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Gun Etiquette at Defcon?

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  • Gun Etiquette at Defcon?

    This is my first time attending Defcon and really looking forward to it and the pre-shooting- I hope I'll be able to make it. Had a questions about carrying a gun inside the hotels- I carry a gun everyday where I live, it's just what I'm used to but I also know that many of the casinos are gun free zones. If not for Defcon shoot I would probably leave my gun at home and not deal with the TSA hassle, but if I'm going to bring it anyway I would rather wear it on me than leave it unguarded in my room (and I have a CHL). What's the story with that with the hotels' policies and does Defcon have any internal rules about it?
    Tl;dr version- Can people carry guns at Defcon?

  • #2
    Originally posted by pdxmike View Post
    This is my first time attending Defcon and really looking forward to it and the pre-shooting- I hope I'll be able to make it. Had a questions about carrying a gun inside the hotels- I carry a gun everyday where I live, it's just what I'm used to but I also know that many of the casinos are gun free zones. If not for Defcon shoot I would probably leave my gun at home and not deal with the TSA hassle, but if I'm going to bring it anyway I would rather wear it on me than leave it unguarded in my room (and I have a CHL). What's the story with that with the hotels' policies and does Defcon have any internal rules about it?
    Tl;dr version- Can people carry guns at Defcon?
    [Disclaimer: I am not speaking for DEF CON: I am providing an answer based on observations and past comments on this topic.]

    In all the docs I have read, DEF CON accepts the rules of the hotel on things like this. The hotel's security (and probably goons if hotel security isn't there first) will approach you if you open-carry, and probably kick you out if you handle, or let others handle your firearm holstered or unholstered. If you have a legal CCW and your location of origin/life has reciprocity with Nevada, and the firearm remains concealed, it is doubtful anyone will complain as they won't know to complain. If you are law enforcement, and can legally carry concealed weapons in Nevada, and do not have your weapons visible, you probably won't have any problem, and if someone does observe it, you may be questioned, but probably left to keep carrying.

    Outside of any official DEF CON statements on carrying firearms while at the con, there have been several "senior goons" (at least 3, probably more) that have publicly stated things like:
    * "Nobody has any reason to carry firearms at the convention other than hired security"
    * "If you have a firearm, leave that *expletive deleted* in your room, room safe, or checked-in with the hotel"
    * "Nobody should ever be handling their firearm or allow other people to handle or play-with a firearm at the con in any of our DEF CON spaces."

    It is assumed there are feds that carry concealed firearms while at con. There have been jokes about "fanny packs" in the past and is assumed true.

    Short answer? If you carry, do so legally, and don't let others see that you are carrying. If the hotel finds you are carrying and tells you that you are not allowed to carry, accept and understand DEF CON can't over-rule the hotel, and the hotel can go further to kick you off the premises, and go further and ban you from returning for years, and if you return, have you arrested for trespassing; it is their property and we can't override them. [If DEF CON returns to the same hotels, but the hotel/casino bans you for years, the hotel ban bans your from DEF CON while at that hotel in that time period.]

    If you have a desire to show-off any firearms, a great place would be at the DEF CON shoot. Next best would be at a shooting range or in your hotel room or some place in private, away from public view, where someone could confuse legal actions with a threat or "terrorism."

    What I think on the advantages of more people having CCW and legally carrying does not matter at the hotels.

    Sorry about any bad news, but hope this information helps you.

    -Cot
    TheCotMan
    *****Retired *****
    Last edited by TheCotMan; July 28, 2016, 01:41.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your response. I don't really have any interest showing-off any guns, I'm somewhat past that stage in my life ;). I just want to make sure that what I'm doing is legal and not violating any rules.

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      • #4
        I would strongly advise you seek out the relevant state statutes to determine where and how you are legal to carry in the state of Nevada. Nevadacarry.org has a list, but i'd vet that against other sites to confirm what it's stating is still relevant/valid.

        If you carry regularly, you're probably used to the unique situations presented by carrying inside large, tightly packed crowds. I'd take particular care to ensure retention and to prevent printing. I wouldn't personally recommend any sort of off-body carry in an environment such as the con.

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        • #5
          Guessing you are from Portland (PDX is the airport code)? Regardless, you can see which states Nevada has reciprocity for CCW. Here is the list:

          http://gsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/gsdn...d%207-2-16.pdf

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          • #6
            First thing, check to see if Nevada honors your State's carry permit.
            If Nevada does not honor it, then legally you can only open carry.

            Posted "no guns/weapons" signs only have legal weight when posted at Government owned/operated buildings, school/university property, and child care facilities.
            (these are the only "gun free zones" under Nevada laws)

            It is legal to carry on private property. (this includes hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars)
            However, if you are discovered carrying, the property owner/representative can legally ask you to leave the property. Failure to comply can equate to a trespassing arrest/citation.
            Traditionally, hotels/casinos will do one of the following if you are discovered carrying:
            A. Ask you to leave the property.
            B. Ask you to secure the weapon with hotel/casino security.
            C. Ask you to secure the weapon in your vehicle or room.

            In order to be legal under Nevada laws, while you are carrying, your BAC needs to be less than 0.10 and you can not be under the influence of any drug.

            That said, IMO...

            DO NOT carry while in the DEF CON convention space and sphere of influence.
            (yes it's legal to do so, but it's not necessary. out of the 13 years that I've attended/worked the con, there has never been an incident in which deadly force was needed to resolve any type of incident that has occurred within the con space. besides the Goons do a great job of keeping the peace and adjudicating differences)

            DO NOT carry while you are consuming any alcohol or any other type of recreational substance.
            (yes it's legal to do so. but it's irresponsible to partake in a substance that can impair you, while you are in control of a deadly weapon)
            “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone for the advice and links. And yes, it is legal for me to carry concealed in Nevada (and Oregon, my home state), without that it would be a nonstarter. I'm aware of the issues of carrying concealed at functions like these. From my perspective there are hard (legal) issues and soft (common etiquette) ones. From a legal perspective, every person needs to follow the local laws as they pertain to them (depending on reciprocity, etc) and from an etiquette perspective, it sounds like if it is done responsibly (I wouldn't advocate any other way) then there shouldn't be an issue, although some people would be more comfortable with leaving it in the room. From my perspective, I would be concerned with leaving it in the room out of my sight in an unfamiliar setting. And under no circumstances should anyone carry a gun in a bag that will ever leave their body (even that I wouldn't advocate). Last point, I also agree that there is no need to carry a gun a defcon with all the security around, but if anyone is bringing one anyway for Defcon Shoot, I would completely understand why they would want to keep it on their person during the conference, especially if they are used to carrying in their home state.
              By the way, I'm still looking for a ride on Wednesday if anyone has an extra spot...

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              • #8
                For those who want a Nevada CCW. they give classes on Sunday, then you go to the police sttaion Monday and submit the paperwork, then get your CCW in a few weeks. I figure if folks get their ham license they may as well grab a CCW while there too. Check into it.

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                • #9
                  I would add that you should see the link posted above by Anx0 which lists the states NV has reciprocity with. It was recently updated at the beginning of this month and includes some new states, most notably Utah which already grants reciprocity to nearly half the country.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pdxmike View Post
                    I also agree that there is no need to carry a gun a defcon with all the security around
                    I'd actually disagree with you, and the other goons thecotman quoted on this point. I'm assuming all goons aren't armed, even if they are I wouldn't expect them (or any other CCW'er) to step into a situation where they can get away from safely to protect me. There's armed hotel security and some minor police presence, but the hotels are huge, and the hallways are literally so packed with people you can't move at some points. Add a criminal who doesn't care about getting away from a crime in that scenario, and it would be a disaster.

                    If you had to use your gun, even if you were 100% accurate, you'd likely still hit bystanders behind your target. But that is a reality of some self defense situations.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by astcell View Post
                      For those who want a Nevada CCW. they give classes on Sunday, then you go to the police sttaion Monday and submit the paperwork, then get your CCW in a few weeks. I figure if folks get their ham license they may as well grab a CCW while there too. Check into it.
                      The gun store (http://thegunstorelasvegas.com/class) gives free classes on MWS. The only cost at the class is for the ammo to do your range qualifications, and the state fee is around 100 bucks IIRC. I'm actually renewing my NV CCW while in Vegas this year (no reciprocity with TX unfortunately. bah!)
                      djdead
                      tormentedradio.com

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                      • #12
                        i would really love to take a NV class if i could. i might look for one that is held on Tuesday since i always stay later after DEF CON.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

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