BY JOSHUA L. GRIMES, ESQ.
Joshua (MPI Philadelphia Area Chapter) of Grimes Law Offices LLC is a
leading attorney in the meeting, convention and association industries. He
is also a popular speaker for MPI chapters and industry conferences. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 TIPS FOR
Different firearm laws in every U.S.
state make it impossible to create hard
and fast rules for every event.
“WELCOME TO THE CONVENTION! PLEASE
CHECK YOUR FIREARMS.” That may not
be the greeting many meeting attendees
expect to hear. But recent changes in gun
laws across the U.S. mean we may be
hearing it more and more.
Several states recently enacted laws
allowing ;irearms to be brought into
public accommodations such as convention centers, restaurants, bars and houses of worship. These states joined others
in con;irming that guns may be carried
by licensed persons nearly everywhere
they choose to go. Some jurisdictions
allow “open carry,” meaning the pistol or
ri;le can be readily seen by others. In
other places concealed weapons may be
Meeting professionals should recognize that guns at meetings are not a
problem for everyone. Many people in
the U.S. prefer to carry licensed ;irearms
with them in their daily routines. Some
do it for safety; others are making a
statement about their constitutional
rights. They are entitled to carry their
guns by law.
For these people, laws that af;irm
their right to bring weapons to public
places may encourage their attendance
at events. And some events that seek to
attract attendees who endorse “gun
rights” will now have more freedom to
cater to that market segment when they
meet in states that have adopted pro-gun
The increasing presence of ;irearms is
also an area of concern for many meeting planners. They may view guns as
inherently threatening to some. The
image of meeting attendees crossing a
trade show ;loor with ri;les strapped to
their backs is a scene reminiscent of the
Gun;ight at the O.K. Corral. Planners may
also worry that an enraged or drunk