June 16th, 2005 10:40 PM
step right up folks, heres your chance to play 'Whack-A-Mole' on my head
alright, heres your chance to smack me upside the head.
so i go to the bank to deposit the checks from agents to my office. and just for funsies i decided to open carry. so i'm standing in line when a lady approaches me and asks me to leave because 'weapons are not allowed'. i asked her if it was the policy of this particular bank, and she would not (could not?) say if it was law (which i know it isnt) or policy. but i was polite (as was she) and complied with her wishes.
i came back to the office (right across the parking lot), disarmed, did a quick check of the state laws to make sure i wasn't wrong, and went back to deposit the checks.
and i've just spent about the last hour studying the various laws and discovered that the prohibition of weapons (open or concealed) in financial institutions was repealed in 1998.
now heres where i need the help of everyone (please stop smacking me upside the head now, thank you! ) ; should i let it go at this? only carry concealed while in there? or should i deliver the following letter to the branch manager:
RE: Possession of weapons in a financial institution
On the afternoon of Thursday June 16, 2005, I was asked to leave the Wells Fargo branch on the corner of Minnesota and Benson Blvd’s by what I assume was a Security Manager, because I was lawfully carrying a holstered weapon on my hip, commonly referred to as 'open carry.'
The person I spoke with was very polite, and asked that I exit and leave my weapon in my vehicle. I asked a couple of questions, trying to ascertain if this was because of some unwritten policy, or perhaps a misinterpretation of law. Unfortunately no satisfactory answer was given.
I did comply however, and disarmed while doing my business in the bank. To make sure I wasn’t breaking the law I did research the matter, and did discover that at one time, possession of a weapon (concealed or open) was unlawful while in a financial institution. This section of the law was repealed in 1998. There is no doubt in my mind that you will have this researched on your own to verify this.
I mentioned to the lady from security that if it is indeed mere policy of this particular bank, then the entrance to the bank does need to be posted with a sign stating such. There is a state statute that advises the sign be 12”x12” and be placed in conspicuous places so that all who enter can see it.
Considering that Alaska has very common sense laws regarding firearms, and that open carry is indeed lawful anywhere that concealed carry is lawful, it would surprise me if the Wells Fargo financial institution does post a sign prohibiting weapons.
And the reason it would surprise me is that anyone with an ounce of common sense would realize that only those who are mindful of obeying the law would ever abide by this. Criminals know that much as well. A law-abiding person such as myself would follow the direction to be unarmed while in your institution, but a criminal will not.
I implore you to ask yourself “What do I know about those who lawfully carry concealed (or openly for that matter) a weapon?”
- Are you aware that permit-holders have submitted fingerprints to the State and undergone both state and federal background checks to ensure they have no criminal record?
- Are you aware that permit-holders have passed firearms training and know proper weapons handling?
- Are you aware that permit-holders have enjoyed the privilege of Alaska’s laws regarding concealed carry and the justifiable use of deadly force fully explained by either a representative from the District Attorney’s office or the Anchorage Police Department?
I do understand that a financial institution does have legitimate concerns to protect its interests from criminals, and this is where the apprehension of customers that are armed comes from. However the safety of the individual customer is compromised if they are expected to conduct their business without having the best means available to defend themselves at hand. Would Wells Fargo’s liability insurance cover a customer that gets mugged while leaving the bank and their weapon is not on them, but secured in their vehicle? Can Wells Fargo ensure my safety while I am disarmed and conducting business on their premises?
Please feel free to write me a letter if you wish to express the concerns of your financial institution regarding this matter.
June 16th, 2005 10:46 PM
Spiffy - I do think I'd send that and would be interested to know the response (if any). I cannot see it doing you any harm and maybe some good will come of it - not just for you but maybe bank policy will be clarified (correctly) and staff notified thusly.
May take a while but I'd hope you would in fact get a response.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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June 17th, 2005 07:07 AM
I would change the word weapon to firearm or handgun. The pens they provide at the kiosks can be weapons, and I have many weapons that are not firearms or easily identifiable as weapons. So I say be specific, it's the technical writer in me.
I had this issue with my local bank after they were bought by one of those big North Carolina Banks. Evidently big NC banks don't like customers because they promptly posted their banks here as "criminal protection zones". After verifying their policy, I went in and closed my accounts and was instrumental in getting at least $200K worth of other accounts pulled as well. I told them why they lost my business and I told the bank I moved my accounts to why they were getting my business, and why I recommended them to the other people who pulled their accounts.
If it is practical for you to do so I would let them know that if this is indeed their policy, your policy of protecting yourself dictates that you will find a new bank. Also let them know that you will be sure everyone you know is aware of their policy and that they will likely need to find a new bank as well. I did this, but since it was a big out of state bank they did not care.
June 17th, 2005 07:27 AM
I think that is a great letter, and very reasonable. I'd send it and see what happens.
If you do send it, please let us know if you get an answer.
EOD - Initial success or total failure
June 17th, 2005 07:31 AM
I would go a step further & call it a Self~Defense or Personal~Protection Firearm.
June 17th, 2005 08:41 AM
Spacemanspiff, I have your response for you....
As the management of the branch you where asked to leave the other day and in reference to your knowledgeable letter, I have a response for you and the rest of you gun toting folks... I don't care what the law says you can or cannot do with your gun, you cannot do it in this bank! Period. You see it is not a matter of law it is a matter of POWER, I have the POWER to make your life easy or hard and being I do not like guns, (or your letter) your life will be hard at this location. Not only that but as you signed your letter, I will flag your accounts and every time you come in you will be asked to show you do not have a gun...bank policy! If you do have your gun you will be refused service and sent on your way, refuse to leave and I will call the police to have you removed/arrested, then you will loose the right to have your gun in the first place. The MANAGEMENT :chairshot
*** No I am not REALLY the management for that branch, but have worked for a few banks over the years and have heard managers talking, it is a POWER trip for them, they have your money and will do with it as they like, and the same with our accounts, weather they give the loan or send you out with nothing, it is up to them and they think they can walk on water. My bet is that you will get the same response I just sent you but in the more politically correct version. I suggest that you not waste your time with the letter and just carry concealed. Good luck whichever way you go.
June 17th, 2005 09:26 AM
I'd leave out the part about the sign. If they haven't figured out that carry is legal, they probably don't know a sign is required if carry is against corporate policy. Therefore, folks that carry concealed can continue to do so until the bank figures the sign requirement out, if they ever do.
The more I hear about this kind of BS, the happier I am that I live in a free state.
June 17th, 2005 10:42 AM
Short answer: always carry concealed. You went back into the bank, after disarming- what good is your weapon, at that point. I do agree with the above statements, but will point out: I would rather ask forgiveness (after defending my life), than be unarmed-in-anticipation. No signage=ok carry, your goal is personal/community protection; but maybe I'm just not activistic enough......
June 17th, 2005 01:59 PM
i've been thinking about it, and i don't think my employer would back me up on this, so it'd be an effort in futility to press this issue with the bank. and JAXFL is right, the bank management could easily make our life hell over this.
since it isnt where i personally do my banking, i will let this go. however, should they post the building i will send them a letter as well as letters to the editor expressing why making 'crime-rich-zones' is a bad idea.
was it a bad idea to carry openly into a bank? in hindsight, yeah it was. i guess somedays i luck out and learn something new.
June 17th, 2005 04:07 PM
Can't figure why you did that. Just to see what would happen? Just to make a statement? Just to "say" look at me? If they post a sign would I be correct in saying that I,who ALWAYS carry conceled, could not go into the bank? If that is the case well----thanks a lot !! ------ P.S. Looking back at your post, now I fully understand what your motive was for doing this---"just for funsies" is a great reason.
July 4th, 2005 12:14 PM
Bad idea, send the letter anyway.
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