Minneapolis gun-ban signs

Minnesota's 2007 "concealed-carry" law allows permit-holding gun owners to carry an unlimited number of handguns on their person in public except for certain cases and when businesses specifically post their policy banning guns on site. While Flickr users -- including Kelly Haferman, Geoffrey Brown, Kerim (1, 2, 3) and Jeff Houck -- have documented many of these ubiquitous signs, I haven't seen any contemporary art photographers address the topic. Have you? Please let me know in comments. Or if you find any examples of hand-made or uniquely designed signs, send them my way.


Aaron said...

Might need someone to confirm this story, as it was from a long time ago, but I stand by this version of it:

When the sign requirement first took effect, The Gopher Bar in Saint Paul had a sign actually WELCOMING guns into their establishment.

Then they got robbed at gunpoint.

Sign has since been changed.

Paul Schmelzer said...

Not to shoot down dialogue (ahem), but I'm interested in the sociology and aesthetics of these signs. If you'd like to discuss the nuances of Minnesota's firearms laws or your enthusiasms on either side of the issue, please do so elsewhere. Thanks.

Paul Schmelzer said...

Yeah, I remember that. I think they'd posted it as no-guns, but then after a robbery changed the sign. I can only find message-board mentions of it now, though, no photos.

Ben said...

Wow! The aesthetics of these signs are a stark reminder that people (The Gap excepted, of course) should spend more on graphic designers. The DIY sign is a travesty, and it's creator should be shot.

Truth Liberty Justice said...

When the law went into effect it also includes signage rules...if I recall it dictates the wordage, font, and size which would limit any graphic designer.

Rich Barlow said...

Regarding aesthetics:

Did the law as written require a certain font, wording and size to these signs? If so, are the more creative versions void?

(Looking briefly online I found this: The law requires that signs state, "(Operator) Bans Guns in These Premises," use Arial type font in characters 1.5 inches high, print in black ink on a bright contrasting background, print on paper no smaller than 11 inch by 17 inch, and be posted at a specified height and specified distance from doors.)

Paul Schmelzer said...

Yeah, the statute (linked above) says:

"Conspicuous" means lettering in black arial typeface at least 1-1/2 inches in height against a bright contrasting background that is at least 187 square inches in area.

Interesting that "conspicuous" would include arial in its definition. Wouldn't one of those zany degraded 90s typefaces be more conspicuous? Or Cooper Black? Also, I guess that means the hand-made sign pictured doesn't legally prevent people from entering their store with guns.