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Thread: Gun store owner threatened with fines & jail time for AR-15 sign (Kalifornia)

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Gun store owner threatened with fines & jail time for AR-15 sign (Kalifornia)

    Ares Armor Tactical Store Threatened with Fines & Jail Time for AR-15 Sign

    http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/02/ar...me-ar-15-sign/

    "Ares Armor
    is a small tactical company that operates a store in National City, California. Recently the town of National City disapproved of a sign displayed at the National City store location and told the store, "Take down the sign or go to jail. We do not approve of guns...or you."

    The store has been in compliance with the law and was not doing anything illegal. So why is there a fuss? It's because of the guns and the message of freedom being promoted by Ares Armor.

    Dimitri Karces is a Marine veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan and CEO of Ares Armor. His staff include other Marines veterans as well...."


    "...What can you do about it? Well, there's contact information below my friends. Feel free to respectfully write to or call the following people and let them know what you think. If you don't speak up, who will? Dimitri and those who work with him have served our country. Isn't it time we stood up for them?..."


    Last edited by BB62; 02-25-2014 at 12:10 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran Cavalryman's Avatar
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    Never mind about the Second Amendment, what about the First?

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    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    What law are they going to arrest him under. Unlawful display of an assault sign.
    This is beyond ridiculous.

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    National City Ordinance Code Chapter 18.47 covers

    Per sign approval and permit may be required.http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16516
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    They should be arrested for overuse of the word "Tactical".

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Per sign approval and permit may be required.http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16516

    Yuppers...the store owner (per regs) needs to get a permit for ANY sign or banner that is on the exterior. Looks like some study of their sign specs would be in order:

    http://library.municode.com/HTML/165...ESICOINMIEINZO

    18.47.070 Large permanent signs in commercial, industrial, mixed-use and institutional zones.A.
    Specifications and Restrictions. Except in shopping centers, large permanent signs (those exceeding twenty-five square feet in area) may be installed on or along the face of a building in commercial, and commercial uses in a mixed-use zone, industrial or institutional zones, subject to the following specifications and restrictions:
    1.
    Signs shall be limited to one sign per business premise per frontage along a street, freeway, or parking lot.
    2.
    Sign area on the primary frontage shall not exceed thirty percent of the area of the building face or four square feet of sign for each linear foot of building face along that frontage, whichever is greater.
    3.
    Sign area on a secondary frontage shall not exceed fifteen percent of the area of the building face or two square feet per linear foot of secondary frontage, whichever is greater.
    4.
    The sign face shall not be located, such as by a cabinet, deep lettering, or architectural feature, more than eighteen inches from a building face unless an exception is approved pursuant to site plan review.
    (Ord. No. 2012-2372, Exh. B-1, 2-7-2012)
    18.47.110 Roof mounted signs.
    Roof-mounted signs are not permitted.
    Looking at the picture in the article, the sign looks non-conforming to me. Just my $0.02.
    Last edited by carolina guy; 02-26-2014 at 09:22 AM.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Yuppers...the store owner (per regs) needs to get a permit for ANY sign or banner that is on the exterior. Looks like some study of their sign specs would be in order:...

    Looking at the picture in the article, the sign looks non-conforming to me. Just my $0.02.
    Maybe so, maybe not: "...Ares Armor confirmed with Freedom Outpost that the AR-15 sign was merely a replacement of a previous sign, but not an entirely new sign...."

    From reading the article, I sure don't get the notion that the problem is a code violation, though.
    Last edited by BB62; 02-26-2014 at 11:29 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran Cavalryman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Maybe so, maybe not: "...Ares Armor confirmed with Freedom Outpost that the AR-15 sign was merely a replacement of a previous sign, but not an entirely new sign...."

    From reading the article, I sure don't get the notion that the problem is a code violation, though.
    Yes, but if you're going to put up a sign which you know will offend some people, it's a tactical (See what I did there?) error to fail to insure that it is indisputably within code.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Maybe so, maybe not: "...Ares Armor confirmed with Freedom Outpost that the AR-15 sign was merely a replacement of a previous sign, but not an entirely new sign...."

    From reading the article, I sure don't get the notion that the problem is a code violation, though.
    Here is the whole paragraph with the really important portion...

    Ares Armor confirmed with Freedom Outpost that the AR-15 sign was merely a replacement of a previous sign, but not an entirely new sign. The sign had been erected for some time and displayed a banner from another tenant in the same building.
    From this I take it that Ares rented a previously vacant store, so this section would take effect:

    18.11.090 Nonconforming signs.A.
    Nonconforming Sign Regulations.
    1.
    In cases where the area of signs existing as a lawful nonconforming use on a property exceeds the total allowable area for permitted signs, no additional signs shall be permitted on the property. If the size or configuration of a parcel or building is changed by the subdivision or splitting of the property or alterations to the building or parcel, property identification signs and outdoor advertising signs on the resulting properties shall be required to conform to the sign regulations applicable to the newly created parcel or parcels, at the time such change becomes effective.
    2.
    In the event a use of any site or building is vacated, terminated or abandoned, for any reason, for a period of more than one ninety consecutive days, the owner or person in possession of the property shall be responsible for the removal of all signs on the property, building or wall, or for having the copy thereon painted out, immediately upon notice from the city.
    3.
    Nonconforming signs shall be removed or made conforming when the business or property changes occupancy or ownership.
    This is pretty standard with most cities, not sure what happened when they were talking (other than what is in the article)...but looks to me (in the absence of additional information) that Ares rented the shop and changed the sign w/o a permit for the size of the sign.

    Otherwise, Ares was letting someone else use their sign for some period of time?? (*skeptical look*)
    Last edited by carolina guy; 02-26-2014 at 12:40 PM.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    Yes, but if you're going to put up a sign which you know will offend some people, it's a tactical (See what I did there?) error to fail to insure that it is indisputably within code.
    One would think it was a "Stratigic sign" and not a tactical sign since it is "Offensive"......lol

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    Yes, but if you're going to put up a sign which you know will offend some people, it's a tactical (See what I did there?) error to fail to insure that it is indisputably within code.

    +1 To me, it looks like they have wasted $10k + their sign cost. I think they will either have to move, or change the sign.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The sign is grandfathered under the law.

    Where I live an existing sign ended up with what one trustee had a distaste for. The size of the sign was an issue and out of conformance with the revised code. The trustee was out of luck because the sign was grandfathered.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    The sign is grandfathered under the law.

    Where I live an existing sign ended up with what one trustee had a distaste for. The size of the sign was an issue and out of conformance with the revised code. The trustee was out of luck because the sign was grandfathered.
    Perhaps you are seeing something I am not on municode...since this seems to be controlling:

    18.11.090 Nonconforming signs.A.
    Nonconforming Sign Regulations.
    1.
    In cases where the area of signs existing as a lawful nonconforming use on a property exceeds the total allowable area for permitted signs, no additional signs shall be permitted on the property. If the size or configuration of a parcel or building is changed by the subdivision or splitting of the property or alterations to the building or parcel, property identification signs and outdoor advertising signs on the resulting properties shall be required to conform to the sign regulations applicable to the newly created parcel or parcels, at the time such change becomes effective.
    2.
    In the event a use of any site or building is vacated, terminated or abandoned, for any reason, for a period of more than one ninety consecutive days, the owner or person in possession of the property shall be responsible for the removal of all signs on the property, building or wall, or for having the copy thereon painted out, immediately upon notice from the city.
    3.
    Nonconforming signs shall be removed or made conforming when the business or property changes occupancy or ownership.
    Gotta cite that contradicts this for California?
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Perhaps you are seeing something I am not on municode...since this seems to be controlling:



    Gotta cite that contradicts this for California?
    18.11.090 Nonconforming signs.permanent link to this piece of content
    A.
    Nonconforming Sign Regulations.
    1.
    In cases where the area of signs existing as a lawful nonconforming use on a property exceeds the total allowable area for permitted signs, no additional signs shall be permitted on the property. If the size or configuration of a parcel or building is changed by the subdivision or splitting of the property or alterations to the building or parcel, property identification signs and outdoor advertising signs on the resulting properties shall be required to conform to the sign regulations applicable to the newly created parcel or parcels, at the time such change becomes effective.
    2.
    In the event a use of any site or building is vacated, terminated or abandoned, for any reason, for a period of more than one ninety consecutive days, the owner or person in possession of the property shall be responsible for the removal of all signs on the property, building or wall, or for having the copy thereon painted out, immediately upon notice from the city.
    3.
    Nonconforming signs shall be removed or made conforming when the business or property changes occupancy or ownership.

    (Ord. No. 2012-2372, Exh. B-1, 2-7-2012)
    The sign existed before the code was created. The sign is grandfathered. Constitution - no Ex post facto law.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    The sign existed before the code was created. The sign is grandfathered. Constitution - no Ex post facto law.
    Apples and Oranges. Ex Post Facto deals with changing the consequences for acts already committed, and at that, generally only criminal matters.

    This is a new tenant...old sign was modified by the new tenant. They avoid this problem by excluding existing businesses with existing signs when the ordinance changed (2001 IIRC) from the non-compliance provisions. Further, I think the landlord was actually responsible for removing the sign if the store had been vacant for 90 days or more.

    Otherwise, tell this to the 1000's of new business occupying existing buildings that have to do up-fits for occupancy permits. Imagine all the tenement owners that could have saved money on wiring, plumbing, sprinklers, etc over the years.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Apples and Oranges. Ex Post Facto deals with changing the consequences for acts already committed, and at that, generally only criminal matters.
    Not generally only criminal.....
    Black's Law Dictionary: After the fact; by an act or fact occurring after some previous actor fact, and relating thereto; by subsequent matter; the opposite of ab initio. Thus, a deed may be good ab initio, or, if invalid at its inception, may be confirmed by matterex pout facto.

    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    This is a new tenant...old sign was modified by the new tenant. They avoid this problem by excluding existing businesses with existing signs when the ordinance changed (2001 IIRC) from the non-compliance provisions. Further, I think the landlord was actually responsible for removing the sign if the store had been vacant for 90 days or more.
    Law would be found unconstitutional if challenged. why not mandate the entire building be torn down if vacant for 90 days or more.

    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Otherwise, tell this to the 1000's of new business occupying existing buildings that have to do up-fits for occupancy permits. Imagine all the tenement owners that could have saved money on wiring, plumbing, sprinklers, etc over the years.
    Again, Law would be found unconstitutional if challenged. why not mandate the entire building be torn down and a new building be built per new building code.

    Oh...Never mind......I forgot you guys live Kalifornia.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Apples and Oranges. Ex Post Facto deals with changing the consequences for acts already committed, and at that, generally only criminal matters.

    This is a new tenant...old sign was modified by the new tenant. They avoid this problem by excluding existing businesses with existing signs when the ordinance changed (2001 IIRC) from the non-compliance provisions. Further, I think the landlord was actually responsible for removing the sign if the store had been vacant for 90 days or more.

    Otherwise, tell this to the 1000's of new business occupying existing buildings that have to do up-fits for occupancy permits. Imagine all the tenement owners that could have saved money on wiring, plumbing, sprinklers, etc over the years.
    It seems only one of you, color of law, actually watched the videotape.

    I suggest you look at 14:10 on the tape. It's pretty clear from the next few seconds after that that there was no need for a permit. The fellow speaking at that point starts speaking at about 11:00.

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    It's my understanding that, plain meaning of the words notwithstanding, courts only apply the ex post facto clause against punitive/criminal actions. See State v. Billiot, 104 So. 3d 113, 117 (La. App. 1st Cir. 2012), State ex rel. Olivieri v. State, 779 So. 2d 735, 749 (La. 2001). That's just my state, but if they'd contradicted SCOTUS opinion I expect they'd have been shot down.

    If everything I'm seeing in this thread is true, the ordinance would apply, by its terms, to the sign. As I recall, time/place/manner restrictions still get strict scrutiny, but commercial speech can be regulated, so a facial challenge would've been iffy. Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781 at 791 (1989). However, the ordinances general constitutionality, vel non, is not the end of the city's worries. They've admitted, publicly, that they are cracking down on this guy because they disagree with the content of his message on political grounds? Then they've taken this from a presumably content neutral ordinance applying to commercial speech and turned it into political censorship. The city's candor is as refreshing as it is self destructive. See Thomas v. Chi. Park Dist., 534 U.S. 316, 325 (2002), Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Def. & Educ. Fund, 476 U.S. 788, 812 (1985).

    IANYL, but this should be a fun one to follow.
    Last edited by Seigi; 02-26-2014 at 06:11 PM.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Not generally only criminal.....
    Black's Law Dictionary: After the fact; by an act or fact occurring after some previous actor fact, and relating thereto; by subsequent matter; the opposite of ab initio. Thus, a deed may be good ab initio, or, if invalid at its inception, may be confirmed by matterex pout facto.



    Law would be found unconstitutional if challenged. why not mandate the entire building be torn down if vacant for 90 days or more.



    Again, Law would be found unconstitutional if challenged. why not mandate the entire building be torn down and a new building be built per new building code.

    Oh...Never mind......I forgot you guys live Kalifornia.......
    (*BUZZ*)

    Wrong...never have set foot west of Texas.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The way your defending Kalifornia you act like you live there. I sure they will welcome you with open arms.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    It seems only one of you, color of law, actually watched the videotape.

    I suggest you look at 14:10 on the tape. It's pretty clear from the next few seconds after that that there was no need for a permit. The fellow speaking at that point starts speaking at about 11:00.
    You would be incorrect. The video tape only has the owners claiming that they have no need for a permit to do what they did. As far as the partition issue, I have not looked (and won't) at the municode around that. I did not see anything (like video or audio recordings) to backup their claims of city harassment. I don't doubt them, but none was presented.

    My previous responses quoted the relevant language around the commercial use of signage in that city. Like it or not, cities and states can regulate businesses and do.

    Just my $0.02. IANAL.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Not generally only criminal.....
    Black's Law Dictionary: After the fact; by an act or fact occurring after some previous actor fact, and relating thereto; by subsequent matter; the opposite of ab initio. Thus, a deed may be good ab initio, or, if invalid at its inception, may be confirmed by matterex pout facto.
    What deed are you referring to? The PREVIOUS tenants installing (or modifying) a sign that was legal at that time? Grandfathering the PREVIOUS tenant for their continued use? Or the current owners modifying a sign that is no longer legal and should have been removed by the landlord?

    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Law would be found unconstitutional if challenged. why not mandate the entire building be torn down if vacant for 90 days or more.
    How would the law be unconstitutional? Please explain, not just make a blanket claim believing that makes you correct. The PREVIOUS tenant was grandfathered and had no obligation to act. The CURRENT tenant has to obey CURRENT laws when making changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Again, Law would be found unconstitutional if challenged. why not mandate the entire building be torn down and a new building be built per new building code.

    Oh...Never mind......I forgot you guys live Kalifornia.......
    (*sigh*) (*shakes head sadly*)
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

  23. #23
    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    The way your defending Kalifornia you act like you live there. I sure they will welcome you with open arms.
    No...and nobody that knows me personally would EVER make that assumption. I have no interest in even visiting. (*shrug*) Meh.
    Last edited by carolina guy; 02-27-2014 at 10:26 AM.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Campaign Veteran Cavalryman's Avatar
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    Well...that deteriorated quickly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    You would be incorrect. The video tape only has the owners claiming that they have no need for a permit to do what they did. As far as the partition issue, I have not looked (and won't) at the municode around that. I did not see anything (like video or audio recordings) to backup their claims of city harassment. I don't doubt them, but none was presented.

    My previous responses quoted the relevant language around the commercial use of signage in that city. Like it or not, cities and states can regulate businesses and do.

    Just my $0.02. IANAL.
    In the video they state that their lawyer has already viewed all applicable laws and that the sign does not violate them. They also state how after the put up a fight that a building inspector came and has tried to fine them for their partitions, something else that their lawyer said wasn't true.

    Now personally, I'm not a lawyer. As such, when their lawyer says that the sign and the partitions don't break the codes, I'm going to think that he knows something that I don't. Also remember that one of the owners states that he just passed the bar as well and is simply waiting on something to come back (I think he said background check).

    Sure they could be wrong and/or lying, but I don't see them as lying and given that it is CA I am far more likely to believe them than the city.

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