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Thread: "Asked to Cover" Requirements/Obligations?

  1. #1
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    "Asked to Cover" Requirements/Obligations?

    Hello Group,

    I live in Indiana and last evening I was open carrying in a Penn Station Sub Shop. Open carry is legal here and this establish did not have 'no firearms' signs displayed. I have been to this establishment open carrying at least 4 or 5 times previously without any issues. However this visit was different and caught me completely off guard. I was totally unprepared for this and this is my very first encounter or issue with open carry since I first started open carrying about 2 years ago.

    I was with my wife and ordered our food, paid, got drinks from the fountain and went to sit down and waited on our food. After about 10 minutes a man brought our food to the table and he immediately made comment about me open carrying and asked me to cover it up. I was not asked to leave and was only asked to cover it up. I had never been asked this before and did not really know what to do or say, totally unprepared. I then asked him why and he said something like I was drawing attention and something about the customers?, I cannot remember exactly what he said to me, it was quick but I had a good idea what he was trying to tell me. In my head I was thinking they have no gun signs displayed so i am legal there, but he asked me to cover up, so I am asking myself do i have to comply with his request or am I not obligated, I am thinking to myself very stressed and confused at this point because I don't know! Lots of things going through my head at this point. I was so frustrated and was ready to just wrap up my food and walk out but wife says no stay and eat, but take your gun from the holster and put it in your pocket, but I did not do it. I decided I'll put off covering it for a little bit since there were no customers seated near us where they can see my gun and try to hurry up and eat my food and then leave. Meanwhile my wife is 'crying' about the situation and stressing me out even more. Anyway I am hurrying to eat my sandwich and my gun is on my right side as I am seated at the table with my gun facing the wall where no one could see without making a serious effort to see it, it is not out in the isle way or out in the open. As I am eating my food he passes by and is cleaning tables behind me and wife notices that he is leaning way over behind me to my gun side trying to see if I had covered it up. Its about 78 degrees outside and all I am wearing is shorts and a T shirt. He comes back and confronts me about it that he was serious about me covering it up, he said he is a also gun carrier and supports guns but is also the owner of the establishment and wants me to cover because something about the customers, drawing attention? and something else. My wife told him that I have nothing to cover it up with and he said that I can use my T shirt to cover it. I told him I am leaving. I told him I don't care that I am drawing attention to myself (meaning that doesn't bother ME) or that people are too sensitive about my gun (meaning not my problem if it bothers or makes people nervous) as I was walking out the door and told him I won't be back (no swearing was used). Yeah, probably shouldn't have said some of those things to him, feel I probably made myself look bad and I embarrassed and upset my wife on how I handled the situation.

    Yes, I know I did not handle this very well but I am learning from my mistakes. My question to you guys is, with him asking me to cover up, especially that he was the owner of the establishment, is a request to cover the same situation as if they had 'no gun signs' posted and they asked me to leave? I am very confused on when/if I am requested to cover up a gun, what exactly my requirements or obligations when I am asked to cover up my firearm? I really could use some expert advice on this one guys. How can I handle this better should I encounter this again in the future?

    Thank you so much for any help and guidance you can provide.
    Doug

  2. #2
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dapaq2 View Post
    Hello Group,

    I live in Indiana and last evening I was open carrying in a Penn Station Sub Shop. Open carry is legal here and this establish did not have 'no firearms' signs displayed. I have been to this establishment open carrying at least 4 or 5 times previously without any issues. However this visit was different and caught me completely off guard. I was totally unprepared for this and this is my very first encounter or issue with open carry since I first started open carrying about 2 years ago.

    I was with my wife and ordered our food, paid, got drinks from the fountain and went to sit down and waited on our food. After about 10 minutes a man brought our food to the table and he immediately made comment about me open carrying and asked me to cover it up. I was not asked to leave and was only asked to cover it up. I had never been asked this before and did not really know what to do or say, totally unprepared.

    I then asked him why and he said something like I was drawing attention and something about the customers?, I cannot remember exactly what he said to me, it was quick but I had a good idea what he was trying to tell me. In my head I was thinking they have no gun signs displayed so i am legal there, but he asked me to cover up, so I am asking myself do i have to comply with his request or am I not obligated, I am thinking to myself very stressed and confused at this point because I don't know!

    Lots of things going through my head at this point. I was so frustrated and was ready to just wrap up my food and walk out but wife says no stay and eat, but take your gun from the holster and put it in your pocket, but I did not do it.

    I decided I'll put off covering it for a little bit since there were no customers seated near us where they can see my gun and try to hurry up and eat my food and then leave. Meanwhile my wife is 'crying' about the situation and stressing me out even more. Anyway I am hurrying to eat my sandwich and my gun is on my right side as I am seated at the table with my gun facing the wall where no one could see without making a serious effort to see it, it is not out in the isle way or out in the open.

    As I am eating my food he passes by and is cleaning tables behind me and wife notices that he is leaning way over behind me to my gun side trying to see if I had covered it up. Its about 78 degrees outside and all I am wearing is shorts and a T shirt. He comes back and confronts me about it that he was serious about me covering it up, he said he is a also gun carrier and supports guns but is also the owner of the establishment and wants me to cover because something about the customers, drawing attention? and something else. My wife told him that I have nothing to cover it up with and he said that I can use my T shirt to cover it.

    I told him I am leaving. I told him I don't care that I am drawing attention to myself (meaning that doesn't bother ME) or that people are too sensitive about my gun (meaning not my problem if it bothers or makes people nervous) as I was walking out the door and told him I won't be back (no swearing was used). Yeah, probably shouldn't have said some of those things to him, feel I probably made myself look bad and I embarrassed and upset my wife on how I handled the situation.

    Yes, I know I did not handle this very well but I am learning from my mistakes. My question to you guys is, with him asking me to cover up, especially that he was the owner of the establishment, is a request to cover the same situation as if they had 'no gun signs' posted and they asked me to leave?

    I am very confused on when/if I am requested to cover up a gun, what exactly my requirements or obligations when I am asked to cover up my firearm? I really could use some expert advice on this one guys. How can I handle this better should I encounter this again in the future?

    Thank you so much for any help and guidance you can provide.
    Doug
    First, forgive my attempt to separate your long dialogue into something I could read a bit easier, I hope I was able to maintain some semblance of your intended continuity of thought.

    Second, it wasn’t a mistake of your doing.

    Third, as the owner, if that is initally how he approached you, then he dictates policy on his private property, signs posted notwithstanding. Personally, to mitigate the stressors and anxieties you stated you experienced from this particular incident, I would recommend you smile, ask for a refund, and leave after your refund is given to you. Once refund is in hand, graciously explain you and your family do not need the harassment at a place you have come to enjoy and relax at! Then leave.

    While a number of factors could have caused this, they are not especially germane and do not mandate a ‘discussion’ between you and the owner as it serves no useful purpose except rile everyone up to say things in the heat of the moment. Asking for a refund from the owner will suffice at getting your point across as it hits in their pocketbook which makes a lasting impression.

    Remember, rise above the pettiness of bickering about your right to do this or that or to put up signs, the other person doesn’t care one iota cuz if they did they wouldn’t have started the ruckus in the first place!

    Be the better person, speak normally, turn on you spidy senses, consciously keep your hands away from your firearm to preclude any belief, real or perceived, you are a threat to anyone, gather your family, and leave the premise ~ even if you do not get a refund!

    If the nice LEs were called see paragraph above and be extra careful with your hands, do not make extraneous gestures, and be extra polite. Once out of harms way, file for a FoIA for the police report for your records and future us, as deem appropriate.

    Oh, depending on your financial standing, either get a recorder or assure you know how to record on your phone!

    Finally, take a breath and relax and write a nice email or letter to the corp asking about their firearm policy(ies) and succinctly replay your experience.

    Address it to the CEO, leaving out the mumbo jumbo about rights etc. but how disappointed you are the event ruined your day and in the future you’re going to take your $ to subway or bimpes (sp).
    http://www.penn-station.com/

    added:also use twitter and FB to comment
    Last edited by solus; 05-02-2018 at 05:40 AM.
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  3. #3
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    The owner or even an employee can make or change policy on the spot.

    Get refund, leave, go up the food chain.
    Better to not open your mouth and be thought the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The owner or even an employee can make or change policy on the spot.

    Get refund, leave, go up the food chain.
    I beg to differ. And, I'm speaking from experience.

    Telling you to leave a private home for any reason or no reason at all and you don't may result in a trespass charge. But, a business open to the public is a different story. "No Gun" signs in Indiana have no force of law. The business did not present their policy prior to entering. The business offered him a product for purchase and offered a place for the customer to consume the product the customer purchased. While contract was being fulfilled one of the parties attempted to interfere and/or change the terms of the contract. Remember, no law was being broken while the contract was being performed. If the owner of the business attempted to have the customer charged with trespass for not leaving because the owner wanted to change the terms of the contract the officers should arrest the owner for making a false report. The constitution makes clear that contracts cannot be interfered with.

    Businesses cannot ask you to leave just because.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Reverse the charges

    Simply pay with a credit card, then notify the bank you were denied your food after payment. We did this with a car repair when they did not repair the car but still tried to bill us for storage. No hassle reverse of charges.

    I believe with some banks it is possible to reverse the charges on a debit card also. Check with your bank.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 05-02-2018 at 01:03 PM.
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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dapaq2 View Post
    Hello Group, ...
    Welcome back to OCDO!

    Given your relative newness to OC, or at least newness to being 'challenged' about it, it seems you handled things reasonably well in the situation given various pressures. But, the most important thing is that the incident has caused you to engage in some after-the-fact contemplation, which is generally a good thing. Don't fret if looking backwards you come up with various alternative courses of action. That's just life and learning.

    Without commenting further positively or negatively on your actions, I'll offer the following advice:

    Always remember that a chosen course of action can have public relations and/or legal consequences. Whether an entity is public or private, think about how your behavior might look to a disinterested observer.

    However, I'd encourage you to think about interactions with a privately owned entity not from a "what am I legally obligated to do" perspective, but moreso from a "How can I get/attempt to get a win out of this?" or "How can I avoid behaving in such a way that the owner is glad to have me gone?" manner.

    Legally you *may* have been in the right, but is that the course you're willing to take? Would the time and money you might have to commit to such an endeavor be available and be a wise expenditure of resources, in your opinion?

    Finally, don't be stranger here!
    Last edited by BB62; 05-02-2018 at 06:15 PM.

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    similarities

    Something like that happened to me in Pennsylvania. I was asked to cover up because there were children there. There was no way the children could see my firearm because of the high dividing wall between myself and the other side of the restaurant patrons. The manager actually asked me to take my firearm out of it's secure holster and place it on the bench beside of me so no one can see it. I was so shocked I could did not know what to say for a few seconds. Knowing full well I could not do that with out pointing it at some one some where in the restaurant I said no. Then she mentioned the children again. I said sarcastically are they going to attack? Do we need back up? I left and never went back. Called the district manager and filed a formal complaint. Never went back,

  8. #8
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    It used to be all about the Benjamins, but now it’s all the children.....


    OP,

    I think you did Ok. After 7 years of OC I’m still sometimes a little taken aback when confronted. I have developed some standard answers to repeated question/comments, but that was generally after flubbing a bit on the first try. I just about always think of something I would have liked to have said, later on.

    I guess MY number one rule is, remain calm. If I can’t be calmer than the other guy, time to walk away.
    Last edited by Wstar425; 05-03-2018 at 02:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member ICBM's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    I beg to differ. And, I'm speaking from experience.

    Telling you to leave a private home for any reason or no reason at all and you don't may result in a trespass charge. But, a business open to the public is a different story. "No Gun" signs in Indiana have no force of law. The business did not present their policy prior to entering. The business offered him a product for purchase and offered a place for the customer to consume the product the customer purchased. While contract was being fulfilled one of the parties attempted to interfere and/or change the terms of the contract. Remember, no law was being broken while the contract was being performed. If the owner of the business attempted to have the customer charged with trespass for not leaving because the owner wanted to change the terms of the contract the officers should arrest the owner for making a false report. The constitution makes clear that contracts cannot be interfered with.

    Businesses cannot ask you to leave just because.
    It's true, that if you're asked to leave an establishment because of OCing after paying for your food but before you have finished your meal, you have the reasonable right to ask for a full refund. But, what I disagree on is the act of staying in the establishment after being told to leave, as that would technically be criminal trespass. It would be unlikely you would be charged with anything unless you refused to leave after responding officers told you to do so. You'd most likely receive a written trespass warning, essentially barring you from their property. But, I think it would shine a better light upon yourself versus the establishment in the eyes of the police.

    In my opinion, if told to leave, ask for a refund. If they refuse, simply state that you will have to call the authorities in order to get a refund. This might persuade them to obliging you to a refund, but if not, simply leave and call the police. When they arrive, simply state that you paid for food service and didn't receive/finish your order. They would talk to the workers for their side of the story and ask on your behalf for a refund possibly, and might give in when they have police in their establishment, in front of them, in the view of customers, with patrol cars outside, possibly deterring other possible customers away. In the unlikely case they refuse, which is possible, they officers will determine it to be a civil matter. Get a police report. call first then send a demand letter to their management/owner if the phone call was unsuccessful.

    If they do not refund your money, you could sue in small claims court. It's a very simple process. Make sure you save your receipt and police report, as it will be your main evidence. In Marion County it's $112 to file, which you get back once you win your case, plus the money you paid for your meal and other costs such as reasonable time it took out of your life to file the claim and gas used driving to and from the courthouse at least twice. Their company will feel very silly having to pay around $150 for their actions and rethink their policies in the future.

    An earlier post stated to use a credit card, which would let you simply call the card company and dispute the charge, which is the easiest route.

  10. #10
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I was with my wife and ordered our food, paid, got drinks from the fountain and went to sit down and waited on our food. After about 10 minutes a man brought our food to the table and he immediately made comment about me open carrying and asked me to cover it up.
    Politely say...no thanks...have a nice day, then walk out and never darken their doorstep again.

    Send a letter to corporate as to why you will never again patronize their business, and that you will be passing along your experience to like minded citizens.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
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