Okay to ask guest to leave their guns at home?

In Dear Prudence, someone asked if it was okay to ask a relative who normally always goes around armed to leave his gun at home. Prudence thought it was fine, but I know a lot of people here are pretty defensive about their gun rights. Those of you who do carry guns everywhere, if someone asked you not to carry it to their Thanksgiving dinner or whatever, would you be okay with that, or would you rather not go than leave your gun?

I don’t carry guns everywhere, or indeed, hardly anywhere, but I’m a pretty staunch proponent of the right of responsible citizens to possess and carry firearms for reasonable defensive purposes. However, if someone were to invite me as a guess and politely request that I come unarmed (“I’m sorry, but firearms just make me a little nervous. Could you leave yours at home/in the car,” I dont think I’d have any other curteous response other than to agree (or politely decline with regret). Frankly, it is a bit of a slight to carry in someone’s house uninvited, as it implies that you find their protection is inadequate.


Carrying in someone’s house, where you are a guest, and where you know the host is against guns (for whatever reason) is just plain rude. Leave it in the car.


I am usually armed. But I will leave my weapon in my vehicle if I know (or believe) the owner doesn’t welcome armed guests.

I think most people are going have the same answer–I’d leave it in the car. And no doubt they will all have their cars properly locked and the gun properly stowed.

If the OP doesn’t mind can I tweak the question a little to ask what if they asked you not to even bring it on the property? They have a lot of kids around and just don’t feel right having it on their property.

FWIW: I would leave mine at home.

Unless the guest has a specific, valid reason (like being an on-call P.I., etc.) for ‘needing’ to carry, it’s just rude to bring a firearm if you know your host would prefer you didn’t. It’s analagous to insisting on chewing snuff if you know it annoys your host, IMHO.

My hubby, long-retired from the P.I. business, does not carry on a regular basis anymore (only when he’s headed out target-shooting or some such), but if he still did (and he is still licensed), he would gladly leave it at home if the host requested he do so, or even if he sensed the host would appreciate it.

Insisting on carrying just because you “can” is an asshole move.

As far as I’m concerned, anything I have in my car is nobody’s business but mine. I’d prolly just decline the invitation.

Your property, your rules. You want me to leave it at home; I will. No if’s and’s or but’s.

Technically, I could decline to enter your property, if it was that important to me. But the odds of me happening to need it at that particular place and time are vanishingly small. I’d rather hang out with you and have a beer, without the gun. It won’t be in the car either, if you don’t want it there.

Yeah, me too. They wouldn’t know what I have in the truck, but if they are so tightly wound that they want to control what is in my vehicle when I am visiting, I just wouldn’t visit.

Hell, if they did know, they’d probably have an aneurysm. :smiley:

This is really an excellent way to test the old age custom of etiquette and manners.

Proper etiquette dictates as a host you are always to make the guest in your home feel comfortable, even if the act makes you uncomfortable, unless there is a valid reason not to.

This is where it gets tricky. For instance, if your hosts served you strawberries for dessert you should eat them, even if you hate them. Of course if eating strawberries gave you an allergic reaction then it is proper to decline and the host should be gracious enough to not only understand but to accomodate the guest with a substitute dessert.

Another example would be smoking. If a guest wants to smoke and you don’t like it and don’t want it in your house, you need to forget this and allow your guest to smoke. The idea being is the guest is a PERSON and your clothes that may retain the smoky smell are just pieces of cloth that can be washed or even replaced. People can’t be replaced, clothes can so etiquette would say allow him to smoke.

Now if you had emphysema it would be perfectly fine to request no one smoke, because you would be getting real damage to you, and the guest should understand and go elsewhere to smoke.

This is how old school etiquette worked, the host always went out of their way to accommodate their guest unless there was a valid reason not to.

In the case of guns it is interesting. You as a host have a duty to make the guest feel at home and if you have reason to believe he is fully qualified to handle that gun you should let him have it. As host your first duty is to your guests.

Now if he’s the kind of person that gets drunk after one or two drinks and starts fighting everyone, and you are serving alchohol, you would be justified in saying no. Of course a better solution would be NOT to serve alcohol to begin with and avoid this problem.

That was old school etiquette and now-a-days, it is much different and it’s pretty much, “my house, my rules” type of deal.

I have trouble understanding why the question would even come up. If I’m carrying a gun, why would I feel you needed to know? It isn’t as if we’re going to have show and tell after dinner.

I don’t “carry,” and every gun I’ve taken into someone else’s home had the homeowner’s express consent.


As I see it, a Homeowner’s right trumps my (and anyone else’s) 2nd Ad. right. If my host don’t want them in their home, I’m (and everyone else is) obligated to leave them behind.

I agree 100%. The hypothetical is that if someone you knew well, knew you to be a gun carrier, asked you to leave the gun at home would you do it? Me, I would. I might even contemplate locking it in the car in a lock box but just telling the host I left it home. But then I’m lying to someone who trusts me, so not sure how I feel about that.

For the purpose of this thread we are presupposing that you are already known to carry a gun.

FWIW: I don’t have a problem with people who know what they are doing carrying a gun. I’d prefer you kept it in the car if you came to my house. And I can’t fathom why anyone would think they would need to be armed to come into my house for Thanksgiving dinner.

ETA: Freudian Slit – if I’m getting off on too much of a highjack let me know and I’ll start a new thread. I found the OP to be an interesting question.

Is it really that mystifying? If I had kids- especially a lot of kids running around like during holiday get togethers- I’d be really uncomfortable at there be any chance I’d have to clean one of those kids’ brains off of my bathroom wall.

It’s perfectly OK. My sister’s boyfriend loathes handguns and has told me that I am not to bring a handgun into the house, and that if I do I will never be welcome again.

He certainly didn’t need to threaten me like that, but it’s his house and his rules, so I respect his wishes.

The thing that would NOT be OK is if someone brought one anyway after being asked not to. That’s just wrong.

I’m sorry, but it is “really that mystifying.” If I’m carrying a concealed weapon, for whatever justification, and anyone else winds up with it, then for several reasons, I’ve failed as a gun owner, and your guest. There is more than enough “Fail” to go around, especially if someone’s brains redocorate the bathroom wall, but I will say that not even my wife knows if I’m armed in any conceivable situation.

No prob! It’s all good. :smiley:

If I had a house with kids in it, I wouldn’t ***ask ***you to leave your guns in the car, I’d ***tell ***you. And that car had better be locked, with guns out of sight.

Well, of course I don’t know what I don’t know. I don’t want people carrying crack into my house, either. But of course if you are carrying crack and I don’t know it, well, I don’t know it and can’t do anything about it.

But if I happen to know that you do carry a gun regularly- and it is entirely in the realm of possibility that that fact might, oh I don’t know, come up in conversation at some point- I probably would ask that you don’t bring it to the family picnic.

I could see this being my stance if I had kids. Why not be safe from accidents, or unintended circumstances?

Agreed. I would further wonder why someone would feel the need to keep a firearm in their locked vehicle on a holiday visit.

Zombie uprisings aside, when might one need to exit the house, go to the car, unlock it, retrieve the weapon and possibly load and or cock it, let alone shoot something?

I’m quite impressed by the attitudes of most people in this thread as far as respecting the homeowner’s rights go, but I’m still puzzled.

As a gun owner, carrier, CCW permit holder, whatever… let’s assume you are at Thanksgiving dinner with family. You are inside the house, your weapon(s) are in your vehicle, let’s assume loaded and cocked.

Describe to me, a reasonable scenario in which you leave the house (from a family dinner), retrieve your weapon from the car, and engage a target.