5 August 2013
Christopher J. Nassetta
President & CEO
7930 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102
Dear Mr. Nassetta:
I travel to all corners of the world out of Houston for my employer, the ____________ company. Stavanger, London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo (though not recently!), Jakarta, Perth, Buenos Aires, Al-Khobar Saudi Arabia, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Calgary have been on my itinerary recently.
Recently, I had the privilege of redeeming some hard-earned HHONORS points for a romantic getaway with my wife at the Hilton at 2001 Post Oak Blvd., Houston. Imagine my surprise when I found so-called “30.06” language on the exterior doors which specifically forbids the carry of concealed handguns onto your premises by Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHL) such as myself.
By the way, Hilton caused a huge nightmare in a similar way for the 2013 NRA convention in Houston, which had 86,000 attendees. Many of us carried guns to this show, which was in the George R. Brown Convention Center, physically attached to your Hilton by a breezeway. Not one of the 86,000 NRA guests that weekend was a shooter or got shot, by the way. A good time was had by all. But I heard that many people refused to cross the “30.06” no guns signage and therefore did not attend the Friends of NRA banquet held at the Hilton. I did not attend for this reason, but I had no idea the same signage was in place at 2001 Post Oak Blvd. Hence, my near-conflict with it this weekend.
It turns out, Mr. Nassetta, that people with Texas Concealed Handgun Licenses are less likely to get into trouble with the law than Texas police officers. Therefore, to single out Texas CHLs is a completely ludicrous way to address the issue of crime in our society and on your properties. Criminals, by definition, do not obey signs and laws. They carry guns wherever they wish. The only thing the “No Texas CHL guns allowed” signs do is establish your hotel as a zone where no decent person is going to have a gun, only criminals. And that is a situation I do not care to be in, if I have a choice.
Having in mind my personal safety, and my desire to not support businesses that infringe upon my Constitutional rights, I am going to have to make an affirmative decision to not stay at any Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, DoubleTree, EmbassySuites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, or Home2 properties. Also I am going to publish this letter on as many Internet properties as I can find.
I am not being unreasonable in my request to have these “30.06” signs taken down. None other of your competitors treats travelers in this manner; only Hilton. There are too many other good competing offers from Marriott, International Hotel Group, etc., and I don't get treated like a criminal.
I have no problem with your properties having general “No guns allowed” signs. In fact, I encourage it! People who are ignorant of the law might heed such a sign and not take guns with them. The criminals won't be discouraged, but the uninformed, unlicensed, unauthorized ignoramus might. That's a good thing. But when signage is erected with the specific language that creates a specific legal barrier to entry to the Texas CHL, that's absurd, and I refuse to put up with it. I will take my corporate travel dollars elsewhere.