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Old 06-29-2007, 14:05   #1
DeadSteam
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DPS is unhelpfull regarding ccw signs, anyone know?

Hello all, I'm a recent transplant to phoenix, and I have been trying to figure out the law prohibitiing firearms in places where the owners ask you not to. Seems simple enough, except, I haven't found any requirement in the law for a type of sign, and I have heard that people have been arrested for carrying where a sign was posted. So to avoid future legal trouble I decide to call DPS and ask about the sign requirements. Basicly noone there knows. I had one lady who refused to answer my question and told me I had to call every place I wanted to enter before I entered it "to be safe". She refused to tell me if a sign was required at the door, or if it could be posted inside(and what the legal consequences would be for me. If I then read the sign and exited). I called another guy and got a they need to post a sign response. but he refused to go into where or what kind of sign....


Does anyone here actually know what the law is? Apparently even the Question people at DPS don't know. where should I try next? the States attourney's office?
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Old 06-29-2007, 16:34   #2
JPinAZ
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There's no law in AZ regarding signs like there is in TX (the only state I know of that has one). Theoretically, "no weapons allowed", "no firearms", and a slashed circle with a gun in it all have the same force. AFAIK the most you could be charged with is trespassing if they find out & you don't leave after they ask you. Also, many places have more than one entrance so while one might be posted, others might not.
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Old 06-29-2007, 16:40   #3
Hank Jr
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I am NOT a lawyer so, ...

ARS 13-1302 say this:

10. Unless specifically authorized by law, entering any public establishment or attending any public event and carrying a deadly weapon on his person after a reasonable request by the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event or the sponsor's agent to remove his weapon and place it in the custody of the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event for temporary and secure storage of the weapon pursuant to section 13-3102.01; or ...

My lawyer told me this:
1. A sign IS a reasonable request.
2. There is not a requirement for uniform signage, therefore, ANY sign that conveys the meaning is a reasonable sign.
3. You are not required to go looking for (or call inquiring about) every sign posted on an establishment.
4. Private business owners are NOT required to provide "temporary and secure storage" for your weapon.

JPinAZ is correct that the trespass ordinance only comes into effect when you are told about the sign (in case you didn't see the sign) and are asked to leave and don't do as requested.

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Old 06-29-2007, 18:41   #4
DeadSteam
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Really? so, Even if posted It's not illegal to enter while ccw? only if your asked? Because if what your sayig is true then even if it's ilegal to do so in the statute, there isn't a penalty until informed and you have refused to leave? Or is that just how it's commonly enforced?


I ask because last night I found myslef inside a place and stumbled onto a hand written note taped to a wall that (among other things) also included a statement "no weapons allowed".

I guess I am wondering if that made me a criminal in the 3 seconds that it took me to get out of the store.

Dps, seemed unwilling to comment on that. I think that scares me more than anything else... A group handling the ccw questions refusing to answer a basic one...

Essential I'm all paranoid now.
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Old 06-29-2007, 19:12   #5
txinvestigator
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Quote:
Originally posted by DeadSteam
Really? so, Even if posted It's not illegal to enter while ccw? only if your asked? Because if what your sayig is true then even if it's ilegal to do so in the statute, there isn't a penalty until informed and you have refused to leave? Or is that just how it's commonly enforced?
No, he wrote that a sign IS a reasonable request.


Quote:
I ask because last night I found myslef inside a place and stumbled onto a hand written note taped to a wall that (among other things) also included a statement "no weapons allowed".

I guess I am wondering if that made me a criminal in the 3 seconds that it took me to get out of the store.
Nah, once you were notified (via the sign) you left.

Quote:
Dps, seemed unwilling to comment on that. I think that scares me more than anything else... A group handling the ccw questions refusing to answer a basic one...

Essential I'm all paranoid now.
Many LE agencies are reluctant to give legal advice.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:10   #6
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I disagree. A sign is not a reasonable request "by the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event or the sponsor's agent to REMOVE HIS WEAPON AND PLACE IT IN THE CUSTODY OF THE OPERATOR OF THE ESTABLISHMENT (emphasis mine) or the sponsor of the event for temporary and secure storage of the weapon". The sign simply says "no firearms", so it doesn't rise to the level required by the statute. Further (from Arizona Revised Statutes)...

For the purposes of this section:

1. "Public establishment" means a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated by this state or a political subdivision of this state.

2. "Public event" means a specifically named or sponsored event of limited duration either conducted by a public entity or conducted by a private entity with a permit or license granted by a public entity. Public event does not include an unsponsored gathering of people in a public place.

Malls, grocery stores, Target, Walmart, etc. are not "public establishments" nor "public events" as defined by the statute. They simply are private property open to the public for commerce. If you commit an act the owner or operator doesn't like, you can be asked to leave. If you don't leave, you are committing trespassing, NOT misconduct involving weapons under Arizona law.

Welcome to the Great Free State of Arizona.

Last edited by Pima Pants; 06-30-2007 at 12:38..
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:31   #7
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Pima Pants Got It Right

Pima Pants, thanks. Thought I was going to have to explain it and I type so slow it would have taken me all day.
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:42   #8
Hank Jr
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This is my mistake. I quoted the wrong section.

13-1502. Criminal trespass in the third degree; classification

A. A person commits criminal trespass in the third degree by:
1. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by the owner or any other person having lawful control over such property, or reasonable notice prohibiting entry.

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Old 06-30-2007, 13:22   #9
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So, to answer the original poster's concerns, here it is in a nutshell:

If you enter a private property business establishment in Arizona (not a tavern, courthouse, police station or other place that specifically excludes firearms by law) with a gun in the open, the establishment's operator may tell you to leave because they don't allow firearms on the property. They may or may not point to their sign in the window (if there is one). The owner or operator may say nothing unless you are disturbing the customers. It's their call. Many business establishments in Arizona don't care if you are open carrying or some may come unglued. I've seen open carry in grocery stores, restaurants that don't serve alcohol and other places of business. I haven't seen open carry in high-end retail stores in the mall. If they tell you to leave, you must. Otherwise, you are trespassing on their private property.

Conversely, if you are carrying a CONCEALED weapon (with permit) at the above locations, the owner or operator will not have any reason to ask you to leave because THEY HAVEN'T SEEN THE WEAPON. You may technically be violating a rule they have, but you aren't committing any crime. If the owner or operator discovers you are carrying, then they must take the affirmative action of asking you to leave. You have to comply with their request otherwise you may be cited for trespassing.

The above is why DPS isn't going to tell you what they laws are. You can interpret them yourself. Always read the "definitions" section of a statute because often terms broadly understood to mean one thing (i.e. "public establishment") are more narrowly defined than you would expect.

As Bernard Levine (widely published cutlery historian) would say: "Don't confuse your imagination with an information source".

Last edited by Pima Pants; 06-30-2007 at 13:52..
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Old 06-30-2007, 14:28   #10
Hank Jr
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I really don't mean to nitpick, but the reason DPS doesn't give legal advice is most likely because the person you talk to is not a lawyer and can only offer legal information, not any interpretation of the law.

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Old 06-30-2007, 15:41   #11
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I agree, Hank. Police agencies may tell you what the law SAYS, they just won't tell you what the law MEANS. To do otherwise is to give legal advice.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:22   #12
Sam Spade
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pima Pants
Conversely, if you are carrying a CONCEALED weapon (with permit) at the above locations, the owner or operator will not have any reason to ask you to leave because THEY HAVEN'T SEEN THE WEAPON. You may technically be violating a rule they have, but you aren't committing any crime. If the owner or operator discovers you are carrying, then they must take the affirmative action of asking you to leave. You have to comply with their request otherwise you may be cited for trespassing.
Not really. Posting a "no guns allowed" sign is an affirmative step, expressing the management's desire on who's allowed on the property. If you carry anyway, you're committing a trespass, because that was a notice prohibiting entry to you, like an "Employees only" sign on the back room. You may or may not be cited/arrested based on the mood of the cop, the demands of the owner and the reasonableness of the actual sign, but it's not a safe bet.
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:17   #13
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Your point is well taken, Sam. I guess we are fortunate in Arizona that we don't have a uniform "no weapons" sign law like in Texas.

In my limited experience years ago dealing with merchants and trespassers, the city police invariably required the owner or operator of the property to verbally inform the alleged trespasser in the presence of the officer that he was being excluded from the property. Granted, this was while the retail establishment was open to the public during normal business hours. It usually included the police officer giving the trespasser a copy of a form they (the police) had with the address of the location the person was being excluded from written on the form. This process was used by the Phoenix Police Department and I don't know if it was uniform statewide. But, I never experienced a situation where the trespasser was carrying a firearm contrary to a posted sign. I still see signs in parking lots of retail establishments that read "permission to pass is revocable at any time", which indicates to me that an affirmative action by the owner is required if the business is otherwise open to the public.

Your point that "it's not a safe bet" is probably pretty accurate because we don't know how a police officer is going to act in any given situation. I stand corrected and thanks for your post.
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Old 08-03-2007, 14:24   #14
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The way I look at it, if they have a sign posted that somehow states that they don't want weapons or firearms on their property, then I just won't leave my money there. I can shop at places other that Basha's or the Westcor malls (I don't much care for malls anyway). Safeway doesn't seem to care if I have a weapon on. I personally have gone in with one on my hip and have seen others doing so. Same as with Fry's stores. Walmart doesn't seem to care either. I haven't every seen a "no weapons" sign in any of those stores.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:15   #15
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I wouldn't want to be a guinnea pig.

Last edited by MorkBork; 08-04-2007 at 01:31..
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