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Old July 21, 2012, 01:19 PM   #1
ScottRiqui
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Legal consequences of carrying in a business where it's not allowed?

I know that private businesses have the right to disallow firearms on their premises. But if I'm understanding correctly, that's often just a matter of company policy, and not always a matter of law.

If you're discovered carrying at a business that doesn't allow it, what are the consequences? I know that the management or their representative can ask you to leave, and if you refuse, at that point you're guilty of criminal trespass, but are there any other repercussions?

I'm sure it varies from state to state - I do know that in Texas, if a business has posted a notice that correctly adheres to the wording/size/style described in Section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code, then you're breaking the law as soon as you enter the business while carrying.
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Old July 21, 2012, 02:09 PM   #2
Don H
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In Utah there are no legal consequences for violating a company policy, including signage. If asked to leave and you refuse, the trespassing statute is such that you may not necessarily be in violation of it--it depends on the circumstances.
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Old July 21, 2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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In MO, the way the law is written, the assumption is that they will ask you to leave, and if you refuse and a police officer is called you can be in violation of laws against trespassing.

IMO, that's a big assumption... depending on the business in question it just might result in a straight up "person with a gun" call to the cops, and rather than being asked to leave you might well end up getting proned out by the police (all they can go on is what was called in, and if the person making the call is a frightful hand wringer, well, we know those don't always go well). I'd expect at a place where the posting is a matter of overall policy (like a larger business where it's required from the HQ) they'll just ask you to leave. At a small shop where it's an honest reflection of the owner's own beliefs, it may go straight to a call to the police.

As always, know the laws in the state where you are.
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Old July 21, 2012, 03:59 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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It depends on the State. Under the laws of a few States, simply carrying a gun onto premises properly posted is itself a crime. In most States, it only becomes criminal trespass if you are asked to leave and don't.
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Old July 21, 2012, 04:44 PM   #5
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In Fla. I guess they could charge you with "armed trespass" which is a felony and not conducive to future legal gun ownership or carry...

This is the number one reason we do not even have agun in our trucks during a hog hunt using the dogs...

Brent
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Old July 21, 2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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In Kentucky, it becomes a misdemeanor trespass. As Frank mentioned, that's going to be different from state to state.
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Old July 21, 2012, 10:01 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
I'm sure it varies from state to state
That's your answer.

To expand slightly on what Frank Ettin wrote ... even among those states where signage may carry the force of law, what constitutes "proper" signage varies. Texas has already been mentioned. The "thirty-ought-six" sign has VERY explicit requirements spelled out in statute -- the wording, the typeface, and the type size must conform to the statute or the sign does NOT carry the force of law even if plainly visible. Other states are not as strict about what the sign must say or what it has to look like.
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Old July 22, 2012, 12:25 AM   #8
Willie Sutton
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$500 fine possible in Wisconsin.

In our one shooting of a bad guy (armed robber in a store) since our CCW must-issue law was passed, even though the store had a sign, the prosecutor (in anti-gun Milwaukee) declined to press charges for the otherwise legal CCW action for ignoring the sign.


Not really a serious deterrent.


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Old July 25, 2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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While a relatively minor charge, trespass is a charge, and could result in revocation of your CCW permit, in some localities.

In many places, any criminal charge (or even misdemeanor) could result in revocation of your permit.

Never heard of a case where this was done for a simple traffic infraction like speeding, but I do know it has been done for more serious offenses, such as DUI.

Remember that while owning a gun is our right, carrying one concealed (in most of the US) is a priveledge, and one that can be revoked for virtually any reason.

Many places the license to carry a handgun concealed (and in some places simply the license to posess) is dependent on the issuing authority's belief that you are a person of good character. Getting charged with tresspass, or anything else, for that matter, tends to indicate that you are not a person of good character, and some issuing agencies take that very seriously, indeed!

Any offense, even including those not involving firearms, or just charges brought (and later dropped) can, in some jurisdictions result in the revocation of your permit.

While store owner's "no guns" signs may not have the force of law behind them, its generally a pretty stupid thing to do to argue the point.
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Old July 25, 2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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I'm a little foggy on the penalty in Ohio, but any sign (including writing on a napkin) forbidding the carry of concealed firearms carries the force of law.

You must, however, knowingly do so and the signage must be posted conspicuously

Lots of grey there, there are plenty of people that I know of who take great interest in looking at their shoes while going through doors...not the greatest idea IMO, but it is what it is

Ultimately even if a business is not posted, you can be asked to leave, refusal to do so is criminal trespass. If posted and you do it anyways, I believe it is still a misdemeanor with the option to have your CHL suspended
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Old July 25, 2012, 07:09 PM   #11
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Some signs are hard to read

Quote:
In Fla. I guess they could charge you with "armed trespass"
Are you sure of this ???

I will not speak for our state but instead, what our county sherrif stated at a town hall meeting. He said that you will be asked to leave and if you refuse to do so, you can be charged with trespassing and it's $200.00 fine.
Your CCW permit will not be revoked. .....

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Old July 26, 2012, 03:12 AM   #12
BillCA
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Stressfire,

Look up in your state's penal code the definition of knowingly. It may be different than what most lay persons believe.

For example, here in CaLa-la-la-land, the law says it's illegal to knowingly assault a police officer. But that does not mean you knew he was an officer before you assaulted him. It means you knew that you committed assault on the person and that person is, in fact a police officer (regardless of whether it was obvious or not).
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Old July 26, 2012, 06:47 AM   #13
hogdogs
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pahoo, See 2(c)

Quote:
810.08 Trespass in structure or conveyance.--

(1) Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance.

(2)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, trespass in a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) If there is a human being in the structure or conveyance at the time the offender trespassed, attempted to trespass, or was in the structure or conveyance, the trespass in a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or arms himself or herself with such while in the structure or conveyance, the trespass in a structure or conveyance is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and he or she reasonably believes that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing such violation. In the event a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention by such person, if done in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph, shall not render such person criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(3) As used in this section, the term "person authorized" means any owner or lessee, or his or her agent, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner or lessee, or his or her agent, to communicate an order to depart the property in the case of a threat to public safety or welfare.
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Old July 26, 2012, 07:13 AM   #14
Don P
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Quote:
(1) Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance.
This to me states the answer,

Quote:
warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance
It's considered trespass when you are asked to leave and choose not to. That is the way I interpret the law.
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Old July 26, 2012, 10:55 AM   #15
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don P
Quote:
warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance
It's considered trespass when you are asked to leave and choose not to. That is the way I interpret the law.
That might be how you interpret the law, but so what? What counts is how the courts will interpret it, and they very well might disagree with you.

Let's have another look at the fist paragraph of the statute as quoted by hogdogs in post 13, but with some emphasis added:
Quote:
(1) Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance.
Thus there are two ways one may trespass:
  1. If you willfully enter the premises without authorization, invitation or license, you are trespassing.

  2. If you have entered the premises with authorization, invitation or license but you are then warned or asked to leave, but you stay, you are also trespassing.
So if you are carrying a gun and enter a premises otherwise open to the public but which has prominently displayed an appropriate "no guns" sign, does that sign remove any authorization, invitation or license to enter the premises if you are carrying a gun? A Florida court could certainly so find.

I don't know if a Florida court has already answered that question, and I'm not planning to do the research.
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Old July 26, 2012, 11:33 AM   #16
hogdogs
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I think florida "posted" laws may help answer this... For the most part, florida looks at land trespassing and signage... I think they look at it on a "may and shall" distinction. If land is not posted, they "may" make contact for suspected trespassing... If the land is posted they "shall" make contact....

So if frank is questioning the power of signage posted such as an owner's own "No Guns" signage to "uninvite" folks who may try to bring a gun into it...

It wouldn't surprise me to find that the owner don't even have to ask you leave before springing the police into action...

Brent
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Old July 26, 2012, 01:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
I guess they could charge you with "armed trespass" which is a felony and not conducive to future legal gun ownership or carry...
Only if you don't leave when you are asked to. No firearms in private buildings that are open to the public in FL just means that the owner can tell you to leave if you are carrying. Only if you don't leave can the trespass law come into play. Now, if the building is not open to the public (meaning you had no reasonable right to be there in the first place) then yes, an armed trespass charge is completely valid.
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Old July 26, 2012, 11:58 PM   #18
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I think in all states, there is a distinction between those places that are open to the general public Grocery store, hotel, bank... those place that are semi-private (buyers club,, ie Sams's or Costco, the local moose lodge) and those that are truly private (your home)

Then there is federal law (ADA for starts)
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Old July 27, 2012, 02:10 PM   #19
Don P
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Quote:
Response to Frank Ettin,
That might be how you interpret the law, but so what? What counts is how the courts will interpret it, and they very well might disagree with you.

Let's have another look at the fist paragraph of the statute as quoted by hogdogs in post 13, but with some emphasis added:
I have emailed Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq. author of Florida Firearms law, Use & Ownership asking the question this thread is about with regards to Florida Law. I will post his reply when received for all to read. Then those who disagree with his response can discuss it with him directly.
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Old July 27, 2012, 02:15 PM   #20
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don P
I have emailed Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq. author of Florida Firearms law, Use & Ownership asking the question this thread is about with regards to Florida Law. I will post his reply when received for all to read...
His reply alone doesn't mean anything without also having your email. We all need to see exactly what he is responding to.
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Old July 27, 2012, 08:52 PM   #21
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No doubt Don P will document exactly what was asked and answered. I am very interested in the response from Mr. Gutmacher.
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Old July 30, 2012, 12:58 PM   #22
Don P
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Well here is the response I received from Mr. Jon Gutmacher PA., I'll remove part of my email address only. His answer is at the top of the quote just as I received it

Quote:
His reply alone doesn't mean anything without also having your email. We all need to see exactly what he is responding to.
Maybe my interpretation was right,
Quote:
That might be how you interpret the law, but so what? What counts is how the courts will interpret it, and they very well might disagree with you.



Quote:
likely only if you warned them to leave and they refused

jhg

From: "dpodsiadlo-------.com <dpodsiadlo-------.com
To: gutlaw@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 3:03 PM
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Name: Don Podsiadlo

Email: dpodsiadlo-------.com

Subject: FFA WEBSITE CONTACT: Legal

Comments: Carrying a CCW on/into property that has a no guns allowed sign. Is it criminal trespass? Have any laws been broken. Is it considered intentional trespass? Could not find the answer in your book. Thanks for your time and the book.

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Last edited by Don P; July 30, 2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old July 30, 2012, 01:36 PM   #23
Woody55
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I am not overly concerned with these laws.

If someone doesn't want me on their property (armed or not) I don't go on their property. Or leave when I figure it out or am asked too.

It's rude to do otherwise.

My doctor has a sign on his office that makes it clear he doesn't want me in there with a weapon. It does not comply with the Texas Penal Code provision that the OP cites. But I would never go in there with a gun.

Funny thing is that he has a revolver in his desk drawer. Go figure!
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Old July 30, 2012, 02:16 PM   #24
Pahoo
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Too many signs !!!

Quote:
I am not overly concerned with these laws.
On the one hand, folks say that they are not overly concerned and then go out of their way to look for signs to read and comply. ....

I have ADHD and unable to read most signs. The only ones I try to remember, are the store's operating hours. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 31, 2012, 09:24 AM   #25
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@Pahoo,

I am not overly concerned with these laws because I am looking for an indication that I am not welcome. If I don't think I'm welcome, I'm not going in. It doesn't matter whether the indication complies to the law or not. I am not trying to inflict myself on anyone - whether it is my right to do so or not.

Hope that clarifies my statement.
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