Are gun-free zones an invitation to trouble?

No Guns signWhen you enter a “Gun Free Zone,” do you feel safer or more at risk? I believe the tragic mass-shooting cases over the past couple of decades prove the latter is the more likely scenario.

We know the reality is that terrorists and psychos can’t all be stopped. However, in the cases where a competent armed officer or citizen has been able to respond quickly, lives have been saved.

Unfortunately, many of us work in a “politically correct” environment that does not allow firearms on the property. There have been cases of justifiable self-defense shootings in which employees fought back against their attackers, yet their employers and their insurers wound up paying off the bad guys or their families. Let’s face it — you can’t always trust a jury to do the right thing.

With terrorism on the rise, some businesses are wising up and trying to quietly become proactive. To motivate your employer, you and other staff can band together and demand a safer work environment. But you must put forth a well-written request stating the concerns of your group, including reasonable and rational solutions.

A few proactive programs that have been implemented include:

Arming select, competent, in-house employees

Employers have a couple of options for how they can reasonably make a workplace safer by arming key personnel. One is to hire top-notch people exclusively for protective duties as their only responsibility. Retired peace officers and military members are excellent choices, and they make quality employees.

Another is to select in-house staff to go about their regular workday while discretely under arms. Employers have to pay for liability insurance upgrades to cover the possible use of force, and they will have to provide for the expense of ongoing training for those staffers. These same employees should be trained in non-lethal self-defense and physical take down techniques.

Contract professionals

A different option for an employer is to call in professional, “top drawer” armed security contractors. This is sometimes less expensive than arming in-house employees, and it puts a clear liability buffer between the employer and any eventual lawsuits.

Re-sign the premises

Re-signing the premises may fly in the face of political correctness and it is not a solid cure, but it is inexpensive and does have a measurable impact on detouring potential outside threats.

If there is a “Gun Free Zone” sign posted at a workplace and there is a large volume of pedestrian traffic, signs on the property can be changed. This encourages legal concealed-carry permit (CCP) citizens to patronize the facility. This may not thwart hardcore crazies who don’t care if they die, but it will make thieves think twice.

Another positive side effect of re-signing the business is that most legal gun owners will take notice. The honest gun-owner community actually prefers shopping and spending their money with companies that respect their personal right to bear arms.

— Frank Bates

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