Concealed Carry In A Bank – Is It Allowed?
There's no federal law designating banks as “gun free zones”. Despite that, banks are private property with deposits FDIC insured up to $250,000 per account. In a real situation where a bank robbery occurs, a concealed carrier is under no obligation to respond unless he feels the threat is personally directed towards him or thinks he can quickly resolve the matter himself. That said, is it a good idea to carry concealed into a bank or credit union?
Protecting What Can't Be Insured
We all know our deposits are covered up to a certain amount. If you're in the middle of your local bank branch and a team of armed robbers hits the joint, your money is safe. However, your life and the lives of those around you may be placed into jeopardy. It's at this point, you have to make a decision as to whether you want to act. That's right – it's a decision. And it's a highly unlikely decision, statistically, but still one every concealed carrier may be placed within.
The advantage of being a concealed carrier is the ability to conceal a firearm. The second you have to raise your hands above your head, you risk exposing your concealed carry firearm. You may not have the drop on the bank robbers and, conversely, they may have you covered. So, in that situation, you risk at the minimum of losing your firearm in the encounter.
Conversely, if you choose to leave your concealed carry handgun in the car while you do your business, you are summarily exposed to the risks of being robbed. Many armed robbers don't target the bank specifically but the people coming in and out of them. This is probably the better rationale for staying armed – *where plausible by state, county, and local law*(.
Banks Can Request To Be “Gun Free”
Obviously criminals don't abide by signs but we as law-abiding concealed carriers do. If we're asked by a lawful sign, where designated under state law, then we have a duty to obey. In such cases, it's probably best to leave the gun locked up in the car.
However, if you live a state or county where a bank has the option of requesting its patrons to remain unarmed, you also have the option of looking for a different bank or discussing this policy with the bank manager.
Branches do have the ability to dictate their laws. It's not a law-abiding gun owner coming in that they have to worry about – it's those who have no regard for the law or the welfare of their customers and employees. If a bank branch won't concede that a law-abiding concealed carrier is unwelcome, then perhaps it's time to shop around for better banking solutions.
In conclusion, the prospect of walking out of the bank or using the ATM presents a risk, more so than being caught in the middle of a high-stakes bank robbery. Stay armed, stay considerate of the law and a private business' requests, and maintain your situational awareness.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.