Massacre at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California was in another Gun-free zone: 12 murdered, 18 injured

Nov 8, 2018 | Featured

At least twelve people were murdered and 18 injured at a bar in Ventura County last night. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved family members or friends in the attack. We can’t imagine what is going through the minds on parents.

California issues very few concealed handgun permits and Ventura County is below the state per capita average rate, but permitted concealed handguns are banned in bars and other places where the primary source of revenue is from serving alcohol. Below is a picture of the first page of the concealed handgun permit application for California.

It appears unlikely that the security guard at the bar was armed, but people who are recognized as security guards have an incredibly difficult job stopping these attacks. The same is true for the sheriff sergeant who entered the bar to stop the attack. If these mass public shooters see someone in uniform or someone who is identified as a guard, those guards are the first person killed because these attackers know that once the guard is killed, they will have free reign to kill others.

Recent cases where concealed handgun permit holder have stopped mass public shootings are available here.

98% of the mass public shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in places where guns are banned (see the information available here).

From USA Today (California doesn’t ban police from carrying guns in bars, but presumably it is the policy of their police department):

the constant chatter – besides general expressions of hatred for the shooter – was about the six unarmed, off-duty law enforcement officers who were reportedly at the bar during the shooting. Their lack of weapons was a presumed consequence of a California law barring firearms in bars. . . .



  1. Bill

    It was reported that there may have been 6 off duty police officers in the bar…would they have been forbidden to carry their off duty weapons into the bar?

    • Brent

      Officers go through the same procedure as us plebs, just without some of the fees, 2-4 year wait time, restrictions of what handguns they are allowed to purchase, required 8 hour training course costing at least $250, and they are not required to give “good cause” as I’m required to do.

      All that being said, when you have your permit the same restrictions apply to everyone. They must be in uniform if at a bar. The only difference is that police unions can make charges go away if rules are broken.

    • Peter

      It’s Democrap run California….. of course they aren’t allowed to carry their weapons.

    • Kerry

      I don’t the law in California, but NYPD does not allow off duty officers to carry if they are going to be consuming alcohol.

    • Kirk

      Yes this is correct. Not would they. Some were actually denied….

  2. Shawn Taylor

    That’s the part that makes it a sad story. If American cities would stop trying to interfere with the citizens constitutional right and quit making it damn near impossible for “good people” to protect themselves, these things wouldn’t get as far as they do. The state’s, cities and counties that put these bans into effect are basically telling the American people that they need their permission to protect themselves. Are they gonna ban knuckles next?

  3. BostonTea

    The security guard at the bar was UNARMED.


    “The gunman apparently arrived at the bar Wednesday night in a car, and shot an unarmed security guard who was standing outside.”

    There were also at least six UNARMED off-duty police officers at the bar.

    The Daily Beast:

    “At least six unarmed off-duty police officers, moonlighting as security guards Wednesday night, were at the bar. A parent told Dean that at least one of the guards “stood in front of my daughter” to protect her from bullets.”

  4. Tom Jacobs

    Gun-free zones work well for law-abiding citizens. They follow the rules. Having unarmed security guards helps break-up bar fights not take on armed lunatics. The killer was already known as a mentally disturbed ex-Marine from previous call to the Sheriff’s office. He should have been taken in the first time LE was called to investigate in April 2018 and held for evaluation under statutory rules for the allowed 72 hours. Onsite 30 minute psych evaluations are inadequate, and meant to calm the agitated individual. They often further endanger the caller’s family and the public well-being after the officers depart the scene. There would have been no harm to hold and disarm the killer for 72 hours while under thorough psychological observation. Neighbors interviewed said the murderer was aggressive, unfriendly and “scary”. Clearly, in hind-sight, this killer should have had all firearms confiscated for a suitable period of time at the first event. There needs to be an algorithm to help LEO determine when to act. Better safe than sorry!

    • Jon Hinch

      Almost all laws work well for law abiding citizens as they obey them . Unfortunately when others don’t said law abiding citizens suffer . Without enforcement by security gun free zones are making things worse . Having said that your answer is elsewhere completely correct . It is all to often that ” warning signs” are ignored and existing law not applied . Hindsight is fine but I have no idea how often ” warning signs ” are ignored and nothing bad happens .

  5. MattR

    A clarification on CA concealed carry law: permit holders are not allowed in establishments whose primary purpose is dispensing of alcohol; like a bar. Restaurants that serve alcohol and/or have a separate bar area, are lawful to enter. CA law specifies zero consumption of alcohol by permit holders when carrying outside their homes. This place is closer to being a ‘bar’ than a restaurant; given the large dance floor and table arrangement. Ventura County is pro-gun rights so it’s a tossup whether this Bar & Grill had policy to forbid firearms. If reports are true that there were 6 off duty LEOs in the bar, and they were unarmed, I’d tend to think they did.

    • johnrlott

      It has the name “bar” in the title of the establishment. Indeed, the word “bar” comes first in “bar and grill.”

      Ventura County doesn’t issue many permits. You are still talking about just a couple tenths of one percent have a permit. Outside of California and New York over 8 percent of adults have a permit.

  6. Steve

    This just shows how big of a s hole California has become. But every politician in the state has armed security and fences around their mansions. Mad Maxipad that includes you.

  7. Frank McCarthy

    To be fair, Texas has the same law. If 51% of the establishment gets their income from alcohol, you can’t carry. Generally, I would think this is a good idea. Guns and alcohol don’t mix well, like drinking and driving. I do have a CCW issued by Ventura County. There’s more of us than you might think. Also, I’m in a FB group that the slain officer was also in. He had posted in that group about 3 hrs. before the incident. Yes, I do believe that the security guard or some other responsible employee should have been carrying.