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Thread: Confused about signs

  1. #1
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    Confused about signs

    I am confused about weather "No Guns" signs hold any legal standing in Ohio. And if they do, does the signage have any special requirements, i.e. visible from so far, so large a font, etc? I understand that the owner or senior manager (or security, I guess) has the right to ask you to leave, and refusal can lead to trespassing arrests.

    My rule of thumb thus far has been to follow any signage that I see posted, but that is mostly due to ignorance of the subject.

    Any advice or links to case or legislative law is greatly appreciated.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Why are you confused?

    Yes, ANY signage restricting firearms has the weight of law in Ohio.

    There are no requirements as to the type or format of the sign. Text-only, graphic-only, or graphics and text combined, they are all valid.

    Written in lipstick on a bar napkin and stuck to the door with bubblegum? It's a valid sign.

    ORC 2923.126 is where you will find the details. Look at section (C)(3)(a).

    Except as provided in division (C)(3)(b) of this section, the owner or person in control of private land or premises, and a private person or entity leasing land or premises owned by the state, the United States, or a political subdivision of the state or the United States, may post a sign in a conspicuous location on that land or on those premises prohibiting persons from carrying firearms or concealed firearms on or onto that land or those premises.

    Except as otherwise provided in this division, a person who knowingly violates a posted prohibition of that nature is guilty of criminal trespass in violation of division (A)(4) of section 2911.21 of the Revised Code and is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a person knowingly violates a posted prohibition of that nature and the posted land or premises primarily was a parking lot or other parking facility, the person is not guilty of criminal trespass in violation of division (A)(4) of section 2911.21 of the Revised Code and instead is subject only to a civil cause of action for trespass based on the violation.
    (b) A landlord may not prohibit or restrict a tenant who is a licensee and who on or after September 9, 2008, enters into a rental agreement with the landlord for the use of residential premises, and the tenant's guest while the tenant is present, from lawfully carrying or possessing a handgun on those residential premises.
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    Re: Confused about signs

    My favorites are the ones that businesses post forty feet inside their store so you are already in the store before you see they don't allow them.

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    Thanks

    This is exactly what I was looking for, couldn't find it. Thank you.

    ORC 2923.126 is where you will find the details.

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hareuhal View Post
    My favorites are the ones that businesses post forty feet inside their store so you are already in the store before you see they don't allow them.
    I bet they do that on purpose, just to be mean.

    We should track the quality of customer service at those places and see if it's worse than others.
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    Re: Confused about signs

    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    I bet they do that on purpose, just to be mean.

    We should track the quality of customer service at those places and see if it's worse than others.
    That's an interesting idea. I may have to keep note of said businesses...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hareuhal View Post
    My favorites are the ones that businesses post forty feet inside their store so you are already in the store before you see they don't allow them.

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    Or on the exit door(s), so you see it on your way out after your purchase.

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    Confused about signs

    Actually, they are doing you a favor by not posting at the entrance. Carrying is only a crime if you knowingly violate a sign.


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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Actually, they are doing you a favor by not posting at the entrance.
    How so? I don't see it as them doing a favor to me to make me come all the way into the business and potentially be conducting business before seeing the sign and then having to leave to disarm and return (or just leave, depending). How is that doing me a favor?

    Carrying is only a crime if you knowingly violate a sign.
    The point isn't that these signs aren't visible, it's that they aren't visible from the outside of the property but once you are inside potentially already in the process of conducting business they are then visible.

    AIUI, if the sign should have been seen by a reasonable person it doesn't matter if you saw it or not.
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    Confused about signs

    "Knowingly" means that if you legitimately claim that you did not know that carry was not allowed, and if the sign is buried in the store where you may not go, or at the exit, then you cannot be charged with trespass for violating the sign, because you did not do so knowingly.


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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter
    ...How is that doing me a favor?
    If you can't see the sign on the exit from where you are, you aren't 'knowingly' doing anything wrong while you're in the store.


    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter
    AIUI, if the sign should have been seen by a reasonable person it doesn't matter if you saw it or not.
    As soon as you see the sign, a reasonable person 'knows'.
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  12. #12
    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    "Knowingly" means that if you legitimately claim that you did not know that carry was not allowed, and if the sign is buried in the store where you may not go, or at the exit, then you cannot be charged with trespass for violating the sign, because you did not do so knowingly.
    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    If you can't see the sign on the exit from where you are, you aren't 'knowingly' doing anything wrong while you're in the store.

    As soon as you see the sign, a reasonable person 'knows'.
    Communications in a forum can be so... frustrating. I agree with both of you, but the post we (I thought) were responding to said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hareuhal View Post
    My favorites are the ones that businesses post forty feet inside their store so you are already in the store before you see they don't allow them.
    Which states that "you are already in the store before you see they don't allow them" which means they aren't doing me a favor, I cannot legitimately claim I didn't see the sign, because once I'm in the store I can see the sign and I at that point "know" and have to leave.
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    Re: Confused about signs

    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Communications in a forum can be so... frustrating. I agree with both of you, but the post we (I thought) were responding to said:



    Which states that "you are already in the store before you see they don't allow them" which means they aren't doing me a favor, I cannot legitimately claim I didn't see the sign, because once I'm in the store I can see the sign and I at that point "know" and have to leave.
    The biggest issue I have is whether or not you're able to prove you didn't know, should you for some reason ever have to go to court because of it.

    Yes, in a perfect world it should never end up in court, and if it did it should be easy to win....but I don't have all that much faith in the justice system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hareuhal View Post
    The biggest issue I have is whether or not you're able to prove you didn't know...
    It's hard to prove a negative. Fortunately, juries only need reasonable doubt.
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    Re: Confused about signs

    True, but I don't necessarily want to find out if that jury is understanding or not.

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    Confused about signs

    You don't have to prove you didn't know. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    "Knowingly" means that if you legitimately claim that you did not know that carry was not allowed, and if the sign is buried in the store where you may not go, or at the exit, then you cannot be charged with trespass for violating the sign, because you did not do so knowingly.
    Not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    You don't have to prove you didn't know. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did.
    True. But, that's a given.


    Knowingly is not an affirmative defence.

    What is Knowingly????? Lets look at the law.

    The Ohio Revised Code defines "knowingly." - "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." R.C. 2901.22(B). See State v. Chen,_Ohio App. 3D_,__N.E. 2D_,2010 Ohio App. LEXIS 1882, 2010-Ohio-2289 (May 21,2010) {30}. In addition, the Ohio Supreme Court has concluded that if a defendant's mental state is difficult to establish with direct proof, it may be "inferred from the surrounding circumstances." State v. Logan, 60 Ohio St.2d 126, 131 (1979).

    And what will the judge read to the jury?

    Ohio Jury Criminal Instructions
    Title 4 General Criminal Trial Instructions
    Chapter CR 417 DEFINITIONS
    CR 417.11 Knowingly R.C. 2901.22(B)

    1. KNOWINGLY. A person acts knowingly, regardless of his purpose, when (he is aware that his conduct will probably cause a certain result) (he is aware that his conduct will probably be of a certain nature). A person has knowledge of circumstances when he is aware that such circumstances probably exist. R.C. 2901.22(B).

    2. ALTERNATE. Knowingly means that a person is aware of the existence of the facts and that his acts will probably (cause a certain result) (be of a certain nature).
    COMMENT
    Evidence of mistake, accident, lack of information or other innocent reason negate the existence of knowledge and do not constitute an affirmative defense.

    3. HOW DETERMINED. Since you cannot look into the mind of another, knowledge is determined from all the facts and circumstances in evidence. You will determine from these facts and circumstances whether there existed at the time in the mind of the defendant an awareness of the probability that ________________.
    Now we have something of substance. Knowing what you will face if going to trial.

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    Confused about signs

    And if the sign is posted where you would not see it, you don't know, by the common sense definition nor by the technical definition, which doesn't vary perceptibly from the intuitive definition.


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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    And if the sign is posted where you would not see it, you don't know, by the common sense definition nor by the technical definition, which doesn't vary perceptibly from the intuitive definition.


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    So, what's your point?

    You said:
    Originally Posted by eye95
    "Knowingly" means that if you legitimately claim that you did not know that carry was not allowed, and if the sign is buried in the store where you may not go, or at the exit, then you cannot be charged with trespass for violating the sign, because you did not do so knowingly.
    This is not true.

    If you are charged for trespass you can choose to take the stand and state your side of the story. But, you better be ready to be cross examined.
    Again, knowingly is not an affirmative defence.
    And you don't get to argue the law on the stand.

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    If the sign reaches out and slaps me in the head, I'm shootin' it. Period.

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    Confused about signs

    My point is (for those having tremendous trouble reading) is quite simple: If they don't post the sign where it is reasonable to expect that people in the store will KNOW that they don't want carry, those people can't knowingly violate the sign until and unless they encounter it. Duh.

    Moving on from the brick wall. (He's just being contrary for contrariness' sake anyway, and I will choose not to play his childish game.)


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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    My point is (for those having tremendous trouble reading) is quite simple: If they don't post the sign where it is reasonable to expect that people in the store will KNOW that they don't want carry, those people can't knowingly violate the sign until and unless they encounter it. Duh.

    Moving on from the brick wall. (He's just being contrary for contrariness' sake anyway, and I will choose not to play his childish game.)
    Oh, now I get it. It's everybody else's fault that you can't articulate your thoughts in a written format. And it's everybody else's fault that they can't read your mind.

    Instead of acting like a putz, all you had to say is that you misspoke.

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    Re: Confused about signs

    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    So, what's your point?

    You said:


    This is not true.

    If you are charged for trespass you can choose to take the stand and state your side of the story. But, you better be ready to be cross examined.
    Again, knowingly is not an affirmative defence.
    And you don't get to argue the law on the stand.
    The fact that it isn't an affirmative defense works in your favor. The entire point of your defense is that the law can only find you guilty if they show you did the action knowing it was trespass.
    With an affirmative defense you would be saying "I definitely trespassed, but it wasn't illegal because I didn't see the sign."
    With a normal defense you would be saying "I didn't trespass at all because I didn't know the sign was posted and the law says it is only trespass if I see or am otherwise aware of the sign."

    It is your lawyers job to make sure the court makes sure the jury understands that if the prosecution doesn't show you should have known about the sign you can't be found guilty. This is where having a good lawyer means you never even see the courtroom, while having a bad one gets you jail time.

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    Carrying is only a crime if you knowingly violate a sign.
    I didn't think it was a crime.
    I thought the crime part kicks in if you refuse to leave because they asked you to?
    This excludes government buildings of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arentol View Post
    The fact that it isn't an affirmative defense works in your favor. The entire point of your defense is that the law can only find you guilty if they show you did the action knowing it was trespass.
    With an affirmative defense you would be saying "I definitely trespassed, but it wasn't illegal because I didn't see the sign."
    With a normal defense you would be saying "I didn't trespass at all because I didn't know the sign was posted and the law says it is only trespass if I see or am otherwise aware of the sign."

    It is your lawyers job to make sure the court makes sure the jury understands that if the prosecution doesn't show you should have known about the sign you can't be found guilty. This is where having a good lawyer means you never even see the courtroom, while having a bad one gets you jail time.

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    And that's why I posted Ohio's jury instructions.

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