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Thread: Posting 'no guns' signs carries liability

  1. #1
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Posting 'no guns' signs carries liability

    http://www.wbay.com/story/16167955/c...for-businesses

    This really should not be news for any business owner. This is common sense.

    When in doubt, follow state law.
    Last edited by Rich B; 12-06-2011 at 12:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    From the source:

    Quote Originally Posted by https://www.piaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=360:c oncealed-carry-law-presents-insurance-concerns-for-wisconsin-businesses-&catid=173:latest-news
    MADISON, Wisconsin (October 27, 2011) – The new Wisconsin law that allows a person to carry a concealed hand gun if that person obtains a concealed carry weapons license, is forcing many businesses to make some important decisions.



    Business and property owners may post signs that firearms (concealed or open) are not allowed on the premises. The signs must be at least 5-inches high x 7 inches wide and posted in conspicuous locations near all entrances to the building. The prohibition applies to customers, vendors, guests and employees. Violations are subject to a $1,000 forfeiture.



    But the new law raises several questions about liabilities and insurance coverage if someone is injured by a concealed weapon brought onto the property.



    “Property owners or occupants who do not prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on their premises are immune from any liability arising from their decision,” says Ron Von Haden, CIC, Executive Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW). “Conversely, if a business prohibits concealed carry, it may be accepting some liability for the actions of customers and employees arising from the use of a concealed weapon.”



    If a business doesn’t prohibit concealed carry and an employee brings a weapon to work and that weapon falls on the floor, discharging and wounding a customer, the business owner is “immune from any liability arising out of its decision” under the law.



    However, if the business prohibits weapons, then it has no such immunity. So the customer could presumably sue the business for negligence in failing to enforce its no weapons policy.



    “No one knows how the courts will ultimately interpret the liability standards,” says Von Haden. “While it appears that the new law allows greater opportunity for businesses and owners to be negligent if they prohibit concealed carry handguns, I would have to believe that risk is very low.



    “At the same time, employee handbooks, office policies and procedure documents may have to be revised to accommodate the new law,” Von Haden adds. “And businesses should definitely check with their insurance agents to see if their policies have any limitations or restrictions on coverage relating to negligence claims arising out of the use or possession of weapons.”

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    It is about time that liability is properly assigned.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    It's a bit misleading. They are liable, as I understand it, if they post signs prohibiting firearms IF a criminal/bad guy/perp/predator causes injury or worse, NOT just due to some concealed weapons. By posting signs and removing the ability of a CHP/CHL/OC-er to defend themselves they take upon themselves the liability.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    It's a bit misleading. They are liable, as I understand it, if they post signs prohibiting firearms IF a criminal/bad guy/perp/predator causes injury or worse, NOT just due to some concealed weapons. By posting signs and removing the ability of a CHP/CHL/OC-er to defend themselves they take upon themselves the liability.
    That is exactly how I read it. Where is the misleading part?

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    That is exactly how I read it. Where is the misleading part?
    The article seemed to limit the liability to an action concerning a concealed firearm (or weapon - what else, a nerf bat?). It's broader than that. Any physical assault which includes or seems to be leading to grievous bodily harm would be covered.

    It sounds like they're limiting it to other licensed carriers or something. At best it's confusing.]]

    --------
    OK, I just reread the article:
    According to the state law, which took effect November 1st, a business that allows concealed weapons is immune from liability should an incident happen. But the law doesn't mention immunity for businesses banning concealed weapons.
    So the immunity is if someone uses their firearm in a place that allows firearms (or doesn't prohibit them). So if someone is being robbed and shoots the BG and hits a customer, the business isn't liable, JUST because they allowed firearms. The liability is if a business posts a no firearms (properly?) and an "Incident" occurs (presumably of grave bodily harm, armed robbery, kidnapping, employees going postal, etc.).
    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 12-06-2011 at 03:24 PM.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I think it is pretty clear. You have no added liability if you only adhere to state laws in your establishment.

    If you choose to make up your own rules that cut short or circumvent the state laws, you are accepting liability for damages that occur because of that choice.

    This is not necessarily about anything law specific, but instead common sense.

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    "No, I'd rather not have them in here. Mixing guns and alcohol isn't a good thing," Tony Mueller said.

    I never buy this statement.
    It is totally acceptable to drive a 26,000lbs truck with 10,000lbs in tow at .08% alcohol, one mistake can kill an entire family or more. And if you wanted to you could drive over as many people as you want. How different is that than a gun?

    They don't want you to carry a 160grain bullet or hell even a .22 which is in a holster so the only accident that can happen is if you pull it out, driving accident can happen anytime. The worst case you kill one person which I think is less likely than a truck accident.
    Alcohol should never be an excuse to say you didn't know what you are doing.

    At least Connecticut understands that and allow up to .10% alcohol (the old driving standard).

    Not saying go out and get drunk with your gun, just saying there are responsible drinkers.

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    Regular Member AB's Avatar
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    Original link dead--

    This is the link to the tv news: http://www.wbay.com/category/169373/...clipId=6509512

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by customcreationllc View Post
    Not saying go out and get drunk with your gun, just saying there are responsible drinkers.
    I will also add that no matter how you drink, you are who you are and you are responsible for your actions all the same. Murder is murder no matter what BAC you may have.

    No matter how much you drink, your gun will not achieve sentience and leap out of your holster to attack the people around you.

    This is different than driving a car (no matter how much everyone wants to say differently), since if you do nothing and drink until you pass out, the gun still hurts no one (although it would be negligent to leave your firearm unattended of course). If you are driving and you pass out, you have kinetic energy that could harm others. Carrying a firearm only becomes dangerous if you act. Driving a car can become dangerous if you act or fail to act.

    All that being said, I do not recommend people drink with a firearm. There is a lot of liability and responsibility associated with both and the law doesn't favorably on it (like you said, .10 BAC). Besides, you are likely carrying a firearm to defend yourself, why impair yourself if self defense is that important to you?

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    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    From the source:
    I want to thank the person who posted this article in it's entirety. At the original website where this was first posted...it has been removed. I am in the process of writing letters to Jo-Ann Fabric who has recently posted the NO GUN sign on it's doors. I recently wrote to them and got back a form letter. Their response to me was that after "thoughtful consideration, Jo-Ann decided to post the signs to create a comfortable shopping environment and experience for our customers". I have wrote them back asking them if they are now responsible for the safety of their customers. Because someone on this forum had the foresight (front sight?) to cut and paste that whole article about liabilty, I have been able to back up what I wanted to say. Thank you!

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    I think it's funny how a national chain, has such varying differences by state.

    I haven't found one of 'em posted here in CT yet. I go there sometime to get paint for my roll marks.

    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Regular Member Freiheit417's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    I think it's funny how a national chain, has such varying differences by state.

    I haven't found one of 'em posted here in CT yet. I go there sometime to get paint for my roll marks.

    Jonathan

    Toys 'R Us in Waterbury, CT is posted. I wrote them a polite email regarding their policy and I got absolutely no response. I didn't really expect a response, but felt the need to let them know anyway.

    I suppose they are content with prohibiting 160,000+ CT permit holders (i.e. potential customers) from their store just because someone chooses to legally carry a firearm. I let them know that I gave my business to other companies that do not create criminal-safety zones. I emphasized that criminals will not be deterred by such a sign.

    In case anyone has not seen this yet, check it out >> http://www.friendorfoe.us

    I would like to see more businesses posted there so I know who deserves my money and who does not. Anyone care to share info for CT businesses there?
    America, where freedom* reigns.

    *Freedom subject to change depending on jurisdiction and availability. Some freedoms may not be available due to local political expedience or prevailing political correctness. Please check Federal, State, County, City, or any other special district for applicable laws governing the extents of freedoms prior to purchase.

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    I know quite a few people who almost exclusively carry only when they have their kids with them. Having signs like that posted drives them all away. Also with the toysrus thing in waterbury, it's funny that that toy store and the mall are right in the middle of the highest crime rate area of the city and are both posted no guns. By funny I mean sad.

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    I remember a big thing a few months ago about JoAnn's Fabrics. Here is an interesting case. Signs posted, gun owners wrote in and said they wouldn't support their business with such nonsense and they temporarily removed the signs only to put them back up again.

    But not here in CT it seems (drove by yesterday). How the hell do they do this sort of thing so selectively?

    Makes no sense to me.

    Jonathan
    Last edited by KIX; 12-19-2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: forgot road trip yesterday
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    But not here in CT it seems (drove by yesterday). How the hell do they do this sort of thing so selectively?
    The same reason people are ever surprised by OC in CT. Many people are simply oblivious to the fact that people carry firearms around them all the time. Many people in the northeast think carrying guns is a 'southern thing'.

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    With all the comments about 'signage' it makes me wonder if people actually look for signs before entering. Given the places I have been and how I 'travel' I get the impression that I may have missed a few signs along the way.

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    If the sign is indeed conspicuous, I don't think you want to have to deal with the nonsense.

    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    If the sign is indeed conspicuous, I don't think you want to have to deal with the nonsense.

    Jonathan
    Yes, I absolutely agree and I have no problem respecting the wishes of the property owners. My concern is the prominence of the signs. Unless I am looking for something like a sign with the store's hours of operation I really can't imagine being bothered to read random postings. Now if it were blinking in bright lights or some other method of calling attention to itself then I could see (no pun intended) noticing it.

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    Here is an observation form my day today. I needed to pickup something at Sears. I drove over to the Brass Mill Mall in Waterbury.

    I parked right outside the tool/hardware department since that was where I needed to be. I searched high and low at the entrance and all I could find was stickers on the glass depicting the universal 'No-Smoking' insignia. Just for the heck of it I walked out of Sears into the mall. I could not find any signage there.

    Then I walked to a actual mall entrance. Went out, turned around and then examined that entrance. Again nothing of noteworthiness. However 10 or 15 feet into the mall beyond the second set of doors was a freestanding sign entitled 'Code of Conduct'. One of the last 'bullet' points on the list was No Firearms.

    Now I can't argue that I am unaware of the 'rules' there but who stops to read the Code of Conduct poster at a mall? Given the entrance I used, one utilizing the same point of entry would never be exposed to the Code of Conduct.

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    Regular Member Freiheit417's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    If the sign is indeed conspicuous, I don't think you want to have to deal with the nonsense.

    Jonathan
    The one at Toys 'R Us was VERY conspicuous! I have to say it was very effective with regards to keeping paying customers like myself from patronizing the store.
    Business 101: don't turn away customers who want to spend money in your store - DUH!

    This is not an actual pic from the Waterbury store, but it looked just like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	toys r us no firearms.jpg 
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    Side note: a 7-Eleven store in Watertown was robbed at gunpoint this morning by four men. I wonder how effective a "no firearms" sign would have been at stopping the robbers from entering that store? Moreover, I wonder if that store actually WAS posted since 7-Eleven (Southland Corp.) is known to be an anti-gun company. Luckily, the clerk only received minor injuries from pistol-whipping. I wish him or her a speedy recovery and hope the thugs are caught before they can hurt anyone else.

    Memo to Southland Corporation: posting "no guns" signs does not stop bad people from doing bad things in your stores.
    America, where freedom* reigns.

    *Freedom subject to change depending on jurisdiction and availability. Some freedoms may not be available due to local political expedience or prevailing political correctness. Please check Federal, State, County, City, or any other special district for applicable laws governing the extents of freedoms prior to purchase.

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    “What you see is the fringe of the fringe showing up in Hartford today." - Danny Malloy a.k.a. "The Governor" 3/11/2013

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    Regular Member BFDMikeCT's Avatar
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    Sorry I am new here but has any business owner thought of the fact that they are telling the criminals it is safe to come rob them! " Hi we don't allow legal gun owners here so you criminals have no reason to fear trouble!"

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Sorry to continue the necropost...
    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson
    It's a bit misleading. They are liable, as I understand it, if they post signs prohibiting firearms IF a criminal/bad guy/perp/predator causes injury or worse, NOT just due to some concealed weapons.
    Sort of.
    The law doesn't say the bad thing that happens must be due to a bad person trying to harm others. It could be some idiot showing off his "piece" who doesn't know rules #2 & 3, so negligently shoots someone. The company IS liable if they've posted signs, but not if they allowed carry.

    Unfortunately, the law only mentions concealed carry (other than to say that OC is still completely legal). So in theory, until challenged in court, a place could require only cc & it'd be perfectly legal & they would not have liability.

    See pg. 13 here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/201...ed/acts/35.pdf
    175.60 (21)
    (b) A person that does not prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on property that the person owns or occupies is immune from any liability arising from its decision.
    (c) An employer that does not prohibit one or more employees from carrying a concealed weapon under sub. (15m) is immune from any liability arising from its decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B
    I think it is pretty clear. You have no added liability if you only adhere to state laws in your establishment.
    If you choose to make up your own rules that cut short or circumvent the state laws, you are accepting liability for damages that occur because of that choice.
    It's in the law that places are allowed to post "we don't want your kind here" signs. (a.k.a. "criminals welcome")
    So businesses that post are following state law, not making up their own or circumventing the law.
    There have been some heated discussions over on the WI board about human/civil rights vs. property rights. Can a law allow anyone to revoke a basic human civil right?

    "No, I'd rather not have them in here. Mixing guns and alcohol isn't a good thing," Tony Mueller said.
    (Since we're discussing the WI law...) In WI law if you're carrying concealed in a restaurant/bar you're not allowed to drink alcohol. So when some place posts & gives this as an excuse, I try to explain the law. And of course, if someone is going to break the law by cc + ETOH, why would they bother to pay attention to a sign?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana1956
    I have wrote them back asking them if they are now responsible for the safety of their customers. Because someone on this forum had the foresight (front sight?) to cut and paste that whole article about liabilty, I have been able to back up what I wanted to say.
    Unless there's a similar law in your state, it probably won't apply. I'd like to see that common-sense law nationwide, but it will take a long time, & possibly many court cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFDMikeCT
    has any business owner thought of the fact that they are telling the criminals it is safe to come rob them! "Hi we don't allow legal gun owners here so you criminals have no reason to fear trouble!"
    Yep.
    Welcome to the fora. Search is your friend.
    Yes, some smart business owners have had that exact thought.

    IIRC, in MN many places posted when they got their cc law. The smart ones un-posted not too long after, when they realized that posted places were being robbed & un-posted places weren't.
    Here in WI, the only store robbery that's been stopped by a LAC (that we know of) happened to be in a store that didn't want guns, but their sign was far from conspicuous.
    That must have been why it didn't stop the robber with the shotgun.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 04-25-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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