An interesting thing happened last week, quite by accident. I learned that I am being excluded from entering several businesses in the Oklahoma City Metroplex area. I am a female Caucasian, over 21, a Christian, a grandmother, the head of my household and a widow. There is nothing about me that makes me any different from other like-minded women, other than I possess a Concealed Carry Permit and I carry a small handgun for my personal protection. As required by the Self Defense Act of the State of Oklahoma, I went through classes regarding licensing, I fired the required number of shots in a shooting range and I had an extensive background check by the OSBI – Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, including fingerprinting. Additionally, I’ve taken extended training for the use and proper carry of a handgun to assure myself that I am a safe and responsible carrier. I am not a criminal. I am a law abiding citizen.
Last week I went to the Cox Communications Center on 29th Street in Midwest City to pick up a DVR. I was shocked and disgusted to see a sign on the door that said “No Firearms Allowed.” While I appreciate and respect the rights of property owners to determine what goes on in their premises, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was being singled out as a persona non grata. According to the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, a concealed carry person who carries a weapon onto the premises of a posted business is in violation of the law and subject to a huge fine as well as being charged with a felony.
Oklahoma Law provides that we may not carry our guns in or on any property owned or leased by the state, city, town, county, state or federal government, any school, sports arena, any establishment where liquor is consumed (restaurants are okay provided liquor isn’t their primary occupation/service provided) or where there is pari-mutuel wagering. Now that’s quite a few places that we cannot carry guns. I knew that going into the concealed carry licensing but the added places have become quite frustrating for me, the honest, law-abiding citizen.
Recently I noticed Buy-for-Less in Midwest City had a “No Weapons Allowed” posted on their door. I no longer frequent that establishment, including the Bank of Oklahoma situated inside of that building which used to be one of my frequent stops. But, rather than risk being charged with a felony, it is just easier and wiser to stay away from that business. Of course, I’m sure all armed bank robbers will abide by the law as well.
I wonder, if I did choose to continue doing business with these establishments – which is doubtful at this point – and there is a robbery or a crazy person that comes in with a gun and starts shooting, doesn’t that establishment have an obligation to protect me? Does their insurance cover me in that event? Is it worth my time and energy to do business with an establishment that does not respect the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States?
There is another question that I would pose as well. Is it discriminatory for a business establishment to tell me, a law-abiding citizen with a legal concealed carry permit, that I am not welcome in their business?