Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Costco and Guns

Sailorcurt of the Captain of a Crew of One blog has an interesting post about the wholesale club Costco and their policy on guns in the store.

Their policy is that guns are not allowed in the store except for law enforcement personnel. As a membership store, this is, of course, their right to do so. But as Sailorcurt points out, you have to dig to find out this information. It is not in the FAQ's on their website nor in their brochure outlining the terms and conditions of your membership.

Not that long ago, a West Point graduate who was carrying concealed was shot and killed by police outside a Costco store in Las Vegas. It is still not clear exactly what happened and, while I hate to be a cynic, I expect the outcome to exonerate the Metro Las Vegas police. What is clear is that a Costco employee called 911 and reported a man with a gun in their store.

It is up to you whether you want to deal with Costco or not. For me, it is a non-issue as we don't have any Costco's in western North Carolina. We only have Sam's Clubs and their policy is to abide by the laws of each state and locality with regard to guns. I suggest you read Sailorcurt's post above and then make up your own mind after reading it.

UPDATE: "nealatkins" below suggests that I've been punked. By extension, then Sailorcurt has been punked. The suggestion that this is not really Costco policy is because of the header which leads to Costco's in-store firearms policy. It reads:
If I just looked at the header I might have agreed. Since I was challenged to "prove" it I will. If you go to and then click on the menu header for Customer Service you will get this:
Once there click on the link to "Membership Information". You will then get a header that looks like this:
On that page is a section called "How Do I Join?" The fourth item reads:
Membership cards will be issued immediately when you apply in person, or mailed within 7-10 days after receiving the application in the mail. If you desire additional information, please contact our call center at 1-800-774-2678, or e-mail us at customer comments and suggestions.
The part that reads "customer comments and suggestions" is a hyperlink. Clicking on that you will get:
The link to the firearms policy quoted by Sailorcurt begins "" just as the hyperlink to customer comments and suggestions reads "". I am presuming that they have outsourced either parts of their customer service or IT infrastructure. Checking using whois, is registered to Savvis, Inc. provides data centers and other IT professional services.

Why did I just go to such lengths just to show that the information presented on this blog is correct? Because I strive to do my best to provide honest, verifiable information on guns, gun laws, legal issues dealing with firearms, and gun policy.


  1. Thanks for helping to spread the word my friend.

  2. The post is bullshit. It's a fake according to Costco main office. Someone with more computer skills can track it back to whoever hacked it.

  3. @nealatkins

    As my high school chemistry and physics teacher, Sr. Rita, always said, "Prove it". Present me the evidence and I will retract it. Until then, I stand by Sailorcurt.

  4. Uh, if you go to the bogus site you will see the header is wrong. Otherwise, you PROVE that this is the Costco site. You've been punkd

  5. Sorry Neal, but you're wrong.

    egain is a third party vendor contracted by Costco to run their online customer service and "knowledgebase".

    There actually is a way to get to that page from the main site that was discovered after I posted about it. It's not easy and would be very hard to find if you didn't know exactly what you're looking for, but it is there.

    From the main Costco page, click on "Customer Service".

    Then click on the "Contact Us" link.

    Then click "Member Questions and Comments" link.

    That will bring up a new window. Notice that the new window's url goes to the domain.

    Click on "Warehouse, Business Centers or membership"

    This brings up a new window with a web form.

    Select "Other" for the topic.
    Enter "firearm" in the "Enter your message here" field. It's not actually going to send them a message, it's going to search their knowledgebase based on what you put in there.

    You are required to enter an e-mail address, but it doesn't have to be real...put anything in there...then click "next".

    After searching for a while, you should get a search result entitled, "Personal Firearms/Guns in Costco Stores".

    Click that, and get to the page linked in my original post.

    So, my post was inaccurate in that there is actually a way to get to that screen if you can crack the code and figure it out...but the policy is most definitely a Costco one...and is most definitely not published sufficiently for members to be aware of before signing up. I've gotta know: Who did you talk to at Costco? What number did you call? Did you get a name? Because either they don't know what their own policy is, or they were lying to you.

    As I said in my initial post, this came up for me a couple of years ago, and I was informed via e-mail about this policy, so I've actually known about it for awhile and I got the word on it straight from the horse's mouth.

    So...who was it that got "punkd" again?

  6. @nealatkins,


    Check the link: Costco Member Questions: Member Questions & Comments

  7. The policy is correct. I printed it out, took it down to Costco, the staff at the help desk did not deny it and gave me a full refund. My apologies.

  8. @nealatkins: It takes a big man to admit when he was wrong. I'm glad it worked out for you. I hope you'll continue to read this blog.