OK, so another eventful open carry adventure!
It all started when my sister Abby called me this morning to chat and I learned that she was going to the Costco in Carmel Mountain Ranch to help her temporarily gimpy friend to pick up some essentials. Since my life is a little bit boring and this is spring break, I decided to go down there and join them for a bit. For this occasion, I decided to wear my brand spanking new tan Calguns.net t-shirt that I got from the gun show yesterday. It is a shirt that is most choice, by the way.
Carrying in Costco was pleasant and we had no issues. I was there for about 45 minutes and no one said a word, even though I passed by multiple employees and older patrons, usually the "I'm scared!" demographic that so many people speak of.
Afterwards, we drove across the street to Trader Joe's to pick up some pizza dough and other assorted organic goodness. I was in there for about 25 minutes before I encountered a Hawaiian shirt clad manager and his lackey.
-Sir, are you a sheriff or...?
-Is that a live gun?
-As in real?
-'Cause generally we don't have those on the premises unless you are an officer or, uuh, a security guard of some sort.
-Oh, OK. Well, I am a normal citizen and I am carrying in the confines of the law.
-Well, its just that you can kinda understand that is makes people a little nervous
-Oh, OK. Has anyone complained or...?
-Uh, we did have one person complain.
-Oh, one? OK. Is there a corporate policy against carrying?
-In general, we would rather not have guns on the premises unless you are an officer of the law.
-I understand America, you know, we have the right to bear arms, but you gotta understand our position.
-OK, I understand that. Well, we are on our way out.
-Thank you for your understanding.
More on this one later...
After Abby and Sarah and I parted our separate ways, I went over to Ralphs to pick up some tonic water, as I have a good sized bottle of Tanquerray that is begging to be imbibed (Love that stuff!) No issues there.
Feeling a bit hungry, I went over to In-n-Out to grab a burger. Again, no issues there .
Now, back to Trader Joes...
I just called their corporate customer service number and they are currently investigating the corporate policy on the carrying of weapons. The customer service lady I spoke with had never heard of such an issue and was seemed quite curious herself about all of this. After explaining the issue and informing her of the legality of OC, not needing a license, etc., I told her that the issue of carrying weapons probably isn't in the policy book or even really brought up as a lot of the states that Trader Joe's conducts business in (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.) are "Free States" and one (Wisconsin) is OCO (open carry only).
I told her that I frequent Trader Joe's, I love their store and I understand a shopkeeper's right to refuse service but that I felt that I was being singled out for exercising a Constitutional right and ultimately not causing a problem with anyone or hampering business (I know that it is still a privilege here in CA, but she doesn't know that :) )
We shall see what her research turns up. I've got a beautiful feeling that everything's going my way (OKLAHOMA!)
Until then, peace out and CARRY ON!