Gun totin at meetings: Should it be allowed?



A colleague asked me if any clients allowed guns at their meetings and if they did or did not, did they have a written policy, stated in the registration information, about carrying arms at a meeting?

It had never occurred to me that someone with an open-carried or concealed gun would attend a meeting not specifically related to law enforcement or for the gun/hunting industry with a gun.

But of course they would! If someone carries a gun and isn't explicitly asked to not carry (if the laws of the jurisdiction of the meeting allow) at a meeting, why would they think to leave it at home? In their hotel room? In their vehicle? And judging by the reports from the TSA, those who are traveling by plane are not so inclined to leave their guns at home either!

In conversations with others, they too wondered why someone would bring a gun to a meeting. Those from Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand were horrified that, in the United States, people would bring guns to meetings. Overwhelmingly in discussions, they said now that it has been raised, they will ask the organizers of US-held meetings if guns are allowed. And if they are? Those from outside the US will likely stay home.

I wonder what liability exists for any group that does not explicitly state that guns are (or are not) allowed if someone were to injure themselves or others with a gun they were legally carrying? (Throwing this one over to Josh Grimes for him to answer on his blog.)

This isn't about the current laws of the US or the states (That conversation we can have elsewhere). It is about meetings and the facilities in which meetings are held. It’s about policies and protections for those who attend meetings and trade shows and stay in hotels. Having faced one incident of a gun-carrying attempted meeting registrant whose intent was to kill another participant, I wonder now why I didn't question this long ago and why it hasn't been on my list of risk-management issues.

Shame on me. What about you?
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