This is a discussion on Empty Holster Tells A Story... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I had a long talk with the VA Police Sergeant at the Lubbock, Texas VA clinic last year. He cited the Federal laws to me, ...
I had a long talk with the VA Police Sergeant at the Lubbock, Texas VA clinic last year.
He cited the Federal laws to me, and was very blunt about Federal laws overiding local and state laws. In other words, VA facilities are Federal property, and that's that.
His opinion of why the VA took the stance they have about no weapons on the property or in the parking lots has to do with the very high number of patients with PTSD related issues. Not all are extreme cases, but there enough to warrent such action. If just one were to explode while talking to a mental health counselor, the availabilty of a weapon either on their person or in the parking lot could turn into a deadly situation in a hurry. The VA has been dealing with a high number of Vietnam related PTSD patients over the years, now the system is being overwhelmed with those who returned from Desert Storm and who are returning currently from Iraq and Afghanastan. That problem will magnify itself greatly when all the troops come home from the war zones.
While I don't like 'no carry' places any more than the rest of us do, I can see the VA's wisdom in this. While I dealt with PTSD issues for many years, I know mine were minor compared to some. I participated in PTSD discussion groups with other vets for several years. It was clear that some of the more extreme cases thought they were still back in Vietnam whenever they faced a stressful situation or crisis. There were times when those feelings surfaced within our meetings and discussions, but were quickly diffused by the other Vietnam Vets in the room. I can only imagine what could have happened if there had been a gun available during those intense situations. At the very least, we would have all been reading another slanted article by a biased media about a "crazy Vietnam Vet with a gun."
This is one 'no carry' place I agree with.
I agree that certain venues should be weapon free, however, not everyone submits to these rules and will carry anyway. I really don't expect a troubled or disoriented person from reading a sign that bans weapons. I would think that a place that invites those with mental / aggressive behaviors (this is not a knock on our much respected military veterans!) should have security checkpoints that ensure that no weapon is being brought onto the premises. Unlike the VA Tech catastrophe, everyone in the area would be lambs to the slaughter if one person of troubled mind were able to walk in and unleash on innocents. A legally carrying patient or employee would be able to intervene if this were to happen. Again, we cannot expect that armed security / police are everywhere at once to protect us!
You hear the stories of people with carry permits that were helpless witnesses to these types of horror and could do nothing because they followed the law and left their weapon home or locked in their vehicle.
Glock 34 9mm
Glock 36 .45acp
S&W 642-2 .38 +P
Ruger Mark ii 22/45
"The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
- Lt. Col. Oliver North
The sign at the VA in Denver just says that CHLs aren't valid in the building. It doesn't say anything about on the property as a whole.
I don't know what federal law the VA weapons thing falls under, buyt the law has to prohibit it in writing. Everyone thinks that weapons on federal land is illegal outright, but it isn't... only where specifically prohibited. National Forests or the Post Office for example.
"I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.
Have you guys asked if they have a gun locker? Both the VA hospital and the federal building (houses US Dist Court, Fed LE Agencies, etc etc) I go to have such gun lockers. All I have to do is declare at the main gate, park or walk straight to their front desk/metal detector, declare again, be escorted to a clearing barrel, clear my hangdun and then secure it at the gun locker. Desk Sgt keeps one key, I keep the other one - no one has access (in theory) to my gun while I do business with the Feds.
Next time there ask the VA Security Police if they have a lock box on premises you can use to keep from leaving it your vehicle.
The VA clinic where I go lets me use their lock box.
For God, Family and Country!
I am a veteran and I will NEVER set foot inside a Federal medical facility.
The less interaction I have with the Feds, the less power our corrupt. bloated, and borderline unconstitutional government has over me.
"It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith
Yes, and because they are Federal property they can and do ban firearms in the VA and on the property itself.
Think about it gentlemen - a number of the clients are going there to be treated for PTSD and its attendent problems. Do you really want someone with a traumatic flashback of an IED with a gun in the parking lot?