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Old 02-26-2017, 07:39 AM
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Default Recommendations needed for concealed carry situation ...

Howdy,

Will be attending a conference in a couple of months in a small city a couple of hours away from home. There is a bit of a crime problem there ... it's not as bad as Chicago or Miami, but would prefer to have "my option" with me.

The conference is in a convention center that does not allow firearms. The hotel room does not have a safe. I don't feel comfortable leaving it in a lock box in my car due to the aforementioned crime problem. Is it unheard of to contact the local police department to see if they would store my firearm during the day ... or is that a stupid idea? Any other options you can think of?
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:49 AM
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Unless there are going to be scanners, I'd carry discreetly. I do it all the time. I'd rather take the armed "risk" than the unarmed. I have a small thin .32 I can pocket carry for such occasions. It may not be much firepower..but it sure beats a knife or club.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:24 AM
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I used to work in some hospitals and prisons and had a similar problem. My solution was to stop by local bus station and rent a locker. I felt safe that it would be there when I got back.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:26 AM
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PD won't store your pistol.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tenn2 View Post
I used to work in some hospitals and prisons and had a similar problem. My solution was to stop by local bus station and rent a locker. I felt safe that it would be there when I got back.
How about the US Post Office? They have lock boxes and l would feel more comfortable using then and most are open 24 7

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Old 02-26-2017, 08:45 AM
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Sage advise to carry discretely b/c the local PD will not store your gun. Unless there will be a scanner you have to go through no one will know. I have an LCP for such occassions.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:04 AM
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Unless it is illegal to carry into a building that "doesn't allow" firearms, I wouldn't worry about it. In Missouri, carrying into a posted establishment is not illegal. You can be asked to leave, and if you refuse, the police can be summoned to issue you a civil citation, which is not a criminal offense, and carries with it a small fine. You didn't mention where you're going, but it would be worthwhile to investigate the particular laws in your destination.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:07 AM
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Leave the gun in your hotel room, if you have to. The simplest way to make it safe is to disassemble the gun and take the barrel (or cylinder) with you. Lock the rest of it in a briefcase or suitcase.

I wouldn't think it too wise to carry it into a convention center unless the locality/state you will be in has provision in their laws requiring you to be asked to leave and refused before you are in violation. If failing to heed posting is all it takes, don't risk it. It seems a lot more likely you will come to grief over a weapons violation than seriously harmed in a stick-up in an environment like that.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:08 AM
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How about the US Post Office? They have lock boxes and l would feel more comfortable using then and most are open 24 7

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You know that in most instances, carrying a firearm onto property owned or controlled by the U.S. Postal Service is a criminal offense, right?
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:27 AM
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You know that in most instances, carrying a firearm onto property owned or controlled by the U.S. Postal Service is a criminal offense, right?
you can't even have a firearm in the parking lot of the post office.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:27 AM
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PD won't store your pistol.
If the cops do, "store", your weapon you already got a problem on your hands.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:39 AM
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Yes but if it was unloaded and in a sack or box don't think you would have a problem unless you caused it. Just my thought.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:51 AM
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Yes but if it was unloaded and in a sack or box don't think you would have a problem unless you caused it. Just my thought.
John

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The law says "possess . . . " There was a very recent Supreme Court decision regarding possession of a firearm on U.S. Postal Service property. The government won.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:58 AM
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How about the US Post Office? They have lock boxes and l would feel more comfortable using then and most are open 24 7
The post office/postal service does not rent "lock boxes" for people to store stuff in.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:04 AM
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The post office/postal service does not rent "lock boxes" for people to store stuff in.
Actually, I have seen those small bus station-esque lockers in and about some larger post offices across the country. Never understood what they were for . . .
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:05 AM
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This is a good spot for an inexpensive, reliable handgun. Leave it in your hotel for the first day and see if there's any screening at the venue.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:16 AM
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Actually, I have seen those small bus station-esque lockers in and about some larger post offices across the country. Never understood what they were for . . .
When someone receives a package that's too large to fit in their regular post office box, the postal worker will place the parcel in one of those large lock boxes and place the external key in the recipients P.O. box. The recipient then takes the key, unlocks the large box, and retrieves their parcel. The key will remain locked in the large box until retrieved for re-use by the postal worker for the next oversized parcel.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:21 AM
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When someone receives a package that's too large to fit in their regular post office box, the postal worker will place the parcel in one of those large lock boxes and place the external key in the recipients P.O. box. The recipient then takes the key, unlocks the large box, and retrieves their parcel. The key will remain locked in the large box until retrieved for re-use by the postal worker for the next oversized parcel.
Thank you for the explanation. I use a UPS Store drop box for stuff like that . . .
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:27 AM
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Unless it is illegal to carry into a building that "doesn't allow" firearms, I wouldn't worry about it. In Missouri, carrying into a posted establishment is not illegal. You can be asked to leave, and if you refuse, the police can be summoned to issue you a civil citation, which is not a criminal offense, and carries with it a small fine. You didn't mention where you're going, but it would be worthwhile to investigate the particular laws in your destination.
This is my recommendation as well. There are a few places where I live that are like that, elks, moose and buildings like that. Not illegal but not really what the business wants and law trumps what a business wants. Also that's why it's called canceled carry. IMO there is no reason to bring it if its just going to sit in your room or car or wherever that is not on your person.

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Old 02-26-2017, 10:28 AM
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Unless you are willing to discreetly carry in the convention center you are either going to have to travel without a gun or get used to the idea of leaving it in your vehicle.
What convention center doesn't have some level of secure parking?
In my home state I would discreetly carry because it's just a trespassing fine if caught and I don't leave when told to.
I also have lock boxes in each vehicle that are cabled to the seat frame or in the case of our Jeep, the roll bar. My employer didn't allow carry so my guns have spent many hours locked in a box and cabled to the vehicle, even with the top down on the Jeep. If I rode the motorcycle the gun gets locked in a saddle bag. My guns aren't made of gold, having a $500 item stolen from my vehicle would suck but its not the end of the world. Do your due diligence to keep it secure and then accept the world we live in.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:31 AM
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Hotel or motel don't most of them have a safe you could have them put it in?
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:52 AM
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I would check into what would happen if you carried it, and were discovered. In KS you would simply be asked to leave. If you didn't you would be charged with criminal trespass. I carry mine everywhere, except in a jail or prison. I have a LEOSA permit, however. If you conceal it correctly, no one will know you even have it.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:56 AM
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I would not advocate anyone breaking the law, but concealed carry is called concealed carry for a reason.

If that truly is not an option, I'd lock it up in the trunk of my car. If I thought there was a high likelihood of my car getting broken into I just wouldn't go to that convention.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:01 AM
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You know that in most instances, carrying a firearm onto property owned or controlled by the U.S. Postal Service is a criminal offense, right?
Not only that, but the boxes are rented for 6 months or a year at a time. Also, those boxes can be accessed by people working there, bad idea.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:05 AM
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Not only that, but the boxes are rented for 6 months or a year at a time. Also, those boxes can be accessed by people working there, bad idea.
I don't believe the big ones in the front of the lobby are rented that long.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:09 AM
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Hotel or motel don't most of them have a safe you could have them put it in?
Do a YouTube search on hotel safes....here is one result.


I have a Hornady lock box that I use in my car if the need arises.

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Old 02-26-2017, 11:10 AM
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Hotel or motel don't most of them have a safe you could have them put it in?
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One could, but all it would take is a few minutes on YouTube to find videos showing how easy it can be to defeat those safes. I personally don't trust them.

Edit: And it looks like Lee in Quartzsite found one.

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Old 02-26-2017, 11:57 AM
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All the hotels I've ever stayed in have wire shelves in the closet, you can cable lock a lock box to that.

Hotels also offer the "Eco Friendly" option of not having your room made up every day (no hotel staff in your room).

That's what I do
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:02 PM
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While the OP says he is from New England, the birth place of American freedom, it is also the incubator of the East Coast's anti-gun sentiment. Where the OP's conference is is really relevant to how he addresses his dilemma. By the description offered, the likelihood that his conference is in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, or Rhode Island is much more likely than the remaining states of New England. If the OP's conference is in either New York, Connecticut, or Massachusetts, I doubt that either state would drag their collective button to make him the poster villian synonymous with why guns need to be outlawed.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:14 PM
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I can give you no good advice. I would not recommend breaking any laws. Getting in trouble with the law would cost a lot more than any handgun that could get stolen. I know nobody wants their handgun to get into the hands of criminals so it's a tough decision. Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:17 PM
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Don't over think this. The safest place for your firearm in on your person. A silly rule at some facility, unless backed up with an actual risk of criminal prosecution is not worth worrying about, and if you are careless enough to be perceived as being armed in that setting you need to pay someone to apply slap therapy. I only disarm in the most unusual settings, and it is roughly 25 years since I was perceived to be armed by a person hostile to the concept. (And yes, that was my fault. Shame on me.)
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:31 PM
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Of course, if the conference is work related, your job could be on the chopping block. You are probably in more real danger on the trip to and from the conference than while attending. If you are really afraid that you will need the gun, you should apply the first rule of gun fighting and avoid being there.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:23 PM
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You could put it in an ordinary looking small lockable suitcase and then check it at the hotel bell desk while at the convention. Get it back out when you return.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:37 PM
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Depending on the hotel ........ have it put in the hotel safe....


should we "assume" the OP has a carry permit for the State(s) in question....... "a couple of hours from home" could cover 2 or more states in New England.

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Old 02-26-2017, 01:40 PM
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A few thoughts...

1) I had the same reaction as Muss Muggins when I read the "leave it at the post office" comment.

2) I share the same thoughts about exploring the nature of the state or local laws regarding carrying a concealed handgun into a business that is posted by the owner. If it's not a crime unless you are a) discovered and b) asked to leave, then just carry our firearm - but take care to keep it truly concealed.

For example, you might consider a smaller handgun and carry system that allows you to carry it in event appropriate clothing with no visible sign that it is there.

3) Where you are staying during the conference makes a difference.

If you are staying in the hotel where the conference is occurring, you are a "tenant" and in most states you can legally carry in your room unless it is specifically prohibited in the lease.

The impact for hotel property managers and registered guests, is that concealed carry laws and signage designated an area a “gun-free zone,” do not apply to tenants in their personal spaces. For example, a tenant can carry a weapon inside their room, and “gun-free zones” do not apply to parking lots, or vehicles on the property. In addition, since concealed carrying tenants must pass through public areas between the parking lot and their unit, they will have to violate the ban just to access their room, rendering the restriction meaningless and unenforceable.

In essence, this means if the conference is occurring in the hotel where you are staying, you're going to be able to legally conceal carry from the parking area to your room and the public spaces along that route.

4) Since you are two hours away it sounds like you'll be driving there in your own vehicle.

I installed a console safe in my vehicle specifically for instances where I need to leave my concealed carry handgun in my vehicle. It's out of sight, bolted to the body of the vehicle and takes some serious work to remove or pry open - something that isn't likely to happen in a smash and grab breaking in a car.

As a general rule, when I am parking anywhere I am concerned about a break in, I leave nothing visible in my car that a thief may want to take.

All they will see is a vehicle with an interior that looks like it was just rented from Hertz. This includes no ring on the windshield from the suction cup on a GPS mount.

Given that the car looks empty and thus may not have anything worth stealing, a would be thief is most likely going to select a more lucrative target for their limited time and attention.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:45 PM
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The hotel room does not have a safe.
Does the hotel front desk have safes?
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:49 PM
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Of course, if the conference is work related, your job could be on the chopping block. You are probably in more real danger on the trip to and from the conference than while attending. If you are really afraid that you will need the gun, you should apply the first rule of gun fighting and avoid being there.
This is exactly what I was going to post. If you cause problems for your employer, that "minor trespassing charge" is going to be the least of your concerns....
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:20 PM
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... would prefer to have "my option" with me.
... I don't feel comfortable leaving it in a lock box in my car due to the aforementioned crime problem.
We all like to have "our options" with us. It seems you need to become more comfortable with the lock box option.

If you do all the precautions mentioned above, about not having anything visible to interest a thief, park in the most secure place available, and hopefully have a car alarm, then you've done your due diligence.

I would add one other thing, to not draw attention doing a lock box transfer from CC, and complete the transfer to the box before you arrive at the parking destination. So that you quickly exit the vehicle in the parking area without drawing the attention of anyone watching you park. Hiding stuff before you arrive also includes any expensive car electronics like GPS's or radar detectors.

If you feel so attached to your regular carry choice, that you would be devastated losing it, then maybe you need an alternate, like a Hi Point, that would allow you peace of mind leaving it locked in the car.

Last edited by bigwheelzip; 02-26-2017 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:25 PM
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The question in the OP is completely pointless and there is no way anyone can give good advice without knowing the actual state where this would happen.

Does the NO GUNS sign or policy have the weight of law behind it?

IF YES: Your legal options are limited. Leave the gun home and carry pepper spray (if that's legal).

IF NO: Carry with discretion. You aren't breaking a law so why worry about it?
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:33 PM
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I have to agree with others. Carry discreetly. A small pocket 380 in a pocket holster would be a good choice. Better than nothing.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:32 PM
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The question in the OP is completely pointless and there is no way anyone can give good advice without knowing the actual state where this would happen.
I wouldn't have used the word "pointless", but I see what you're saying. "Generic" might be a better word. This topic in all its variations comes up so often on this forum, it oughta be a sticky or something.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:12 PM
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I wouldn't have used the word "pointless", but I see what you're saying. "Generic" might be a better word. This topic in all its variations comes up so often on this forum, it oughta be a sticky or something.
It's pointless in the sense that we cannot answer without the necessary information. The laws that govern his conduct in Boston or Providence are critically different than those in Burlington or Portland. New England is vague. It's pointless to ask if it cannot be answered.

The laws are not ambiguous, the question cannot be answered if the question is.
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:17 PM
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Unless it is illegal to carry into a building that "doesn't allow" firearms, I wouldn't worry about it. In Missouri, carrying into a posted establishment is not illegal. You can be asked to leave, and if you refuse, the police can be summoned to issue you a civil citation, which is not a criminal offense, and carries with it a small fine. You didn't mention where you're going, but it would be worthwhile to investigate the particular laws in your destination.
You need to be SURE.

In Ohio, CPZ signs have the force of law. Violating them is a CRIMINAL offense.

On the other hand, posted parking lots only incur civil trespass. You can only be asked to leave and if you refuse, that becomes criminal trespass. Unless you're in the car waving the gun around, it's never going to come up.

KNOW the laws where you are or are going to be, at least to the extent that you don't violate them to your cost.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:02 PM
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On the other hand, posted parking lots only incur civil trespass. You can only be asked to leave and if you refuse, that becomes criminal trespass. Unless you're in the car waving the gun around, it's never going to come up.

KNOW the laws where you are or are going to be, at least to the extent that you don't violate them to your cost.
Well, posted parking lots that aren't federal property. KNOW the laws . . .
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Old 02-27-2017, 09:37 AM
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Well, posted parking lots that aren't federal property. KNOW the laws . . .
Such places are STATUTORY CPZs. it doesn't matter whether they're posted or not, just as in the case of formerly prohibited liquor serving establishments.

KNOW the laws...
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:16 PM
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Default True experience from Charlotte Jan 17, 2017

Hello Forum,

The following just happened to me, very recently.

I was assigned by my company to attend a Seminar/Symposium being given at the Hilton Downtown in Charlotte NC. I was not a presenter, however was required to attend the various sessions. Since the Hilton Hotel was both where we stayed, and the venue for the Symposium, I left my EDC locked in the car until I checked in. The CPZ signs are clearly posted at all entrances, and again at the desk.

I did not notice any scanners or detectors, but also since I was going to be attending the sessions and manning my companies table top display ( dress shirt, coat, etc.) I left my EDC in the car for the first days activities.

Wouldn't you know it! That same night myself and 2 other guys from our company went to one of the best steakhouses in Charlotte, Mortimer & Sheck (sp?) and had a terrific dinner/drinks and all. Since it was only a block and a half from the Hilton, we had walked. Coming out about 9:30 - 10:00 we had only made a few steps and a shaggy looking dude (pants falling off, etc.) fell right into step behind us. followed us through 3 lights, we turned, he turned, we stopped to look in a window, he stopped. I was aware and so were my companions, so we went into another establishment, maybe half a block from the Hilton entrance, however it would be 1 more right turn. The dude came right into the establishment, and just hung out by the door, so we got up to leave, and the dude bolts out the door, and literally runs around the corner, turning right the exact path we would be taking.

Not knowing what his intentions, or what buddies he may have around the corner, we ducked back into where we were, asked the bartender if he had seen the guy, and he said "looks like bad news" and suggested we simply go out his back entrance which was also the entrance to the Hilton.

So....it worked, we got back. Next morning a man who had been stabbed sometime the night before was found on the front (plaza) side entrance to the Hilton....right where we would have gone.

A bunch of circumstances, or coincidences? Beats the heck out of me....but the rest of that entire event, my EDC was where it belongs.....4 o'clock on my belt.

Kick me out of the Conference, call the cops, take my EDC...fine...I'll have to deal with it, but I really don't feel like having another experience like above, and yes.....at the SWCA Symposium in Concord, I am definitely going to make time to get back to that steak house.....but this time...I guarantee you, I'll be feeling a lot safer.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:33 PM
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I usually figure these out, but I guess I haven't had enough coffee this morning. So I'll just ask, what is a CPZ?
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:35 PM
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CPZ in my opinion means Carry Prohibited Zone but it may mean something different from state to state or local to local, but basically I assume it is establishments that do not allow firearms on their premise'

Just sayin.
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:14 PM
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I usually figure these out, but I guess I haven't had enough coffee this morning. So I'll just ask, what is a CPZ?
"Carry Prohibited Zone".

There are different kinds of CPZs. In general:
  1. Posted CPZ - Where the property is posted "no guns" in some fashion. Depending upon where you live, these notifications may or may not have the force of law. In Ohio they do. One special class of posted CPZ (in Ohio) is posted parking lots. Violating the posting is civil trespass rather than a crime. If exposed and asked to leave, you must do so. Otherwise it becomes criminal trespass.
  2. Statutory CPZ - These are places which BY LAW prohibit the carrying of firearms, except by exempted parties (cops, etc.). In Ohio these don't have to be posted. You just have to know. Formerly, liquor serving establishments fell into this category. It currently includes schools, court houses, etc. I can't carry into MY polling place because it's in a school. When I lived in Berea, Ohio my polling place was in the lobby of my apartment. Had there been legal CCW at the time, I would have been able to carry.

All of this depends entirely upon your state and local (and where applicable, Federal) law.

States like Ohio with state preemption make this much easier. Places like New York can be hell to figure out. Pennsylvania is in between, with Philadelphia currently being the only city with its own specific laws (e.g. open carry requires a valid CCW credential).

Last edited by cmort666; 02-27-2017 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:06 PM
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In Massachusetts, signs on private businesses do not have the force of law. You may be issued a trespassing notice if you refuse to leave. However, if police are called and there's an incident report, your local police chief may decide that you're "unsuitable" and cancel your license If you're a MA resident.
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