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Thread: sign law??

  1. #1
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    sign law??

    i live in kentucky but within a mile of tennessee and travel there a lot, what is the law on a place if it has a sign that says no firearms? now here in ky if i am caught carrying i can only be asked to leave if caught with my gun, and only face a charge if i don't comply. what is the law on signs in tennessee?, if i carry concealed and somehow get found out. will i be arrested or just ask to leave? thanks

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    Regular Member Animalou812's Avatar
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    http://www.opencarry.org/ is a great point of reference

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    Regular Member cjohnson44546's Avatar
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    Stupidly enough, signs carry weight of law in TN... its basically like the "sign" asked you to leave already. You are looking at a $500 fine being caught in a place posted at all normal entrances that 'no guns' are allowed. It can mention the specific law that lets them not allow guns, or be any type of gunbuster sign. Police won't really care if the sign follows the law or not, they'll still charge you. You are also assumed guilty until proven innocent, so even if you never saw a sign, or the sign doesn't follow the law, too bad, you have to prove it was not properly posted in court.

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    39-17-1359. Prohibition at certain meetings -- Posting notice.

    (a) (1) Except as provided in § 39-17-1313, an individual, corporation, business entity or local, state or federal government entity or agent thereof is authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property owned, operated, or managed or under the control of the individual, corporation, business entity or government entity.

    (2) The prohibition in subdivision (a)(1) shall apply to any person who is authorized to carry a firearm by authority of § 39-17-1351.

    (b) (1) Notice of the prohibition permitted by subsection (a) shall be accomplished by displaying one (1) or both of the notices described in subdivision (b)(3) in prominent locations, including all entrances primarily used by persons entering the property, building, or portion of the property or building where weapon possession is prohibited. Either form of notice used shall be of a size that is plainly visible to the average person entering the building, property, or portion of the building or property, posted.

    (2) The notice required by this section shall be in English, but a duplicate notice may also be posted in any language used by patrons, customers or persons who frequent the place where weapon possession is prohibited.

    (3) (A) If a sign is used as the method of posting, it shall contain language substantially similar to the following:

    AS AUTHORIZED BY T.C.A. § 39-17-1359, POSSESSION OF A WEAPON ON POSTED PROPERTY OR IN A POSTED BUILDING IS PROHIBITED AND IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

    (B) As used in this section, "language substantially similar to" means the sign contains language plainly stating that:

    (i) The property is posted under authority of Tennessee law;

    (ii) Weapons or firearms are prohibited on the property, in the building, or on the portion of the property or building that is posted; and

    (iii) Possessing a weapon in an area that has been posted is a criminal offense.

    (C) A building, property or a portion of a building or property, shall be considered properly posted in accordance with this section if one (1) or both of the following is displayed in prominent locations, including all entrances primarily used by persons entering the property, building, or portion of the property or building where weapon possession is prohibited:

    (i) The international circle and slash symbolizing the prohibition of the item within the circle; or

    (ii) The posting sign described in this subdivision (b)(3).

    (c) (1) It is an offense to possess a weapon in a building or on property that is properly posted in accordance with this section.

    (2) Possession of a weapon on posted property in violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only of five hundred dollars ($500).

    (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter, reduce or eliminate any civil or criminal liability that a property owner or manager may have for injuries arising on their property.

    (e) This section shall not apply to title 70 regarding wildlife laws, rules and regulations.

    (f) This section shall not apply to the grounds of any public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality or instrumentality thereof. The carrying of firearms in those areas shall be governed by § 39-17-1311.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

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    well i will be watchful where i carry in tennessee. so far the bank i go to and the stores, none have any signs. thanks

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    (a) (1) Except as provided in § 39-17-1313, an individual, corporation, business entity or local, state or federal government entity or agent thereof is authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property owned, operated, or managed or under the control of the individual, corporation, business entity or government entity.
    Well, if I'm ever in Tenn. because I have to go to a MEETING I will inquire of the person or group holding the MEETING to see if they are going to post no gun signs.
    Last edited by color of law; 02-01-2016 at 11:13 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The primary objective of statutory construction is to give effect to the intent of the legislature. See Cronin v. Howe, 906 S.W.2d 910, 912 (Tenn. 1995). If the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the legislative intent must be ascertained by the plain and ordinary meaning of the statutory language used. See Carson Creek Vacation Resorts, Inc. v. State, Dep’t of Revenue, 865 S.W.2d 1, 2 (Tenn. 1993). Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1359(a) is clear and unambiguous. By its terms, it does not require word-for-word use of the statutory language. All that is required is that the notice uses language that is substantially similar to the language provided in the statute.

    The statute only addresses meetings. Not grocery stores, hardware stores or any other store, unless they are having a meeting.

    There is no case law addressing this statute that I can find.

    I'm just say'n....

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Well, if I'm ever in Tenn. because I have to go to a MEETING I will inquire of the person or group holding the MEETING to see if they are going to post no gun signs.
    It does say "or" after the part you bolfrf. Meaning that even if a person does not own, operate managed or have the property under their control, they can still post if they are having a meeting there.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    It does say "or" after the part you bolfrf. Meaning that even if a person does not own, operate managed or have the property under their control, they can still post if they are having a meeting there.
    "bolfrf" - that's a new word for me, but where did I make any distinction between land versus building and/or ownership of the land or building?

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    "bolfrf" - that's a new word for me, but where did I make any distinction between land versus building and/or ownership of the land or building?
    Oops, lol Been trying to do too much today. Meant bolded of course. Just seemed you were stressing "meeting" and thought you meant signs could only be posted at places holding a meeting and not that the property could be posted in general even if no "meeting" was occurring.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    Oops, lol Been trying to do too much today. Meant bolded of course. Just seemed you were stressing "meeting" and thought you meant signs could only be posted at places holding a meeting and not that the property could be posted in general even if no "meeting" was occurring.
    The sign would not have any force or effect if no meeting is taking place. Also, posting a sign on multi-use property that is open to the public (shopping center) would not fly in court just because one store is having a meeting.
    Last edited by color of law; 02-02-2016 at 11:28 AM.

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    The sign would not have any force or effect if no meeting is taking place. Also, posting a sign on multi-use property that is open to the public (shopping center) would not fly in court just because one store is having a meeting.
    For the reason I mentioned above, that is incorrect.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    For the reason I mentioned above, that is incorrect.
    How about some case law that supports your position.

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    How about some case law that supports your position.
    I will have to see if I can find links. I know of two cases from the Memphis airport. But statewide someone being charged has been rare. In the meantime maybe someone can explain to me why the word or doesn't distinguish different circumstances where a place can be posted and that a meeting has to be going on.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  15. #15
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    As I said earlier, I have found NO case law addressing the statute. The statute has been around for a long time. You would think there would be one case. But, I can't find one.

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    I don't think most property owners are interested in someone actually being charged. They just want the person to leave. I don't even think most LEOs want to bother with charging someone, so long as they leave.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    I don't think most property owners are interested in someone actually being charged. They just want the person to leave. I don't even think most LEOs want to bother with charging someone, so long as they leave.
    Warm and fussy feelings is not the law. The attorney general issues an opinion back in 2007. http://attorneygeneral.tn.gov/op/2007/op/op43.pdf All it addresses is what the sign has to say. Don't try to read between the lines. The opinion does not address the actual statute as to whom the statute actually applies. The attorney general makes clear that:
    The primary objective of statutory construction is to give effect to the intent of the legislature. See Cronin v. Howe, 906 S.W.2d 910, 912 (Tenn. 1995). If the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the legislative intent must be ascertained by the plain and ordinary meaning of the statutory language used. See Carson Creek Vacation Resorts, Inc. v. State, Dep’t of Revenue, 865 S.W.2d 1, 2 (Tenn. 1993).
    So, the term Meetings means its ordinary meaning. "An assembly of people, especially the members of a society or committee, for discussion or entertainment."

    Going to a revival could be a meeting. Even going to see a movie at a local theater could be construed a meeting. But, not shopping a Home Depot.

    The legislators did not have to use the term meetings. It could have just said any property owner, but it didn't.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    It says meetings OR ......

    I'm done
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    It says meetings OR ......

    I'm done
    So your a quitter? I'm at a loss of where you are getting this "meetings OR." That is nowhere in the statute. Please show us where this "meetings or" is in the statute.

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    Regular Member cjohnson44546's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    So your a quitter? I'm at a loss of where you are getting this "meetings OR." That is nowhere in the statute. Please show us where this "meetings or" is in the statute.
    (a) (1 Except as provided in § 39-17-1313, an individual, corporation, business entity or local, state or federal government entity or agent thereof is authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property owned, operated, or managed or under the control of the individual, corporation, business entity or government entity.
    I bolded above...

    If you are at a meeting conducted by, or on the property owned, operated or managed etc... its not just about meetings, its also about "or on the property"

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson44546 View Post
    I bolded above...

    If you are at a meeting conducted by, or on the property owned, operated or managed etc... its not just about meetings, its also about "or on the property"
    Your interpretation would render the term "meetings" superfluous. And you are ignoring the comma.
    prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property owned,
    "Or on the property" means not only the meeting proper, but also on the property in which the meeting is being held.

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    Regular Member cjohnson44546's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Your interpretation would render the term "meetings" superfluous. And you are ignoring the comma.
    "Or on the property" means not only the meeting proper, but also on the property in which the meeting is being held.
    no... you are misreading it. I'll say it a different way...

    An individual, corporation, business entity or government entity can post property that they own, operate, manage or have control of. Also if they are conducting a meeting in any area which they don't own, operate, manage or have control of, they can still post signs that have force of law over their meeting.

    No I don't agree that the law is good in any way shape or form, its really stupid... but thats what it says. Its not about meetings only.

  23. #23
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Is it possible that the meeting clause is not dependent on the property clause? For example. A business holds a meeting off site from its private property and excludes firearms.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson44546 View Post
    no... you are misreading it. I'll say it a different way...

    An individual, corporation, business entity or government entity can post property that they own, operate, manage or have control of. Also if they are conducting a meeting in any area which they don't own, operate, manage or have control of, they can still post signs that have force of law over their meeting.

    No I don't agree that the law is good in any way shape or form, its really stupid... but thats what it says. Its not about meetings only.
    39-17-1359(a) (1) Except as provided in § 39-17-1313, an individual, corporation, business entity or local, state or federal government entity or agent thereof is authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property owned, operated, or managed or under the control of the individual, corporation, business entity or government entity.
    No, you are misreading the sentence. And yes the knuckles of the authors of this sentence should be slapped. Slapped so hard their knuckles bleed. But, the sentence actually says in simple terms:
    An individual, or agent thereof, is authorized to prohibit the possession of weapons by any person who is at a meeting conducted by, or on property of, the individual.
    This is the only way this mishmash of words can be assembled to have any cognizable meaning.

    The “Individual, corporation, business entity or local, state or federal government entity” in the first half of the sentence equals or is the same as the “individual, corporation, business entity or government entity” in the second part of the sentence. So, for simplification the term “individual” is used to represent all those other groups.

    The phrase “operated, or managed or under the control of” expands who has authority over the “property owned.” All this phrase does is clarify or defines geographically what encompasses the “meeting” area.

    This is the only way this sentence can be diagrammed to have any meaning. And this is why there is no case law addressing this statute.

    Even the title of the statute "Prohibition at certain meetings Posting notice." is telling, "certain meetings." If someone can come up with the legislative history of the statute that gives an interpretation other than mine, then I stand behind my understanding of the statute. And I would go to court and defend my understanding.

    Now, I'm done....

  25. #25
    Regular Member cjohnson44546's Avatar
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    Guess that would have to be argued in court.... plenty of case law of people getting $500 charges under this statute for any posted property regardless of meetings to probably back my reading of it though. My reading is also how the HCP instructors teach it.
    Last edited by cjohnson44546; 02-04-2016 at 10:26 AM.

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