So What’s the Big Deal about the “No Concealable Weapons Allowed” Signs?

So What’s the Big Deal about the No Concealable Weapons Allowed Sign?

**A Concealed Weapons Permit Primer for South Carolina**


By M. J. Goodwin


Twice this week, I have been dismayed to see “No Concealable Weapons Allowed” signs at two local restaurants.  These signs are, I am sure, well intentioned.  I can only suppose that the person who put up the signs believes that by doing so, he or she is making his or her business safe from gun violence.  Nothing could be further from the truth.


A little background:  South Carolina allows its citizens to obtain a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP).  In order to get a CWP and the right to carry a gun LEGALLY, a person must complete a handgun education course and demonstrate proficiency in the use of the weapon.  Background checks and finger printing are also done as part of the CWP application process.  In short, a criminal cannot get a CWP.   See South Carolina Code Section 23-31-210 through 215.


On February 11, 2014, the law was amended to provide that a person with a CWP may carry a concealed weapon into a business that serves alcohol, but may not consume any alcohol.  None.  Zero.  This is more restrictive than the laws that allow consumption of alcohol prior to driving a motor vehicle.  See South Carolina Code Section 16-23-465.


However, a business owner may post a “No Concealable Weapons Allowed” sign at the entrance to any business and if a CWP holder carries a gun into that business, the CWP holder may be charged with a violation of the law.   It is true that many of the businesses posting these signs are restaurants with bars in them and that guns could not be carried their legally prior to February 11, 2014.  The important difference, in my opinion,  is that now there is a public acknowledgement that these businesses are opting out of the law allowing concealed carry.  One would not put a “no guns here” sign on one’s own home!  This is a similar folly.


What that sign being posted tells me is that the business owner is too naïve to understand the nature of criminals and too ignorant to educate himself.  A “gun-free zone” is inherently unsafe.  It is an advertisement to those who want to do harm that nobody in the area is armed and able to defend themselves.   It provides an instant pool of victims.


The criminal will not stop and say to himself “oh, let me leave this gun in the car and rob these people with my hands.”  The criminal will not comply with the sign.  The criminal, by his very nature and definition, breaks the law.


Law-abiding CWP holders, however, have gone out of their way to follow the law.  They have gone out of their way to educate themselves on firearm safety and to demonstrate proficiency with the weapon.   It is an insult to these citizens to post the “No Concealable Weapons Allowed” sign.  But more importantly, it is dangerous to everyone in that business.


Who is responsible for your safety?  Ultimately:  you are.  The business owner has a right to put up that sign, but as a CWP holder, you  have an obligation to not do business there.  Only by protesting with your wallet and by spreading the word will you ever succeed in getting the sign taken down and improving the safety of the patrons and employees of the business.  I have well meaning, good hearted friends who will say “why do you need a gun to go out to eat?”  To them, I say nobody knows ahead of time when they will become a victim of crime.  To ask a person who has trained to protect herself to leave her gun behind is unconscionable.   Ask Suzanna Hupp about that.


So, in the spirit of education, the following businesses in Anderson, South Carolina currently have “No Concealable Weapons Allowed” signs posted:


  • J. Peters (both downtown and Interstate Blvd locations);
  • Catch and Fetch Seafood Company on Greenville Street
  • Johnny Angell’s on Main Street
  • Regal Cinema on Interstate Boulevard.


Certainly these businesses have a right to post their sign.  Certainly we all have a right to express an opinion about those signs and to vote with our patronage or lack thereof

There was a similar sign up in the Century movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012.  Nobody, but the bad guy, had a gun when the “Joker” burst in and shot 82 people, 12 of whom died.   There are other similar stories of “gun free” zones and the violence they attract.  So whether you have a CWP or not, think about it before you patronize a business where you and your family are not permitted to address your own safety.  .






  • mstrang113

    American people need to wise up! Guns are not the only weapon that can hurt or kill you and your family. Just recently we have seen knives being used on children, police finding explosives in homes more, and gangs of teens hitting innocent people in the head then eating them as they walk down the street. Police cannot protect us, neither can cameras, these are only good after the crime has been committed. Then it’s to late for the victims, nothing will turn back what damage was done. We have to be able to, and have the right to protect ourselves and our loved ones! Everyone who thinks this Anti-gun crap is the answer to crime, just hasn’t been a victim yet.

  • Eric G. Wood

    I’m a CWP holder and believe in my right to carry a firearm in protection of myself and family. I also believe in private property and the right of a business owner.

    While many are upset with restaurant owners who decide to put up signs requesting people to not bring firearms into their business and many are angry with them, what these owners are doing is simply go back to the way things were a few months ago before the law changed. Before the new law passed, CWP carries could not bring their firearms into restaurants that served alcohol or into bars.

    For all the talk of owners creating “gun free zones,” I’m looking for all the reports of restaurant and bars in SC being attacked while the law forbid firearms to be carried into them? And businesses posting signs forbidding gun inside are not creating anything new, they are just continuing the status quo.

    Now, we are all free to patronize whatever business we desire and if you decide that you won’t patronize a business that does not want firearms inside, fine, but let’s be clear on what is really going on.

  • Charlie Thiel

    As an option, you could write a very nice letter to the owners of those local businesses, introduce yourself with information about yourself and your family in order to help them see you as a person and a member of the local community, and include all of the information you have provided in this post in the letter. You could express your fervent desire to support those local businesses. Whether they reply or not, you could deliver a gift basket (from a local business) and perhaps flowers from a local florist. Make a large purchase in their store (while complying with their sign). Show them who you are as a person, while explaining why you feel it benefits the community when you carry a concealed weapon.Help them understand that you are a good person and that their business will benefit from people like you. They may well change their minds when they understand more about you and about concealed carry permit holders in general. It can’t hurt and can only help.

  • Mike

    I don’t have a problem with resturants exercising their right to post the sign.
    And I don’t have a problem eating at other restaurants.
    Nor do I have a problem posting reviews stating “The “No CCW” policy makes this place too dangerous to take my family. Such a policy makes it conducive for criminals to come into a place with arms.”
    All good.

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