->''"He who robs with gun in hand,\\
Gets twenty to life, in the can"''
-->-- '''The Fonz''', ''Series/HappyDays''

In various media, [[ConArtist con artists]] and other crooks who pride themselves on their wits tend to [[DoesntLikeGuns dislike using guns]]. Usually, they also dislike carrying them; sometimes, they don't want to be anywhere near them.

It might be simple fear because [[TheLethalConnotationOfGunsAndOthers guns are dangerous weapons]] and the conman might very easily prove to be far less proficient in a gunfight than his supposed victim. It may be pragmatism, as guns are often taken as evidence of intent to kill and will usually get you a longer prison sentence if you get caught, as well as increasing the chance that someone will draw a gun on you in return. The conman might be based in a setting where civilian ownership of guns is strictly regulated, if not completely banned, therefore obtaining illegal guns is even more difficult (Japan, Australia, and the UK, for instance). Given that conmen are frequently serial offenders, it may be illegal for them to just own one on account of their existing criminal record.

On the other hand, it is quite often a point of pride -- [[EvenEvilHasStandards guns are beneath them]]. After all, they aren't called [[ConArtist the con]] ''[[ConArtist artist]]'' for nothing -- a truly good conman makes people do his bidding with ''cunning''. [[JustShootHim Just threatening to shoot somebody]] is [[ConsummateProfessional crude and inelegant]], if not outright ''cheating''.

From an out-of-universe standpoint, it's usually because the easiest way to turn a LoveableRogue, TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily, or ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything into [[BaitTheDog terrifying, evil criminals]] is to show them terrorizing people with guns.

If guns have not been invented, then sometimes the con artist will have a dislike for swords, or knives, or whatever else is the most prolific/dangerous personal weapon.

Contrast EvilIsNotPacifist.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Aiber in ''Manga/DeathNote''. His profile notes that he dislikes violence, and he refuses to take a gun when preparing to ambush Higuchi.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'' takes after his grandfather (in literature) by also being such a ConsummateProfessional that the gun is his last resort. The difference with his ancestor is that the Third still considers it a tool to be used. He also specifically recruited Jigen to his team because he is explicitly one of the -- if not ''the'' -- greatest gunslingers alive.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The English conman/sorcerer John Constantine from ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' hates using guns, and will tend to use wits and magic even in the most direst of situation. This is changed in the InNameOnly movie adaptation, where John is a gun-totting American exorcist.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Doc in ''Film/TheAsphaltJungle''.
-->"I haven't carried a gun since my twenties. You carry a gun, you shoot a policeman. Bad rap, hard to beat."
* Roy in ''Film/MatchstickMen'' keeps a gun next to his money, but when someone tries to rob him, he doesn't want to use it.
* None of the cons in the ''Film/OceansEleven'' films like to use guns. The only time they do is when they're impersonating [[spoiler:a SWAT team]]. In the third film, Linus shows professional disdain when a self-proclaimed master thief robs him with a gun. After taking his loot, the master thief reveals that the gun was empty.
* In ''The Flim-Flam Man'', the rather elderly conman Mordecai Jones (George C. Scott) never uses force and surrenders peacefully when a gun is pulled on him.
* ''Film/LayerCake'': the main character, a career criminal, expresses distaste for his comrade's gun collection, then immediately picks one up and starts fawning over it.
* Captain Jack Sparrow of the ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' franchise will usually go out of his way to avoid killing or violence, preferring to sneak and con his way out of situations; as noted by Barbossa in the [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl first film]]: "Now you see, Jack, that's exactly the attitude that lost you the ''Pearl''. People are easier to search when they're dead." [[spoiler:The only time he shoots somebody is when he uses [[LeaveBehindAPistol the pistol he was marroned with]] to shoot Barbarossa at the end of the first film.]]
* Done for multiple reasons in ''Film/TheItalianJob2003''. Charlie and company make it a point of pride to not use guns, but we also get the impression that they're not very violent people in general, and wouldn't do very well if it came to a shoot-out.
* The titular ''Film/OlsenBanden'' and their Norwegian and Swedish counterparts consistently avoid carrying guns, as their plans primarily rely on cunning and trickery, and allows them to maintain a LovableRogue image. Their less moral antagonists sometimes carry guns, or employ thugs that do. This is at one point lampshaded by Dr Busé (who's a newcomer to the Swedish group) who asks why they, being criminals, don't have guns. (Vanheden responds by showing how far cunning and trickery can actually get you.)
* Averted twice in ''Film/TheSting'':
** First, Hooker would happily kill Doyle in revenge for Luther's death, but admits that he doesn't have the skills needed to do so and therefore settles for swindling him out of a fortune instead.
** Second [[spoiler: as part of the final con Henry uses a revolver loaded with blanks to "kill" Hooker before he himself is "killed" by a fellow conman masquerading as a federal agent, thus leaving Doyle thinking that both of them are dead so he won't come looking for revenge]].

* Mick Connelly in ''[[Literature/InDeath Betrayal in Death]]'' is a con man, pick pocket, and various other thievery-related professions. He expresses a disdain for the guns in Roarke's [[WallOfWeapons private weapon collection]], instead perusing the knives.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Moist Von Lipwig in ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' dislikes swords because they "raise the stakes too high". In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', he buys a cosh because life's too dull and he ''wants'' to raise the stakes a little, and immediately wonders what he was thinking. Vetinari also calls him on this, marveling what Lipwig "[[ActualPacifist who has never struck a man]]" would want a weapon for. In ''Going Postal'', Lipwig himself takes some pride in his non-violent nature and is offended when his golem parole officer calculates he has "killed 2.338 people" by ruining people and hastening the deaths of many by just a bit. At the end of ''Making Money'', Vetinari experimentally shows that Lipwig dislikes weapons so much he is ''more'' nervous when holding a sword than when being threatened by one.
** Kieth, the Stupid-Looking Kid from ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'', never carries any weapons or even throws a punch. Granted, it's easy to get by without a weapon if you have a Clan of intelligent rats traveling with you who ''aren't'' averse to fighting.
** On another note, the Thieves' Guild prefers to incapacitate or frighten its victims into handing over their possessions rather than killing them outright, because that would intrude on another Guild's territory (the Assassins' Guild). Reducing the number of people there are to rob in a city is also bad for their business. Of course, they are free to punish those who steal without a license however they wish. Thieves breaking demarcation by killing people earn a short word from an Assassin: "Goodbye."
* James "Slippery Jim" diGriz, the main character and con man from ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat'' series is a variant of this. He sometimes carries a .75 caliber recoilless handgun with explosive rounds; however he hates killing, only using the gun to ShootOutTheLock and related things. He also carries it [[CantBatheWithoutAWeapon in the shower]].
* ''Literature/ArseneLupin'', in Maurice Leblanc's short stories. Very much due to the ConsummateProfessional aspect of the trope. He dislikes anyone risking their lives (despite putting his own on the line), whether the person taking the risk is one of his accomplices or his victim. Defying his rules can earn you a meeting with the hangman, as he withdraws his protection from the cops.
* The [[BigBadDuumvirate villainous triumvirate]] in the ''Literature/HandOfThrawn'' duology has one character who never makes threats or so much as touches a blaster, and that's the professional con man/actor. Then again, he usually gets on okay with the strategist, who is a [[spoiler: clone of a]] Red Guard and is much more wiling to try violence. The politician once tries pulling a blaster on the strategist and is disarmed quickly enough that the strategist didn't even take the threat seriously; the con man probably remembered that the strategist is ridiculously good at combat.
* In Literature/TimeScout, Skeeter Jackson doesn't hate guns so much as he'd prefer a weapon he's more familiar with, like a Mongolian recurve bow.
* Jack from the ''Literature/{{Dragonback}}'' books, like his uncle, never carries any lethal weapon. After all, they can't accuse you of assault with a deadly weapon if you don't own one. He does, however, enthusiastically embrace ''non''lethal weapons such as tanglers.
* In Lawrence Block's ''Literature/BernieRhodenbarr'' series, Bernie, a burglar and conman, fears guns, as he tends to picture them being used on him.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/WhiteCollar'': Neal Caffrey is usually able to talk his way out of a situation and never has to use one. He does prove in one episode that not liking guns doesn't mean he can't be a very good shot with one, though.
* ''Series/SneakyPete'': hate is probably a strong word, but the only time Marius uses a gun is as part of a con; he clearly has no intention of using it. Also, he is shown not to really want to use guns, despite often having his life or the life of people close to him in danger.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}''
** Eliot doesn't like guns, but explains it's only because they're too ''imprecise'' (this from the guy who could probably kill you in various unpleasant ways with a toothpick or something). His reasons vary from episode to episode, but the real reason he doesn't like them is that they take him back to a part of him he doesn't like. However in The Big Bang Job he does state that not liking guns doesn't mean he can't use them. [[spoiler: He is even able to put most action movie heroes to shame with his over the top shootout]].
** The rest of the team is a more straight example, besides the pilot, none of them wield guns for the entirety of the series. However in the pilot, both Parker and Hardison bring guns to the meeting when they had been cheated and in their flashback Sophie and Nate shot each other.
** In one season finale, a really ticked off Nate practices using his father's gun, intending to shoot the man who killed his father. Everyone else on the team tries to persuade him not to. [[spoiler: He doesn't end up shooting him, choosing to instead turn his partner against him and have them kill each other.]].
* In ''Series/TheMentalist'', titular mentalist Patrick Jane is well versed in con games and general messing with people, and makes his dislike for guns apparent on several occasions - contrasting him with the team of hard-boiled state agents he assists. When two CBI teams [[RightHandVersusLeftHand have an unexpected meeting and reflexively draw their guns on one another]], Jane yells at them to put them away, exclaiming "Cowboys!" in alarm and exasperation. He also immediately drops the shotgun [[spoiler:he used to kill DirtyCop Tanner, who was about to attack Lisbon.]]
* Michael of ''Series/BurnNotice'', a former spy turned [[ChronicHeroSyndrome MacGyver-for-Hire]], doesn't particularly like guns (but is willing to use them when necessary, which of course [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil they increasingly are as the series progresses]]).
-->'''Michael :''' Guns make you dumb. [[DuctTapeForEverything Duct tape]] [[MacGyvering makes you smart]].
* In an episode of ''Series/TheFamousJettJackson'', the [[ExecutiveMeddling executives decide]] that Jett's character in the ShowWithinAShow ''Silverstone'' should have a gun, and, as a result, so should his enemies. The actor portraying the villain The Rat quits in protest, saying that it wasn't in character for the cunning Rat to use guns. ([[StatusQuoIsGod The execs relent and he's back by the end of the episode, though.]])

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Fantasy Roleplay'', followers of Ranald, god of thieves and gamblers, also avoid violence when possible, both because it's crude and unprofessional and because murder is a premise of a competing god.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'', the conman Nick averts this; though he does mention that his holding a firearm is illegal, due to his being a convicted felon, he shows no real distaste for the weapons he carries and certainly doesn't hesitate to use them, especially since they're the only thing standing between him and being eaten alive by rampaging hordes of {{Technically Living Zombie}}s.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'', it's possible (depending on the player's choice) for Fiona to have this opinion. Particularly impressive if so, given that that the game takes place on a DeathWorld. However, this is dropped in later episodes where she clearly has no problem using guns and is even stated to be a better shot than her sister Sasha.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Arsène Lupin in ''VisualNovel/CodeRealize'' dislikes violence in general, but he's particularly dismissive of Van Helsing's tendency to shoot problems until they go away. When it does become necessary to use force, Lupin prefers to go into battle with his [[CaneFu walking stick]] and a selection of mostly harmless pyrotechnic devices.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Walter Hardy in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' typically doesn't carry a gun. [[spoiler:The key word is typically -- as he gets older and slower, he resorts to carrying one... and killed Ben Parker with it. He is genuinely remorseful, and believes he deserves to stay in prison, even turning down the chance to escape in "Opening Night".]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Some criminals avoid guns because the prison sentence for possessing a gun during a crime is much greater than without one. Other times it's simply because physical confrontations aren't a part of their plans.
* Some retired pickpockets have told reporters that any thug can threaten someone with a gun, but it takes ''skill'' to steal someone's wallet and not have them realize it's gone.