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Thread: government properties signage, can they restrict open carry?

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    government properties signage, can they restrict open carry?

    Can government properties in Ohio such as State, City, and Township buildings and the land around the buildings prohibit you from carrying in any ways other than what the Ohio Revised Code says?

    I just got off the phone with someone at the attorney generals office and i asked them if i could open carry in those places and they advised me "no because they got signs" and I said well if they don't have a sign does that mean that i can open carry? And they advised me "no because that is a forbidden carry zone place" and then i told him about how the law says "concealed" in it and he started to get pissed at me on the phone. He said they can make up any rules they want for the properties and post a sign. And then I said that they would be posting the sign against state law because of the pre-emption law ORC 9.68. And he kept insisting that they could have any sign/rules they want banning weapons and I then asked him how them posting a no gun sign against open carry was any different from posting a sign that said "no black people" in this building. Then he stated to get really pissed at me and freaked out and we ended the call.

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    This has been discussed in the past - generally localities are preempted in Ohio from regulating gun carry, but they can post signs against concealed carry; that statute does not provide explicitly for a penalty for 'violating the sign" but probably by statutory construction there would be a penalty of sorts if you 'violate the sign."

    Having said that, localities have no power to ban open carry in the same way, i.e., by sign, or, due to preemption, by ordinance. Interestingly, open carry is not banned by Ohio law on college campuses.

    When you ask for legal advice from a government agency, incuding a worker at the AG office, you should expect the advice to be very cautious to the point of simply being incorrect.

    I believe that a person may open carry at city halls across ohio, provided that there is no other reason carry is banned, e.g., if the hall contains a courtroom.

    You should probably seek legal advice though from an attorney licesed in Ohio though before proceeding to open carry at your next city council meeting - which by the way is common in many states, e.g., Virginia, Pennsylvnaia, Michigan, etc.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kblazk View Post
    ......He said they can make up any rules they want for the properties and post a sign...
    Oh, really?? Who did you talk to?

    I don't know the tenor of the call, nor how you conducted yourself, but if everything you've said is true and accurate, you may need to get either the a) letter writing or the b) records request machine fired up.

    Awaiting your reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Oh, really?? Who did you talk to?

    I don't know the tenor of the call, nor how you conducted yourself, but if everything you've said is true and accurate, you may need to get either the a) letter writing or the b) records request machine fired up.

    Awaiting your reply.
    I forgot to ask for his name. He just kept telling me he couldn't give me "legal advise." I told him i was just wanting the AG to update the Concealed Carry Handbook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kblazk View Post
    I forgot to ask for his name. He just kept telling me he couldn't give me "legal advise." I told him i was just wanting the AG to update the Concealed Carry Handbook.
    Good luck on getting them to update their booklet. After I became an instructor I sent them a few errors and they replied back that they would look into it and guess what, the next booklet hat the same errors.

    I've posed the whole carry in government buildings with police officers I work with and they believe it's illegal. I asked what they would charge someone with and they said violating the sign. I explained that the ORC wording says concealed and doesn't flow with the ORC wording on what the sign must say. They said they would then charge one with trespassing. I asked how you can arrest for trespassing on government property and they say because it's posted. It pretty much ended up going nowhere and I think only 1 out of 5 agreed with me. So, while it may be legal to OC in any government building that doesn't house a courtroom, it's something I'd tread on lightly as most likely it will end up in an arrest. Nobody has volunteered to be a test case yet.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The attorney for Vandalia (Gerald McDonald) issued a letter to police chief Douglas Knight discussing issues relating to the open carrying and the concealed carrying of handguns.

    OPEN CARRY
    For the most part the above law is specific to concealed carry. In other words, while a person may be prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon in a public building under 2923.126(8) (9), he would not necessarily be prohibited from having an open weapon in a public building. However, some sections of Chapter 2923 apply to open carry as well as concealed carry weapons. For example, R.C.. 2923.126(C) allows private employers and landowner to prohibit persons ~from carrying firearms or concealed firearms~ on private land by posting a sign. (Subject to certain exceptions.) Likewise, 2923.123 makes it illegal to have a firearm in a courthouse, or in another building or structure in which a courtroom is located. (Based on this, it appears that one cannot carry a firearm, either concealed or open, into the Vandalia Justice Center).

    While a private property owner can post a sign that prohibits that person from carrying such firearm on the private land, and the State can prohibit firearms in certain area, a City cannot prohibit open carry firearms on its property (public property).

    In the 2006 case of Ohioans for Concealed Carry, Inc. v. City of Clyde, 120 Ohio SI. 3d 96 the court looked at a municipality's ability to regulate handgun possession on its own property by persons possessing a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun. In 2004, the city of Clyde passed and ordinance that prohibited handguns in it parks, "irrespective of whether such person has been issued a license to carry a concealed handgun pursuant to Ohio R. C. 2923.125". Ohioans for Concealed Carry, Inc. filed a law suit to strike down the ordinance and had some success in the lower courts. While the case was making its way through the courts, however, the General Assembly enacted R.C. 9.68, which emphasized the "fundamental individual right" to "keep and bear arms" and expressed the legislature's further desire to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership and possession of firearms. R.C. 9.68(A) also provides that except as specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, may possess or keep any firearm. As pointed out by the State Supreme Court in the Clyde case, "the General Assembly, by enacting R.C. 9.68(A) , gave persons in Ohio the right to carry a handgun unless federal or state law prohibits them from doing so. A municipal ordinance cannot infringe on that broad statutory right.

    Thus, it is pretty well established that a local municipality cannot enact an ordinance that prohibits the open carry of weapons in public places. However, the "state" can impose laws restricting the open carry. In addition to the state law authorizing private parties to post no carry signs and prohibit firearms on private property, and the prohibition against firearms in buildings with courts, the state has also regulated possession of firearms in other specific places. For example, R.C. 1547.69 (vessels), RC. 2921.36 (detention and mental health facilities), RC. 2923.121 (liquor establishments), and RC. 2923.122 (school zones).

    Unless the state has specifically prohibited a person from having a firearm in a particular place, that person may openly carry a weapon. If the State has indicated that a person may not have a concealed weapon in a given area, then that person cannot have the weapon concealed, but presumably can carry the weapon openly.
    I know of another Ohio police chief that clearly knows that open carry is legal in Ohio gov. buildings. (Unless it's one of one the five forbidden places stated in the ORC)

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    i would almost be willing to try it except they may revoke my ccw license during the investigation and such which would be an inconvienience, however if they did then i would be forced to open carry everywhere till i get it back

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    I have actually volunteered to be an open carry test case for government buildings and land (including the statehouse grounds) and for state-owned colleges.

    What we are missing is someone to volunteer to pay my legal bills!

    Hey all you attorneys out there! Pro-bono does not mean you support running into trees!
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    I have actually volunteered to be an open carry test case for government buildings and land (including the statehouse grounds) and for state-owned colleges.

    What we are missing is someone to volunteer to pay my legal bills!

    Hey all you attorneys out there! Pro-bono does not mean you support running into trees!
    I'll try to persuade Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein to cover the tab. I can't promise. If I fail I'll petition Barbara Boxer. If that fails I bet Charles Schumer will come to your rescue.









    NOT

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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    concealed carry atty at AG's office

    I don't recall his name, either, but I had a dust-up with the AG office's "concealed carry" lawyer (I guess he lost the coin flip). Sounds like the same guy.

    The Franklin County Sheriff's Office had previously advised me that upon notification from a CHL holder of their having moved of Ohio, they would immediately revoke their CHL. At first, FCSO claimed it was "on advice of the AG's office in a legal opinion". When I asked for a copy, they ducked the question and said to call the AG. (My position always has been that that is not what the statute says.)

    When I finally reached this guy with the AG, he was equally vague. He kept repeating that he could not give me legal advice; I responded that I was not asking for any legal advice of any sort, but that I simply was asking for clarification of the AG's position on this issue, and if their position was that FCSO was correct, what was their basis in the O.R.C. ?

    He continually refused to address the question, finally basically telling me to go somewhere else, and at that point, as the OP says, "the call ended".

    You will not get much in the way of cooperation from this gentleman. You're welcome to try.....

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