Firearm Bans & Avoiding Unlawful Carry of a Firearm
- by Casy Smith
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Jump to Section:
- Locations that have a federal ban on firearms
- Other locations where you can’t carry a gun
- 3 steps to prevent unlawful carry of a firearm
The Importance of Lawfully Carrying a Firearm
Daily concealed carry requires discipline and knowledge that the "average joe" doesn't need. A piece of knowledge you should possess is whether your destination has banned the possession of a firearm. While a CCW license permits you to carry in more places than open or Constitutional carry does, it doesn't give you complete reign to conceal a firearm in all situations.
There are places where concealed carry bans are in effect, and you need to know about these locations before entry to avoid potentially breaking the law. Concealed carriers have a higher level of responsibility than other citizens and must have a thorough knowledge of the law to reflect that. To learn more about these concealed carry prohibited places, keep reading.
*Remember: This is not legal advice. Always consult local law enforcement for more information on firearm carry policies in your area or areas you plan to travel to. Compliance with local laws is essential.*
Concealed Carry Prohibited Places: Most Common Locations
When it comes to where you can and can't have a concealed carry firearm, it comes down to a mix of federal and state laws and private property bans. Some properties have strict laws against firearm possession, which can result in criminal punishment like fines or jail time. Private entities may not be able to enforce as strict of rules as the government but have the right to post bans and contact the authorities if they aren't followed.
What Locations have Federally Banned the Carrying of Firearms?
Possession of a firearm is considered illegal on all federal property, with a few exceptions. Here are four common locations you should be aware of. Check out this article on federal weapon bans for a more comprehensive list.
Post Offices Prohibit Firearms
Your local postal office is a commonly visited federal site. The site area includes the building and surrounding property, such as a parking lot. You can face criminal charges if you are reported to have a firearm on the property.
Courthouses Do Not Allow Guns
Much like your local post office, courthouses in your city or county are considered federal buildings. Most have a zero-tolerance policy or strict rules limiting individuals who can carry in the building.
S.2070: Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990
While most firearm-related policies surrounding schools are left up to the states, the Gun-Free School Zones Act is an exception, as it is a federal policy put into action in 1990. This policy put a 1,000-foot barrier around schools for firearm possession. There are a few exceptions, including if you live or visit a private property within the radius.
Sterile Firearm Areas in Airports
Once you reach the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint for a flight, you shouldn't have firearms on your person, whether you have a CCW license or not. Air travel is extremely strict about firearm transportation. Many airlines will allow you to transport a locked up and unloaded firearm in a checked bag after declaring it.
Are there Other Locations where Individuals are Prohibited from Carrying a Firearm?
Outside of federal bans, other locations can restrict firearm possession, depending on state rules. Again, this is where local knowledge is essential. We're going to cover three places where you may see restrictions.
Your Work may Prohibit Firearms
The concealed carry policy for your job will vary greatly depending on the nature and setting of your work. It's essential to be cognizant and respectful of your workplace policy.
The policy may not be your employer's decision, instead being up to a property lease or municipal rules. In many cases, if you work in an office or indoor setting and can't possess a firearm, you are allowed to secure your gun in your vehicle while at work.
Private Businesses may Not Allow Guns
Like carrying at work, a private business' rules are subject to the landlord and business owner's decisions and the local and state government. Some states have requirements for business owners who want to ban guns, like clear signage posted at the entrance of the premises.
Places of Worship may Prohibit Guns
Places of worship are mostly like private businesses, leaving the policy up to church leadership. However, a few states require permission from leadership before carrying on the premises.
3 Steps to Prevent Unlawful Carry of a Firearm
Now that we've covered a variety of locations that can have a concealed carry ban, we want to give you a few tips for what you should do to avoid a problematic encounter.
1. Research Firearm Policies Beforehand.
As you know by now, if you're a concealed carrier, you have a higher level of responsibility than most. Part of that responsibility is knowing if a building or venue allows firearms. Luckily, you can get most of this information without speaking to a single person online by searching for a business's name and firearm policy. If you're traveling to another state, make sure you know their reciprocity rules.
2. Have a secure storage option available in your vehicle.
If you come to a business or organization that has a strict no-firearm policy, having a place to secure your gun in your car is essential.
3. Respect the rules.
As the old saying goes, "respect goes both ways." While you may disagree with your employer or a business's decision to ban firearms from the premises, blatantly disregarding the rules will only exacerbate the problem.
Legal Gun Storage Options for your Home
While concealed carry rules may vary, your need for a dependable place to store your weapons at home doesn't. If you don't have a storage option that's secure and quickly accessible, you should check out our selection of concealment flags and decor today.
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