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What is Costco’s Gun Policy?

Costco Guns

In recent weeks here on ConcealedCarry.com we have been taking a look at major companies in the United States and their gun policies in order to give curious gun owners some knowledge about where they and their firearms will or will not want to spend their hard-earned cash. Today we continue that trend by taking a look at one of the major markets in the U.S., Costco.

Unfortunately Costco has had a history of being anti-gun long before the events in Parkland which saw a slew of new businesses throw their hat into the pro gun-control ring. In fact it is one of the stronger tenants pushed by the corporation.

If you go to Costco's website and attempt to gain a membership to the store you will see written plain as day that…

“Costco policy prohibits firearms to be brought into the warehouse, except in the case of authorized law enforcement officers.”

That in and of itself is likely enough to make most pro-gun folks automatically pass on the store no matter how many pounds of shrimp you can buy in one run. However, Costco has gone on to explain more in-depthly why they don't believe in having firearms on their property.

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.

So if this is the first you are hearing of Costco's stance and you yourself have a membership with them at least you know that if you cancel and state their gun policy as the reason you will receive a full refund of your annual membership cost.

On a personal note, the language used in this notice is quite odd considering in the very same paragraph they allow firearms for law enforcement within their walls but they also paint firearms as being unsafe. It's odd that a company, in sending an anti-gun message seems to prove the point that good guys with guns are necessary and helpful in the world but we already knew that.

What do you think of Costco's Gun Policy? Do you know of any other anti-gun businesses you'd like us to discuss? Let us know in the comments below.

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41 Responses to What is Costco’s Gun Policy?

  1. kwiffy March 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

    I am one who believes in the right to own firearms. However, I also respect the right of somebody who disagrees with me. If I do not like an opponents position, I have the right NOT to deal with that person. That is my right. Furthermore, I expect that person to respect my belief.
    I have many friends who disagree with me. However, they do NOT try to step on my rights. If they did, they would not be my friend. I do tell these friends that if they ever need help, in such a situation, NOT to call me.

  2. Anna March 14, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

    I learned a lot from your well researched site. Wow, this really confirms how out of control guns are in the US. No to HR 38. We don’t need guns brought into states that have reasonable regulations. After looking at most of the US and the excess of guns everywhere now I know why my family does not feel safe in most of America. I understand the second amendment but no-one needs assault weapons or high capacity magazines. This is a national epidemic and children are dying every day. I am former US Park Police and have seen the gun carnage.

    • Lehi March 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

      Anna, what do you even MEAN by “no-one needs assault weapons or high capacity magazines”?

      There are a trivial number of “assault weapons” in USmerica. They’ve been outlawed except for those willing to pay thousands of dollars for storage upgrades and taxes and “stamps” since 1932.

      “High capacity” magazines is a useless term. For some, it means anything more than 10 rounds, or fifteen, or pick-a-number. Keep i9n mind that MOST full sized pistols comes with at least 15 round magazines, which means they’re NOT “high capacity” at that point, they’re STANDARD capacity.

      If you’ve seen the carnage, you know that there are TWO kinds of attacks: a loner, like (well I’m not going to give them the publicity they sought), and criminal thugs. The latter are like their rodent peers: rats travel in packs. I know it would be horrific to face five armed thugs with only a seven-round magazine ‘cuz, even the best shot doesn’t shoot well when serious adrenaline is flowing. (You also know, I presume, that a handgun is severely limited in its actual fire power. It often takes three to ten rounds to end a threat with a 9mm or even a .45 pistol.)

      Finally, what does NEED have to do with exercising a RIGHT? Do you NEED a Ferrari? Do you NEED more than one book? Do you NEED fifteen or fifty pairs of shoes? It’s your right to own any of these and a host of others. It’s also your right to own a pistol or a rifle for self defense or hunting or target shooting or just to mount on the wall to admire.

      Many people have dozens of firearms. I know of NONE of them (the firearms, I mean) that have killed any one. (I don’t know any people (outside of my military career) who’ve killed anyone, either, but the folks I know are not on anti-depressants and other psychotropic meds. Few of them are Democrats and other Communists, either, and it’s from the overlap of these two groups than 90% or so of the mass shooters come.

      It’s NOT a FIREARMS PROBLEM: it’s a PEOPLE PROBLEM! Taking firearms away from GOOD people will do NOTHING to stop bad people from killing others.

    • mike Sr. March 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

      HR 38 should be passed.. People that have a concealed Carry permit go through more background checks than anyone with a drivers license yet they are allowed to drive into any state they wish to with ONE drivers license . Why should I be restricted or rather should I say be required to have a permit for every state I enter ?

    • Parley Byington July 17, 2018 at 8:14 am #

      You may have seen some gun carnage in your work as a Park ranger, but you certainly did NOT learn anything from it. The fact that our founding fathers saw the necessity of including the 2nd amendment in the bill of rights goes to show how uninformed you truly are.

      I am a Vietnam veteran and put my life on the line for over six years during that war to protect the constitution of the United States of America and that INCLUDES the 2nd amendment just like it includes the 1st amendment.

      People like YOU CAN NOT pick and choose which of our constitutional laws and its amendments you will obey and honor. Either enjoy, support, and defend ALL the bill of rights or GET OUT of our country!

      Do NOT come begging people like me who believe in the importance of the 2nd amendment to save your ass against the LIBERAL TRAITOROUS DEMOCRATS and the Anti-American factions now in our country when they start attacking you and your family.

      Signed a Vietnam veteran.

  3. R2Hell March 15, 2018 at 6:01 am #

    Capitalism is great in this respect. If enough carriers avoid Costco because of the company’s policies, the company may see a decline in its business, especially in conservative gun friendly areas. However, I’ve never been asked to walk through a metal detector at Costco nor have I been searched. Have I carried into Costco stores? You bet. In accordance with my state’s laws, the worst consequence I’ll suffer at Costco and other privately owned companies is being asked to leave. Concealed means concealed.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:20 am #

      But that’s what you don’t understand. You won’t be asked just to leave. You’ll have your membership revoked. And if you end up using the gun in the store, the store could have legal recourse against you for you choosing to break their contract by carrying when they told you you cannot. You agreed to that contract when you signed up for membership.

  4. Will April 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

    Whole Foods has recently added a new policy making CCW and Open Carry illegal at their stores. I asked management at the store near me in OH when the signs went up and they confirmed it had just happened hours before my visit (and days after The Parkland shooting). They confirmed the change was brought on by a complaint from a customer who was “uncomfortable” seeing someone w a gun in the store. Now they consider their stores “gun free safe zones”. I spoke to representatives from their corporate office who claimed this was not a political statement and they are not opposed to 2A. I respectfully disagree. This is clearly a political statement. I will no longer shop at this business. Any business that denies me the right to protect myself and my family does not deserve my business.

    • Don June 20, 2018 at 7:49 pm #

      The children are NOT dying by the hands of good guys with a gun. Prove me wrong

  5. Griff Brown June 1, 2018 at 8:16 am #

    I don’t get it, why would Costco want to keep law abiding customers from defending their selves, all the while criminals won’t even care what store policy is? I will abide by their policy, however, if something happens to my family or myself that I could possibly have prevented,(you know,by having my side arm with me)I will hold Costco accountable. If a business won’t let me defend myself, then they ARE responsible for my defense.
    When a few lawsuits are tried, some may change their tune.

    • Parley Byington July 17, 2018 at 8:21 am #

      Your statement is EXACTLY what I told the Manager of our local COSCO here in Henderson Nevada yesterday, 7/17/2018.

      I agree 100% with your comments and hope that INTELLIGENT shoppers inform Costco and all stores that restrict LAW ABIDING CITIZENS the right to carry their firearms with them while shopping in their facilities.

      When these LIBERAL policies start hurting the bottom line of these companies then maybe they will see the light and STOP pandering to the LIBERAL LEFT DEMOCRATS and their ANTI-CONSTITUION RHETORIC.

      Signed a Vietnam veteran.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:23 am #

      But why would Costco change their policy when people like you are going to give them your money even though you disagree with their policy on guns. they’re not going to change until you start boycotting the store and ending your membership and telling them why.

  6. Jey June 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm #

    Until they start posting legally binding signs, I’m going to continue to carry.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:24 am #

      It’s in the contract you signed with them. By signing you legally agreed that you would not carry in the store. Also by signing and paying for your membership, you were telling them that it’s okay to have that kind of policy. Why as a gun owner would you do that?

  7. Ray Powell June 22, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

    I find it interesting that Costco won’t allow guns in their stores but they sell gun safes. Also, I have not seen any signs at my local Costco indicating that weapons are not allowed.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:26 am #

      Do you not read a contract before you sign it? It’s in the membership contract you signed with them when you pay it. therefore you will be legally liable if you use your gun in their store.

  8. Matthew September 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    Concealed – kept secret; hidden. Enough said.

  9. Anthony Ivy September 12, 2018 at 8:39 am #

    Since when did FREE MEN AND WOMEN need to ask anyone if they can exercise their rights? I walk right past any signs I see, they can post whatever they want, and I shall ignore it just as quickly.

  10. Larry W Morrison September 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

    I find it really ironic for Costco to say they “want to keep Firearms out of their Warehouses for the safety of their members and the workers”…But in the same policy statement, make it clear that Law Enforcement can Carry…
    to my knowledge, Firearms have never been a problem when carried by their Members…The problem manifested itself when the Cops Showed up with their Firearms and Murdered one of Costco’s Members, ie. Erik Scott!

  11. Thomas Jones September 28, 2018 at 6:46 pm #

    Such companies want there cake and to eat it too– prohibit carry but not post that prohibition making it legally binding. Note they are attempting to con customers both sides of the aisle so long as they make a buck. They have absolutely no interest in the safety of anyone. If they did, like anyone else they would look up the effectively settled science (see John Lott’s book) and apply it. But again, that really isn’t they point in this exercise,is it?

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:28 am #

      It is legally binding because it’s in the contract you signed with them when you pay for your membership. Does anyone not read contracts anymore before they sign them?

  12. Gray GrayEagle February 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm #

    Today, 05 Feb 19, I was asked to leave Costco because I was exercising 2nd Amendment. Michael was a manager on duty. Once before, I had a gentleman thank me for protecting fellow shoppers, and once a fellow member asked about License to carry. I asked Michael who was going to protect me and looked to see if he was carrying. He was not carrying. It is disturbing to see our Freedoms under attack.

  13. Nick March 6, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

    I was kicked out of Costco today for carrying while trying to get to the pharmacy so I could get my special needs son’s meds. I’m finished with them. My winter jacket was unzipped and an employee saw part of my holster. Not even my gun.

  14. Joe March 8, 2019 at 11:38 am #

    I was challenged today by the greeter John at the Midlothian, Virginia Costco on Koger Center Blvd at Mall Drive. He asked me to leave my concealed weapon in my car. I told him I would leave and never again shop at a Costco owned store. I believe Virginia law requires, or at least used to require, a business to post notices at all entrances of a no weapons policy. This Costco has no such signage.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:30 am #

      It’s in the contract you signed with them when you paid your membership. I can’t believe how many people in this thread don’t read contracts they sign.

  15. James Myers April 3, 2019 at 3:38 pm #

    I was gently reminded today to not open carry at Costco in Cedar Park, Texas. The outside of the store actually has the warning for unlawful carry of a firearm and states that carry by licensed individuals is allowed. I respectfully told them I was a licensed to carry and the employee said it’s in the member contract. I told them I was unaware and apologized. I followed up with the store manager and he told me the same thing. I took the time to educate the store manager and said it would be prudent to post the proper Texas 30.06 & 30.07 signage as their current signage is misleading. I will no longer shop at Costco. Does Sam’s club have a similar policy/stance?

    • jacob April 3, 2019 at 8:08 pm #

      No Sams Club doesn’t have any policy against guns at this time.

  16. Moe May 28, 2019 at 8:18 pm #

    if they don’t have a 30.06 sign I conceal (well) and never had a problem.

    In texas they must have very specific signage. If they ask me, obviously I will comply.

    • Matthew Maruster May 29, 2019 at 7:13 am #

      Moe, here is Costco’s policy. When you sign up for a membership, you are agreeing to abide by this policy. It varies from state to state, but in many states, the elements of the crime would be 1) the person knowingly violates conspicuously posted signage or 2) refuses to leave once notified. I would argue that by signing the agreement you have been notified in advance and signage would not be necessary. Or that you have been notified and refused to comply, by bringing a firearm into the store. Whose to say if Costco would pursue charges if in fact, the state has such a statute. But you likely would have your membership revoked. I am not saying you shouldn’t carry inside Costco, everyone should make their own determination, based on their state laws and risk factors. What I am saying is that people must understand the conditions of the membership they sign.

      -Shirts and shoes must be worn inside the warehouse at all times.
      -Members are welcome to bring their children and up to two guests into the warehouse; however members are responsible for their children and guests. Children should not be left unattended. Only Costco members may purchase items.
      -It is Costco’s intent to provide a shopping environment free from all forms of harassment and discrimination for employees, applicants, independent contractors, members and suppliers. We prohibit all forms of harassment and discrimination.
      -Costco reserves the right to inspect any container, backpack, briefcase, etc., upon entering or leaving the warehouse.
      -To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse.
      -Liquor and tobacco sales cannot be made to minors.
      -Costco policy prohibits firearms to be brought into the warehouse, except in the case of authorized law enforcement officers.
      -Animals are not permitted in Costco warehouses unless admission is required by applicable law.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:33 am #

      Do you not read contracts before you sign them? It’s clear in their contract when you sign up for membership that you cannot carry in their store.

  17. Chef don June 6, 2019 at 2:48 pm #

    I def must say i didn’t see anything in the sign up for member ships that’s says I can’t carry. I was just force to take my gun back out. Although I have a l t c Def will be getting rid of this acct. and getting my money back there is nothing legally posted saying I can’t carry Just says I can’t be on the property with out a l t c

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:33 am #

      Then you obviously didn’t read the contract you signed with them because it’s in there.

  18. Dennis June 16, 2019 at 10:56 am #

    Store poly is store policy it says NO guns it means NO guns on property.I think everyone need to look and say what made this off duty cop pull his revolver and start shooting and put customers lives in danger. I’ve not read where the others had any weapons and his life was in danger at no point. I feel someone need to pay for this because a man life was taken and NO man or women has the rite to take someone life.

  19. Jon June 26, 2019 at 8:20 am #

    I do NOT feel safe in these “gun-free” zones! I will not enter businesses who display these signs.

    I will probably be cancelling my Costco Membership.

    Frankly, the anti-gunners have brain damage IMO.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:35 am #

      Gun owners also have brain damage because they continue to support businesses like Costco even though they have made it clear that they do not respect rights for someone to protect themselves and their families. Why would gun owners continue to give their money to companies like this? Companies have no motive to change their policies as long as gun owners Pat them on the back and say it’s okay.

  20. William July 9, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    I did not realize they had a no firearms policy. I just signed up last night and was going to finalize my membership this evening. I carry EVERYWHERE I can legally carry. I’m not so sure I want a membership at this point. I’m not comfortable leaving my firearm in my car and I don’t want to travel without it.

    • Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:37 am #

      Did you not read the contract you signed with them when you paid for your membership? It’s right in there. At least you’re willing to revoke your membership over their policy. If every gun owner and person that believes and owning guns for self-protection would do such a thing Costco would change their policy because it would hurt their business.

  21. R Stacey, CCW holder August 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

    Unfortunately many people can’t (or won’t) understand the concept that good people obey requests from well meaning entities and bad people don’t. By restricting self protection in it’s stores, COSTCO leaves the door wide open for bad people to do bad things there and possible law suits for not protecting customers or not allowing customers to protect themselves. If they want to solve the problem they could do it responsibly by offering a gun safety program (paid for by participants) and administered by the world’s best gun experts: the NRA. The program would emphasize shoot/no shoot scenarios in public places. After completing the course, participants would be endorsed to carry CONCEALED inside Costco’s stores. There are many things to consider when carrying a firearm. Once you fire a round, you own it and it can’t be called back. There are instances where you would not fire a weapon even if there was imminent danger because you could cause more damage than you would prevent. A responsible course by the NRA would teach these things and lead to a safe environment for all at Costco. One of my most favorite stores.

  22. Amy August 9, 2019 at 7:40 am #

    Does anyone seriously not read a contract before they sign it? Costco is clear in the contract you signed with them before you pay your membership that you cannot carry in their store. If you say you didn’t know this then you didn’t bother reading it before you signed it. And if you say you don’t care and you’re going to carry anyway, what you’re telling Costco is that you agree with their policy because you just gave them your money. It’s no wonder companies such as Costco have these policies because gun owners will give them a thumbs-up anyway by giving them their money and shopping in their stores.

  23. Bulldog August 13, 2019 at 12:11 am #

    Sam’s is not anti gun and the lines at their gas stations are shorter. I’ll be cancelling my Costco membership. No loss

  24. TN.Frank August 17, 2019 at 9:58 am #

    I’ve had a Costco membership for about 3 years and always carry since I’ve never seen a sign prohibiting me from doing so. As far as I’m concerned my Right to Self Defense trumps their idiotic anti-gun policy. As soon as our membership is up for renewal I’m not going to renew it and let the management know why and tell them I’m getting a Sam’s Club membership since they don’t discriminate against Law Biding Firearms Owners.

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