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Thread: Do no-gun signs in MI carry the weight of law or not?

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    Regular Member 2AFriendly's Avatar
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    Do no-gun signs in MI carry the weight of law or not?

    Hello, we have been researching Michigan's laws pertaining to whether or not a no-gun sign carries the weight of law behind it. both handgunlaw.us and MCRGO say that it does, even though there is technically no law codifying it. This is because, as best as we can tell, 1) there are "pistol free zones" which are always marked by signs, and 2) state law makes you as a trespasser if you walk past "reasonable" notification like a no-gun sign.

    We have made a note of this in our reciprocity guide http://2afriendly.com/2afriendly-reciprocity.php?s1=MI but want to be sure it's as accurate as possible.

    Anyone have input in this?


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    Campaign Veteran smellslikemichigan's Avatar
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    michigan law does not address "no guns" signage. i've never heard of someone getting arrested for accidentally "not seeing" a sign. i've heard lawyers say that the only way they could charge you with a violation would be if they could prove that you were given "reasonable notice" that you were not welcome.
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    2AFriendly, www.handgunlaw.us has to go with what a practicing attorney who is also a board member of the Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners states. Below is what Handgunlaw.us has on the Michigan Page for Gun Signs. Like you I have had others tell me they have to ask you to leave first. As stated at the beginning I have to go with what a practicing attorney who is a member of a top notch gun rights group. Unless authorities in the Michigan would put it in writing or a court case would spell it out Handgunlaw.us will continue to list No Gun Signs in Michigan as having the force of law.

    Frequently Asked Question From MCRGO
    Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners.

    Q: Is there a specific design for the no gun allowed sign? Does the law say where it has to be placed at a business, such as on the door or adjacent window leading into the business?

    A: There are no specifications for "No Guns" or "No Weapons" signs in Michigan law. Under the law, there are two ways for a CPL holder to know that guns are not allowed in a specific location. The first is the list of "Pistol Free Zones" (often colloquially referred to as violent criminal empowerment zones) that we must all memorize, which is part of the CPL statute (Pistol Free Areas). The second is when the owner or lessor of any real property communicates to us that our guns are not welcome there. That communication must be reasonable in order to be effective. By reasonable, I don't mean polite. I mean that there is an effective means of communicating to us that we are not welcome so long as we are carrying our guns. This can be done with a sign, verbally, or in some kind of printed material. For instance, if there is a reasonably-sized and located sign in a retail establishment indicating that guns or weapons are not allowed, that would constitute reasonable notice. If an employee of the same establishment actually tells you that you may not carry on the premises, that would constitute reasonable notice. If your employer has an employee handbook or some kind of printed guidelines, and includes a prohibition on guns and/or weapons, that would constitute reasonable notice. If you choose to ignore any such reasonable notice, then you become a trespasser rather than a business invitee. Trespass can be punished as a crime and/or in civil court, and could affect your CPL licensing status.

    Steve Dulan (www.StevenWDulan.com) is a member of the Board of Directors of the MCRGO and the MCRGO Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MCRGO Foundation. He is an attorney in private practice in East Lansing and Adjunct Professor of firearms law at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. as well as an Endowment Member of the NRA.
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    Essentially, you have to be given reasonable notice to leave/not enter the premises while armed.

    What's reasonable? the courts decide. We have a "reasonable man" standard in Michigan. Effectively - if a reasonable person should have seen and read the sign, then you have been reasonably notified.

    If police are called to the scene, they USUALLY formally request you leave / fill out a "Trespass form" giving you formal notification. This gives them a rock-solid case in court. You can still be tried and convicted of trespassing without first having a trespass form filled out, however.

    Until we have appeals court cases clearly defining what "reasonable notice" means with signs, they definitively DO NOT have force of law... unless they do.

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    An example of what I would consider not-reasonable notice: a shopping mall with 25 rules, and rule 17 is "no firearms or weapons of any kind."

    Does a reasonable person stand at the entrance and read 25 rules? I'd say no. So that notice alone would not be enough.

    If, however, a security guard comes up to you at the mall and says, "Hey man! Rule 17 says no guns. Get out of here!" Then you've just been given that notice. Failure to leave at that point would get you trespassed.

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    Regular Member 2AFriendly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slider View Post
    2AFriendly, www.handgunlaw.us has to go with what a practicing attorney who is also a board member of the Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners states. Below is what Handgunlaw.us has on the Michigan Page for Gun Signs. Like you I have had others tell me they have to ask you to leave first. As stated at the beginning I have to go with what a practicing attorney who is a member of a top notch gun rights group. Unless authorities in the Michigan would put it in writing or a court case would spell it out Handgunlaw.us will continue to list No Gun Signs in Michigan as having the force of law.

    Frequently Asked Question From MCRGO
    Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners.

    Q: Is there a specific design for the no gun allowed sign? Does the law say where it has to be placed at a business, such as on the door or adjacent window leading into the business?

    A: There are no specifications for "No Guns" or "No Weapons" signs in Michigan law. Under the law, there are two ways for a CPL holder to know that guns are not allowed in a specific location. The first is the list of "Pistol Free Zones" (often colloquially referred to as violent criminal empowerment zones) that we must all memorize, which is part of the CPL statute (Pistol Free Areas). The second is when the owner or lessor of any real property communicates to us that our guns are not welcome there. That communication must be reasonable in order to be effective. By reasonable, I don't mean polite. I mean that there is an effective means of communicating to us that we are not welcome so long as we are carrying our guns. This can be done with a sign, verbally, or in some kind of printed material. For instance, if there is a reasonably-sized and located sign in a retail establishment indicating that guns or weapons are not allowed, that would constitute reasonable notice. If an employee of the same establishment actually tells you that you may not carry on the premises, that would constitute reasonable notice. If your employer has an employee handbook or some kind of printed guidelines, and includes a prohibition on guns and/or weapons, that would constitute reasonable notice. If you choose to ignore any such reasonable notice, then you become a trespasser rather than a business invitee. Trespass can be punished as a crime and/or in civil court, and could affect your CPL licensing status.

    Steve Dulan (www.StevenWDulan.com) is a member of the Board of Directors of the MCRGO and the MCRGO Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MCRGO Foundation. He is an attorney in private practice in East Lansing and Adjunct Professor of firearms law at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. as well as an Endowment Member of the NRA.
    Gary,
    Thank you - it sounds like a gray area up there, but we will continue to list it as you do. Thank you for your hard work, it's nice to talk to you. I love the work you guys do over at handgunlaw.us.

    Regards,
    Warren
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    Regular Member topgun47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2AFriendly View Post
    Hello, we have been researching Michigan's laws pertaining to whether or not a no-gun sign carries the weight of law behind it. both handgunlaw.us and MCRGO say that it does, even though there is technically no law codifying it. This is because, as best as we can tell, 1) there are "pistol free zones" which are always marked by signs, and 2) state law makes you as a trespasser if you walk past "reasonable" notification like a no-gun sign.

    We have made a note of this in our reciprocity guide http://2afriendly.com/2afriendly-reciprocity.php?s1=MI but want to be sure it's as accurate as possible.

    Anyone have input in this?


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    Number one is not totally correct. Pistol free zones are not ALWAYS marked with signage. Some may have signs. My grandson's elementary school for instance, has no signs. The pistol free zones are listed on the back of the pistol permit and are expected to be memorized, or at least known.

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    Regular Member 2AFriendly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topgun47 View Post
    Number one is not totally correct. Pistol free zones are not ALWAYS marked with signage. Some may have signs. My grandson's elementary school for instance, has no signs. The pistol free zones are listed on the back of the pistol permit and are expected to be memorized, or at least known.
    Thanks for the clarification!
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    Regular Member Evil Creamsicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2AFriendly View Post
    Thanks for the clarification!
    As a side note, guys, the 2AFriendly app is pretty awesome. If you have a smart phone you should pick it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Creamsicle View Post
    As a side note, guys, the 2AFriendly app is pretty awesome. If you have a smart phone you should pick it up.
    Appreciate that. It's not perfect but we're working hard on it daily.
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    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zigziggityzoo View Post
    An example of what I would consider not-reasonable notice: a shopping mall with 25 rules, and rule 17 is "no firearms or weapons of any kind."

    Does a reasonable person stand at the entrance and read 25 rules? I'd say no. So that notice alone would not be enough.

    If, however, a security guard comes up to you at the mall and says, "Hey man! Rule 17 says no guns. Get out of here!" Then you've just been given that notice. Failure to leave at that point would get you trespassed.
    I don't even think that signage should have any effect under the law. They invite the public in. If they want to trespass an individual then they should have to do so to that specific individual personally.

    Has anyone been trespassed for the old "no shoes, no shirts, no service" signs? Not to my knowledge.

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    Michigan Moderator Big Gay Al's Avatar
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    The vast majority of signs I've seen are placed in ways to not make them noticeable. For years I went into Aldi's with my firearm, and never had anyone say a word to me. One day, I saw this little sign, that was barely readable. One of several "suggestions" (I refuse to call them rules, the store I've gone to doesn't seem to enforce them.) was no weapons allowed.

    This sign was essentially a sticker with a clear background, and black lettering, that wasn't very big. And I would not have noticed it, except I was reading the sales notice above it. In any event, I continued into the store, did my shopping, paid for the items, and did the usually chit chat with the girl at the counter. Bagged my stuff, said "Hi" to the manager, and left. None of the employees ever said a word to me about my OCed firearm. Everything was friendly as it always has been.

    The few places where I've seen large conspicuous signage, I usually had no reason to go into in the first place. The one place I'm wondering about now, is the Dept. of Human Services Office in Lansing. I assumed long ago, it was because they sort of had a free day care on the property. But, I don't think that's the case anymore, so I'm wondering if their signs need to come down.
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    ...............
    Last edited by Bikenut; 02-04-2017 at 02:01 PM.
    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

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