**Please note: The blog post below is out of date and is one of our most visited at Bangers and Mash, please visit the 2016 post for up to date information.**
Recently the topic of Warehouse Clubs came up on a forum and one participant incorrectly noted that Costco has a posted GunBuster sign. So to be clear there is no NC Costco I am aware of which displays a GunBuster sign.
What Costco does have is a policy deeply buried on a third-party website which says firearms are not allowed. What does that mean for you if you are a Costco customer? How can you possibly adhere to a policy which is not prominently displayed? The answer is you cannot. You were not provided with the policy when you signed up with Costco, it is not displayed on the doorway and it is not displayed in an easy to get to place on the website. Now if you are found with a firearm they can ask you to leave, just as any business can ask you to leave the premises. They might also cancel your membership, but that is really all that can happen if you are found on the property with a firearm. The solutions are simple, don’t have a firearm on the property, or be sure you don’t print.
Anyway, let’s demonstrate what it takes to find the policy.
- Go to the Costco website
- Select “Customer Service” in the upper right corner
- Select “Costco Member Questions & Comments”
- Select “Warehouse, Business Centers or Membership”
- In the pop-up window:
- 1 – Select “Other” in the dropdown menu
- 2 – Type in “firearms” in the text box
- 3 – enter an email address (any address will work)
- Select “Next”
- Select the link “Personal Firearms/Guns in Costco Stores“
A bit painful to find and buried so deep in the website, actually on a third-party website, that it would be difficult for anyone to show you should have known the policy.
Personal Firearms/Guns In Costco Stores
Costco Wholesale is a membership-only warehouse club. It is not open to the general public. It restricts membership to a limited group of qualified individuals who agree to membership conditions. We have the right and the obligation to our members, to enact and enforce membership rules. The Member Service Employees at the exit doors are obliged to follow these rules. By obtaining a Costco membership card, our members agree to comply with the Membership Rules and the Privileges and Conditions of membership.
Costco does not believe that it is necessary for firearms to be brought into its warehouse stores, except in the case of authorized law enforcement officers. For the protection of all our members and employees, we feel this is a reasonable and prudent precaution to ensure a pleasant shopping experience and safe workplace. Our policy is meant to protect our members and employees in all warehouses around the world. This is not a new policy and we do not customize the policy for each individual city/county/state/country where we do business.
Our primary goal at Costco Wholesale is to keep our members happy. If you believe that our policy restricting members from bringing firearms into our warehouse stores is either unfair or excessively burdensome, or you cannot agree to abide by this policy, or you are dissatisfied for any other reason, Costco will promptly refund your annual membership fee in full.
Personally, the Costco policy will not stop me from shopping there anymore than the NC rules against carry where alcohol is served will stop me from eating in a restaurant with a bar. I know some people choose to boycott businesses who do not allow concealed carry and that is your choice. For me, I choose to save money! 😉
Edit: Located these images online. I find the “Do Not Post” portion to be interesting. Kind of a don’t ask don’t tell policy.