By Trent Koppel
Have you ever given any thought to what the Second Amendment, or the right to bear arms, may mean for some? How about you? As companies and individuals take more precautions to ensure their safety, you may contemplate whether you have the desire to be armed at a company event, and more importantly, should you be? If you choose to do so, how does carrying a concealed firearm impact you and those around you?
Before you conceal and carry at an event, you must ask yourself, “is it necessary to carry a firearm in this context?” In most cases, I’m going to say no. However, with today’s mass shootings, some may disagree. Are you one that demands to have your firearm with you at all costs? Aside from whether it’s legal to do so, let’s dissect this question. If you desire to carry a firearm to an event, you must start off by asking yourself five important questions.
Besides you, who at the event is also armed? What venue personnel provides written and verbal permission for you to conceal and carry?
Let’s assume that you decide to carry your firearm to an event, and the biggest hurdle here is the ability to do so legally. I do not advocate violating any laws, on any level. An easy way to avoid that is by knowing your state’s laws and regulations and consulting the venue in advance. State laws vary from state to state, and each event venue’s gun policy is different from the next, so it’s important for you to know them before you take a chance of violating them.
What is your purpose for carrying?
Above all, I think this is the question that needs to be addressed first and foremost. What is your reason for wanting to carry? Is there such a safety concern that you don’t feel safe? Maybe that is something you should discuss with your company or the meeting planner prior to attending.
Where is the event? Is it at a private location or in a public arena?
Again, I cannot stress to you how important it is for you to educate yourself on where it is legal for you to carry and where it is not.
In the state of Missouri, if you have your concealed carry permit and are armed, and you enter a private property or business that has posted (No Guns Allowed) signs, you are required to leave when asked to do so, or you could be charged with a crime.
If your event is at a major sports facility, such as a football or baseball stadiums to name a few, chances are you are going to have to go through a security screening before entering the building. And even if you’re legally allowed to carry a firearm (i.e. LEOSA certified, or Military Exception), you will still be asked to “lock up” your firearm during the event. Some stadiums have lockboxes, but most do not. That means you must own your own lockbox and keep it handy.
The last thing you want is your firearm to be stolen out of your vehicle. Invest in a sturdy lockbox, rather than keeping it in your trunk, as a stolen gun is equally or more dangerous than not bringing your gun to the event at all. Believe me, it happens; your car is never a good lockbox for a firearm!
When do you plan on attending? How long are you staying?
Why do you want to carry a firearm to an event?
My first thought is you must truly believe that the event is high-risk. Are you in danger? Are you wanting to carry out of habit (i.e.: retried, police, or military), or for the mere protection of others?
Something that one must understand, and I don’t think enough people consider this, it is one thing to carry a gun on you, but it’s another to use it. If you feel as though there is a safety concern, please get in touch with the Event Planners, and they can address your concerns.
In closing, be smart and do your homework. Learn your states gun laws. If you choose to legally carry, please train and train, and train some more! Your life and the lives of others may depend on it.
Trent Koppel is a Security Specialist and an adjunct professor at Maryville University.