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Thread: Concealed carry in stores and shops with "No Weapons" signs

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    Question Concealed carry in stores and shops with "No Weapons" signs

    Quick question here. "Private" property (malls, restaurants, large shops etc) often have these signs posted. The law states only the following as far as I know:

    1) A person commits the crime of third degree criminal trespass if such person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon premises of another.

    So, my question is, having a permit, does one break the law upon entering such a building? or are they only guilty of criminal trespass if they do not leave when asked to?

    Reason I ask is because I get three different answers from the police depending on who I talk to:

    A: You break the law if you enter such a building with a CW, permit or no permit.

    B: You break the law only if authorized personnel spot the weapon and ask out to leave but you do not leave. (of course any sane person would leave if asked)

    C: You can't legally concealed carry in these buildings but you should do it anyway for obvious safety reasons or shop elsewhere. (I'm not willing to do this but apparently it is a common answer some officers have given.)

    Now I want to follow the law here so C is no option for me, but if B is the case then I'm going to do it every time.

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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    IANAL.

    Signs do not carry the weight of law. Say you went shirtless into a store that was posted "No Shirt, No Shoes. No Service". Would you breaking the law or a rule? The answer is a rule and they would ask you to leave. Now if you refuse to leave this is where you get in trouble. Refusing could result in a trespass charge.

    The answer is rule and you would be asked to leave. The same applies with No Guns signs.
    Colorado Gun Owners - COGO
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    Colorado Firearm law.
    http://xisnexis.com/hottopics/Colorado/
    Lexis Nexis: Colorado law pertaining to firearms.
    Title 18, Article 12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    "No Shirt, No Shoes. No Service". Would you breaking the law or a rule?
    IANALE, but I agree with that analogy. But you can't really conceal that you're not wearing a shirt or shoes. If someone phones in MWOSAS, the police will not come and arrest him for entering if no one has asked him to leave. I also believe the "entering" part more pertains to going somewhere you've been "banned" from. If you have specifically been told you are not welcome on private property and proceed anyhow, you've broken the law. MAYBE if you get a LEO with nothing better to do, he'll write you a ticket for walking into the store without a shirt and no one asking you to leave.

    IMO, CCing where it is not welcome is most likely to be a problem if you have to draw, in which case a "trespassing" charge is the least of your worries. If you're flashing your weapon because of poor conceal, then you're not CCing. It happens, but that's the chance you take.
    Last edited by mahkagari; 02-11-2012 at 01:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahkagari View Post
    IANALE, but I agree with that analogy. But you can't really conceal that you're not wearing a shirt or shoes. If someone phones in MWOSAS, the police will not come and arrest him for entering if no one has asked him to leave. I also believe the "entering" part more pertains to going somewhere you've been "banned" from. If you have specifically been told you are not welcome on private property and proceed anyhow, you've broken the law. MAYBE if you get a LEO with nothing better to do, he'll write you a ticket for walking into the store without a shirt and no one asking you to leave.

    IMO, CCing where it is not welcome is most likely to be a problem if you have to draw, in which case a "trespassing" charge is the least of your worries. If you're flashing your weapon because of poor conceal, then you're not CCing. It happens, but that's the chance you take.
    Thanks for the heads up. Personally I would hope if I had to draw in such an area, the owners would be grateful to be alive and un-robbed, provided I was successful in the first place. I'd love to open carry as it makes things easier, but in Colorado I'm a stuck up LEO away from felony menacing just having it out in the open like that. Not to mention a target to gun snatchers.

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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlamingTP View Post
    Thanks for the heads up. Personally I would hope if I had to draw in such an area, the owners would be grateful to be alive and un-robbed, provided I was successful in the first place. I'd love to open carry as it makes things easier, but in Colorado I'm a stuck up LEO away from felony menacing just having it out in the open like that. Not to mention a target to gun snatchers.
    Please provide references to OC'ers being targeted for gun theft?

    I believe the last Colorado resident that was harassed for OC received $500 dollars per minute for his time.

    I have been OC'ing for years now. Never been charged or even harassed by law enforcement. I have never been targeted by one of these "gun snatchers" either.
    Colorado Gun Owners - COGO
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    A discussion forum for Colorado Gun Owners.

    Colorado Firearm law.
    http://xisnexis.com/hottopics/Colorado/
    Lexis Nexis: Colorado law pertaining to firearms.
    Title 18, Article 12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    Please provide references to OC'ers being targeted for gun theft?

    I believe the last Colorado resident that was harassed for OC received $500 dollars per minute for his time.

    I have been OC'ing for years now. Never been charged or even harassed by law enforcement. I have never been targeted by one of these "gun snatchers" either.
    Agreed. I'd be curious to TP's experience that gives him that opinion in CO. TMK, CO is notably gun-friendly, OC and otherwise. Denver is full of stuck-up LEOs but that's a moot point where OC is concerned.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlamingTP View Post
    Reason I ask is because I get three different answers from the police depending on who I talk to:

    A: You break the law if you enter such a building with a CW, permit or no permit.
    Partially correct. You break the law if you CC without a permit. If you enter a building while CCing that's posted "No Firearms," you are not breaking the law, as the law doesn't specifically cover that. It does cover if you refuse to leave a privately-owned business after being asked to do so. That's trespassing.

    B: You break the law only if authorized personnel spot the weapon and ask out to leave but you do not leave. (of course any sane person would leave if asked)
    Bingo.

    C: You can't legally concealed carry in these buildings but you should do it anyway for obvious safety reasons or shop elsewhere.
    Apparently whoever told you this is both pro-2A as well as a little misinformed! Normally, I avoid stores that post "No Firearms" and take my business to those stores which respect my Second Amendment rights. If I have to go there, however, I simply CC.
    Our rights are not subject to "interpretation" by well-meaning but Constitutionally illiterate politicians. They are absolute and unwavering, as are We the People. Some rights are specifically mentioned; many are not. ALL are protected by our Constitution, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

    "One of the best things about our Republic is that we're as free to have our own opinions as we are from having the opinions of others forced upon us."

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    I'm thoroughly confused now

    [QUOTE=since9;1705907]Partially correct. You break the law if you CC without a permit. If you enter a building while CCing that's posted "No Firearms," you are not breaking the law, as the law doesn't specifically cover that. It does cover if you refuse to leave a privately-owned business after being asked to do so. That's trespassing.

    In the Colorado section of www.handgunlaw.us : Do "No Guns" signs have the force of law? The answer is YES. My understanding of a YES answer is that a person could be charged with trespassing if found armed without first having to be told to leave the premise.

    Is handgunlaw.us wrong? Is my understanding wrong? Please explain with references .

    PS: I understand what "concealed" means practically speaking.
    Last edited by 6-shooter; 05-07-2012 at 01:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlamingTP View Post
    I'd love to open carry as it makes things easier, but in Colorado I'm a stuck up LEO away from felony menacing just having it out in the open like that. Not to mention a target to gun snatchers.
    Howdy TP!
    No, you ain't. Not unless you've got some issues we haven't heard about here.
    There are quite a few of us on this here forum, and I don't know anybody that's had much trouble with LEOs.
    That doesn't mean nobody has been confronted, a few have. Most of us never encounter LEOs, and the vast majority of instances where they do, nothing is said about simply open carrying a handgun. They tend to leave folks alone, or often will engage in a friendly discussion of handguns and shooting sports. The negative encounter does exist, but is extremely rare.
    Gun snatchers (assuming you mean somebody making a grab for your sidearm) is unheard of among our members here in Colorado.
    Can't recall seeing anybody who has run into somebody trying to grab their handgun.
    But if you're worried about it, you might benefit from taking a gun retention course.
    Various outfits that offer CCW training can teach gun retention technique.
    Usually it starts with having a holster with good retention. It goes all the way to defensive moves by the carrier to defeat a gun grabber.
    But then again, I haven't heard anybody complain about a gun grab attempt on the Colorado forum since I've been here.

    If you find it to be a problem, get yourself a good holster with level 3 retention.
    Either that, or simply stop fretting so much about stuff that doesn't happen.

    You're more likely to run into a situation where you may need to draw that handgun in defense than an LEO abusing his power.
    And much more so than somebody trying to grab your gun.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Last edited by M-Taliesin; 05-07-2012 at 07:22 AM.

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    Regular Member entartet17's Avatar
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    You may want to check out the local ordinances of the city in which you primarily OC.

    From Aurora's municipal code:

    Sec. 94-152. - Firearms on private property.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, carrying a firearm, to enter or remain upon any private property of another or any building or property of a commercial establishment when such property, building, or establishment is posted with notification that the carrying of firearms is prohibited.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person, carrying a firearm, to remain upon any private property of another or any building or property of a commercial establishment after such person has been given verbal notice that the carrying of firearms is prohibited on such property, building, or establishment.

    (c) Possession of a permit issued pursuant to C.R.S. 18-12-105.1, as it existed prior to repeal, or possession of a permit or temporary emergency permit issued pursuant to pt. 2 of art. 18 of tit. 9 of the Colorado Revised Statutes shall be no defense to a violation of this section.
    "There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs of freedom" -- Garet Garrett, The Revolution Was (1938)

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    LEO's may be an excellent source for understanding the application of the common law principles comprising the core of trespass law, but they would not be my GO-TO source for the law on weapon carry unless I were interested in starting a file on various "rules of thumb". LEO's don't have annotated Colorado revised statutes written on the palms of their hands. The majority of LEO's are not lawyers, and since they are exempt from the carry laws that affect us - there is little incentive for them to study up on the subject.

    1. Environmental awareness - Someone intent upon robbing you of your gun is more likely to casually approach you and stick their own gun in your belly, or approach from behind and club you. These are my two primary areas of concern.

    2. Proactive "Zone defense" - The public square isn't a basketball court, and the average criminal isn't a former Harlem Globe-Trotter. I have a general rule that "strangers" are not allowed to walk up to me uninvited. If the day comes when I lack reasonable confidence that I could muster sufficient force to repel a gun-grab attempt - I should not open carry.

    3. A quick release lock, thumb break snap, or a low-profile form of carry such as a less observable compact/subcompact with a smaller grip - combined with body-hugging IWB holster or paddle holster as opposed to the standard belt holsters that stick out, and interfere with arm movement.

    I'm always in the market for a "better" holster. Thus far the IWB suits me the most - but IWB presents a potential "concealment" issue in the absence of a CHP. I will be returning to Colorado Springs in a couple of weeks with an expired CHP in my wallet following an over-stay in Texas. It's going to be either OC, or NC until my renewed CHP arrives.

    Still after "the perfect" , reasonably priced, quality-crafted leather retention paddle holster for serious OC. Any recommendations ?

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    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entartet17 View Post
    You may want to check out the local ordinances of the city in which you primarily OC.

    From Aurora's municipal code:

    Sec. 94-152. - Firearms on private property.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, carrying a firearm, to enter or remain upon any private property of another or any building or property of a commercial establishment when such property, building, or establishment is posted with notification that the carrying of firearms is prohibited.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person, carrying a firearm, to remain upon any private property of another or any building or property of a commercial establishment after such person has been given verbal notice that the carrying of firearms is prohibited on such property, building, or establishment.

    (c) Possession of a permit issued pursuant to C.R.S. 18-12-105.1, as it existed prior to repeal, or possession of a permit or temporary emergency permit issued pursuant to pt. 2 of art. 18 of tit. 9 of the Colorado Revised Statutes shall be no defense to a violation of this section.
    Would this not be void under CO preemption?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    Would this not be void under CO preemption?
    I tend to think that you're right, but apparently Aurora doesn't think so. Subsection A was added in 2010 so it's not just some obsolete provision that was never removed from the books (as is sometimes the case). I think if someone got arrested under this section (I'm not even sure what the severity of the charge would be) he would have a pretty good case based on state law, but who wants to be the one to test it?
    "There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs of freedom" -- Garet Garrett, The Revolution Was (1938)

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    Quote Originally Posted by entartet17 View Post
    I tend to think that you're right, but apparently Aurora doesn't think so. Subsection A was added in 2010 so it's not just some obsolete provision that was never removed from the books (as is sometimes the case). I think if someone got arrested under this section (I'm not even sure what the severity of the charge would be) he would have a pretty good case based on state law, but who wants to be the one to test it?
    I don't think there needs to be a "test case". I would think just a lawsuit would cover it...But that takes some deep pockets. I would suspect this is the type of thing that RMGO would find a "reasonable" restriction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlamingTP View Post
    Personally I would hope if I had to draw in such an area, the owners would be grateful to be alive and un-robbed, provided I was successful in the first place.
    Hope springs eternal but your hopes are not accurate. These anti-gunners are 1000% anti-gunners -- even if you save their life, they would still want you behind bars.

    I say, let the anti-gunners die ... then they'll wake up. (would they??? lol -- zombies -- they are pro 2nd amendment !)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    I don't think there needs to be a "test case". I would think just a lawsuit would cover it...But that takes some deep pockets. I would suspect this is the type of thing that RMGO would find a "reasonable" restriction.
    It sucks to have municipalities enacting ordinances like this, they're just little booby traps designed to entrap law abiding citizens. For one, it doesn't define what exactly quantifies "posted with notification that the carrying of firearms is prohibited". They could have a tiny decal posted where few people would ever look, and now you're a criminal. In addition, section (b) is redundant to preexisting trespassing related law. It's already unlawful to remain on private property when asked to leave, regardless.

    We need to have complete statewide preemption of all firearms laws, so everyone in every conceivable local jurisdiction is absolutely in sync. Whether or not this is ordinance reasonable, it aught to be handled at the state level. My 2 cents.

    Unfortunately, they'd probably find a way to turn it against us down the road.

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    Why would you give your money to a place that hates the Constitution? No Guns = No Money.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    Would this not be void under CO preemption?
    Howdy Kingfish!
    My opinion, yes, it would be preempted by state law.
    Unlike Denver, Aurora created that ordinance AFTER the preemption law was enacted.
    While they can pass any sort of local laws they like, they'll find enforcing them another matter altogether.

    My suspicion is that they hope the average citizen isn't savvy enough to know about statewide preemption language found under CRS.
    And if they don't know about preemption, they can be intimidated and bowed by such municipal ordinance whether it is justified or not.
    Whether legal or not under preemption, if the subject of such attempt at usurpation of his rights is ignorant of preemption, he'll be easily cowed.

    Personally, I've not had any trouble along these lines, and never had an issue at any location I visit OC'ing. Never had a problem with an Aurora cop, nor had any business ask me to depart or get rid of my sidearm.

    Not saying it ain't possible, but I think it unlikely.

    And while such municipal ordinance may exist, if it ain't being enforced, it's just a bunch of words on paper that ain't got any weight behind it. And should it come to blows, state preemption would win out over a johnny-come-lately ordinance that seeks to defy state law. (i.e. preemption)

    My perspective is that this is just one more thing I don't fret about.
    I just go about my business and take anything contrary as it comes along.
    Which, generally, it don't.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Why would you give your money to a place that hates the Constitution? No Guns = No Money.
    Is it "hating" the Constitution?
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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 5 View Post
    Is it "hating" the Constitution?
    Well, if you cannot even respect it, then yes.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=6-shooter;1749313]
    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Partially correct. You break the law if you CC without a permit. If you enter a building while CCing that's posted "No Firearms," you are not breaking the law, as the law doesn't specifically cover that. It does cover if you refuse to leave a privately-owned business after being asked to do so. That's trespassing.

    In the Colorado section of www.handgunlaw.us : Do "No Guns" signs have the force of law? The answer is YES. My understanding of a YES answer is that a person could be charged with trespassing if found armed without first having to be told to leave the premise.

    Is handgunlaw.us wrong? Is my understanding wrong? Please explain with references .

    PS: I understand what "concealed" means practically speaking.
    I stand corrected! According to 18-12-214 and 18-4-504, you are correct. If it's posted "no firearms," it's criminal trespass merely to enter.

    A lot of people here will argue otherwise. I let them sway my opinion.
    Our rights are not subject to "interpretation" by well-meaning but Constitutionally illiterate politicians. They are absolute and unwavering, as are We the People. Some rights are specifically mentioned; many are not. ALL are protected by our Constitution, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

    "One of the best things about our Republic is that we're as free to have our own opinions as we are from having the opinions of others forced upon us."

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    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post

    I stand corrected! According to 18-12-214 and 18-4-504, you are correct. If it's posted "no firearms," it's criminal trespass merely to enter.

    A lot of people here will argue otherwise. I let them sway my opinion.
    The statute says a person commits the crime of third degree criminal trespass if such person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon premises of another. Where in CO code does it make it unlawful to carry past a "no guns" sign. The statute says "unlawfully enters". There would HAVE to be something that make the carrying of a firearm past a sign a crime. There are several states that do make it a crime but CO is not one of them.

    What if a movie theater has a sign that says "no outside food or drink". I always keep a 12oz bottle of water in my bag (my man purse) for emergencies. I do not remove the bottle from my bag at any time.
    Am I committing a CRIME by carrying the unopened bottle of water into the theater?
    THIS IS A REAL QUESTION. I see it exactly the same as a LAC carrying a holstered handgun.

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    Test case?

    [QUOTE=since9;1752022]
    Quote Originally Posted by 6-shooter View Post

    I stand corrected! According to 18-12-214 and 18-4-504, you are correct. If it's posted "no firearms," it's criminal trespass merely to enter.

    A lot of people here will argue otherwise. I let them sway my opinion.
    Thanks for the update. As can be seen the "arguement" continues .

    Can anyone point to an arrest and disposition where there was a Trespassing charge under the circumstances in question?

    Meanwhile, I will not poke the bear with OC past a "no firearms" sign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish View Post
    What if a movie theater has a sign that says "no outside food or drink". I always keep a 12oz bottle of water in my bag (my man purse) for emergencies. I do not remove the bottle from my bag at any time.
    You only smuggle water in? Pfft. Amateur.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahkagari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfish
    What if a movie theater has a sign that says "no outside food or drink". I always keep a 12oz bottle of water in my bag (my man purse) for emergencies. I do not remove the bottle from my bag at any time.
    You only smuggle water in? Pfft. Amateur.
    Excellent point. Is there a difference between taking in your own drinks and snacks that you intend to consume and taking in a bottle of water that you do not? Is possessing either a "crime" assuming you are not asked to leave?
    Last edited by Kingfish; 05-11-2012 at 12:53 PM.

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