Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump regularly calls for getting rid of gun-free zones. However, if the real estate magnate is to succeed in his quest, he’ll have to start with places like Trump-branded hotels and golf courses.
For years, the New York businessman has boisterously voiced his opposition to gun-free zones. In a 2014 interview with the Washington Times, Trump criticized the Aurora theater where James Holmes massacred 12 people and injured 70 more for being a gun-free zone. “If some of the people in the movie theater had a gun, they’d have been shooting at him,” he said. “Nobody had a gun so they were totally defenseless.”
Getting rid of gun-free zones has also been a regular talking point for Trump on the campaign trail. “We have to get rid of that whole gun-free zone nonsense and just stop it,” Trump declared during a speech in Charleston, South Carolina on July 21. “We gotta stick up for the Second Amendment.” He made a similar call on Twitter days earlier following the shootings at two military centers that left five individuals, as well as the gunman, dead.
Get rid of gun free zones. The four great marines who were just shot never had a chance. They were highly trained but helpless without guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2015
ThinkProgress spoke with a number of hotels and golf courses in the Trump empire and found that multiple locations were gun-free zones, even for guests with concealed-carry permits.
“No, we don’t allow any firearms in the hotel,” a manager at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago told ThinkProgress over the phone.
Guns are also banned at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. An employee at the course told ThinkProgress that “we don’t allow firearms on the property.” Asked whether that ban applies even to those with a concealed-carry permit, he said that “with a permit we still don’t allow firearms.”
Nor are weapons, even for those with a concealed carry license, permitted at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk in Honolulu. “It’s a gun-free zone, even for people with a permit,” a customer service agent told ThinkProgress. (Though Hawaii is a “may issue” state with respect to licenses to carry a concealed firearm, it should be noted that, in practice, very few permits are granted.)
Not every Trump-branded hotel and golf course are gun-free. Trump International Hotel & Tower Central Park in New York City told ThinkProgress that a gun could be brought on the premises, but “you have to have a permit to carry it” and “it would have to be concealed.” Likewise, the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas said that “Our security department would have to note as to why you have it and see some paperwork, but other than that it’s fine.”
Properties in the Trump empire aren’t the only surprising places to ban guns. Gun shows regularly forbid visitors from bringing loaded weapons on the premises because, as the Crossroads Gun Show explained, “Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show.”
Researchers at Mount St. Mary’s University released a video last week showing why letting guns into gun-free zones like schools and movie theaters is likely to backfire: most ordinary citizens are not trained to handle life-and-death scenarios and could wind up exacerbating a deadly situation.