I regret that I was not able to fully participate in the discussion that my last post engendered; but a family vacation out of country intervened. But Iâ€™m back now, so I can address a couple of points that came up.
First, of course, I donâ€™t believe that the usual business owner should discriminate against the usual firearms bearer, either as a visitor or employee (except as far as dress code; donâ€™t open carry a white rifle after labor day, donâ€™t open carry at people, &c); at least not as a matter of course. There are circumstances where certain specific areas of a business might be off-limits to carriage of firearms; you donâ€™t necessarily want to allow large chunks of ferrous metal into the MRI room, or non-instrinically-safe items into a place with a volatile atmosphere, for example. Not to mention tightly-secured aras such as prisons, mental hostpitals, or certain areas of courthouses. However, I am also somewhat leery of using the blunt force of law to enforce this societal norm against private property owners. In this case, while Iâ€™m not unaware of the civil rights aspect, itâ€™s not a free-for-all, either. Regardless of your right to free speech, a private property owner may ask you to leave if you exercise it in certain ways, for example; or if you are an employee your free speech rights may be quite sharply curtailed while on the property or on the clock.
However, I chose the title of the last post and this one to highlight that my suggestion is to change the â€œdefaultâ€ assumptions. Today, the â€œno gunsâ€ sign functions against lawyers as a bunch of garlic does against vampires; as a mythical ward against their depredations. The suit in Colorado aims to change this assumption, but not particularly in a way that the supporters of the RKBA should be happy about; the plaintiffs claim that the theater chain should have had more security, not that they should not have posted, and that the theater should be on the hook for compensating the victims and families.
In a better legal regime, the property owner might be excepted to take basic and minimal security precautions, such as ensuring any exterior lighting is in proper order, just as they should ensure that the parking lot does not have any sinkholes, &c. When it comes to controlling access to the property by possessors of weapons, thought, they can have a choice. On the one hand, that if a property owner does not prohibit firearms to the people who are inclined to observe such a restriction, they should be immunized (a la the Protection of Commerce in Lawful Firearms acts immunization of retails and manufacturers of firearms, as a very off-the-cuff suggestion). But, on the other hand, that if the property owner does post, they should be required by law and custom to make a serious effort to ensure that all visitors are protected. IE, that a secure perimeter be established, at the boundaries the visitors be given the opportunity to safely and securely disarm and stow their weapons and later safely and securely recover and rearm, and that the property owner be potentially liable in civil (and if appropriate, criminal) court for malicious acts perpetrated against visitors (and employees), not to mention the secured weapons.
This is something that could and should be codified in law, that if a business owner wishes to declare part or all of their property a â€œweapons-freeâ€ zone, they must make a sincere and thorough effort to ensure that it remains as such. In theory, I suppose the courts could force the issue, but in practice I donâ€™t think they will, at least not in a manner we would recognize as supportive of the general RKBA.