I’m looking for a story about a young man living in a society where individuals can carry a weapon, but must display a badge to indicate to others that they are carrying a weapon.

  • 7
    What about this story is science fictional or fantastical?
    – Valorum
    May 12, 2022 at 16:35
  • 1
    Could the badge have meant that they were not armed? May 12, 2022 at 16:36
  • When were you a teenager? Heinlein wrote stories like this in the 1950s-1960s, L. Neil Smith wrote stories like this in the 1980s (first came out in 1978, actually). There are probably others, too.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    May 12, 2022 at 17:22
  • 1
    It's been a long time since I read them, but this is making me think of H. Beam Piper's stories where everyone goes armed, stories like A Planet for Texans.
    – DavidW
    May 12, 2022 at 21:01
  • 3
    @releseabe: In *Starship Troopers", not even the police carry guns. You may want to actually read the book. It is very unlike that travesty of a movie.
    – JRE
    May 13, 2022 at 5:34

2 Answers 2


In Beyond this Horizon by Robert Heinlein, most people go armed. Unarmed people are the exception rather than the rule.

Unarmed people wear clothes to be distinctive - so as to not get involved in duels.

  • 5
    That's the one I had in mind. The unarmed folks wore badges/armbands called "brassards". sciencefictionruminations.com/2013/02/03/… May 12, 2022 at 21:53
  • 1
    Agreed. At one point the protagonist is getting drunk at a bar, and the barman says he won't feel comfortable serving him any more unless he gives the barman his gun; and lets him lend him a brassard.
    – sueelleker
    May 13, 2022 at 11:00

It could be "The Weapon Shop" by A E Von Vogt, but I do not recall the story having a badge as a story element.

  • 5
    In The Weapon Shops of Isher not everyone is armed. The weapon shops arm people to help them against an oppresive government . Very few ordinary citizens are armed in those stories. Also, the weapons are illegal. The government can't do anything about the shops because of shielding and some kind of lie dectector like thing that unerringly picks out the undercover agents who try to infiltrate the weapon shops.
    – JRE
    May 12, 2022 at 20:58

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