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Thread: church on "school grounds"

  1. #1
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    church on "school grounds"

    St Francis Cabrini in west bend has signs on their door claiming no guns are allowed because they are "part of school grounds". However, the church isn't even connected to the school, and they dont even have classes in the church. Anyone know what the wisconsin law is on that? St francis cabrini owns the entire property, however, would the school grounds and church grounds be considered "separate" in the case of CCW? The school is a private school and the school and church are on the same physical "land" owned by st francis cabrini.
    Last edited by bmwguy11; 02-14-2013 at 03:39 PM.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    IANAL...
    The 2 laws you most need to be aware of are the "gun-free" school zone laws:
    WI 948.605 and Federal 18USC922 (q)(2)(b)
    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy11
    St Francis Cabrini in west bend has signs on their door claiming no guns are allowed because they are "part of school grounds"
    If they're posted (near every entrance), they're posted, completely aside from the school issue.
    943.13 is the trespass statute. 943.13(1m)(c)(2) is the part which applies to "nonresidential buildings".

    But it sounds like they've posted in ignorance, not really understanding the laws.
    That can be corrected.
    One thing they particularly need to be aware of is the immunity statute 175.60(21)(b):
    (b) A person that does not prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on property that the person owns or occupies is immune from any liability arising from its decision.
    By posting, they give up that immunity. Most insurance companies like to hear about immunity from liability.

    BTW, if you copy that to explain to them why it's bad to post, please don't do like I've seen some other people do & copy part A (which applies to the DOT & DOJ, not to normal people) or part D (applies to instructors). C applies to any employer.

    the church isn't even connected to the school... St francis cabrini owns the entire property, however, would the school grounds and church grounds be considered "separate" in the case of CCW?
    Look at the platte map or tax records to see if they're separate parcels. (Or how about, do they have different addresses?) If the church parcel is a separate property and if they remove the signs it's legal to carry there.
    Just don't step onto the school parcel w/o permission, or it's a felony.

    Even if they are the same parcel, the same address, since the church owns/controls the school, they can decide to make a blanket policy allowing people to be armed at church, church functions, or even in the school.

    948.605 Gun-free school zones
    (2) Possession of firearm in school zone
    (b) Paragraph (a) [can't possess a firearm near a school] does not apply to the possession of a firearm by any of the following
    (1m) A person who possesses the firearm in accordance with 18 USC 922 (q)(2)(B) (i), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii).
    18 USC 922 (q)(2)(B) Subparagraph (A) [can't possess a firearm near a school] does not apply to the possession of a firearm —
    (i) on private property not part of school grounds
    [that would be the church]
    (iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
    (v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
    (vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
    (vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.
    So if the school board (which probably equals or substantially overlaps with the church board) approves of church services & events, and agrees that people may be armed,
    OR
    creates a contract with the congregation saying that any law-abiding person is allowed to be armed in church (& in school?)
    it'd be legal.

    All of this is IMO, of course.

    ETA: one of the websites I've found says that the parish is at 1025 S 7th, and the school is at 529 Hawthorn Dr.
    I think that's a good sign that they're separate
    .
    http://www.saintfrancescabrini.com/school
    It says that they're a Milwaukee archdioscesan (sp?) school, and I remember hearing that they'd decided not to post or actually prohibit at their churches, just to gently discourage people from being armed in church.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 02-17-2013 at 12:48 AM.
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    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Re: church on "school grounds"

    If they are the same lot, it is school grounds. You'd have to look at the plat of survey.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    If they are the same lot, it is school grounds. You'd have to look at the plat of survey.
    Do you have a cite for this basis? I am willing to bet that the Church owns the school which means that the School is on Church Grounds. The "School" does not likely own anything. The "Church" operates the school. "School" grounds may include the school building and playground, etc but likely not the Church.

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    Regular Member cowboyridn's Avatar
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    Question

    Is the church within 1000 feet of the school? if so then you can't enter the church simple as that, if it is not within 1000 ft then you have to abide by any sign that prevents entrance with a fire arm, so sounds like the answer is no you can't go to this church armed.




    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy11 View Post
    St Francis Cabrini in west bend has signs on their door claiming no guns are allowed because they are "part of school grounds". However, the church isn't even connected to the school, and they dont even have classes in the church. Anyone know what the wisconsin law is on that? St francis cabrini owns the entire property, however, would the school grounds and church grounds be considered "separate" in the case of CCW? The school is a private school and the school and church are on the same physical "land" owned by st francis cabrini.

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    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyridn View Post
    Is the church within 1000 feet of the school? if so then you can't enter the church simple as that, if it is not within 1000 ft then you have to abide by any sign that prevents entrance with a fire arm, so sounds like the answer is no you can't go to this church armed.
    This is a definitely wrong answer. The church is on private property so this wouldn't apply.

    In my mind, the only possible gotcha is whether the church and school are separate or on the same property.

  7. #7
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul
    In my mind, the only possible gotcha is whether the church and school are separate or on the same property.
    +1
    They have different addresses on different streets (around the corner from each other).
    I think it looks like they're separate.

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    Regular Member cowboyridn's Avatar
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    Good Catch

    You're right didn't know that if private property is within 1000 ft you could have a firearm. Thanks



    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    This is a definitely wrong answer. The church is on private property so this wouldn't apply.

    In my mind, the only possible gotcha is whether the church and school are separate or on the same property.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    In my mind, the only possible gotcha is whether the church and school are separate or on the same property.
    If the Church owns the school building and the School is on Church Property, therefore, even if they are on the same "property", how would the Church be on "School" grounds when it is the School which is on Church grounds?
    Public schools are different than private schools. The School Board owns the school property and the entire property is for the use of the school, either administratively or otherwise. A private school may exist in only a portion of a building which is not otherwise used for the school. The whole building would not be "School grounds" in this case. This is relatively common for small parochial schools.
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 02-17-2013 at 04:22 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyridn
    You're right didn't know that if private property is within 1000 ft you could have a firearm.
    See post #2 where I quoted the WI & federal "GF"SZ laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight
    If the Church owns the school building and the School is on Church Property, therefore, even if they are on the same "property", how would the Church be on "School" grounds when it is the School which is on Church grounds?
    Because of the definition in WI law.

    Public schools are different than private schools
    Not according to WI law.

    http://docs.legis.wi.gov/statutes/statutes/948/605/1
    (b) "School" means a public school, parochial or private school, or tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m), which provides an educational program for one or more grades between grades 1 and 12 and which is commonly known as an elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school, or high school.
    948.61(1)(c)(c) "School premises" means any school building, grounds, recreation area or athletic field or any other property owned, used or operated for school administration.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    See post #2 where I quoted the WI & federal "GF"SZ laws.


    Because of the definition in WI law.


    Not according to WI law.

    http://docs.legis.wi.gov/statutes/statutes/948/605/1
    (b) "School" means a public school, parochial or private school, or tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m), which provides an educational program for one or more grades between grades 1 and 12 and which is commonly known as an elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school, or high school.
    948.61(1)(c)(c) "School premises" means any school building, grounds, recreation area or athletic field or any other property owned, used or operated for school administration.
    The ownership is different. With a public school, the school board owns all of the grounds. With this type of parochial school in question, the Church owns the school. The school is on Church grounds. NO property is owned by the school. The Church is not "used for School administration". the Church is used for worship. This language is simply not relevant to a parochial school owned by the Church. The Church is not "School Premises". The School is Church Premises. Only those grounds which are used as a school building, playground, etc are applicable.

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    The 1000' school zone wouldn't apply to me anyways since I have my CCW license.

    That said, I got this disheartening reply from the church:

    Thanks so much for your email and for your very evident concern for everyone's safety.

    As it turns out, we posted all of those signs in June after several months of careful consultation with our insurance company, Catholic Mutual, and with the Archdiocese who advised us not only on where to place them but also on the wording of the signs. And we did so to be in compliance with what both agencies strongly recommended- the Archdiocese does not, in fact, think as you indicated in your email. And neither does our insurance carrier. Therefore, we have no plans to remove the signs because I am more afraid of the insurance company than I am a gunman, though I do understand your point.
    It shocks me that insurance companies would go "yea, we dont want civil immunity, that's a bad thing".

  13. #13
    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    I can tell you that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee does not require the parishes to post and I am willing to bet that neither does the Catholic Mutual Insurance Company. The Church Council is likely filled with anti-gun types and they are simply doing as they desire.

  14. #14
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    I can tell you that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee does not require the parishes to post and I am willing to bet that neither does the Catholic Mutual Insurance Company. The Church Council is likely filled with anti-gun types and they are simply doing as they desire.
    St Patricks in Elkhorn isn't posted, neither is the church in Burlington so I would agree that they are full of poo poo.

    You might want to remind them about the sin of lying.

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