09 November 2011


I just stared, mouth agape. The young man was openly carrying a holstered handgun on his hip. I noticed and no one else seemed to. He walked right to a teller window. I watched him. He glowered at me eyeballing him; pinned me with his eyes, no words spoken. I was intimidated standing in line in the bank.
I used to work as a head teller in Manhattan in a bank on Madison Avenue & 76th Street. There was always an armed guard. But no other person would be permitted to carry a gun of any kind inside.
My local Knoxville bank posts a compliance sign: no hats, no hoodies, no sunglasses. The entryway door sign implicitly declares everyone’s safety is important. OK, fair enough, when I enter I remove my sunglasses; makes reasonable sense.
I decided to have a word with the manager. Vice President Hobbs was open, courteous, professional, and I had her interest. She said she'd review the security tape. Many weeks passed and a new compliance sign appeared on the door: no knives, no guns. I’d never forgotten about the open carry. Much later I spoke with Vice President Hobbs and I told her I was happy about the new compliance sign. I was saddened to learn the bank had lost a customer as a result.
I guess an open holstered handgun on a hip is not socially acceptable on the North Broadway branch premises.

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