A pair of open carriers in Ohio are upset with Costco because they were asked to leave the store due to the chain’s anti-gun policies that they didn’t both to read and understand when they signed up as members.
A Greene county couple is coming to Fox 45 for answers after they said they were asked to leave Costco because they were open carrying their guns.
Courtney Mason and her boyfriend Mitchell Register said they both have CCW licenses and never carry in stores that have posted signs that say no guns allowed, but they said Costco had no signs and violated their rights by asking them to leave.
“Some people are saying why would you even need a gun in Costco, well why would you need one in a church, or in a movie theater,” said Mason.
Mason said she grew up with guns and has had her CCW for six years.
“Usually I try to conceal my weapon but if I’m not having the clothes that allow it that day I’ll go ahead and open carry because it’s legal in Ohio,” she said.
Mason said she is a Costco member and took her boyfriend shopping at the cornerstone location Sunday.
“We won’t carry if there’s a no gun sign on the door,” Mason said, “we looked outside we checked all the doors all the entrances there was no sign.”
Mason said after shopping for a few minutes she and her boyfriend were approached by two employees.
“I noticed that you’re open carrying would you mind covering that up because a couple of customers have complained it’s made them nervous,” Mason said the employees said.
After explaining their legal right to open carry, Mason said she and boyfriend Mitchell Register decided not to fight and left the store right away but said they would not be back.
Mason said she got in touch with Costco who she said emailed her a link to a policy included in membership paperwork.
The policy reads, “Costco policy prohibits firearms to be brought into the warehouse, except in the case of authorize law enforcement officers.”
But Mason said the store handled it all wrong and she wants changes made.
“If they actually had a no firearms policy then they should have said that instead of blame it on the customers,” Mason said, “I want Costco first of all to start putting up signs, I want them to take action. If they don’t want firearms in their store they need to make that evident.”
Costco has a history of being anti-gun, and the chain’s policy against citizens carrying firearms in their stores is in the membership agreement signed by all shoppers.
Mason and Register should have read the membership agreement and understood that the chain was anti-gun, and have not given Costco their business in the first place.
Costco (and any other private entity) has the right to exclude gun owners from their property. They’ve exercised that right by putting it in the membership agreement. Just because Ms. Mason didn’t read her membership agreement doesn’t mean that Costco violated her rights.