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Thread: Question about carrying in a store or restaurant?

  1. #1
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    I consider myself fairly knowledgible about PAs gun laws thanks to this site and some others. One "area" I am not very certain of is businesses that either post "No Guns" or find out you're carrying and want you to leave.
    I figured that this is the best site to ask because all the others jump on the "concealed is concealed" train and don't answer the question.

    If I am open carrying in a grocery store and a stock boy says I can't have a gun, do I have to leave? Does it need to be a manager?
    If it is the manager that tells me to leave, what do I do with my groceries in my cart (assume it's fairly full). Do I just say ok, and walk out, leaving the cart sit in front of him?
    What if I am in a restaurant and OCing and half way through my meal, the manager comes over and says to take my gun outside or leave. Do I stop and pay the bill first? Ask for a doggy bag?
    What if in the restaraunt I ask "can I stop and pay my bill first" and he says "no, take the gun outside, then come back in and pay". I don't want to do that. At that point what are my options?

  2. #2
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    You bring up a few points, and I'll answer then as best I can, but take note that IANAL.

    In PA, "no guns" signs hold no legal meaning. You can walk into a building that has a "no guns" sign while open carrying, and as long as no one says anything, you're legal. There is a short list of places where guns are banned entirely, such as courthouses, but I don't know it off the top of my head. Take note that banks are fully legal for open carry in this state to the best of my knowledge, and K-12 schools are touchy, but I believe that self-defense falls into the "lawful purposes" exception... Since you have a CCW license, I believe that trumps the "no guns in schools act" or whatever it's called.

    That being said, take caution that just because it's legal to carry just about everywhere doesn't mean that you won't be hasseled for it. You may walk into a bank while OCing, which I believe is a great idea because it's probably one of the most likely places you'll need to use it, but if the police are called out on a "man with a gun" call because of a certain sheeple member there, expect to be detained for a while, unless it's the rare instance that the police officers are properly trained for what to do in that situation. However, as long as you're not unholstering your gun or waving it around, you're legally OK.

    Now, while OC is not illegal on "private" property just because a sign says it is, you can be asked to leave. If you are verbally asked to leave, and you do not comply, then you can be charged with trespassing. That's pretty much the only way, outside of that short list I mentioned earlier, that OC (or CC) can be "illegal". Bottom line: you're good to carry unless someone asks you to leave.

    To respond to your specific questions in the second paragraph, I'm not sure who has to ask you to leave. If I were you, and a stock boy tells me I need to leave because I'm carrying a again, I'll ask to speak to the manager on duty regardless. While I'm telling him why his store no longer will have my business, then I can confirm that it is the store's will to ask me to leave. If that is the case, I'd leave the groceries there. You haven't paid for them, so they still belong to the store. However, if I were bored, I'd probably try to bill the store for your wasted time and try to take it to small claims court if the store won't pay.

    If I were in a restaurant and asked to leave by the manager while part way through the meal, I would inform the manager that I have not received the goods and services (i.e. a complete meal with full waitstaff service up until paying the bill), and therefore am under no obligation to pay the charges for those goods and services that were not provided, especially since the manager initiated the termination of providing these goods and services. To me, it would be like if you took your car to a car wash and, after the car washer lathers up your car, sees that you have a rosary hanging from your mirror and decides that he no longer wants to wash your car, so he tells you to leave. Surely you're not required to pay for that car wash, or even a portion of it, are you?

    If the manager tells me that I need to put my gun in my car or else leave, I would tell him that I must then leave, because he is asking me to do something that is negligent, and could cause many liabilities. Even aside from the fact that I'd like to protect myself while walking to and from my car, it is incredibly stupid to leave a loaded gun in a car, and just a very bad idea to leave a gun and ammo in the car. If that gun gets stolen, it will end up in the hands of a criminal, and then God knows what it will be used for. Not to mention that you'll be out the value of your gun. And you could be held liable civilly for whatever damages are incurred by the illegal and harmful use of that handgun if it can be proven that you held even the tiniest bit of negligent liability. Ever hear of "joint and several liability"? In some states, though I'm not sure if PA has reformed it in recent months, if a victim's family sues for wrongful death in a homocide committed with your gun by the gentleman who stole it, and you're found 0.1% liable by the jury, the guy who stole your gun is found 95% liable, and the guy's girlfriend who did nothing to stop the murder is found 4.9% liable, and there's a $20 million award, but the murderer and his girlfriend have only $1,000 in possessions to pay toward it, you will be responsible for the other $19,999,000. Not to go off on a rant, but it's a very, very bad idea to leave your gun(s) unattended. Giving you the ultimatum to put your gun in your car or leave, clearly the manager is initiating the cessation of services, and obviously you need not pay for them. I'd also try suing for the time you spent there.

    Perhaps someone has the relevant statutes? I do not profess to be entirely correct, so I'd wait for some corroboration by other members.

  3. #3
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    IANAL either;however I was living in PA for thirty yearsand I can tell you leaving your weapon in your car unattended is never a good idea!! I cant testify however to starting a lawsuit against someone for asking you to leave because you are carrying.In my oppinion that is just asking for a headache. I have been open carrying for several years now and know when to pick a fight I am not sure I would chose that one. I someone asked me to leave I would leave but not start legal action. It is their right to do so just as it is my right to carry,therefore I think it is a mute point to pursue legal action------JUST MY OPINION



















  4. #4
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    DJ TURNz wrote:
    I consider myself fairly knowledgible about PAs gun laws thanks to this site and some others. One "area" I am not very certain of is businesses that either post "No Guns" or find out you're carrying and want you to leave.
    I figured that this is the best site to ask because all the others jump on the "concealed is concealed" train and don't answer the question.

    If I am open carrying in a grocery store and a stock boy says I can't have a gun, do I have to leave? Does it need to be a manager?
    If it is the manager that tells me to leave, what do I do with my groceries in my cart (assume it's fairly full). Do I just say ok, and walk out, leaving the cart sit in front of him?
    What if I am in a restaurant and OCing and half way through my meal, the manager comes over and says to take my gun outside or leave. Do I stop and pay the bill first? Ask for a doggy bag?
    What if in the restaraunt I ask "can I stop and pay my bill first" and he says "no, take the gun outside, then come back in and pay". I don't want to do that. At that point what are my options?
    The 'No Guns' sign has been well-answered -- it carries no legal weight.

    From my readings, any 'agent' of the establishment which you are currently patronizing may ask you to leave. It doesn't matter if they're the manager or a stockboy -- if they are asking you, it's on behalf of the store. In this case, it's generally best tonot argue, gather your things and leave. Once you're off their premises, you may try to converse with them, inform them that they've lost your business and the business will be placed on an Internet list of places gun owners avoid (hopefully this may carry some weight as about half of the people in the nation are gun owners!)

    As for your last scenario, I doubt that a manager would ask you to leave, disarm and come back in to pay for your meal... Though they may say that you're only welcomeback in to complete your meal if you disarm (more likely). However, in the long run, I won't leave my weapon unattended in my vehicle.

    It should be made fairly clear that your long-term patronagedollars will be taken to another local (competing) establishment that doesn't require you to be defenseless while you dine.

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