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Sunday 10 July 2022

"Take your gun - and find somewhere else to stay"

You would think it was common sense not to allow hotel guests to carry guns.

But common sense and the people of the good old US of A do not always go hand in hand.

This week, hotels across New York City announced they are joining forces to ban guns from hotel rooms - a move they say will help protect guests and tourists.

After the US Supreme Court (not so supreme when it comes to sensible ideas) struck down New York’s "concealed carry" law - which was over a century old - the New York state state legislature passed a bill that allows guns to be prohibited in "sensitive areas," including private businesses.

"This is really important because it's a destination marketplace for the world," Vijay Dandapani President & CEO, Hotel Association of NYC said. "The focus of this is entirely on the safety of the people coming in here."

The Hotel Association of New York City, which represents hundreds of hotels in the city, struck a deal with the Hotel Trades Council so that most hotel rooms will prohibit guns of any kind.

On-duty officers and agents will still be allowed to carry a gun, as well as anyone else exempted under the state’s laws.

Employers will notify all customers and guests about this ban on firearms.

"The agreement will be there at some point, either in the reservation confirmation or on the [hotel] website," Dandapani said. "That’s up to each hotel."

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Hotel Trades Council wrote a letter to state lawmakers, urging them to pass the bill allowing guns to be banned from private businesses.

"Public accommodations and tourism hubs may always be targets for people with guns to commit terrible acts of violence, but by achieving this agreement to keep guns away from these vulnerable areas, we can better ensure the security of workers and customers while also promoting the economic recovery of the hospitality sector," said Rich Maroko, president of the NY Hotel & Gaming Trades Council (HTC).

"Obviously, it is not safe to allow guests and members of the public to wander into hotels, restaurants, and casinos fully armed.

“Now an angry customer at the front desk, across the bar, or on the casino floor isn’t just an angry customer - they are potentially an angry customer with a gun.”

High-profile hotels like The Plaza, New York Hilton, and the Marriott Marquis are covered by the deal in addition to hundreds of other hotels that cumulatively operate about three-quarters of rooms citywide.

Hotels will begin enforcing the policy in the coming weeks - but it is not clear how.

The message will, however be driven home: If you need a gun in your hotel room, then find somewhere else to stay. 

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