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Thread: Carrying on private property without a permit question.

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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Carrying on private property without a permit question.

    So my church would like to have a security detail made up of members from the congregation. A few of the people that do not have their CHP yet would like to be involved.

    I thought it was legal to carry concealed on private property without a CHP with permission from the property owner. I decided to double check this against the C.R.S..

    The bold section states that the property has to be owned by the person or under their control. My question is what constitutes under their control? Can a person be given permission to carry by the property owner?

    C.R.S..
    18-12-105. Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon - unlawful possession of weapons.


    (1) A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:


    (b) Carries a firearm concealed on or about his or her person;

    (2) It shall not be an offense if the defendant was:

    (a) A person in his or her own dwelling or place of business or on property owned or under his or her control at the time of the act of carrying; or
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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    So my church would like to have A SECURITY DETAIL MADE UP OF MEMBERS FROM THE CONGREGATION . A few of the people that do not have their CHP yet would like to be involved.

    I thought it was legal to carry concealed on private property without a CHP with permission from the property owner. I decided to double check this against the C.R.S..

    The bold section states that the property has to be owned by the person or under their control. My question is what constitutes under their control? Can a person be given permission to carry by the property owner?

    C.R.S..
    18-12-105. Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon - unlawful possession of weapons.


    (1) A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and UNLAWFULLY:


    (b) Carries a firearm concealed on or about his or her person;

    (2) It shall not be an offense if the defendant was:

    (a) A person in his or her own dwelling or place of business or on property OWNED or UNDER HIS OR HER CONTROL at the time of the act of carrying; or
    I thought it would be helpful to just bring your post forward for handy reference to the statute, and I capped a FEW WORDS-for emphasis.

    "UNLAWFULLY", and "OWNED", or "UNDER HIS OR HER CONTROL at the time of the act of carrying" (concealed). Your church membership would be acting in concert to organize a collective defense of the property, and their persons.

    Did you read the first annotation at the bottom of CRS 18-12-105 - Referencing the People v Blue decision regarding, and the legislature's recognition of certain limitations placed upon the statute by Article 2, Sec.13 of the Colorado Constitution guaranteeing the right to keep & bear arms in defense of home, person, or property ?

    It is understandable that your church doesn't want to openly carry, and this appears to be one of those circumstances where a CHP would not be required.

    This is only my OPINION obviously. Consult an attorney to be on the safe side.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 05-13-2012 at 04:57 PM.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Interestingly, the question that you posed prompted me to refer to CRS 18-12-105, which I have not done in quite a while. I noticed the "knowingly, and UNLAWFULLY'' choice of wording. In other words concealed carry isn't in and of itself unlawful. The statute addresses UNLAWFUL concealed carry.

    Let me just add this - the El Paso County Sheriff's Office just recently informed me that I could not carry concealed until I receive my renewal CHP since mine has expired. Still CRS 18-12-105 Annotated seems to qualify that point somewhat - doesn't it ?

    Obviously a CHP removes any and all doubt from the equation making for a much simpler universe within which law enforcement functions.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 05-13-2012 at 05:09 PM.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    The membership of a church operates as a de facto "corporate" entity, whether it be run by a board of directors, or other form of selected leadership.

    The church member who brought down the mass shooter at New Life Church in Colorado Springs in December 2008 ( I think it was) held a CHP, but she was assigned to the security detail in part because she was known to carry a handgun- she was also a former police officer - although that fact is totally irrelevant.

    I think your church is correct in concluding that a CHP is not required in the VERY NARROW context of protecting yourselves while congregating as a collective corporate body during on-site church functions.

    An issue might present if the police were to respond to some incident at your church, and in the course of interviewing members of the congregation a member of your security detail is found to be carrying concealed without a CHP while contacted by officers. We have the luxury of analyzing this issue, revisiting the statute, reading pertinent case law annotations, and further refining our conclusions.

    A responding officer doesn't have the time to fact-check the provisions of the statute, but he/she does have the authority to issue a citation for an alleged "violation" of CRS 18-12-105 and a non- CHP security detail member would have to take time off from work to resolve the "question" in court.

    Obtaining a CHP is a fail-safe method that will remove any doubts, and provide some peace of mind - which is one of the primary reasons most folks attend church.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 05-14-2012 at 09:00 AM.

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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    I agree that a security detail given control over security of church property would exempt the requirement for a CHP.

    I would like to hear if anyone thinks differently and why.

    I am also wondering who, other than a lawyer, we can contact to get clarification on C.R.S.. I'm thinking the Colorado AG. Has anyone wrote to that office and received a response?
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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    I would first pose the question to your local Sheriff - if you haven't already.

    I suspect that the SO's response would reinforce our discussion here.


    I also suspect that ALL of the members of your security detail will have received their CHP's in the mail long before you get any response from the AG.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 05-14-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    The church member who brought down the mass shooter at New Life Church in Colorado Springs in December 2008 ( I think it was) held a CHP, but she was assigned to the security detail in part because she was known to carry a handgun- .
    Howdy Pard!
    Some folks do not know some of the unreported facts of that particular case.
    The guy who did the shooting at New Life Church had already shot up a religious institution in Denver before embarking on his trip to Colorado Springs. That fact is known. What most folks do not know is that he stopped along the way to New Life at another church. The security group at that church noticed him when he drove into the parking lot, and felt his behavior was suspicious. They began converging on the vehicle from a couple of different directions, prepared to deal with anything untoward before the shooter could perform any miscreancy at their church. The shooter noticed they were closing in on him and beat it out of there rather than tangle with them and headed for Colorado Springs where he shot a couple of folks in the parking lot before entering the church. Once he did that, several folks confronted him and after a short gunfight, he was nailed and the threat stopped cold. I know of certain facts that were not reported by virtue of people I tend to work with in the community. But that is irrelevant to some extent.

    My CHP instructor taught the classroom portion at his church. It is a large church. He is a deputy sheriff out of Adams County, and has been involved in firearms instruction with military and police organizations for quite a number of years. The church where we held class has a membership of some 5,000 folks. On any given Sunday, according to our instructor, half of them will be packing! That's a lot of peace of mind and a considerable force ready and able to contend with any attack on their house of worship. My instructor also informed that church incidents are far more numerous than we thought possile, but he's in a position to know what he's talking about. And church assaults are increasing over time. From what he tells me, more and more churches are forming security teams to protect their folks at worship.

    I am not a lawyer. Let's state that right up front. What follows is simply my opinion.

    When you are asked to be part of a security team on church property, you are being given a certain degree of control over that property. You have some measure of control over who is welcome and who to ask to leave the property. This would seem relevant to the statute quoted in terms of "under the control".

    Churches tend to be a communal collective. As such, the church property is the property of those who worship at that facility. Their shared ownership is represented by a board, a ministry team, and perhaps incorporated with officers who speak for the congregation. Within their realm of authority, it follows that they could hire a private security company to protect and defend their property and membership. It would also seem logical that they also have authority to empower volunteer members of their congreation to do the same job as a privately hired security company.

    Again, I am not a lawyer. You may wish to consult with an attorney (any reasonably sized congregation is likely to have several among their members) and get an opinion on this for additional peace of mind.

    Mine remains that you are within your rights on private property (i.e. church property) with permission, and should be able to conceal without a permit while functioning in the capacity of providing security and defense of your church home. If your car is viewed as an extension of your home (as it is under law) then your church should be moreso. You can visit your parents home and given permission to carry concealed in their house, how much more relevant as a child of God for you to do so when in His house?

    That's my opinion. I'm certain others will have differing opinions, but I'd think any attempt to exercise police powers over a church or church property would be tenuous grounds that civil authority does not relish tangling with! Not only are the constrained regarding your right to keep and bear arms, now they add the additional problem of infringing on the free exercise of religion... on the property of a religious entity. It ain't where they want to travel.

    Hope you eventually decide to get a CHP for your own peace of mind. But my opinion is that you are on hollowed ground when attending church, and your authority exceeds that of the state when at church. As a child of God, you have the right to defend your home, as it may rightly be considered to be, in the house of God.

    Then again, my opinion is worth as much as any spent cartridge!

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Excellent "treatise" on the question posed M-Taliesin. Your metal detector is just one of the ways that you seem to be able to produce "gold".

    In all seriousness your response would make an excellent "sticky" - on this topic at the top of OCDO forum page - not just Colorado.

    Perhaps under the " True Tales of Self Defense " topic.

    _____________________

    One lingering thought on this question - and I merely pose it. Not seeking a response. Given that the church body could conceivably pay the tab for the security team members' CHP's - is there a CHP "eligibility" question present?

    If that should be the case - it would seem to me that the issue might be a bit more complicated.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 05-14-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post

    Then again, my opinion is worth as much as any spent cartridge!

    Blessings, ur
    M-Taliesin
    Have you seen the cost of once fired brass lately?????

    Seriously though I think your analysis is spot on. I will double check with the Sheriff's office and also see if the church has a lawyer that we can consult. Those that do not have their CHP are working on it and there is also talk of taking training through Personnel Defense Institute. I just think that something should be started now instead of three months from now.

    ETA: I checked the AG's website and they do not issue opinions to us mere common folk.
    Last edited by Beau; 05-14-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    As a former associate pastor, I can tell you right off who has what authority.
    The Pastor. If he says, unless the trustees say different, then it's legit.

    In the church I was AP for, we even had church functions like target practicing, and teaching members proper gun cleaning methods. We loved guns, and we endorsed open carry at church.

    Never had any gays, muslims, or politicians come to visit either.
    Funny how good things follow good activities!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    So my church would like to have a security detail made up of members from the congregation. A few of the people that do not have their CHP yet would like to be involved.

    I thought it was legal to carry concealed on private property without a CHP with permission from the property owner. I decided to double check this against the C.R.S..

    The bold section states that the property has to be owned by the person or under their control. My question is what constitutes under their control?
    Under the C.R.S., the renter of a house has control over that house.

    Can a person be given permission to carry by the property owner?
    Yes. Permission can be granted by either tenentship, as in my renter example, above, or by verbal or written notice of the owner for say, visitors.

    For church bodies, if the "members" of the church are co-trustees of the church, them permission can simply be granted in the bylaws. You can grant to just members, or you can grant to both members and visitors.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Under the C.R.S., the renter of a house has control over that house.

    For church bodies, if the "members" of the church are co-trustees of the church, them permission can simply be granted in the bylaws. You can grant to just members, or you can grant to both members and visitors.
    Howdy Pardner!
    How' life in the Springs? Are we not due for another meet-up soon? Perhaps eventually even?
    (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)

    I'd think you'd want to codify in them bylaws that certain members will have a bit more authority in functioning as a volunteer security force for the protection of the church and defense of their members. I believe visitors who may attend that church who will either carry or not on their own sentiments without being given specific permission to do so. The security of the church should be given attention because of the increasing number of church assaults that we see in these days.

    Codifying this type of thing into the church bylaws could prove a double edged sword.
    Scene 1: Prosecuting attorney: "Your security team shot and killed this poor, troubled young man and we're holding you liable. After all, you admit to having gunslingers on your property right in your own bylaws! Now he's dead, just when he was trying to straighten out his life and become a real asset to the community." (Words of this ilk spouted by such attorney who will brush aside the wounded folks in the parking lot before a security team ended him)
    Scene 2: Prosecuting attorney: "You mean to tell this court that you had no security team to fend off such an attack as took place to my clients on Sunday of that week? Anybody could simply assault folks coming to church and ya'll had nobody to deal with problems of that sort? Well, my client(s) certainly deserves compensatory damages because we hold that you were negligent, leading to my client(s) injuries.

    Or, to put another way.... churches can be damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    As a former associate pastor, I can tell you right off who has what authority.
    The Pastor. If he says, unless the trustees say different, then it's legit.

    In the church I was AP for, we even had church functions like target practicing, and teaching members proper gun cleaning methods. We loved guns, and we endorsed open carry at church.
    Howdy Logan 5!
    As I was reading the above, I thought "Wow, what a terrific church! Sounds like an ideal community of believers. And open carry no less! Terrific!!"

    You had me up to that point, but I found the last bit troublesome:

    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Never had any gays, muslims, or politicians come to visit either.
    Funny how good things follow good activities!
    My hope is that we do not take this discussion off topic here, but this last quote bothered me;
    For I believe that the blood sacrifice of the only begotten Son was sufficient for the redemption of all.
    Imagine if he'd said (paraphrase) "Let him among you without fault fire the first shot!"
    The more lost they are, the greater the need of redemption. (my opinion)

    None of the above is intended to express a conviction that members of the church body should be open to assault.
    When a church attack is unfolding, my hope is that someone... anyone... will stop such threat as may arise.
    When lives are on the line, I don't think it matters much whether an individual is a member of a specified security team,
    a member of the church, a visitor attending the church or a heathen passer-by.
    Anybody willing to take up defense of the innocent in stopping a threat should be commended.
    Their leanings are not an issue, but their courage when the finger finds the trigger.
    Are they willing to engage, and prepared in so doing to lay down their life for another?
    There is no greater love?
    I don't much care what their religion might be, what their orientation is, or whether they've run for public office.
    All I care is that they have the guts to take a stand against an assailant bent on hurting innocent folks!

    Considering we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, such as:
    the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;
    I believe the church, moreso than any other endeavor of man, ought to decide wisely on this matter of security.
    And the civil authority should recognize their limitations, already codified in the Constitution of these United States.
    The church, in my opinion, draws authority from higher up than the local civil powers.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Last edited by M-Taliesin; 05-15-2012 at 09:53 AM.

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    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    As a former associate pastor, I can tell you right off who has what authority.
    The Pastor. If he says, unless the trustees say different, then it's legit.

    In the church I was AP for, we even had church functions like target practicing, and teaching members proper gun cleaning methods. We loved guns, and we endorsed open carry at church.

    Never had any gays, muslims, or politicians come to visit either.
    Funny how good things follow good activities!
    WOW....Just WOW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Never had any gays, muslims, or politicians come to visit either.
    Funny how good things follow good activities!


    What a Christian...
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    Howdy Pardner!
    How' life in the Springs? Are we not due for another meet-up soon? Perhaps eventually even?
    (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)
    Coming up soon! Might be a forested event. I've been wanting to shoot in the woods for quite some time.

    I'd think you'd want to codify in them bylaws that certain members will have a bit more authority in functioning as a volunteer security force for the protection of the church and defense of their members. I believe visitors who may attend that church who will either carry or not on their own sentiments without being given specific permission to do so. The security of the church should be given attention because of the increasing number of church assaults that we see in these days.

    Codifying this type of thing into the church bylaws could prove a double edged sword.
    Scene 1: Prosecuting attorney: "Your security team shot and killed this poor, troubled young man and we're holding you liable. After all, you admit to having gunslingers on your property right in your own bylaws! Now he's dead, just when he was trying to straighten out his life and become a real asset to the community." (Words of this ilk spouted by such attorney who will brush aside the wounded folks in the parking lot before a security team ended him)
    Scene 2: Prosecuting attorney: "You mean to tell this court that you had no security team to fend off such an attack as took place to my clients on Sunday of that week? Anybody could simply assault folks coming to church and ya'll had nobody to deal with problems of that sort? Well, my client(s) certainly deserves compensatory damages because we hold that you were negligent, leading to my client(s) injuries.

    Or, to put another way.... churches can be damned if they do, and damned if they don't.
    One church I regularly attend has a police vehicle in front, and the policeman (sometimes police woman) inside the church. I believe they're hires, directly through the city. Another church hires licensed security guards. Haven't a clue as to the quality control in that realm. A third simply allows it's members to CC if they so desire, much like our public library system.

    I think the latter introduces an element of "plausible deniability" i.e. "I suppose it's a good thing he stopped the bad guy, but we didn't know he was carrying a firearm!" The police hire sidesteps both issues (don't/do). They did, but since the police is operating under the auspices of the city, the church will almost certainly not be held liable for their actions of their hire.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    Howdy Logan 5!
    As I was reading the above, I thought "Wow, what a terrific church! Sounds like an ideal community of believers. And open carry no less! Terrific!!"

    You had me up to that point, but I found the last bit troublesome:
    Hmmm. I presume you mean....
    Never had any gays, muslims, or politicians come to visit either.
    ...right?
    Well, it is true. In fact we never had any Jehovah's Witnesses or Scientologists visit either. I see nothing troubling. We weren't anti-gay, what they do in their home is their business. Muslims, freedom of religion ain't just for Christians or just for Americans. Come to America and you can worship a plate of spaghetti if you want (Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - http://www.venganza.org/). Politicians, they stuck their noses in our church a couple times. We never applied for a 501(c)(3) and paid the taxes due. They had no choice but to shut up and leave us alone. No threats. No trouble. They just weren't welcome.

    If it's because of this....
    Funny how good things follow good activities!
    ... Oh well. We didn't invite them, we didn't hate them, but we just never invited them. They leave us alone and we'd leave them alone. The good stuff about life!
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