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Thread: carrying a firearm in a Hospital

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    carrying a firearm in a Hospital

    I was wanting to know if a person can carry a holstered firearm in a Hospital like deaconess in Spokane?. I know of a person who has been visiting their mom while carrying a concealed weapon. I thought it was a no no to do that.

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    The hospitals in Spokane are all posted as to prohibit firearms. Legally, there is no prohibition to carrying in a hospital. If they catch him they could ask him to leave and that is about it. The only hospitals in Spokane that does have the law on its side to prohibit firearms is the VA and Eastern State.

    bob
    Last edited by BobR; 01-18-2015 at 12:49 AM.

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    Regular Member rapgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    The hospitals in Spokane are all posted as to prohibit firearms. Legally, there is no prohibition to carrying in a hospital. If they catch him they could ask him to leave and that is about it. The only hospitals in Spokane that does have the law on its side to prohibit firearms is the VA and Eastern State.

    bob
    Any hospital that posts a prohibition on firearms has the law on its side.
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    A right cannot be lost by exercising it. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3021, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894 (2010) (citing Near v. Minn., 283 U.S. 697 (1931)).

    Although IAAL, anything I say here is not legal advice. No conversations we may have privately or otherwise in this forum constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and are not intended to do so.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    ........ Legally, there is no prohibition to carrying in a hospital. .......... The only hospitals in Spokane that does have the law on its side to prohibit firearms is the VA and Eastern State. bob
    I had an appointment at the seattle VA and did not wear my pistol. I also did not bother to take off the empty holster. After about three hours, I got a hearing exam. Upon leaving the room I and the doctor, were surrounded by a swat team of four (full tacticool) and two uniforms. Someone had seen it and complained. I was searched and had my knife confiscated. The knife was a keychain style with a ONE inch blade. They let me go.


    I got my little knife in the mail about six months later.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Any hospital that posts a prohibition on firearms has the law on its side.
    Perhaps except a public hospital? One that is governed by an elected board? Would not the Chan decision apply to a publicly owned hospital?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rapgood View Post
    Any hospital that posts a prohibition on firearms has the law on its side.
    I must have phrased that wrong, what law is on their side? I understand the trespassing laws could be used but are there any firearms laws that could be used? Or maybe I am totally out to lunch here.

    bob

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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    I must have phrased that wrong, what law is on their side? I understand the trespassing laws could be used but are there any firearms laws that could be used? Or maybe I am totally out to lunch here.

    bob
    Per Washington state law, the only "hospital" that is off limits regarding firearms are in patient mental health facilities. Period. VAs and such are regulated by federal law. The only thing that a regular medical hospital can do is ask you to leave even if they have gun buster signs. So yes, the only laws that has an effect are trespassing laws. After my incident with St. Clair hospital in 2012, I don't bother to inform anyone that I may or may not be carrying in a hospital. It's none of their business that I am doing a lawful activity.
    Last edited by Grim_Night; 01-18-2015 at 01:51 PM.
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    Regular Member Lante's Avatar
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    Carry at Hospitals.

    Hospitals have a large patient population of people who are impaired by drugs, mental conditions, pain, and an assortment of other issues.

    Hospitals have a number of people who at any given time are at risk for suicide or homicide - that is the reason they are there; they are not on a mental ward...they are waiting for a bed in our overcrowded mental health system....or they have mental health issues on top of physical ailments.

    Hospitals at any given time have a number of "prisoner" patients from various jails etc. - and BTW some jails do not place a guard with their prisoner...it is an honor system.... Others are deemed too incapacitated to be a threat and don't have an officer. Others are accompanied by one or two officers either armed or unarmed.

    Hospitals have a overwhelmingly high staff population who view guns as things that hurt people - and a hospital as a place to make people better. Guns seem (to them) to be incompatible with their mission. BE AWARE MOST OF THE STAFF WILL SERIOUSLY FREAK IF THEY SEE YOUR GUN, HEAR ABOUT YOUR GUN ETC. This will DEFINITELY effect patient care, of both your loved one and everyone else on that floor, due to the added stress and security precautions which will be imposed (at the insistence medical staff who will want secret service style protection before going near your loved one). (they do have a point - the number of visitors who get seriously stressed and "drop hints" to medical staff about how the Dr's welfare is tied to the recovery of their loved one is truly amazing)

    So knowing all this is it wise to carry in a hospital? Your decision. The hospitals say NOT ON THEIR PROPERTY. That is their decision. Just remember, DEEP concealment is needed in a place where you will likely be for some time, being observed, and likely taking off jackets etc. Also where you may be subject to a voluntary screening from a metal detector based on the actions of another visitor to that room or care area. Consider other (non gun) options to handle the personal protection issue. If your gun is not 100% concealed your decision WILL effect many people negatively.

    We on this forum talk about rights and laws, can they trespass you etc. We point out that a good guy with a gun is needed to counter the bad guy with a gun. How does staff know who is who? All they see is both of you violating policies - so to them you are both bad guys.

    What happens when exercising your right, in violation of a property owner / operators wishes, actually causes a reaction that actually hurts other people by disrupting care? What is the moral decision?

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    Regular Member OC Freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    Per Washington state law, the only "hospital" that is off limits regarding firearms are in patient mental health facilities. Period. VAs and such are regulated by federal law. The only thing that a regular medical hospital can do is ask you to leave even if they have gun buster signs. So yes, the only laws that has an effect are trespassing laws. After my incident with St. Clair hospital in 2012, I don't bother to inform anyone that I may or may not be carrying in a hospital. It's none of their business that I am doing a lawful activity.
    Agreed 100%. Violence can happen anytime, anywhere, so I choose to always be armed and if I cannot be armed I don't go there. I do not fly anymore, I don't go to government bldgs that are off limits, and I stay away from schools, etc. I always ignore gun busters signs that have no force of law and if I am ask to leave then I leave, it's real simple.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    I must have phrased that wrong, what law is on their side? I understand the trespassing laws could be used but are there any firearms laws that could be used? Or maybe I am totally out to lunch here.

    bob
    Aren't the trespassing laws enough. You have a gun, they say leave, you get mouthy, they call police, you argue, you are "trespassed" and possibly arrested if you haven't gotten the message by now.
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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    Per Washington state law, the only "hospital" that is off limits regarding firearms are in patient mental health facilities. Period. VAs and such are regulated by federal law. The only thing that a regular medical hospital can do is ask you to leave even if they have gun buster signs. So yes, the only laws that has an effect are trespassing laws. After my incident with St. Clair hospital in 2012, I don't bother to inform anyone that I may or may not be carrying in a hospital. It's none of their business that I am doing a lawful activity.
    Add VA hospitals to that list. Not per Washington Law, but Federal Law.

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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Right Wing Wacko View Post
    Add VA hospitals to that list. Not per Washington Law, but Federal Law.
    I already did. VA hospitals (the VA) are covered by federal law. Public hospitals in Washington state are not covered by any law regarding firearms. The only law that a publicly accessible hospital has on their side are trespassing laws.
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    The only "no-guns" sign I have seen in the handful of my hospital visits recently was at Group Health in Bellevue. Didn't see anything at Evergreen, Harborview, Northwest, or Overlake.

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    What is the moral decision?
    An excellent question that leads to another many at OCDO-WA are uncomfortable being asked: Is it ethical to violate the rules of a private property owner?

    I say no.

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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanf View Post
    An excellent question that leads to another many at OCDO-WA are uncomfortable being asked: Is it ethical to violate the rules of a private property owner?

    I say no.
    Considering the fact that every single hospital in my area prohibits possession of firearms, is it ethical to require that one disarm themselves in order to receive services that one cannot receive anyplace else?

    1 critical, suspect dead in shooting at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston (happened today)

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/01/20...ston-hospital/

    Hospital gunman intended to kill others: official (July 25, 2014)

    http://nypost.com/2014/07/25/hospita...hers-official/

    Deadly gunman at Reno hospital was looking for physicians and left suicide note: cops (December 19, 2013)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1553468

    Gunman Takes Hostages at Tomball Hospital in Houston (Jan 10, 2015)

    http://www.kcentv.com/story/27819495...tal-in-houston

    Since there is NO law in Washington state that prohibits firearms in "normal" hospitals, I see no reason why a law abiding citizen should abide by a "rule" that prohibits a lawful activity that may protect one's life. Since the hospital has already done something unethical, how is it unethical for somebody to do something in violation of something that was unethical first?

    If we were discussing a services that one had alternatives to receiving at other locations that did not restrict those that follow the law and have no ill intent then that would be one thing. But when you can ONLY receive medical services from hospitals or doctor's offices that prohibit firearms then we are talking about a totally different issue.
    Last edited by Grim_Night; 01-20-2015 at 03:35 PM.
    Armed and annoyingly well informed!

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    is it ethical to require that one disarm themselves in order to receive services that one cannot receive anyplace else?
    Mine's not to question the ethics of the administrative rules of a private property owner. Mine's to question the ethics of my own decisions, other's decisions notwithstanding.

    If you were to make a decision flowchart it might start with the question: Is what I'm about to do unethical? (Note that unethical decisions of others are not a consideration.) If the answer is YES, do not proceed. End of flowchart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    I had an appointment at the seattle VA and did not wear my pistol. I also did not bother to take off the empty holster. After about three hours, I got a hearing exam. Upon leaving the room I and the doctor, were surrounded by a swat team of four (full tacticool) and two uniforms. Someone had seen it and complained. I was searched and had my knife confiscated. The knife was a keychain style with a ONE inch blade. They let me go.


    I got my little knife in the mail about six months later.
    I hope you did not consent to the search and had your assault and robbery on video
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    I worked in a Washington hospital for a few years as a youth advocate and routinely visited all of the departments except surgery. I agree with “Lante” comments concerning the practicality of carrying a firearm in that environment. I would definitely not OC as a Code Silver would be called (see below) and in this day and age I would bet good money that they would immediately call the cops. The result would most likely be (IMO) that you would get trespassed. So, if you were there for treatment, it would get further delayed (if at all) and if you were there to visit someone, you wouldn’t get to. Sounds counterproductive unless getting trespassed was the object in the first place and I think that a hospital is a poor choice for that type of exercise. Believe me, hospitals are full of patients with very poor cognitive reasoning abilities.

    As far as CC is concerned, the “Lante” comments about being highly scrutinized all the time is very true. The staff is pretty adept at detecting “bulges under clothing” and people using “protective” gestures or “adjusting” undergarment articles. The staff isn’t necessarily paranoid about a firearm per se. Concealed contraband articles such as booze or outside food is common.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Excerpt from “Standardizing Emergency Code Calls, Washington State [Hospitals]” (wsha.org):

    Emergency Code Silver

    Purpose

    To call a response team to assist staff in managing and/or de-escalating a potentially threatening situation and gain the cooperation of a person with a weapon or who has taken hostage(s) within the facility or its grounds. Nonadjacent properties should call 911.

    Reason Silver Was Selected for Weapon or Hostage Situation

    Silver is the color of a gun which makes it easy for staff to remember for person with weapon or hostage situation. It was also selected in order to be consistent with the all of the other states that have standardized emergency code calls.

    Supporting Information

    It is important to note that anyone can engage in hostile or violent behavior: patients, patients’ family members, staff, staff family members, or acquaintances of employees and patients. When staff are concerned about their own safety or the safety of others and suspects that someone is brandishing a weapon, they are to call a CODE SILVER. Patients, visitors or staff are at risk of being confronted by a person with a weapon or of being involved in a hostage situation. If such a situation arises, staff members should not attempt to intervene or negotiate.

    The definition of a weapon is any firearm, knife, or instrument than can cause bodily harm or injury.

    This type of code will generally not be announced overhead but a response team will be notified. When Code Silver is activated, a response from internal security and potentially external law enforcement will be called.

    Other buildings of the medical center which are not part of the hospital itself will dial 911 for response.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the staff might (and I stress might) be trained as to what constitutes “brandishing” a weapon, I would bet that an OC or CC encounter would trigger a Code Silver anyway. Same result.
    Last edited by CitizenJohn; 01-20-2015 at 05:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lante View Post
    Hospitals have a large patient population of people who are impaired by drugs, mental conditions, pain, and an assortment of other issues.

    Hospitals have a number of people who at any given time are at risk for suicide or homicide - that is the reason they are there; they are not on a mental ward...they are waiting for a bed in our overcrowded mental health system....or they have mental health issues on top of physical ailments.

    Hospitals at any given time have a number of "prisoner" patients from various jails etc. - and BTW some jails do not place a guard with their prisoner...it is an honor system.... Others are deemed too incapacitated to be a threat and don't have an officer. Others are accompanied by one or two officers either armed or unarmed.

    Hospitals have a overwhelmingly high staff population who view guns as things that hurt people - and a hospital as a place to make people better. Guns seem (to them) to be incompatible with their mission. BE AWARE MOST OF THE STAFF WILL SERIOUSLY FREAK IF THEY SEE YOUR GUN, HEAR ABOUT YOUR GUN ETC. This will DEFINITELY effect patient care, of both your loved one and everyone else on that floor, due to the added stress and security precautions which will be imposed (at the insistence medical staff who will want secret service style protection before going near your loved one). (they do have a point - the number of visitors who get seriously stressed and "drop hints" to medical staff about how the Dr's welfare is tied to the recovery of their loved one is truly amazing)

    So knowing all this is it wise to carry in a hospital? Your decision. The hospitals say NOT ON THEIR PROPERTY. That is their decision. Just remember, DEEP concealment is needed in a place where you will likely be for some time, being observed, and likely taking off jackets etc. Also where you may be subject to a voluntary screening from a metal detector based on the actions of another visitor to that room or care area. Consider other (non gun) options to handle the personal protection issue. If your gun is not 100% concealed your decision WILL effect many people negatively.

    We on this forum talk about rights and laws, can they trespass you etc. We point out that a good guy with a gun is needed to counter the bad guy with a gun. How does staff know who is who? All they see is both of you violating policies - so to them you are both bad guys.

    What happens when exercising your right, in violation of a property owner / operators wishes, actually causes a reaction that actually hurts other people by disrupting care? What is the moral decision?
    Wow, you could have just said:

    "Hospitals are full of reactionary, emotionally driven, irrational, self-righteous bigots that believe they know what's good for you, better than you do."

    It would have caused fewer people to stop reading half way through.
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    Regular Member mtlhdtodd's Avatar
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    I just don't care what signs a hospital puts up. Those are the times when I do conceal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenJohn View Post
    The staff is pretty adept at detecting “bulges under clothing” ...
    The h*ll they are.

    My concern isn't the fact that they don't want you to be armed -- I never try to OC in a hospital! -- it's places like Tacoma General in the evening hours when the only entrance is via the metal-detector-equipped ER entrance.

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    I'll have to find my OLD post and I do mean old.....

    In 1999 Labor & Industries mandated that all hospitals find a way to reduce violence in emergency rooms. The hospitals responded by banning weapons.

    I'll dig up the info and repost it for all to read.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapgood View Post
    Any hospital that posts a prohibition on firearms has the law on its side.
    I think he phrased it badly. It would be more accurate to say that until they tell you to leave no crime is committed by carrying in most hospitals. Even if they do tell you to leave, no crime is committed unless you refuse to. Of course, if you're a patient and physically cannot leave or would risk death if you did, the law is a lot less clear.

    In places where carry is actually prohibited by law, carrying is worth an arrest and charges as soon as they see you doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lante View Post
    What happens when exercising your right, in violation of a property owner / operators wishes, actually causes a reaction that actually hurts other people by disrupting care? What is the moral decision?
    Is the hospital guaranteeing that their patients, clients or family of same will not need to defend themselves on the premises, in the parking lot or during the drive to or from the hospital?

    If you comply with hospital policy and render yourself helpless, is the hospital liable if you are attacked while seeking medical care, in a situation where defending yourself effectively would have saved you?

    If a crazy person freaks out and acts irrationally, does it create a crime or attack where none actually exists, or is that person merely crazy?
    Last edited by Difdi; 02-04-2015 at 12:02 PM.

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