When the framers were drafting the Declaration of Independence, they initially wanted the famous second paragraph to read “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and property.”
They quickly realized that this wording opened them up to losing their own property if the right to tangible objects was including in the wording. Instead, they recognized that they were only really endowed with the PURSUIT of happiness. They understood the importance of personal property and that no one else had a right to their labors or the results of that labor. Thomas Jefferson said, “That, on the principle of a communion of property, small societies may exist in habits of virtue, order, industry, and peace, and consequently in a state of as much happiness as Heaven has been pleased to deal out to imperfect humanity, I can readily conceive, and indeed, have seen its proofs in various small societies which have been constituted on that principle. But I do not feel authorized to conclude from these that an extended society, like that of the United States or of an individual State, could be governed happily on the same principle.”
You may ask why I bring that up.
There has been a lot of talk lately about taking black powder (BP) pistols into businesses with 30.06 or “no guns” signs. Some believe that since BP pistols are not considered “firearms” under state and federal law, they shouldn’t be banned anywhere. While this is perfectly fine in most public properties, like city halls and other venues, this is not true for private businesses.
Hopefully, everyone agrees that people have the right to run their businesses as they see fit with only minimal intrusion by the government to ensure health and safety (though, even that is questionable). And we all agree that you and I have the right to self defense and part of that right includes the right to keep and bear arms to ensure it. So, what happens when our right to self defense bumps into a businesses right to “govern” their own property.
In her book “The Virtue of Selfishness,” Ayn Rand said, “The end does not justify the means. No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others.”
As gun owners, this is some that we need to be cognizant of. Our rights end where others begin. For example, I have a fundamental right to travel unmolested by government forces. I’ve successfully fought many a speeding ticket arguing this and pointing to Supreme Court precedent that recognizes this right that is protected under the 9th Amendment. However, if my speeding causes an accident or I run someone else off the road, I’ve now interfered with their right to travel. I don’t have a right to do that.
Similarly, as gun owners, we do not have the right to force a property owner to allow us to carry on their property. Our rights end at the property boundary of another.
If you are asked to leave because you are carrying a firearm or a BP pistol, you must leave or you are trespassing (Texas Penal Code 30.05). If this doesn’t sit well with you, the easy answer is just not to patronize that business…or carry concealed. But, please do not try and force them to allow you to carry in the store. Don’t make a scene and don’t get upset. Simply thank them for their time and tell them why you will no longer be shopping or eating there.