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Old July 31, 2012, 11:33 AM   #26
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,702
Originally Posted by Don P
Well here is the response I received from Mr. Jon Gutmacher PA.,...
Interesting and thank you. Note that his reply was (emphasis added):
likely only if you warned them to leave and they refused
Seems a bit vague to me.

Now if I, as a lawyer, were asking the question of another lawyer on behalf of a client who intended to rely on the answer, I'd want a much clearer answer and would ask the question as follows:
Title XLVI, Section 810.08(1) of Florida Statutes defines, in pertinent part, criminal trespass to a structure thusly (emphasis added):
Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure ... commits the offense of trespass in a structure...
Assume that a business open to the public has properly posted a sign satisfying any legally applicable criteria at the entrance to the premises (housed within a structure) stating that entry with a firearm is not permitted. If a private citizen lawfully carrying a concealed firearm, having a permit recognized by the State of Florida to do so, were to enter that premises –
  1. Could you definitively opine that a Florida court would hold that such entry would by reason of the sign be willful entry without authorization, license or invitation and therefore constitute, by itself, criminal trespass? Why or why not?

  2. Could you definitively opine that a Florida court would hold that such entry would not, notwithstanding the sign, be willful entry without authorization, license or invitation and therefore not constitute, by itself, criminal trespass? Why or why not?
Please answer with the understanding that a person intends to rely on the response in deciding whether or not to enter while lawfully wearing a concealed firearm a properly posted “no firearms” business.
I might want to do such a thing if, for example, I, as a lawyer in a State other than Florida, were representing a client who intended to visit Florida and who wanted a definitive answer to minimize as much as possible any surprises; and my client would expect to pay for the opinion. In fact during the course of my practice I've had occasion to do similar things when a client needed some definitive guidance on a matter of law of another State.
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Old August 1, 2012, 10:24 PM   #27
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In Ohio it is just trespassing and a misdemeanor, but I do not know of any cases where someone was asked to leave, even if by a police officer, politely did so and was charged. If you know of the sign it is a violation of law.

I know one theater here has a sign 8 feet up on the side wall of the vestibule. I carried there DOZENS of times before a friend printed there was asked to leave, shown the sign and informed me. I am sure anyone could just claim they did not see it and they have no ground to stand on. When it is right on the door I am not so sure that will work.
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Old August 2, 2012, 09:21 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by BillCA

Look up in your state's penal code the definition of knowingly.
Originally Posted by Ohio Revised Code
2901.22 Degrees of culpability attached to mental states....(B) A person acts knowingly, regardless of his purpose, when he is aware that his conduct will probably cause a certain result or will probably be of a certain nature. A person has knowledge of circumstances when he is aware that such circumstances probably exist.
Thus the general understanding that if signage is not posted in such a way that one could not possibly neglect to see it, one has not knowingly violated the laws it enforces. If one does not see a sign, one has not knowingly done anything illegal. Seems to be an area of the law where ignorance of it is an excuse. Once you are aware of the existence of the signs, however, you are knowingly breaking the law should you proceed inside while armed.

Is it perfect? Not even close. Generally Ohio CHLers simply avoid these businesses and locations as a matter of course

When it is right on the door I am not so sure that will work.
Precisely, I don't go out of my way to seek out signage, but if it is in fact prominently displayed I take myself and my $ elsewhere
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