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Thread: Liability in gun free zones

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Liability in gun free zones

    Question? What is the responsibility of places that claim to be gun free zones? When something occurs as did in Colorado can the families sue the proprietors of places that claim to be gun free zones for not protecting them? If we can make them responsible for our safety and something like Colorado occurs because of their failure to protect us then they should be held liable for their inaction. Anybody out there have any thoughts on the matter?

  2. #2
    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    I agree. They are telling you that you don't need a gun in there establishment. That tells me that they are supposed to provide for my safety.

  3. #3
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Just my opinion I don't think you can sue, but you can certainly not do business with the business. We are sorta in a fix here in NC as the state has deemed theaters gun free zones. Personally I don't understand how they stay in business, we have not been in one since VCR rentals came out. That has been a long long long time ago.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    The murderer exploited the lack of control over an emergency exit door that served as his re-entry point. THE QUESTION as to whether or not a reasonable expectation exists that a theater operator exercise some degree of due diligence in monitoring such an exit door for the safety of customers was answered last week in Aurora, CO. The size of the specific financial settlements to be paid out is the only question remaining - in or out of court.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    The murderer exploited the lack of control over an emergency exit door that served as his re-entry point. THE QUESTION as to whether or not a reasonable expectation exists that a theater operator exercise some degree of due diligence in monitoring such an exit door for the safety of customers was answered last week in Aurora, CO. The size of the specific financial settlements to be paid out is the only question remaining - in or out of court.
    If the assets of the parent company of the theater are 1 million, I truly hope that settlements are totaled at 1 million 1 dollar.
    I hope the parent company is put out of business over this. I am sure it won't happen but I still hope so.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Maine Expat's Avatar
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    I think it depends on State law, but a wrongful death suit against the GFZ mngmt & owners would seem to be more than appropriate since they assumed responsibility for your safety when they forbade you to carry a self defense weapon.

    Check with a good civil law atty.
    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” ― Plato

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  7. #7
    McX
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    i pointed out the topic of this thread to an individual who was the representative of an 'organization', and was immediately condemned claiming i was showing malice toward them for suggesting they might or would get sued. Apparently the truth angered them, and they expected the victims of an event, if one occurred, would just let them slide for road blocking the right of citizen protection at every turn.

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    Regular Member O2HeN2's Avatar
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    Didn't someone in here just take the bar exam that could answer this?

    Seriously, having stayed at a Holiday Inn last night, there is no coercion and no force; you voluntarily enter a GFZ or you to voluntarily disarm to enter a GFZ.

    Therefore there is no liability. You entered the zone on your own volition and accepted the risks as you did so.

    O2

    Ps. Don't get me wrong, I wish you could sue the pants off of them!
    When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away...
    They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
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  9. #9
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    G.F.S.Z. means Gun Free SLAUGHTER Zone

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    Regular Member Maine Expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O2HeN2 View Post
    Didn't someone in here just take the bar exam that could answer this?

    Seriously, having stayed at a Holiday Inn last night, there is no coercion and no force; you voluntarily enter a GFZ or you to voluntarily disarm to enter a GFZ.

    Therefore there is no liability. You entered the zone on your own volition and accepted the risks as you did so.

    O2

    Ps. Don't get me wrong, I wish you could sue the pants off of them!
    Holiday Inn Express? Love that line, btw.

    I still think a good Atty could make a case against the GFZ business. Agree about entering voluntarily, but the GFZ place is still assuming responsibility for patron's safety.
    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” ― Plato

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    I would check the state laws first to see if there is any statute covering GFZs because here in Wisconsin, it's specified that if you post, you CAN be held liable for any unpleasantness that were to occur.
    <-----Leading by example....while armed

    Wisconsin democrats are a tough bunch, and you know what they say-- "when the going gets tough...."

    A "No Guns" sign protects me as much as a speed limit sign keeps people from speeding.

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    Hypothetical: I entered the GRZ because it was a GFZ. Had I known that there were not adequate security measures in place, I would not have entered said GFZ. You, as the owner, are guilty of false advertising as well as wrongful death. Those are my initial off the top of the head arguments but IANAL.

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    Ask them why they are a GFZ.. They will say it is "for the safety of their customers". By failing to enforce their GFZ, they did not protect my safety.

    "Victim Disarmament Zone"

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  14. #14
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Howdy Folks!
    I'm a Coloradoan, and live in Aurora. The theater in question is very familiar to me, as I've seen many a flick there over the years. But I do not wish to digress here.
    The question of liability is a valid one. Whether or not one *can* sue has become irrevant since at least one attendee is suing. So yeah, law suits are starting to get filed. Many others have yet to file because they're still in hospital, or still buring their dead. But I wager it won't be long before there are a plethora of suits arriving in the corporate offices of the theater chain in question.

    The question remains whether there was a sign clearly visible to forbid carry at that theater. We haven't a clear answer on that question at this juncture. Other theaters in the area are posted, but it is uncertain whether this one was at the time of the shooting. We also wonder why there was no alarm system to alert management when that exit was opened, as it is not the normal means of egress. There is also some question as to whether it was an "emergency" exit or just an generic exit door. The door in question was located real close to the screen down toward the front as you look to the screen.

    In the aftermath, there is speculation running wild as to whether the shooter gave off warning signs, whether he was mentally ill, whether he was receiving psychiatric care, and whether his psychiatrist should have notified authorities. That last one, I believe, deserves the loudest "DUH" in the history of duh!

    Anyhow, the attorney's who are now filing suit obviously believe liability exists. Whether it is failure of due diligence to have that exit door set with alarms or by depriving the citizens of their carry in their property, the bottom line is that those citizens had an expectation of safety, and it didn't pan out very well on July 20th at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora Colorado.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    The murderer exploited the lack of control over an emergency exit door that served as his re-entry point. THE QUESTION as to whether or not a reasonable expectation exists that a theater operator exercise some degree of due diligence in monitoring such an exit door for the safety of customers was answered last week in Aurora, CO. The size of the specific financial settlements to be paid out is the only question remaining - in or out of court.
    I believe there is such an expectation. Whether the door was closed but not actually locked because of something the perp did is a critical piece of minutia that'll no doubt become as infamous as OJ's glove.

    Quote Originally Posted by Super Trucker View Post
    If the assets of the parent company of the theater are 1 million, I truly hope that settlements are totaled at 1 million 1 dollar.
    I agree they need to be hammered, hard enough that other theaters sit up and realize that depriving us of our Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms is EXPEN$IVE!"

    I hope the parent company is put out of business over this. I am sure it won't happen but I still hope so.
    Well, I don't. I still have a half a year left on my 2012 mega-bucket of popcorn! At $3.50 a bucket, it's a whole lot less than the smaller "large" bag that's half its size but twice the price. Besides, my son and I really enjoy going to the theater together. Sort of a tradition every time he visits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine Expat View Post
    I still think a good Atty could make a case against the GFZ business. Agree about entering voluntarily, but the GFZ place is still assuming responsibility for patron's safety.
    I think part of the case will involve availability. Are there other theaters nearby which honor 2A rights? If there are, one could argue there was no rational reason for any 2A carrier to attend the showing at a posted theater.

    On the other hand, if ALL theaters do this, whether by outright collusion or merely because "everyone does it," it could be argued that the general policy of all theaters contributed to disarmament of its patrons, and that movie-goers have NO choice but to disarm. This opens the door to lawsuits of the entire movie theater industry. Whether they'll succeed or not is anyone's guess. However, 2A's "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" has been extended to the states by more than one SCOTUS decision, so this would also open the state itself up to being liable, if the state has a law on the books which allows a business to deny citizens their 2A RKBA, and yes, Colorado does, as do nearly all states.

    I also agree that, everything aside, if a business expressly denies a customer their Constitutional rights to self-defense, they're culpable if that customer needs to defend themselves but can't because of the business decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    Anyhow, the attorney's who are now filing suit obviously believe liability exists. Whether it is failure of due diligence to have that exit door set with alarms or by depriving the citizens of their carry in their property, the bottom line is that those citizens had an expectation of safety, and it didn't pan out very well on July 20th at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora Colorado.
    Nice summary, M.
    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.

  16. #16
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    Here is what I have proposed regarding the public hazard of gun free zones. The concept of the mantle of protection under the roof of a host is documented as far back as the time of Abraham, and his nephew Lot, who when the 2 angles were guests in his home, refused to turn them over to the townsfolk, and according to some sources, even offered up one of his daughters to satisfy their twisted desires.
    If the entity who is responsible for the venue, does nothing to protect those under their roof, and denies you the right to protect yourself under their roof, they have created a dangerous catch 22 where they have created a liability and should be held accountable for that.


    Gun free zone liability act of 2013

    Any building, entity, corporation, or venue(hereafter referred to as the venue), that posts a sign, or enacts a policy
    forbidding employees, patrons, contractors, or guests, (hereafter referred to as visitor) from carrying the means for
    lawful self defense on their persons or in their immediate control, is assuming upon itself the mantle of protection
    for those persons, and assumes the responsibility for the safety of these persons from the time they leave their means
    of conveyance, and complete their business at the prohibited venue, until they return unto their conveyance to leave
    said venue.
    The venue shall be deemed liable of creating a public hazard if the visitor comes to harm as a result from attack
    from a criminal, or animal, and a jury finds that it reasonably could have been prevented, or mitigated by the use
    of a defensive device. If the injured or deceased party is an employee, or contractor, they may be awarded by a court
    of law an amount up to 30 times the annual salary of that person. If the injured or deceased party was a customer or
    guest they shall be awarded an amount deemed reasonable by a jury.
    The venue shall have qualified immunity if they chose to provide a secure environment, secure to mean
    • Restricted points of access
    • Metal detectors
    • Armed security guards to ensure all pass through detectors
    • Lockers to secure defensive devices, or security escorts available to escort visitors to & from their
    vehicles, or,
    • Secured parking with automated gates so persons will not be vulnerable while walking to or from vehicles.
    The Venue shall have full immunity if they chose to let the visitor provide for their own security, and they may
    set reasonable standards regarding the carry of defensive devices by employees& contractors, those standards being
    • Requiring a valid carry permit issued by the state or other reciprocal state if travelling.
    • Requiring the use of a quality holster so device does not fall out during normal activities
    • Requiring the use of a lock box if device is not on the person or under the immediate control of the person
    • Require some annual training from a NRA certified instructor, or equivalent.
    • Require the use of a quality firearm or other device
    • Require the use of quality ammunition, or chemicals, similar to that used by law enforcement agencies in
    this state.
    • Require that defensive device may only be produced, or used if there is a reasonable fear of death or
    serious bodily harm to themselves or others.
    • May dictate open or discrete carry.
    • May require annual qualification equivalent to the standard in the Personal and family protection act.
    • Shall not be held responsible for any actions by employees defending their own life, or the life of others.


    No business, corporation, or entity may prohibit possessing the means of lawful self defense in the private means of
    conveyance as a condition of employment. Violation of this shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $2500
    and a term in jail of 6 months; this shall be enacted as 21-6117


    Private property is greatly respected in the state of Kansas, however the right to life& the freedom to go to a
    venue & return home unharmed takes precedent.

  17. #17
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sha-ul View Post
    Here is what I have proposed regarding the public hazard of gun free zones. The concept of the mantle of protection under the roof of a host is documented as far back as the time of Abraham, and his nephew Lot, who when the 2 angles were guests in his home, refused to turn them over to the townsfolk, and according to some sources, even offered up one of his daughters to satisfy their twisted desires.
    If the entity who is responsible for the venue, does nothing to protect those under their roof, and denies you the right to protect yourself under their roof, they have created a dangerous catch 22 where they have created a liability and should be held accountable for that.


    Gun free zone liability act of 2013

    Any building, entity, corporation, or venue(hereafter referred to as the venue), that posts a sign, or enacts a policy
    forbidding employees, patrons, contractors, or guests, (hereafter referred to as visitor) from carrying the means for
    lawful self defense on their persons or in their immediate control, is assuming upon itself the mantle of protection
    for those persons, and assumes the responsibility for the safety of these persons from the time they leave their means
    of conveyance, and complete their business at the prohibited venue, until they return unto their conveyance to leave
    said venue.
    The venue shall be deemed liable of creating a public hazard if the visitor comes to harm as a result from attack
    from a criminal, or animal, and a jury finds that it reasonably could have been prevented, or mitigated by the use
    of a defensive device. If the injured or deceased party is an employee, or contractor, they may be awarded by a court
    of law an amount up to 30 times the annual salary of that person. If the injured or deceased party was a customer or
    guest they shall be awarded an amount deemed reasonable by a jury.
    The venue shall have qualified immunity if they chose to provide a secure environment, secure to mean
    • Restricted points of access
    • Metal detectors
    • Armed security guards to ensure all pass through detectors
    • Lockers to secure defensive devices, or security escorts available to escort visitors to & from their
    vehicles, or,
    • Secured parking with automated gates so persons will not be vulnerable while walking to or from vehicles.
    The Venue shall have full immunity if they chose to let the visitor provide for their own security, and they may
    set reasonable standards regarding the carry of defensive devices by employees& contractors, those standards being
    • Requiring a valid carry permit issued by the state or other reciprocal state if travelling.
    • Requiring the use of a quality holster so device does not fall out during normal activities
    • Requiring the use of a lock box if device is not on the person or under the immediate control of the person
    • Require some annual training from a NRA certified instructor, or equivalent.
    • Require the use of a quality firearm or other device
    • Require the use of quality ammunition, or chemicals, similar to that used by law enforcement agencies in
    this state.
    • Require that defensive device may only be produced, or used if there is a reasonable fear of death or
    serious bodily harm to themselves or others.
    • May dictate open or discrete carry.
    • May require annual qualification equivalent to the standard in the Personal and family protection act.
    • Shall not be held responsible for any actions by employees defending their own life, or the life of others.


    No business, corporation, or entity may prohibit possessing the means of lawful self defense in the private means of
    conveyance as a condition of employment. Violation of this shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $2500
    and a term in jail of 6 months; this shall be enacted as 21-6117


    Private property is greatly respected in the state of Kansas, however the right to life& the freedom to go to a
    venue & return home unharmed takes precedent.
    The last thing we need is more laws on anything, there is far too many laws of all kinds at all levels of government.
    and will a company be held liable if they allow concealed carry and someone is unjustifiably shot? sounds to me like using government to take away other people's rights. I cannot support that.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

    NRA Member

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    The last thing we need is more laws on anything, there is far too many laws of all kinds at all levels of government.
    Try offering solutions, instead of pure criticism.

    and will a company be held liable if they allow concealed carry and someone is unjustifiably shot? sounds to me like using government to take away other people's rights. I cannot support that.
    The liability of a bad shoot lie with the person pulling the trigger.

  19. #19
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sha-ul View Post
    Try offering solutions, instead of pure criticism.


    The liability of a bad shoot lie with the person pulling the trigger.
    so then no liability for a gun free zone if there's a shooting, business is not responsible for the criminals actions, the shooter pulling the trigger is liable.

    you can't create a double standard, holding one philosophy liable and the other immune.

    what solutions do you want me to offer? what's the frequency of shootings anywhere? not high! we're living in the safest times in modern history. you're creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. I don't need to make up a solution. i have a solution for you, spend your money somewhere else.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    so then no liability for a gun free zone if there's a shooting, business is not responsible for the criminals actions, the shooter pulling the trigger is liable.

    you can't create a double standard, holding one philosophy liable and the other immune.

    what solutions do you want me to offer? what's the frequency of shootings anywhere? not high! we're living in the safest times in modern history. you're creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. I don't need to make up a solution. i have a solution for you, spend your money somewhere else.
    The fact of the matter is that gun free zones are an attractive nuisance, If you remember the study by Dr John R Lott, every mass shooting since 1963 has occurred in a gun free zone, with the lone exception of Gabby Giffords on a supermarket sidewalk.
    Furthermore,there are many, many companies that provide no security for their employees& will gladly write a life insurance check to the widow rather than risk a lawsuit should the employee defend themselves. I am not inventing a problem, I am simply no longer in denial over the issue.
    The liability issue is centered around giving people a fighting chance if the venue is not willing to provide real security. Under law, at least in my state, I am granted limited immunity from lawsuit if I am in a defensive situation, and it is ruled a good shoot. If I were found to be in the wrong, I bear the criminal& legal liability already.

  21. #21
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sha-ul View Post
    The fact of the matter is that gun free zones are an attractive nuisance, If you remember the study by Dr John R Lott, every mass shooting since 1963 has occurred in a gun free zone, with the lone exception of Gabby Giffords on a supermarket sidewalk.
    Furthermore,there are many, many companies that provide no security for their employees& will gladly write a life insurance check to the widow rather than risk a lawsuit should the employee defend themselves. I am not inventing a problem, I am simply no longer in denial over the issue.
    The liability issue is centered around giving people a fighting chance if the venue is not willing to provide real security. Under law, at least in my state, I am granted limited immunity from lawsuit if I am in a defensive situation, and it is ruled a good shoot. If I were found to be in the wrong, I bear the criminal& legal liability already.
    John lots information is not correct. There have been many mass shootings taking place in areas where firearms are not restricted. The cafe racer shooting in Seattle, anyone could legally carry a gun there. Same with the Capitol hill massacre in Seattle. A fight in Kirkwood Missouri a gunman killed an armed police officer to enter city hall and kill 5 more people, A man named Louis Hastings killed six people in a rural Alaskan town (Alaska has the most lenient gun laws in the nation.. Well maybe after Vermont) Geneva county Alabama 10 people were killed by a spree killer moving across Alabama, none of the sites had a gun free zone policy. Stop using that invented concept of all shootings happen at gun free zones, a simple google search of American spree killings will show that is not even remotely true.

    My idea, if a business doesn't want patrons armed then they don't want my money, that's how I handle it, making more laws won't solve anything. Get the government out of people's affairs.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

    NRA Member

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