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Thread: Found another "NO WEAPONS" sign

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    I was sitting in the car waiting for my friend who was inside whenI seen the "NO WEAPONS" sticker for the first time. At the corner of Birdneck and General Booth blvd in Va Beach at the gas station next to McDonald's. (can't remember if its a Texaco or Conico) I seen the little 3"x3" sticker on the upper right side of the right double door. I have OC'd and CC'd in there at least a dozen times over the last month and nothing was ever said when OC'n.

    I asked my buddy about it and he said its been there for a long time yet it looked new. He and I got into it as he said because they sell alcohol they can ban whatever they wanted. He ain't too keen on OC but would rather CC himself. Ain't no changing his mind I've tried for a long time. I wasn't caring and we needed to get back to the house soI didn't go in and ask about it. I was looking at stopping by today and asking.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    he said because they sell alcohol they can ban whatever they wanted.
    The things some folks believe that just are not so.:shock:

    Would it be worth the effort to try to educate folks like that? Experience says most of the time it is like trying to teach a pig to sing.

    At least you know what you are dealing with regarding your friend.

    It's sometiomes of questionable value to discuss inconspicuous signs, even when you have OC'd/CC'd there without problems in the past. There's always the risk that they will start enforcing the sign. Your choice of what to do - let us know what you decide to do and how it turned out.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    Would it be worth the effort to try to educate folks like that? Experience says most of the time it is like trying to teach a pig to sing.
    James Reynolds

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    It was probably a Texaco station. They bought up a lot of the Crown stations around here. I noticed the Crown stations had the stickers you described about acouple years ago. Never paid them any mind since I CC most of the time.
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    If anyone is ever arrested because of one of these signs I sure would like to know. I am sort of an expert on signage and egress and ingress. I think we could have the case thrown out and end up better off for it. User or any other legal types have any thought on the topic?

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    Is the sign supposed to be a certain size and not in some obscure corner of the door?

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    kenny wrote:
    If anyone is ever arrested because of one of these signs I sure would like to know.
    There is no grounds for arrest. You can be escorted off the premises and told not to return.

    Your defense: I did not see any sign.

    The best thing to do is reduce your patronage to such establishments down to an acceptable level... say, zero.
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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Did they also have a sign saying "No Robberies Allowed" ?

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    "Is the sign supposed to be a certain size and not in some obscure corner of the door?"



    In the civil area in which I deal with the answer would be yes.

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    "There is no grounds for arrest. You can be escorted off the premises and told not to return.

    Your defense:
    I did not see any sign.

    The best thing to do is reduce your patronage to such establishments down to an acceptable level... say, zero."



    Arrest yes, conviction no. I think perhaps you may have not understood my post. I was looking for a legal eye response. You can be arrested for anything, it is the conviction that counts.

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    kenny wrote:
    You can be arrested for anything, it is the conviction that counts.
    You can only be arrested for breaking the law. A LEO could FABRICATE an offense and say you broke the law... but he would have to lie in order to do so. And we all know that NEVER happens, right?

    At least that used to be true.

    Failing to notice a teensy-weensy little sign in a window out of view of common observation doesn't count as breaking the law. Any reasonable officer of the peace would recognize that.

    Yes, yes, Dan has been arrested illegally. I said a reasonable officer... reasonably intelligent and knowledgeable of the law... will not arrest.

    They can ask you to leave. If you refuse, then they can arrest you for trespassing.

    Until then, I cannot be convinced to agree with you.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
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    wylde007 wrote:
    kenny wrote:
    You can be arrested for anything, it is the conviction that counts.
    You can only be arrested for breaking the law. A LEO could FABRICATE an offense and say you broke the law... but he would have to lie in order to do so. And we all know that NEVER happens, right?

    At least that used to be true.

    Failing to notice a teensy-weensy little sign in a window out of view of common observation doesn't count as breaking the law. Any reasonable officer of the peace would recognize that.

    Yes, yes, Dan has been arrested illegally. I said a reasonable officer... reasonably intelligent and knowledgeable of the law... will not arrest.

    They can ask you to leave. If you refuse, then they can arrest you for trespassing.

    Until then, I cannot be convinced to agree with you.
    Sorry but you are getting my original on topic question off topic. I was looking for a lawyer type to respond. Who the hell brought of Dan. I just wish some of you wanna bes for once would keep a topic on topic.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    The last thing I "wanna-be" is an attorney. Sorry I didn't answer the question the way you liked.

    And since you're not the OP, I really don't care.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Don't any of you read the law anymore?

    From www.virginia1774.com , one of the best places to find stuff like this: (underlining added by me for emphasis)

    3) Private Property and Laws/regulations

    18.2-308(O) "The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property."

    Private business owners must prominently and visibly post that they prohibit firearms at the entrance of the store or verbally tell you of any restrictions.The posting must be displayed so that an average person would be able to see it. Under current case law concerning trespass in general, the Virginia Court of Appeals has stated in Jerry Andrew Lipscomb v. Commonwealth, Va. App. (2001 Unpublished):


    "Code 18.2-119 provides that "[i]f any person without authority goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, . . . after having been forbidden to do so by a sign or signs posted by [the owner] . . . , he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor." This statute "has been uniformly construed to require a willful trespass." Reed v. Commonwealth, 6 Va. App. 65, 70, 366 S.E.2d 274, 278 (1988). "'Willful' generally means an act done with a bad purpose, without justifiable excuse, or without ground for believing it is lawful. The term denotes '"an act which is intentional, or knowing, or voluntary, as distinguished from accidental."'" Ellis v. Commonwealth, 29 Va. App. 548, 554, 513 S.E.2d 453, 456 (1999) (quoting Snead v. Commonwealth, 11 Va. App. 643, 646, 400 S.E.2d 806, 807 (1991) (quoting United States v. Murdock, 290 U.S. 389, 394, 54 S. Ct. 223, 225, 78 L. Ed. 2d 381 (1933), overruled on other grounds, Murphy v. Waterfront Comm'n, 378 U.S. 52, 84 S. Ct. 1594, 12 L. Ed. 2d 678 (1964))). "'Criminal intent is an essential element of the statutory offense of trespass, even though the statute is silent as to intent . . . .'" Reed, 6 Va. App. at 71, 366 S.E.2d at 278 (quoting 75 Am.Jur.2d Trespass 87 (1974)).





    ....This evidence also fails to establish that appellant saw the no trespassing signs or intended to trespass by remaining in the car. Because the Commonwealth failed to exclude all reasonable hypotheses of innocence flowing from the evidence, we reverse and dismiss appellant's conviction."


    So, the answer to your question is, There is no requirement that you have to be told verbally to leave before you can be charged with trespass if there was a sign saying you could not enter with a handgun - so long as that sign was displayed so that an average person would be able to see it.


    Owner/manager/clerk calls the cops, cop sees the sign in the upper right-hand corner of the door, sees you entered with a handgun when the sign says you were not permitted to do so, and you are, using the legal term, toast. Virginia Court of Appeals says so, and no lower court is going to buck that precedent.


    Don't need to be an attorney to read the law and figure out what it means. In case anybody asks, I am a lawyer - one that is versed in the law and its application. I'm not an attorney - one admitted to the bar and allowed byprivilege to charge for legal advice.


    stay safe.


    skidmark

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    But Skidmark, from your own post:

    ....This evidence also fails to establish that appellant saw the no trespassing signs or intended to trespass by remaining in the car. Because the Commonwealth failed to exclude all reasonable hypotheses of innocence flowing from the evidence, we reverse and dismiss appellant's conviction."

    How does a cop seeing a sign prove that you saw the same sign? I reach the exact opposite conclusion from reading the same quotes you provide.

    TFred


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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    IANAL, but from reading the parts of the case law related to "willful" violation, all you need to do is get in the habit of pulling out your cell phone and glancing at the screen to check for messages each time you enter the door of a mall or a business.

    If push comes to shove, the security camera will show that you were not reading the door signs, but you were looking at your cell phone as you entered the building. Poof, there goes any hope of someone "proving" you saw a sign.

    And remember, IANAL... but it makes sense to me!

    TFred


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    another one bites the dust

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    OK this a a bit OT even for my OP.

    Just above the "NO WEAPON" sign is a "NO SMOKING" sign. On a majority of my stop in's I have seen staff standing in front of this very same door smoking. So one could actually say its unenforceable being the staff at such gas station doesn't even comply. (Just making an example)

    I was really busy yesterday and didn't get to stop by butI will be today and talk to the manager about it. hopefully even get some sort of policy in writing.



    Skidmark-Good post very helpfull.



    edit for typo

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    While I don't feel that armed customers need to investigate every possible nook and cranny where a "No Guns" sign might be hidden, I think we do have an obligation to keep our eyes open for such signs. Just as an example, let's say there's an 8 1/2" by 11" No Guns" sign on a single-door entrance at 5' above the ground. A reasonable person really couldn't miss it. Willfully ignoring such an obvious sign is just showing contempt for the owner's property rights.

    I prefer the approach advocated by wylde and many others: if they have such a sign, they don't want my business, so I'll just go elsewhere. No reason to get anywhere near the question of trespassing.

    ~ Boyd

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    TFred wrote:
    IANAL, but from reading the parts of the case law related to "willful" violation, all you need to do is get in the habit of pulling out your cell phone and glancing at the screen to check for messages each time you enter the door of a mall or a business.

    If push comes to shove, the security camera will show that you were not reading the door signs, but you were looking at your cell phone as you entered the building. Poof, there goes any hope of someone "proving" you saw a sign.

    And remember, IANAL... but it makes sense to me!

    TFred

    Not going to fly. See the decision from the Va Court of appeals and read the wording: "The posting must be displayed so that an average person would be able to see it.

    Who is this "average person"? Since it's a misdemeanor offense you are going to have to let the judge look at a picture of the door and decide if "an average person" would be able to see it. It does not mean that you needed to see the sign - merely that this fictitious "average person" would have been able to see it.

    I'll give TFred and the rest of you points for imagination, but will also have to deduct points for lack of reading comprehension. Final grade: F+.

    stay safe.

    skidmark

    *started to edit, but decided to make another post below
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    link to Lipscomb decision at http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1644002.pdf

    Lipscomb was a passenger in a car driven onto posted property. The decision reversing his conviction was based on the fact that he ould not, in the circumstances of being a passenger, get out before the car entered the posted property - thus failing to demonstrate the required intent to violate the "No Trespassing" sign's authority.

    In the OP's situation, there is clear intent to violate the sign's authority, as exists also in the writings of those of you who look for schoolboy ruses as a way of not seeing the sign you either know or believe may be there,

    Remember, the decision says that when you are able to control your action of entering or not entering the space controlled by the "No Trespassing" sign, it merely has to be where "an average person would be able to see it." [see above for how the definition of "an average person" will be decided, and who will decide whether or not that "average person" would have been able to see the sign.

    How about we agree to stop trying to find ways to violate the law and get back to the discussion of what, if anything, we ought to do about businesses that post their premises against the carry of firearms?

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    skidmark wrote:
    link to Lipscomb decision at http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1644002.pdf

    Lipscomb was a passenger in a car driven onto posted property. The decision reversing his conviction was based on the fact that he ould not, in the circumstances of being a passenger, get out before the car entered the posted property - thus failing to demonstrate the required intent to violate the "No Trespassing" sign's authority.

    In the OP's situation, there is clear intent to violate the sign's authority, as exists also in the writings of those of you who look for schoolboy ruses as a way of not seeing the sign you either know or believe may be there,

    Remember, the decision says that when you are able to control your action of entering or not entering the space controlled by the "No Trespassing" sign, it merely has to be where "an average person would be able to see it." [see above for how the definition of "an average person" will be decided, and who will decide whether or not that "average person" would have been able to see the sign.

    How about we agree to stop trying to find ways to violate the law and get back to the discussion of what, if anything, we ought to do about businesses that post their premises against the carry of firearms?

    stay safe.

    skidmark


    Hold the phone a second. In my OP for this topic. I never said I was going to violate the sign. I said I wasn't even carrying at the time I saw this sign. I did say I had OC'd and CC'd to this place several times before yet never once having seen it before. The only reasonI noticed this time was I was sitting in the car right in front of this doorlooking at the window displays.



    Now with that said. I stopped by this Texaco about 11:30 am but the manager was not in at the time. I left my name and number and requested he call me. I'll stop by again tomorrow. Clerk said he works 6am to 2pm. If he's not in then that's it for me as I leave Thursday morning for Oklahoma. Here is the conversation I had with the female clerk. The male clerk had nothing to say. This is to the best of my memory as i had an interesting day. See my other topic post for that event.



    Me-I walked in (unarmed) introduced myself and and asked if the manager was in.

    Female clerk-No Mr. (forgot name) was not in.

    Me-Does he have a business card or a point of contact so i can get in touch with him?

    FC-No card and I don't know his cell number. But he is usually here from 6am-2pm.

    Me-I'd like to leave my contact info for him and have him call me.

    FC-OK, is there something I can help you with?

    Me-I write down my info and ask her what the deal with the "No Weapons" sign was.

    FC-Its to deter any thugs from trying to carry in here.

    Me-You do realise that criminals look for signs like that as a place to rob. Its say to them that its an easy target.

    FC-Well I didn't put it up and so far its worked. We haven't been robbed as long as I have worked here.

    Me-That's good to hear. I hope you never do. Is it a manager policy or corporate policy to have that sign?

    FC-I believe its a corporate as we had one at the other station I worked at.

    Me-I'm asking this as I just noticed this sign 2 days ago and had open carried and concealed carried in her several times and was never told I couldn't.

    FC-Its because your a good looking guy and don't look like a thug. If you look like a thug we will ask you to leave. but if your a cop, military police, or a good looking guy we won't ask you to leave.

    Me-So what your saying is if I carry in here you won't ask me to leave even though its store and corporate policy. So its a policy you enforce at your own discretion.

    FC-Yes, but like I said if your a thug we don't want you carrying in here.

    Me-Its funny you say that as you also have the "No Smoking sign as well andI have seen employees standing in front of the door smoking. Kind of ironic ya know.

    FC-That's to keep people from walking in here with a smoke is all. We will smoke outside the door so we can see whats going on.

    ME-I'm could care less about the "No Smoking" sign.I'm just concerned asa law abiding citizen will be the only one to follow that policy. Criminals will not. Criminals are criminals for a reason, cause they have no regard for the law.

    (here is where things got interesting)

    FC-That's rather F-up. I'm a convicted felon and as such this is about the only job I can get. My felony wasn't physical at all but its still a felony.

    Me-I'm sorry if I offended you but I was just using an example.

    FC-I've been clean of the law for some time and ifI didn't have the felony I'd carry all the time. (she is a short skinny gal about 5'5" and about 110lbs maybe, she did have many tattoos on her arms and neck, kinda scary looking)

    Me-If you was able to, I hoped you would. More people should step up and take there safety into there own hands and not depend on law enforcement.

    FC-Screw the police.If a thug comes in and tries to hold us up he better hope I'm not here.I got nothing to loose and I'll kick his ass.

    Me-I hope that never happens. But if you could please let the manager knowI stopped by and to call me I'd like to get or see a copy of this corporate policy.

    FC-I sure will darling (found that funny). Why is it so important to you anyway?

    Me-I'm a concerned about my safety and I choose not to use stores at discriminate against law abiding citizen and my ability to defend myself. I'm also a member of an on line guns rights talk forum open carry dot org and a member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. A Virgina based RTKBA and 2nd amendment group.

    FC-Never heard of them. (being a felon I didn't figure she would have)

    Me-I said you have a nice safe day. Its been a pleasure talking with you. ( I shook her hand started to leave)

    FC-Sure thing darling come back anytime.



    Several customers came in and out while we talked but none of them said a word but one guy did get a perplexed look on his face. She was very nice and aside from a slip of the tongue was a good chat.
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    Interesting conversation that you had with the clerk. Any time I face a similar conversational situation, I can't get the right words to come out. I always leave the conversation thinking that I could have done better.

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    That's why you read ^^^ and study/mull over what others have done. Otherwise you are left to muddle through on your own with no idea of what did not work, thus no idea of how to improve your technique.

    Better than "each one teaches one" is "we all share in learning". Hang in there. While the goal is never to have to need to have "the conversation" we are not there yet. Each time we have a successful conversation we get closer to the goal. Learning how to improve our part of "the conversation" also moves us closer to the goal.

    From what I've not heard, it sounds like you are doing OK. Getting better will mean you will be doing OK-er (Is that a word?).

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    One thing I have done is scribble down a couple short noted of how and encounter play'd out. If I go back and read it then the conversation seems to come back to me and I can remember how it went and what was said.
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