Yesterday I showed a picture of my collection of wee-little wheelguns, all of which are awesome and useful for things. I mentioned that some of them are used for carrying in NPE, or non-permissive environments; that’s a subject that I’d like to expand on today for our readers that are relatively new to the CCW world. For our seasoned readers, please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.
As we have this conversation, it’s important to understand that there are different levels of NPE. In very broad terms, an NPE is a place where the carry of guns is forbidden either by policy, such as a place of work, or by law, such as a federal building. Because the type of NPE can vary greatly, the consequences can also range from “being asked to leave” all the way to “go directly to jail, do not pass go.” What that means is carrying into an NPE becomes a risk/reward calculation that you need to have performed before you get there. Here are five examples to help kickstart the thought process.
1. Carrying in the mall
Simon Properties is one of the largest owners of mall property in the US, or at least they were when I lived in Indiana. Every mall there was a Simon mall, and every mall in the Indianapolis area forbade the carriage of firearms. However, because in Indiana “no-guns” signs don’t have the force of law, the “worst case” scenario if I was caught carrying would be that I would have been asked to leave, which I would have complied with. So the risk in that case is very low, and the potential reward of being able to defend myself is very high.
2. Carrying in a “30-06” establishment in Texas
In some states, there are “no guns” signs that do have the force of law. What that means is that carrying in these places is technically a crime, and if you’re caught could carry appropriate penalties. Many states, including South Dakota and Washington, have statutory provisions against carrying in bars, regardless of whether or not there is a posted sign. So the risk here is higher, because fines, misdemeanors, and possible jail time are not things we want. The reward is roughly the same in this instance, because we’re generally talking about public places.
3. Carrying at work
I’m fortunate that in my day job I carry a gun every day. I don’t need to worry about showing up at work with a gun and getting fired for it. Unfortunately, most Americans are not in this position, and many people could be fired if they were discovered carrying at work. So the risk here is actually pretty high, because “getting fired” isn’t just a loss of a job, it’s a loss of money, of quality of life, and could also become a black mark on your resume making further employment difficult. For most people, a reasonable middle ground is simply keep your gat locked in your car, and have some other more PC form of weaponry available for in your office, like OC spray. You’re a lot more likely to get mugged on your way to the car, or in the parking lot of the Kroger when you stop to get groceries than you are to have to fight off an active shooter in your work place.
4. Carrying at your child’s school
Note that I say “your child.” This one is complicated, because the legal patchwork that is the “no guns in schools” policy isn’t nearly as clear as you’d think. That being said, I’m also not qualified to comment on this, because I don’t have children. So evaluate this one on your own, understanding that the possible repercussions could involve serious criminal offenses. But the flip side is of course being armed and in a position to stop a mass shooting at a school or related event.
5. Carrying in government buildings
Don’t. Most .gov buildings have metal detectors and security anyway, and the ones that don’t like post offices aren’t worth it. I just accept the fact that my government wants me disarmed in any situation I may interact with them.
Those are five examples of NPEs, and possible risk-reward calcuations. I carry in Type 1 places all the time; mostly because I keep my gun concealed and don’t stress about it. I use a small gun in a very discreet holster and go about my life.