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Thread: Can an event prohibit firearms at fair grounds?

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    Can an event prohibit firearms at fair grounds?

    As title states, can an event that is not part of the fair prohibit firearms at a county fair grounds?

    Also the event would not be taking place during the dates of the county fair.

    Example: car show, gun show, circus, concert, flea market

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    The event holder can if the event holder is not a public entity. If you lease the fairgrounds for a day, you can post it however you want with concern to guns and carry methods.

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    I figured that was the case. Thanks for the info.

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    Incorrect. The fairgrounds are public property of the county regardless of who ever rents the land for an event.

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    An interesting legal question that would likely have to be settled by a court.

    I would come down on the side of yes.

    When one leases a property, for almost all intents and purposes, it becomes his for the duration of the lease. The owner of the property does retain some rights, but most are ceded to the lessee. Were I the judge, I would rule that the property is not public property for the duration of the lease, excepting that the lease has been granted to a public entity or is designed solely to get around the public property rule.

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    Regular Member Makarov's Avatar
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    The fair at New Boston rents a county park for their event. Two years ago they place a no gun sign at the entrance of their show. I pointed it out to the event manager that it was illegal and the year that followed they removed the sign because they had to comply with state law.
    Last edited by Makarov; 09-03-2013 at 06:56 AM.

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    Can an event prohibit firearms at fair grounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Makarov View Post
    The fair at New Boston rents a county park for their event. Two years ago they place a no gun sign at the entrance of their show. I pointed it out to the event manager that it was illegal and the year that followed they removed the sign because they had to comply with state law.
    What fair? If it is a county fair, then a public entity rented the grounds from a public entity, and the event could not be posted. The question is about a private entity renting the grounds for their event. IMO, in that case, having leased the grounds for their use and enjoyment, the private entity would have the Liberty to post.


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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The question is about a private entity renting the grounds for their event. IMO, in that case, having leased the grounds for their use and enjoyment, the private entity would have the Liberty to post.
    Exactly - no opinion required, it is plainly stated in the Ohio Revised Code: ORC 2923.126 (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.
    (Emplasis mine)
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    This covers things like Bengals football games. Technically Paul Brown Stadium is owned by Hamilton County, but we are subject to the rules of the NFL since it's leased to a private entity.

    No Umbrellas, Camera's or Guns!

    They can pretty much dictate what they want.

    County or State Fair which is run by the county or state... That's a good question. Not sure how they could enforce this. Unless they contract the fair out to a "private" entity to run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronix View Post
    County or State Fair which is run by the county or state... That's a good question. Not sure how they could enforce this. Unless they contract the fair out to a "private" entity to run.
    Correct, if the fair is run by a truly private entity, they could post - but is has to truly be a private entity. Various counties have tried to say that their Agricultural Society was a private entity, and thus they could post, but that is not the case in Ohio - Agricultural Societies are public entities so cannot post the fairgrounds during the fair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronix View Post
    This covers things like Bengals football games. Technically Paul Brown Stadium is owned by Hamilton County, but we are subject to the rules of the NFL since it's leased to a private entity.

    No Umbrellas, Camera's or Guns!

    They can pretty much dictate what they want.

    County or State Fair which is run by the county or state... That's a good question. Not sure how they could enforce this. Unless they contract the fair out to a "private" entity to run.
    If they "contract the fair out to a 'private' entity," then the entity is acting as an agent of the government and should be bound in the same way the government would be. If they lease the grounds to a group to run a fair as that group sees fit, including making its own decision regarding carry, then that group is truly a private entity and entitled to make its own decision--not necessarily the one the government wants it to make.

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    In Ohio, the vast majority of fairground properties are owned by the county. Some are owned or co-owned by a city or village.

    The actual fairs are organized by an Agricultural Society. Many of these Ag Soc's are under the impression they are a private entity. That is NOT the case.

    Ohio Revised Code 1711 states that Ag Soc's are 'bodies corporate and politic', in other words, a political subdivision of the state...AKA public entities. Once these entities realize they are not a private entity, they will usually take down their signs.

    IF the fairgrounds are leased to an actual private entity, they can do what ever they want, within the law, of course. Prohibiting guns, in that case, would be within the law.
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