About SD Carry

As a young boy in Texas, I grew up with guns. They were basic tools, much like my grandfather's mitre box or pipe wrench, there to perform specific tasks when called upon. I was taught gun safety by virtually every male adult in my family. I spent eight years in the US Navy operating and maintaing various guns from .30 caliber to 5" rifles.

After a few years as a moderator on a popular gun forum, I learned that there is much disinformation, prejudice and plain ignorance about guns posted constantly on the internet.

This blog is dedicated to sharing worthwhile information about the increasing acceptance and practice of legal concealed carry in our country. There is much mis-information and wild opinion about this topic among its practitioners and the public in general. The moral, social and legal responsibilities of concealed carry are immense and must be understood and practiced by all who legally carry a gun.

There is also a vast amount of practical and useful information about carrying and the weapons themselves and I hope to be able to share some of that here. Your comments are welcome, but will be moderated by me before appearing on this blog.

Stay safe.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Gun Free Zones": Decisions

Having spent the last two days in New Mexico, where there is a reciprocal agreement between States that renders my concealed carry permit valid there, I have to say that you must be still aware of the differences in the concealed carry and handgun laws in states you visit.

I know that in New Mexico you are obligated to know if the eating establishment you are thinking about going to derives more than 50% of it's income from the sale of liquor. I'm not sure how I would go about getting that info, especially if I saw a restaurant that I wanted to go to right then. Or, even later, for that matter. Do the restaurants know what this ratio is on any given day? Is it an annual assessment? How does the State determine this?

Sticky ground. I've solved this by finding an "approved" eatery list for the towns I visit most often in New Mexico and I carry it in my iPhone for quick reference.

However, there are other differences you must be aware of from state to state. One big one is the "gun free zone" signs. Or, "weapons prohibited". Or, "No Firearms", etc. You get the idea. An establishment owner can post signs prohibiting the carrying of firearms while inside. In some states these signs must comply with fairly rigorous requirements: size of the sign and lettering. Color. Where it must be posted, and more. It pays to know what these legal requirements on the sign posters are so that you will be able to tell if the signs are not legal, and can be disregarded or not.

In some states, all the owner or manager of an establishment with such a sign posted can do is ask you to leave, or be in danger of trespass. In some states, they carry more legal force and might get you in trouble with the authorities. It pays to know what's what in these instances.

I ran into a sign in Trader Joe's in Santa Fe, New Mexico that warned against carrying any gun, loaded or not, into their store or face a possible charge from a forth degree felony. I have no idea what a "forth degree felony" is in New Mexico, nor do I intend to find out. Now, I like Trader Joe's - good and different foods and drink at very reasonable prices - but I had to wonder about what was going through people's heads who read that sign. Did they feel safe? Secure? Warm and loving toward their fellows? Were they now confident that no armed criminal, psycho or sociopath would dare to visit Trader Joe's? Did they understand that criminals, psychos and sociopaths (to name only a few) do not read anti-gun signs, and, if they did bother to read them, would not care what they say.

In fact, it can, and has been argued, that such bold anti-gun declarations serve to mark potential sites for future violence by those very types the signs were created to discourage.

Rationally, this is probably understandable, but, emotionally, not so much. Why is this? Why is it that a reasonably rational person can learn and understand facts and the outcomes of logical thinking processes, such as, "if you put your hand on that hot stove, you'll burn it." but not be able to make the connection with, "a gun will put a woman and a man on more equal footing when it comes to self protection and resisting violence."

Of course businesses that seek to prohibit those of us who are legally carrying from being able to protect ourselves can do without our business. It helps to get that message across to them. I'm going to make a serious effort to respond with an actual letter - snail mail - stating my views about this and that I won't support their business until the signs come down. Probably won't bring any signs down, but they will certainly get some feedback from the other side.

Meanwhile, in those states and areas where the sign is legally no more than a recommendation, I will make my own determination whether to lock my gun in the car and go on in, unarmed, or just decline the request.

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