning guns, it is simply a gesture.

18 Responses

  1. Lost Target

    Gun Free Zones = Kill Zones.

    You didn’t include the requirement for businesses to provide metal detectors at all entrances and an arm person stationed at each store to protect those who would otherwise be defenseless.

    Also, in the REAL world, 99% of the time the law abiding citizen is not the problem, it’s those who have committed crimes in the past who are still on the streets, gang members, a justice system that gives second and third breaks to those caught using a firearm in a crime, and indirectly a broken mental health system.

    • Mike

      Exactly. I’m not sure why people keep making this cognitive error: a ban will not keep bad people from bring in guns. Bans are useless without the security to enforce them. You aren’t safer, you’re less safe because the law abiding person will now be disarmed, while the law breaker, already bent on destruction, won’t be stopped by a silly little sign that says “No guns”. The law breaker is both not stopped by a sign, and may in fact be encouraged by the thought that the sign means no one will be able to stop their attack. Why is this so hard to understand?

      Let’s try a simply example. Go put a sign up at the beach that says “No sharks”. Will that stop a shark?

  2. Allan

    “Not everyone wants to see a gun as soon as they walk into a McDonalds. Even if the gun owners are law abiding citizens, that doesn’t change the uneasiness someone may feel when they see a gun. This is especially worse when trying to bring children to a restaurant or store. If children see guns in these places, it can create the feeling that the place they are in is unsafe, causing them to be paranoid whenever they go out in public.”

    The uneasiness is the beholders problem. If the children are paranoid it’s because their parents are probably hoplophobic.

  3. Barry

    Many States issue concealed carry permits. You will not know who is carrying and who is not unless you install metal detectors at all entrances. I don’t think that is going to happen. Nicholas, how do you propose to handle that?

  4. Gunny McGunnderson

    Why would “corporations” want to alienate themselves from their law abiding citizens? Banning guns from an establishment just ensures that the only people carrying guns inside it are bad guys. Why would they want to advertise to mass murders that their establishment is the perfect place to commit their crimes? Almost all mass shootings occur in gun free zones.

    Your logic that people should leave their guns at home because someone might feel uneasy is seriously flawed. Concealed carry laws already address this problem. You could stand right next to me in McDonald’s or Walmart, and you would never know that I am carrying a loaded and chambered firearm. I have a constitutional right to carry a gun to protect myself and my family. I also respect that guns make some people feel uneasy. A more reasonable solution is to relax CCW laws nationwide, to allow the law abiding more access. That way you can live in ignorance to the good people surrounding you with guns.

  5. Allan

    ” It simply doesn’t make any sense that someone needs to bring a gun to Wal-Mart when buying groceries.”

    Greenville Wal-Mart Shooter Picked Victims By Race
    September 25, 2013 8:50 AM

    Tell us again how it makes no sense to be armed at Walmart.

  6. Wayne DelRossi

    So you don’t want to see a gun unless it is being pointed at you by a thug who ignored the sign on the door, is that what you are saying? Because I have news for you, there are already laws against robbery, kidnapping, murder, etc. And the thugs pay those laws no heed. So you think that the same thug who has decided to rob/kidnap/murder is going to be stopped by a sign on the door of WalMart saying no guns allowed, right? Is that your logic? If so, you are choosing to ignore reality. I will wear my legal concealed weapon into WalMart (where legal), and I will use it if necessary to defend my life, my wife’s life, and YOUR life, even if you “don’t feel safe” because I wear a gun. There is a huge difference between “feeling safe” and “being safe”. It sounds like your entire plan to save your life is based on “Gee, I hope it doesn’t happen to me.” If so, your plan stinks.

    • Cindy

      Right, Wayne.
      “People shouldn’t have to adapt to seeing guns in public…” What else should we not have to adapt to? What other freedoms, what other constitutional guarantees, should we not have to adapt to?
      Actually, what we have adapted to over the last century is NOT seeing guns in public. I want to go back to seeing guns, in public. I want to know that, even if I am not armed, there’s some law-abiding, willing, someone, carrying a firearm, who can keep the vicious, the villainous, the vipers from causing harm. And I’m not talking about the policemen we hire to keep the peace. There are not, and cannot be, enough policemen ON THE SPOT—sometimes, most times, you can’t wait 20 minutes, or 10 minutes, or even 4 minutes.
      I’m from Maine. There are no guns in public. I remember going into a small antique store in Pennsylvania a couple years ago. The owner had a handgun on his hip. Made me smile, and feel very comfortable. I knew no one was coming in there to cause trouble.

  7. Other Allan

    “…corporations need to take the next step and prevent guns on their property.”

    ‘Prevent’ means ‘stop from happening’. Guns are not something that happen, they are something that exist. Much like you cannot ‘stop cake from happening’ or ‘stop filing cabinets from happening’, you cannot ‘stop guns from happening’. You can certainly *prohibit* guns on your property, but that would be proper English, which is more than we can expect from a person solely using the written word to try to persuade us of something.

    In fact, the entire thing reads as if it was written by a very nervous tenth grade student, with all the lack of research and supporting evidence that goes with that. This is all based on vague feelings, and that is not how you create a persuasive argument.

    While I’m at it….

    You spelled “bounce” wrong in the title of the article. Please tell me you’re not an English major.

    Due to the obvious lack of work, care, and attention you put into your columns, your opinion is unworthy of consideration.

    • K

      That may be true. These poor people. We should all stop carrying our guns so that we don’t make them uncomfortable. I’m sure that will in turn stop the “bad guys” from carrying theirs as well! What do they do when they see something else in the real world that makes them uncomfortable? I highly doubt seeing the gun would bother them if it was being used to stop a robbery that put them in danger or to save their families lives. Probably wouldn’t complain then. The world is not an entirely friendly place and if you choose not to protect yourself or your family then that’s your right, Just as it is mine to do the opposite. And btw I am a married female with a 10yr old son and I stand ready to protect him with my life if need be. And I do not apologize if you don’t like it.

      • Wayne DelRossi

        K, You have the right idea and the right mindset. I salute you!
        When a bad guy is 5 feet away from you with intent to do you or yours harm, the ONLY thing that will save you is having a gun and being ready, able, and willing to use it. A cell phone will not save you. A cop two blocks away will not save you. Your beliefs, hopes, and opinions about gun control and how things should or should not be will not save you. Only a gun will save you. That may be ugly and hard for some people to accept, but it is just how it is.

  8. TexasTopCat

    If you admit that criminals exist and that by definition criminals do not obey laws (or rules), then you solution will only apply to lawabidding citizens. So, you have created an area where criminals can come rob, shoot, steel without anyone being able to stop them. Now, does that really make sense to you?
    An alternative is to post “legal guns welcome, show your CCW license and get discount” signs.

  9. Fred Williams

    Did this work out well for everyone in the Aurora Colorado Theater. There was no private guns there during the night of the shooting because Private guns were banned.

    Only Criminals and Killers ignore the signs and bring in guns and then they have a target rich environment with no private guns to stop them.

    Now having said that.. I support bans on open carry. I do not support bans on Concealed Carry. If you have a concealed carry license, then you should be able to carry it almost anywhere.

  10. Abraham Collins

    I feel safer when citizens carry guns. It’s reassuring to know that there will be someone there to respond if a criminal decides to raise Hell. I personally am against carrying openly, but it’s every American’s birthright to do so.

    Banning guns makes these places murderer magnets; they know they’ll be unstoppable in them.

  11. Eric

    I never understood why people have such a need to have guns, especially assault rifles or pistols with large clips. The thought never occured to people that there was a time even 20 years ago when you didn’t have to lock your doors. Banning assault rifles or large clips will not decrease crime overnight. It won’t even decrease crime in a year. But it does slowly decrease the supply of guns on the streets. It decreases the ammo that is out there. If there was a registration system for ammo with serial numbers on the bullets, that would be quite the crime stopper.

    Concealed carry is another topic that bugs me. I ask pro-carry people all the time if they would have the gun on them at all times, and their response is of course not. So I come back and ask what about those people in Colorado at the movie theater? What about those people at Lane Bryant near Chicago who got executed? Everywhere you go is a risk, you just don’t know who is up to no good that day. If you are pro-carry, you better have your gun on you 24/7 or your argument isn’t valid in my eyes.

    We have grown into a violent society where people think they need a gun for protection. I would estimate that in 95% of the country regular gun violence doesn’t exist. And in that 5% most of us wouldn’t go near that area because we know better. So therefore, the protection against bad people argument doesn’t make sense to me either.

    Our country is getting progressively worse with pharmaceutical drugs that affect mood disorders. All of these seratonin inhibitors will adversely affect our country and there will be more mass shootings by people who simply snap.

    • TexasTopCat

      There no modern handguns that use “clips”, so you have no worry about a hand gun with a large clip. It is apparent that you actually intended to use the word “mag” or magazine, Clips are just that, they hold the bullets in a row so that they can be alligned with loaded into a non-removable magazine. The clip is then no longer used and removed. Just like “speed loaders” for revolvers.
      For you ammo suggestion, there are at least 3 problems. 1) the serial numbers on the cases could not be used because criminals would pick up cases from legal users at ranges ans just seed any crime scene 2) the cost of tracking ammo would be extreme and be another proxy method to ban guns 3) the majority of sport shooters re-load (or load new brass) so the hand made ammo could not be tracked. You might change the method that criminals get ammo but no real issue, getting ammo to shoot people is not hard since one box would cover most criminals supply for a year. Where honest shooters practice every week an shoot up 3 or 4 boxes evey month (or week). So, you are only attempting to do damage to the good guys and rewarding the bad guys. So, not a good idea.
      We already have a government that is buying up far too much ammo and partially causing the ammo shortage. I wonder what war DHS is planning on? Who are the going to attack?
      Violence is going down every year since the AWB ended, so the idea of “violence increasing” is just a lie to convince people to allow the government to lessen 2A and one more step toward a gun ban.
      Yes, 90%+ of the population will never need to shoot anyone. Now, since the criminal picks the victim, the location, and the time, exactly how are you know if you are part of that 90%. Since police have no duty or responsibility to protect any individual, your responsibility includes your protection. You have a choice of the tools that you need, at least, until MAIG, Brady, and Mommies get their way.

  12. Doug

    Eric, there are several obvious logical faults in your post. “Assault rifles” are not generally possessed by civilians as they require Federal registration, payment of a transfer tax and several months wait for issuance of approval. “pistols with large ‘clips’ (magazines) are a construct of the media. Most modern handguns have a standard capacity of 12 to 17 rounds, this is their standard capacity and is what they are designed to have. There may have been a time when you didn’t have to lock your doors, but that time has long gone if you wish to remain secure. Perhaps the most ridiculous assertion you make is that “banning” something will make it disappear. The only result is that those who follow the law will obey, those who don’t, won’t. See “War on Drugs” for confirmation of this maxim.

  13. K

    Thank you Wayne! I also love the comments about how banning things will eventually decrease them. After all, we have all seen how illegal drugs ceased to be a problem since they are not allowed right??


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *