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Thread: GFSZ? Government building? OR NOT???

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    Regular Member GlockRDH's Avatar
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    GFSZ? Government building? OR NOT???

    A friend of mine in Madison used to attend his church on Sunday mornings in a part of Madison East High school that was rented out to his group....What rules apply here? Since it was rented out to another entity. I think that this church has since built their own building.

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    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    I believe the GFSZ law doesn't have exceptions for times of day or if the school is in session or not.

    As for the government building, I have no information on what happens when they are leased out.

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    School District Board owns the grounds and buildings

    The School Board is regulated by the 'government', by state statute.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    I believe the GFSZ law doesn't have exceptions for times of day or if the school is in session or not.

    As for the government building, I have no information on what happens when they are leased out.
    It is still "owned" by a political subdivision of the State... A school need not be in session or children within 1000 feet of you in order to be in violation of the GFSZ Statute.
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 12-20-2010 at 05:22 PM.

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    Regular Member GlockRDH's Avatar
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    Im just wondering if its leased to a church, might that make for an entire DIFFERENT set of circumstances?

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    The word used in the statute does not differentiate between 'leased to' (lessee) or 'leased by' (lessor). This ground is well plowed as the search function will show.

    When the phrase "political subdivision" is used in a statute chapter it is typically defined therein and typically as "village, town or county". If a school board is a "political subdivision" of the state then a citation demonstrating that would seem appropriate.
    Last edited by Don Quixote; 12-20-2010 at 09:12 PM.

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    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    I don't know of any exemptions in the statutes either. That church has now merged with another well established church that did have a building on the East side of Madison. I'm not sure about the faculty and their views on the issue though.
    Last edited by Motofixxer; 12-22-2010 at 10:21 PM.
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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlockRDH View Post
    Im just wondering if its leased to a church, might that make for an entire DIFFERENT set of circumstances?
    No it is not different. The fact that it is on school grounds makes OC forbidden. It is irrelevant that the Church is leasing the space it is utilizing. Leasing does not change ownership. The actual owner retains rights and obligations. The lesee only has limited rights of use none of which are exceptions to the GFSZ Statute. It does not magically become "Private Property"...

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    Regular Member GlockRDH's Avatar
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    ..if its 'not different'...then where are the 'seperation of church and state' people... IF its still a school/government building, and government rules apply, then a church CANT exist on said property...it seems to me that something MUST be overlooked for this to happen. The owner only retains certain rights/priveleges when it gets leased. If you lease rental property you dont retain the right to walk into it anytime you want...there are some other landlord/tenant issues im sure, none of which come to mind right now.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlockRDH View Post
    ..if its 'not different'...then where are the 'seperation of church and state' people... IF its still a school/government building, and government rules apply, then a church CANT exist on said property...it seems to me that something MUST be overlooked for this to happen. The owner only retains certain rights/priveleges when it gets leased. If you lease rental property you dont retain the right to walk into it anytime you want...there are some other landlord/tenant issues im sure, none of which come to mind right now.
    The 1st Amendment does not guarantee freedom from religion. You will find no phrase "Seperation of Church and State" within the US Constitution. It simply affirms a right to the free expression of it. Since leasing a building does not equate to establishing a religion, your premise is simply rhetoric.....

    Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    It is still "owned" by a political subdivision of the State.
    This bald assertion is equally empty.

    Please cite to Wisconsin Statutes establishing a School Board as a "political subdivision" of the state.

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    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    The 1st Amendment does not guarantee freedom from religion. You will find no phrase "Seperation of Church and State" within the US Constitution. It simply affirms a right to the free expression of it.
    Right, so, for example, the school needs to lease it at market rates or the same rates it would rent its facilities to a secular organization.

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    Regular Member GlockRDH's Avatar
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    Im well aware that 'seperation of church and state' is merely rhetoric...not found in hte constitution...but often cited by the left as justification for the removal of Christmas items from public areas. SO, id think that the lease would make the 'school' no longer a 'school' if its leased to a church. Because if it is a school, the state cant allow Sunday services....not sure if im making this any clearer...

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    First - It is s-e-p-A-r-a-t-i-o-n

    Second - There was a brilliant post (by me) on the what "leased by" means not too long ago. I will excerpt it here for the benefit of all.

    If the state "owns" a building but then leases it to a private entity, it (like any other landlord) temporarily gives up certain aspects of ownership. The police do not have the right to enter a public housing apartment at will. Likewise, if the state leases a building from ABC Management for office space, the building takes on the characteristic of a government building even though it is "owned" by a private company. The key is who has the right to exclude not who can sell the physical structure. If the meaning of "leased by" included state as lessor (implies owner) then the phrase would be superfluous.

    Third - Renting space for a very short period of time only minimally implicates the nature of ownership. For example if the state rented a ballroom at a local hotel for some function, the ballroom is not turned thereby into a government "building."

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    Right, so, for example, the school needs to lease it at market rates or the same rates it would rent its facilities to a secular organization.
    If it did not, that would not infer creating a State Religion not infringing on the free expression of.. It may be a separate legal issue but not a Constitutional one.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Quixote View Post
    This bald assertion is equally empty.

    Please cite to Wisconsin Statutes establishing a School Board as a "political subdivision" of the state.
    I don't have time right now. This line of debate is irrelevant. It is still not private property. The "church" would not own it. It is still within a GFSZ (felony violation) and likely still considered within a school building which would fall under other local ordinances or codes regarding weapons.

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/gw/gw_12.pdf

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/Stat0120.pdf

    I would not want to be the one facing a citation ffor 941.235 and having my only defense be that a School Board is not a "Political Subdivision" of the State and therefore a building owned by them is not a "public" building...
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 12-22-2010 at 04:10 PM.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apjonas View Post
    If the state "owns" a building but then leases it to a private entity, it (like any other landlord) temporarily gives up certain aspects of ownership. ......
    Which means that it would still be owned by a political subdivision of the State for the purposes of the firearms Statute.

    Quote Originally Posted by apjonas View Post
    Renting space for a very short period of time only minimally implicates the nature of ownership. For example if the state rented a ballroom at a local hotel for some function, the ballroom is not turned thereby into a government "building."
    Which means that renting a ballroom would not make it a building owned or leased by a political subdvision of the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    I don't have time right now. This line of debate is irrelevant. It is still not private property. The "church" would not own it. It is still within a GFSZ (felony violation) and likely still considered within a school building which would fall under other local ordinances or codes regarding weapons.

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/gw/gw_12.pdf

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/Stat0120.pdf

    I would not want to be the one facing a citation ffor 941.235 and having my only defense be that a School Board is not a "Political Subdivision" of the State and therefore a building owned by them is not a "public" building...
    School districts are not political subdivisions, which consist of cities, villages, towns and counties. School districts are, however, "local units of government"-- which includes all political subdivisions plus special purpose districts such as school districts, sewage districts, baseball stadium districts, et al.

    In the case of school buildings, the GFSZ doesn't make any distinction between publicly and privately-own schools; a school is a school, and the law applies the same in either case. I don't think renting or using part of a school building for a non-school purpose, such as church, would change a thing. The school still owns it.

    I imagine a different case could be made if you found a building that was partially owned by a school and partially owned by a private non-school owner. Perhaps the non-school owned portions would be regarded as any other private property within 1000' feet of school grounds.

    I doubt we'd find an instance of such a building in Wisconsin, and if there is, then I can only think it's quite rare.
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    No and Maybe Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    Which means that it would still be owned by a political subdivision of the State for the purposes of the firearms Statute.
    I think not. Yes, the plain language of the statute says that and the plain language rule usually triumphs. However, in this case you have no substantial governmental interest in the daily activities of the building beyond that the government would have in any commercial activity. Again the police cannot enter the premises at will simply because the brick and mortar is "owned" by the state. Lessors (landlords) given up certain aspects of ownership for the duration of a lease. When a government chooses to undertake a commercial activity, it takes on a different character. At least that's what I think a judge would say.

    Which means that renting a ballroom would not make it a building owned or leased by a political subdvision of the state.
    It depends. If the government leased a building (or portion of a building) for an extended period of time, for governmental functions, that facility would take on the characteristics of a "governmental building" - note that "building" doesn't necessarily mean a entire structure.

    Given the purpose of the statute and the realities of a leasehold, simply looking at whose name is on the title isn't sufficient to determine if the location falls under this law.

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    Regular Member GlockRDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apjonas View Post
    I think not. Yes, the plain language of the statute says that and the plain language rule usually triumphs. However, in this case you have no substantial governmental interest in the daily activities of the building beyond that the government would have in any commercial activity. Again the police cannot enter the premises at will simply because the brick and mortar is "owned" by the state. Lessors (landlords) given up certain aspects of ownership for the duration of a lease. When a government chooses to undertake a commercial activity, it takes on a different character. At least that's what I think a judge would say.



    It depends. If the government leased a building (or portion of a building) for an extended period of time, for governmental functions, that facility would take on the characteristics of a "governmental building" - note that "building" doesn't necessarily mean a entire structure.

    Given the purpose of the statute and the realities of a leasehold, simply looking at whose name is on the title isn't sufficient to determine if the location falls under this law.
    THATS I guess where i was going with this...!

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