Author Topic: A thought on signs  (Read 3135 times)

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Offline Bronson

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A thought on signs
« on: July 21, 2011, 12:09:56 PM »
I try to look at things from both sides...I often fail but I do try  ;D

Anyway, this thought came to me the other day and I thought I'd bring it up for discussion.

Many people in the firearms carrying community feel that a sign on a business prohibiting firearms is NOT sufficient notice of the owner's wishes and that a person carrying a firearm must still be individually contacted and asked to leave by the owner or owner's agent.  Only if the firearm carrier refuses to leave, once asked, can he be arrested for trespassing.

Other's say that a sign IS sufficient notice of the owner's wishes and knowingly carrying on the premises of a business that is posted constitutes trespassing and you may be arrested without first having to be individually contacted and asked to leave by the owner or owner's agent.

Here's the thought that popped into my head...

If you were open carrying WITHOUT a CPL into one of the restricted places listed in MCL 750.234d would you consider a sign that stated "Lawful Firearm Open Carriers Welcome" to be sufficient permission* from the owner to enter their business or do you feel that you would need to have individual permission from the owner?

Aaaaaand discuss  :D

Bronson

*
Quote
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following:

(2) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(d) A person who possesses a firearm on the premises of an entity described in subsection (1) if that possession is with the permission of the owner or an agent of the owner of that entity
.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 12:12:23 PM by Bronson »
Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Offline Markalon

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 12:18:47 PM »
Interesting question. I guess I would have to see what the lawyers say... however...

As long as the posted sign was placed there professionally by the owner or an agent of the owner (and not just a crayon hand written note on notebook paper stuck to the door with tape), I would say that would be sufficient permission and OC'ers could legally carry in that building.

Or its a trap? lol.
Mark - 2A Firearms, Livonia, MI - I carry a gun because cops are too damn heavy.

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Offline Bronson

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 12:42:34 PM »
As long as the posted sign was placed there professionally by the owner or an agent of the owner (and not just a crayon hand written note on notebook paper stuck to the door with tape), I would say that would be sufficient permission and OC'ers could legally carry in that building.

Now what if there was a sign that met your requirements but instead of welcoming carriers it said "No firearms allowed"?  Would that be sufficient notice that you may NOT carry?

Bronson
Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Offline Markalon

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 12:53:58 PM »
Yup. While legally the most they could do is have me arrested for trespassing, frankly I wouldn't even walk into a place that has an anti-carry policy. I have stopped going to and spending money at Toys R Us for that very reason.

Of course, I leave a little no guns no money notice with them as I walk away.
Mark - 2A Firearms, Livonia, MI - I carry a gun because cops are too damn heavy.

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Offline Bronson

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 01:29:24 PM »
Yup. While legally the most they could do is have me arrested for trespassing,

This is the part worth discussing.  There are many carriers that ignore "no guns" signs because they feel that the business would have to individually ask them to leave, and then the carrier refuse, for a trespass charge to be brought.  In essence that a sign is not sufficient notice of the owner's rules for entrance onto their property.

I'm curious as to whether these same people would ignore a "pro gun" sign as not being sufficient notice as to the owner's wishes and seek individual permission.

I'm also curious as to the differences in these two scenarios:


1)

OCer without CPL is carrying in a place restricted in 750.234d BUT that has a prominent sign on the door welcoming lawful OC.

Officer sees OCer and asks if they have a CPL or permission to be on premises.  OCer directs officer to the sign on the door welcoming OCers.

Should the officer take the sign as express permission from the owner and let the OCer go?

2)

OCer is carrying into a business that has a prominent sign prohibiting firearm possession.

Officer sees OCer entering business and sees sign prohibiting firearms possession. 

Should the officer take the sign as an express prohibition from the owner and detain/arrest OCer?


If yes/no to one and not the other...why?

Bronson
Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Offline Greyh Seer

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2011, 01:58:07 PM »
I think the heart of this discussion comes down to who's rights are greater.  Does the owner of the property have the ability to restrict access to his property when he has invited the public?  Or is the right to bear arms greater and do I become a "protected class". 

The issue here is much, much deeper.  I personally feel that the government has no business telling me what I can and can not do on my own property...but I also agree that someone that "invites in the public" should not be able to discriminate against someone who isn't otherwise infringing on my rights.

Let’s be honest here.  From a purely constitutional standpoint, anti-discrimination laws are not very constitutional when it comes to private property.  However, I do understand why they were written.

Ultimately, one of two decisions must be made:

1.) We need to decide if carrying a gun makes you a "protected class".
or
2.) We need to decide if carrying a gun is a fundamental right that cannot be removed from a person (i.e. if I invite someone onto my private property, I could not force them to disarm any more than I could remove their liberty without due process).

Both of the above should be looked at and both will be very controversial and hotly debated.
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Offline Bronson

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 02:20:20 PM »
I would like to stick to the narrower topic of whether or not a sign, either "no gun" or "pro gun," is sufficient notice of the owner's wishes; and if people feel one is and one isn't I'd like to read why.

Bronson
Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Offline Greyh Seer

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 02:43:39 PM »
I would like to stick to the narrower topic of whether or not a sign, either "no gun" or "pro gun," is sufficient notice of the owner's wishes; and if people feel one is and one isn't I'd like to read why.

Bronson

Sorry.  I didn't mean to take your topic off course. BOT - I think that either sign, as long as they are large, easily visable and at all public entrances should be held with the force of law.  Though I should hope that if someone were to "miss" that sign, the owners would be kind enought to give the OCing person a chance to leave before charging them with a crime....

But until our legislator decides to make this clearer...I think my opinion doesn't matter as much as the jury's...
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-Greyh

Offline JoeCar

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 11:53:00 PM »
Either signage on private property is understandable to me, just like the sign that says "No Solicitors" 

Offline CV67PAT

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 08:38:36 AM »
I have been counseled that signage in Michigan carries no weight of law. With that my counsel is also prepared to defend me in that regard.

Unlike other states, such as Ohio or North Carolina, the Michigan statutes are explicitly absent with regard to any criminal penalty for disregarding signage. Unlike Michigan, those other states specifically state how the signage is to be constructed, placed, and the criminal penalties for violation.
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Offline Markalon

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 11:17:31 AM »
That is where it really counts... what the law would say/do in either case. Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any precedence in either case. However, the question was based on our opinions and as such are just that and not legally binding in any way.

My opinion is that a sign (clearly posted) is exactly the same as direct permission or denial from the owner/agents. I agree that should one "miss" a denial sign, it would be nice to have notice from the place before getting arrested.

Could you imagine the owner or employees having to go up to every individual person and tell them the rules to enter the place? Bah. Reminds me of Idiocracy.... "Hello, welcome to Costco.... I love you"... lol.
Mark - 2A Firearms, Livonia, MI - I carry a gun because cops are too damn heavy.

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Offline Bronson

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 02:06:57 AM »
I have been counseled that signage in Michigan carries no weight of law.

So with that counsel in mind; would you advise an OCer that does not have a CPL that an "OC welcome" sign on a business where firearm possession is prohibited by 750.234d does not count as permission and that the OCer would have to seek individual specific permission to enter?

Bronson
Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Offline Greyh Seer

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 08:42:47 AM »
I think the way you have put this out there will force someone to think about thier own personal bias.  The reality of the situation is, that most will have an opinion based on how strong they feel the rights of property owners are vs personal 2A rights.

It certainly got me thinking!
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-Greyh

Offline CV67PAT

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2011, 03:44:45 PM »
I have been counseled that signage in Michigan carries no weight of law.

So with that counsel in mind; would you advise an OCer that does not have a CPL that an "OC welcome" sign on a business where firearm possession is prohibited by 750.234d does not count as permission and that the OCer would have to seek individual specific permission to enter?

Bronson

I discussed specifically the signage as it is applicable to firearm prohibition, with my counsel.

Bearing that in mind, and after reading again your referenced statute, It is my opinion (and nothing more) that the signage you describe does not carry the weight pf law either. I believe that since 750.234d specifically states that the possession has to be "with the permission of the owner or an agent of the owner of that entity", a sign is not the owner or an agent thereof and is therefore not permission in and of itself as described in the statute.
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Offline Shadow Bear

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2011, 03:55:57 PM »
Of course, they have to prove you 'saw' the sign. That could open a whole can of worms-

The prosecution would have to show that it was impossible (beyond a reasonable doubt) to miss the signage, that it was comprehensible and unambiguous. And, that you could read the language it was written in.....
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Offline CV67PAT

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2011, 05:54:40 PM »
Of course, they have to prove you 'saw' the sign. That could open a whole can of worms-

The prosecution would have to show that it was impossible (beyond a reasonable doubt) to miss the signage, that it was comprehensible and unambiguous. And, that you could read the language it was written in.....

Some states, Ohio and North Carolina I have specific knowledge of, have statutes that include verbiage, placement, and criminal penalties included in their statutes. Michigan has none. That is it. Plain and simple.

Others, including a prominent activist lawyer, like to "err" on a certain side. I prefer not to "err" at all. Errors cause problems. Being confident in my knowledge of the law has allowed me to avoid confrontational situations.
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Offline Bronson

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2011, 06:00:32 PM »
Of course, they have to prove you 'saw' the sign.

No they don't.  They only have to show that a "reasonable person" would have noticed the sign.  Heck, I don't even think they need to show that much.

Venator might remember where, because I don't, but there was a case in another state that the court ruled that a mall's written policy, which was available in a pamphlet at the mall's info desk, was sufficient notice of the property owner's wishes.  In that case it was determined that it was the gun carrier's responsibility to seek out the rules and not the property owner's responsibility to post them.  Yes, it was in a different state but if it can happen there it can happen here.

Bronson
Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Offline venator

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Re: A thought on signs
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2011, 05:07:39 PM »
Of course, they have to prove you 'saw' the sign. That could open a whole can of worms-

The prosecution would have to show that it was impossible (beyond a reasonable doubt) to miss the signage, that it was comprehensible and unambiguous. And, that you could read the language it was written in.....
And lets not forget if they can see period...like the blind.
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The above are my opinions only.  Please seek an attorney concerning all questions of law.