Why MN Bill Making Gun-Free Businesses Liable Needs To Pass

Normally, I’m a fairly libertarian kind of guy. I actually don’t take issue with businesses being able to declare themselves gun-free zones. I simply don’t do business with them anymore and encourage all my friends to seek alternatives too. After all, property rights are rights as well. If I can kick someone out for

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a grave mistake to do so, but I also think it’s a grave mistake to do a lot of things as a business. I don’t want to legally bar people from screwing up. I also don’t think it should be a crime to carry a gun in such businesses, either. Just like I can be asked to leave for saying the wrong thing, they should also have to ask me to leave if they realize I’m carrying a firearm.

While that’s out it works in my home state of Georgia, that’s not the case in far too many places.

However, a bill in Minnesota addresses the issue in a way that I feel really should pass.

If you insist on bringing a firearm inside a coffee shop with a “no guns” sign, the owner can tell you to leave, and if you don’t, it’s a petty misdemeanor. (First offense is only about $25, and they can’t take your gun away, but still.)

Minnesota Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Crystal) believes that creates a “false sense of security.”

“As a permit to carry holder, it’s frustrating when you want to go out to Minneapolis and St. Paul and there’s a restaurant that says ‘no guns allowed,’” he says. “There’s nothing preventing criminals who carry guns from doing so… Maybe [the permit holder] has a restraining order, or they’re being stalked.”

Under Munson’s proposed bill, HF3051, if you suffer a “loss” because you weren’t allowed to have your gun with you – be that injury, a death, or your wallet – you can take the property owner to court. It’s a way to “hold the business owner liable,” he told the Session Daily, “for not protecting people.” If businesses don’t like being responsible for their customers’ safety, he says, they can take the sign down and let citizens fend for themselves.

Honestly, while I generally feel we have way too many laws on the books right now, this is a little different. In a state where gun-free zones have the force of law, those who decide to make their businesses gun-free zones should be responsible for ensuring the safety of all those within. If I can’t have my gun on me, how can I be responsible for my own personal safety?

As a result, this is a bill I really want to see become law. It desperately needs to, for the simple reason that people are being put in jeopardy simply so a business can virtue signal about their anti-gun inclinations. After all, that’s the only thing the sign on the door actually accomplishes. That and put people at risk since no good guy can legally be armed but the bad guys aren’t going to pay attention to a stupid sign on the door.

Unfortunately, I doubt this one will pass, but it needs to.

There need to be repercussions for moments when someone’s virtue signaling gets other people hurt. Right now, there aren’t.

Aug 18, 2022 5:30 PM ET