So, my bank just recently posted a sign. Its not correct signage per South Carolina law, but... I wrote this letter to the branch manager of my local SCB&T branch. I plan on following up with corporate even though it won't do much. I'd love some pointers/criticism. I will be changing a lot of the wording from being directed to someone I know to someone I don't know.
Ms. Bank Manager:
I was recently at your branch and noticed for the first time that there is a No Concealable Weapons sign on your door. Where I respect that it is private property and will respect the sign I did want to email you and express my dislike of the branch decision to do this.
I am a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit holder. I chose to get a permit for my protection and that of my family. I carry everywhere that is permissible by law to do so and usually only frequent places that are not posted. There are places that I have to disarm to enter. It is an inconvenience to remove my weapon, place it in the proper storage place in the vehicle, and then enter an establishment. This also creates an awkward window where if someone looks into my vehicle while I am disarming which could create a “scene.”
I would also ask you to consider who would heed the sign on the door. An old proverb says, “Locks are for honest people.” In the same fashion, signs only apply to those who would heed signs. You only keep legally permitted folks who want to obey the law from carrying concealed in your branch. I doubt this would do anything for the more nefarious percentage of the population. I have always said that I would feel much safer knowing that I had SC CWP holders coming in and out all the time in the unlikely event that something bad should happen.
Lastly, I just wanted to let you know that all SC CWP holders have been fully instructed by SC SLED certified trainers in safe weapon handling and other weapon safety. South Carolina is one of the most stringent states in its adherence to quality education in safety and education requirements in the nation. It does not honor the permits of several adjacent states because it doesn’t feel the education requirements are to South Carolina standards. All permit holders also undergo strict SC SLED background checks similar to those for school teachers or nurses.
Thank you for your attention. I hope this note finds you well.
I am sorry I didn't get a chance to write you back on Friday and then we were unable to open yesterday and this morning due to the bad weather.
Thank you for sharing your opinion regarding concealed weapons. I imagine it is an inconvenience to "disarm" every time you come into the bank. I also understand that you are very trained with the use and storage of your weapon and how you may feel disarming may be unfair to you and fellow Americans who carry a concealed weapon.
I did some research about the requirement and the signs on our doors. Of course being in banking for 25 years I too have an opinion about guns in a bank but felt it was more important to give you the details behind this requirement.
The following information was provided by our security officer (also a former policeman):
"We are one of three states that have opted out of the cwp program we are following the law and the fbi recommendation we do not want guns in our bank. If we are presented with a gun/ robbery our tellers have received extensive training on how to handle such, they control the situation by remaining calm! We do not want other guns presented in such a situation. If a cwp pulled a gun and someone was hurt, they would have civil if not criminal aspects to face. The cwp is clearly told by law where they can and can not carry and by signing their license to carry they have agreed to comply. Other states have it written in law, no guns in banks. I am commissioned by sled as a retired pd and with home land security and I do not carry in a bank, the only thing that would come out of that is bad."
Safety is our main objective for our customers and our staff. I've been personally involved in two robberies in my banking career involving a firearm; and recently the state of SC has had a bank robbery almost daily where a gun has been involved. We simply can't tell the good guys from the bad guys and as you said though "locks of for honest people" we just wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a robber or a licensed person.
Again I appreciate you sharing your feelings with me. There are many occasions good people are affected by rules to protect against the bad people. I am sorry for the inconvenience and I hope you understand our position.
Ms. Bank Manager
South Carolina Bank and Trust