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Thread: No Weapons - Weight of Law

  1. #1
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    What states have No Weapons signs as weight of law i.e. above and beyond "normal" trespassing request/refusal? Are there any states which make a sign proper notification for no-request trespassing charge? I know a lot of states have firearm used in the comission of a crime felony bump-ups so this is a very important question to ask.
    -Unrequited

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Referring to non-statutorily prohibited places:

    As far as trespass goes, in Ohio, knowingly ignoring a conspicuouslyposted "No Weapons" (or the like) sign is the same as refusing a personal request to leave.

    In Kentucky, such signage does not carry the force of law - one must be asked to do so.

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    Well, that brings up the burden of proof that you "purposely ignored" the sign.

    How many times have we had someone post "I went by XXXX today, and it was posted! I've been going there for years and I never noticed!" There's also the issue of non-posted entrances.

    Furthermore, crowds by the door, distractions (knee-high people, for example), or just plain not paying attention can all play a factor.

    And actually, I would charge anyone else to actually tell me what the signs at the mall say.

    Hell, I buy groceries every ten days or so, and I still don't know what the hours in front of Tar-Gay are. Or the hours for Autozone, for that matter.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    It depends on if you are guilty until proven innocent, or innocent until proven guilty. If you have to prove you didn’t see the sign, you are presumed to be guilty and it could be difficult to get off the hook. However if they have to prove you Did see the sign it will be almost impossible unless they make you sign a document before entering the store.

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    Here in Pa those signs mean as much as the paperI use to wipe my A$$......no legal weight at all.....

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    For South Carolina the requirements for signs are specific and carry the weight of the law. If a business goes to this much trouble to notify you of no concealed weapons I would advise obeying it. There is no open carry provision in SC so that can't be an option. With that I don't know of any business that is posted.




    SECTION 23-31-235. Sign requirements.
    (A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any requirement of or allowance for the posting of signs prohibiting the carrying of a concealable weapon upon any premises shall only be satisfied by a sign expressing the prohibition in both written language interdict and universal sign language.
    (B) All signs must be posted at each entrance into a building where a concealable weapon permit holder is prohibited from carrying a concealable weapon and must be:
    (1) clearly visible from outside the building;
    (2) eight inches wide by twelve inches tall in size;
    (3) contain the words "NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED" in black one-inch tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
    (4) contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle seven inches in diameter with a diagonal line that runs from the lower left to the upper right at a forty-five degree angle from the horizontal;
    (5) a diameter of a circle; and
    (6) placed not less than forty inches and not more than sixty inches from the bottom of the building's entrance door.
    (C) If the premises where concealable weapons are prohibited does not have doors, then the signs contained in subsection (A) must be:
    (1) thirty-six inches wide by forty-eight inches tall in size;
    (2) contain the words "NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED" in black three- inch tall uppercase type at the bottom of the sign and centered between the lateral edges of the sign;
    (3) contain a black silhouette of a handgun inside a circle thirty-four inches in diameter with a diagonal line that is two inches wide and runs from the lower left to the upper right at a forty-five degree angle from the horizontal and must be a diameter of a circle whose circumference is two inches wide;
    (4) placed not less than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches above the ground;
    (5) posted in sufficient quantities to be clearly visible from any point of entry onto the premises.


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    Signs meeting the legal requirements carry the force of law in Texas. Additionally, the charge is a class A misdemeanor rather than the class C misdemeanor that regular old trespass is.

    § 30.06. TRESPASS BY HOLDER OF LICENSE TO CARRY CONCEALED
    HANDGUN. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license
    holder:
    (1) carries a handgun under the authority of
    Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another
    without effective consent; and
    (2) received notice that:
    (A) entry on the property by a license holder
    with a concealed handgun was forbidden; or
    (B) remaining on the property with a concealed
    handgun was forbidden and failed to depart.
    (b) For purposes of this section, a person receives notice
    if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to
    act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written
    communication.
    (c) In this section:
    (1) "Entry" has the meaning assigned by Section
    30.05(b).
    (2) "License holder" has the meaning assigned by
    Section 46.035(f).
    (3) "Written communication" means:
    (A) a card or other document on which is written
    language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06,
    Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed
    handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411,
    Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this
    property with a concealed handgun"; or
    (B) a sign posted on the property that:
    (i) includes the language described by
    Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;
    (ii) appears in contrasting colors with
    block letters at least one inch in height; and
    (iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner
    clearly visible to the public.
    (d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (e) It is an exception to the application of this section
    that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is
    owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or
    other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying
    the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035.

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    When I lived in Colorado I saw a few signs posted in the hippy/yuppie stores in Boulder, Ft. Collins and Denver.

    Im not 100%, but Im pretty sure in CO those signs do hold legal weight.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Sig229 said:
    When I lived in Colorado I saw a few signs posted in the hippy/yuppie stores in Boulder, Ft. Collins and Denver. Im not 100%, but Im pretty sure in CO those signs do hold legal weight.
    They carry legal weight in the area of trespass, but not for a CHP or meeting the requirements of CRS §29-11.7-104 to prohibit open carry. CRS §18-12-214 states:

    (5) Nothing in this part 2 shall be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity.

    Which in turn means that the authority granted to a person by the state doesn't supersede the right of a property owner to say what can and cannot be on their property. But, it doesn't revoke the fundamental right to possess or carry a firearm, so there is no associated crime with disobeying a sign, per se. Of course, it'd be really hard to argue against a trespass charge in such a case, so it always behooves you to obey them.

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    I think you are conflating two things. First, I know of no state (even Alabama) which permits carry by private citizens on non-public private property (such as your home) against the wishes of the owner, possessor or the authorized agent of either. Some specifically prohibit without permission, some require notice of a particular type but as soon as you have legally-sufficient notice or constructive notice you must comply. This means in a locality where a sign alone is adequate, merely stepping on the property is a violation. No personal notice is required. It is a legal old-wives' tale that a trespassing charge always requires oral notice.

    With regard to government-owned or private property that is generally open to the public, the situation is similar except than when specific types of notices are required, the law is usually quite detailed as to the requirement. In some cases no notice is required for government buildings (e.g. Wisconsin). You are presumed to know the law. In some states, specific notice is required and/or storage facilities must be provided. Sometimes only specific areas (e.g. courtrooms) are covered and carry elsewhere (that is otherwise legal) is permitted even if the government authorities post blazing neon signs against it (Virginia?)

    As pointed out permit holders sometimes have different standards or lesser penalties for the same actions. A definitive answer would require a specific, detailed fact pattern. A table listing the general rules in each state could be worse than nothing since it would undoubtedly miss special cases.

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    I would state the situation another way. If the trespass is a criminal violation then the state would have to prove that you received any required notice. It might be a rebuttable presumption that a legally compliant sign provided such notice. You have the obligation to look for such notice if that is the method in the state. If the owner acknowledges failing to post the notice the entrance you used, you have rebutted the presumption. However if on cross examination you admit having received notice by some other means, the failure to post won't save you (unless the sign is required by statute and not just another vehicle for notification). All of the elements of the defense (e.g. you were carrying, were on the property, were not privileged, etc.) must be proven by the state using the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard.

    If the trespass is a civil infraction then the burden would switch to you (somewhat like a speeding ticket) to show either by a preponderance of the evidence or "clear and convincing" evidence that you didn't do the deed. If you did commit the trespass, then mitigating factors (missed the sign because of X, etc.) can lessen the penalty.



    xmirage2kx wrote:
    It depends on if you are guilty until proven innocent, or innocent until proven guilty. If you have to prove you didn’t see the sign, you are presumed to be guilty and it could be difficult to get off the hook. However if they have to prove you Did see the sign it will be almost impossible unless they make you sign a document before entering the store.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    TN law on required sign

    39-17-1359. Prohibition at certain meetings — Posting notice. —


    (a) 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 otherwise authorized by §§ 39-17-1351 — 39-17-1360, at meetings conducted by, or on property owned, operated, or managed or under the control of the individual, corporation, business entity or government entity. Notice of the prohibition shall be posted. Posted notices shall be displayed in prominent locations, including all entrances primarily used by persons entering the building, portion of the building or buildings where weapon possession is prohibited. If the possession of weapons is also prohibited on the premises of the property as well as within the confines of a building located on the property, the notice shall be posted at all entrances to the premises that are primarily used by persons entering the property. The notice shall be in English but a notice may also be posted in any language used by patrons, customers or persons who frequent the place where weapon possession is prohibited. In addition to the sign, notice may also include the international circle and slash symbolizing the prohibition of the item within the circle. The sign shall be of a size that is plainly visible to the average person entering the building, premises or property and shall contain language substantially similar to the following:



    PURSUANT TO § 39-17-1359, THE OWNER/OPERATOR OF THIS PROPERTY HAS BANNED WEAPONS ON THIS PROPERTY, OR WITHIN THIS BUILDING OR THIS PORTION OF THIS BUILDING. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS PROHIBITION IS PUNISHABLE AS A CRIMINAL ACT UNDER STATE LAW AND MAY SUBJECT THE VIOLATOR TO A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($500).



    (b) 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.


    (c) Any posted notice being used by a local, state or federal governmental entity on July 1, 2000, that is in substantial compliance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section may continue to be used by the governmental entity.


    (d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to title 70 regarding wildlife laws, rules and regulations.



    [Acts 1996, ch. 905, § 11; 2000, ch. 929, § 1.]





    TN law on Criminal Trespass


    39-14-405. Criminal trespass. —


    (a) A person commits criminal trespass who, knowing the person does not have the owner's effective consent to do so, enters or remains on property, or a portion thereof. Knowledge that the person did not have the owner's effective consent may be inferred where notice against entering or remaining is given by:

    (1) Personal communication to the person by the owner or by someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;


    (2) Fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders;


    (3) Posting reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or


    (4) Posting the property, in accordance with the requirements of § 70-4-106(b)(1)(B)(ii).




    (b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:


    (1) The property was open to the public when the person entered and remained;


    (2) The person's conduct did not substantially interfere with the owner's use of the property; and


    (3) The person immediately left the premises upon request.



    (c) For purposes of this section, “enter” means intrusion of the entire body.



    (d) Criminal trespass is a Class C misdemeanor.




    [Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 2005, ch. 297, §§ 1-3.]

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

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  13. #13
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    hirundo82 wrote:
    Signs meeting the legal requirements carry the force of law in Texas. Additionally, the charge is a class A misdemeanor rather than the class C misdemeanor that regular old trespass is.

    § 30.06. TRESPASS BY HOLDER OF LICENSE TO CARRY CONCEALED
    HANDGUN. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license
    holder:
    (1) carries a handgun under the authority of
    Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another
    without effective consent; and
    (2) received notice that:
    (A) entry on the property by a license holder
    with a concealed handgun was forbidden; or
    (B) remaining on the property with a concealed
    handgun was forbidden and failed to depart.
    (b) For purposes of this section, a person receives notice
    if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to
    act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written
    communication.
    (c) In this section:
    (1) "Entry" has the meaning assigned by Section
    30.05(b).
    (2) "License holder" has the meaning assigned by
    Section 46.035(f).
    (3) "Written communication" means:
    (A) a card or other document on which is written
    language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06,
    Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed
    handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411,
    Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this
    property with a concealed handgun"; or
    (B) a sign posted on the property that:
    (i) includes the language described by
    Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;
    (ii) appears in contrasting colors with
    block letters at least one inch in height; and
    (iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner
    clearly visible to the public.
    (d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (e) It is an exception to the application of this section
    that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is
    owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or
    other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying
    the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035.
    I have been to Houston and seen the signs of which you speak. All those I saw were very large compared to those I have seen elsewhere (i.e. approximately 3x5 ft.). Do you know if size of the sign is specified in Texas law? I have to admit, the size of those signs makes it kind of difficult to use the "Sorry, I didn't see the sign" argument when trying to explain why you are carrying against the property owner's wishes. It couldbe that the specified size of the lettering and the specified message dictate the size of the sign.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    glocknroll wrote:
    I have been to Houston and seen the signs of which you speak. All those I saw were very large compared to those I have seen elsewhere (i.e. approximately 3x5 ft.). Do you know if size of the sign is specified in Texas law? I have to admit, the size of those signs makes it kind of difficult to use the "Sorry, I didn't see the sign" argument when trying to explain why you are carrying against the property owner's wishes. It couldbe that the specified size of the lettering and the specified message dictate the size of the sign.
    I agree...when I was in Houston back in April and May...the sigh was pretty obvious at the one place I saw.
    "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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