Gun Free Zones Work Both Ways

by Cope Reynolds I’m going to depart from my regularly scheduled programming this week and offer a suggestion that may or may not be useful to some of you.

A long-time Shooting Bench listener contacted me a while back and said he and some co-workers were at odds with their employer over having guns at the workplace. For fear of retaliation, they did not want to approach their employer so I was asked if I could write something up for them and send it to the employer anonymously. Of course, I jumped at the chance and here is what I came up with. I didn’t send it anonymously either.

A bill has been introduced in Arizona that addresses this very subject and could hold business owners liable if they prohibit Americans from protecting themselves on their premises. I encourage everyone to consider similar action if you have gun unfriendly businesses that you frequent in your areas. Be polite, be professional, but be stern. Let your local businesses know that you fully intend to sue them until they cannot see, if you or a loved one are injured due to their anti-gun policy.

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Greetings, A number of your employees and customers have contacted us with concerns about your prohibitive firearms policy and their personal security. In view of the numerous attacks on unarmed employees and students across the country in recent months, they have come to realize that when seconds count, law enforcement is only minutes away. With this in mind, those that have the desire to protect themselves and their loved ones find themselves at odds with company policy. Placing a "NO FIREARMS" sign on your door or having a known policy that prohibits firearms lets the criminal know that he can work in a relatively safe, hazard-free environment without fear of confrontation. Many of the establishments that have been recently attacked have had such signs and policies. Do you think the criminal will change his mind and leave when he sees such a sign? Hardly. It just emboldens him. We understand the liability concerns of having firearms on your property and in your building. However, we are not sure that you understand the liability concerns that you should have for yourselves and your company should the unthinkable happen and one or more of your employees, customers or their families are injured or killed due to their inability to protect themselves because of your policy. In lieu of allowing these individuals to legally carry a firearm for self-protection, they have asked that you provide full-time, armed security, adequate for each employee, during all work hours. If this is not acceptable to you, please know that legal and civil action may be taken against your company and each of your staff personally if an incident unfolds in which these individuals are not properly protected or allowed to protect themselves. Across the nation, it has been proven over and over again that legally licensed, trained individuals carrying concealed weapons have NOT propagated incidents in which "blood ran in the streets" as was predicted by so many. In fact, quite the opposite has been the case. Nationwide, only a very small fraction of CCW holders have even been involved in a violent crime of any description. Many have been able to prevent or stop crimes with little or no injuries or loss of life. CCW holders have been involved in incidents where they were able to lend assistance to law enforcement professionals with favorable results. With all of this in mind, the aforementioned concerned individuals respectfully ask that you reconsider your policy and put something in place that would be acceptable to both parties. A possible compromise might be that if someone wishes to carry at work, they should provide proper training and licensing credentials and severe disciplinary action be taken if they are observed handling their weapons in any manner on company property unless it is in defense of themselves or others. Your staff should also be similarly trained. Respectfully, Cope Reynolds Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

Cope has been a defensive firearms instructor since 1995. He is also a gunsmith and lifetime shooter, hunter and reloader and hosts an internet radio show called The Shooting Bench. He currently lives in northern Arizona and is running Apache County Sheriff.

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