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Thread: Does grandstands = a building, during a county fair

  1. #1
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    Does grandstands = a building, during a county fair

    I usually attend the Wayne an Tuscarawas County Fairs. Wayne is not posted, (and it shouldn't be) but the Tusc. Co. fair IS, I'll be calling the fair board soon to get this fixed (hopefully w/o any problems). Now my question is this, I know the buildings will be off limits but is or would a grandstands be considered a building, thus being off limits to? I'm going to the tractor pulls and will be sitting in the stands. Any comments?

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    I have seen no formal definition of a "shelter" in the law. If there isn't one, common sense should apply. If the structure is mostly open on the sides, without clear "doorways," IMO it is a shelter. The grandstand itself would be a shelter. However, if you have to pass through a building to get there, that building can be posted as no carry.

    In an irony of ironies, almost all of the structures that I'd say were not "shelters" under the law, thereby allowing the prohibition on carry, had signs designating them as "storm shelters." That would make them "shelters," wouldn't it?

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    Well, eye, that was my thinking and to get into the lower part of it , it has doors,(making it a building) but the restrooms are in the lower part so that would void the no gun sign. Another thing, both (Wayne, and Tusc.) have roof tops on them to "shelter" people from the sun, soooo.....I'd say they are a place you can carry. thanks for the $.02

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    JMHO

    Blacks Law Dictionary defines the term "Shelter" as "A general term used in statutes that relates to the provision of food, clothing, and housing for specified individuals; a home with a proper environment that affords protection from the weather."

    With that said, the so called grandstands would be classified as an "open air arena" not a shelter. The problem is, does the open air arena have a class "D" liquor permit. See 2923.121 and 2923.126.

    If no liquor permit open carry would be legal. One caveat, cops for the most part don't know this.

    But, if a class "D" permit is issued you would be in untested waters.

    Open carry in the fair buildings are legally permissible.

    On May 1, 2012 the attorney for Vandalia, Ohio (Gerald McDonald) issued a letter to police chief Douglas Knight discussing issues relating to the open carrying and the concealed carrying of handguns. As to open carry attorney McDonald stated in part:
    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(B)(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)
    This is why the ORC only points to five places that carrying open or concealed is prohibited. Those are a jail, courthouse or used as a courthouse, school, state run mental hospital and bars (unless you have a CCW).

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    It is unfortunate that the ORC doesn't detail what a shelter is. However, IMO, it is referring to pavilion-style buildings--a roof, but not much in the way of doors or walls. Virtually any structure, including "buildings," are shelters according to the dictionary definition (see my comment on storm shelters above ), so I don't think that they meant shelter in the dictionary sense, more like "picnic shelters" or "bus stop shelters." If that is correct, then the idea of a shelter having a roof, but not much in the way of doors or walls would seem to be what they were aiming for.

    However, we can't be sure. A court would have to resolve this.

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