Every year, usually around the holiday season, different gun organizations circulate lists of businesses that prohibit one from carrying a concealed firearm onto their premises.
These lists – often referred to as: ‘Don’t Buy Lists’ – alert law-abiding gun owners as to which stores are gun-friendly and which are not.
The overall idea is that gun owners will choose to shop, exclusively, at stores that are friendly to those who lawfully carry concealed firearms and that the economic footprint of gun owners will, over time, compel stores that ban firearms to reconsider their stance on the issue.
The question is: are publicizing and circulating these lists fair to those businesses that ban firearms?
Before one answers this question, he/she should consider several factors:
Do Unto Others…
The golden rule states that one should, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It’s a fact that many gun owners are vehemently opposed to the publication of information related to which citizens have CCW permits in a given county or state.
While many governments at the state and local levels keep this information private, there are some that make it available as part of the public record (see chart, note it’s slightly outdated).
Many CCW holders see those governments that allow for the publication of such information as being perpetrators of fundamental privacy rights violations (especially when a government or municipality encourages a local newspaper to publicize the info).
Moreover, CCW holders argue that it puts their lives in danger when such sensitive information is disclosed.
Now, to flip the script for a moment, couldn’t businesses on a ‘Don’t Buy List’ argue that the arbitrary publication and dissemination of their store policy on CCW permits violates their privacy?
Are gun owners being hypocritical for expecting privacy on one hand, but violating the privacy of businesses on the other? Remember, corporations are people too (joking here).
Here’s another thing to consider, what if the business has a legitimate reason for banning firearms?
Say, for example, a Day Care Center.
Should you stop using the services of a Day Care Center if it has a policy that prohibits individuals from carrying firearms on the premises?
Say the reason for banning firearms isn’t because there’s a bunch of small children scratching around the place, but because the liability insurance would be ten times as much were the Center to adopt a pro-CCW policy.
And, economically speaking, it would be extremely cost prohibitive to opt for such a policy, so much so that the Center would have shut its doors.
Should that Day Care Center be added on the “Don’t Buy List”?
Can one reasonably assume that there are legitimate reasons for banning firearms on the premise of a business?
Tolerance & Respect
The last appeal to make is one of tolerance and respect.
Shouldn’t gun owners be tolerant of individual business owners’ right to decide what’s best for their businesses?
And shouldn’t gun owners be respectful as to what that decision is, regardless of whether or not they agree with it?
After all, gun owners, CCW holders, don’t implore that everyone go out and purchase and/or carry a gun. The truth is that not everyone should own and/or carry a gun.
It’s an individual choice that takes serious thought and consideration. Additionally, gun owners do not punish people for not owning/carrying a gun.
Likewise, why should all businesses be encouraged to allow firearms onto their premises?
And why should they be punished (added to a list) if they decide it’s not best for their businesses?
In any event, those are some counterarguments to consider before you answer the initial question, “are publicizing and circulating DNB lists fair to those businesses that ban firearms?”
It should be noted that this article was intentionally contrarian and does not reflect my personal thoughts on the matter.
The purpose of this article was to spark dialogue on the subject. And giving counterarguments (instead of defending DNB lists) makes for a more interesting discussion. It’s no fun when we all agree.
That said, let us know how you feel.