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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching for an answer to this problem and have not yet found one. If you know of a post or thread that addresses this, please advise. Thanks!

Recently, I noticed a "Firearms Prohibited" sign posted on the door to a business (movie theater) I was LEAVING. Now, I've searched this and other Forums for an answer to the question: Does a "No Gun" sign have the force of law in NY? and aside from reading a lot of opinion on the subject, I've not seen or heard of any actual legal answer to the question. Most people say if I'm asked to leave the premises I must leave or risk arrest for Trespass, which I was already aware of. However, what I really want to know is if I'm "made" or worse, involved in a defensive situation, is there an actual charge that can be brought against me simply for being in violation of the "sign"?

Like most people, I would rather violate a sign and be safe than be a sitting duck, but not at the cost of potentially losing my CCW altogether.

Thanks for your replies.
 

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From what I understand about this topic from other posts...if found to be carrying, they ask you to leave..if you refuse...they call the police...how they detect it ??
 

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From what I understand about this topic from other posts...if found to be carrying, they ask you to leave..if you refuse...they call the police...how they detect it ??
The OP clearly understands that as he mentioned it in his post. His question was if he should need to use his weapon would there be extra repercussions because of the sign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From what I understand about this topic from other posts...if found to be carrying, they ask you to leave..if you refuse...they call the police...how they detect it ??
I'm not really concerned with how they detect it, it could be as simple as bumping into someone and they make an accusation. In the theater I'm referring to they have several town police officers there routinely on a Friday or Saturday night. All a person has to do is tell one of them they "think" a guy has a gun. I don't want to get arrested, I don't mind being asked to leave but again, I don't want to risk my CCW with an arrest.

That's why I want to know if there is an actual law being broken.
 

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Sign? I was to too busy looking at the movie showtimes and wondering how popcorn and a drink can cost $20 to notice a little sign lost among a sea of movie posters and cardboard standups. Could you please point out the sign to me?
 

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If I put up a sign on my front lawn saying No Liberals and one shows up at the front door does it carry the force of law? If I ask him/her to leave and they don't can the I call the police to have them charged with trespass? Pretty much the same with your movie theater, assuming of course there are no local ordinances (eg theater is within a "Gun Free Zone" etc.). None of us can give you legal advise here BTW, you should seek out an attorney if that's what you're after.
 

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If I put up a sign on my front lawn saying No Liberals and one shows up at the front door does it carry the force of law? If I ask him/her to leave and they don't can the I call the police to have them charged with trespass? Pretty much the same with your movie theater, assuming of course there are no local ordinances (eg theater is within a "Gun Free Zone" etc.). None of us can give you legal advise here BTW, you should seek out an attorney if that's what you're after.
Sign, We don't need a stinkin sign. See a good 2A lawyer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
2A Lawyer

If I put up a sign on my front lawn saying No Liberals and one shows up at the front door does it carry the force of law? If I ask him/her to leave and they don't can the I call the police to have them charged with trespass? Pretty much the same with your movie theater, assuming of course there are no local ordinances (eg theater is within a "Gun Free Zone" etc.). None of us can give you legal advise here BTW, you should seek out an attorney if that's what you're after.
I agree, an attorney would be my best bet. I guess I was hoping it wasn't a new question and someone else already received an adequate legal answer to the question. From what I understand, there are many others seeking an answer to this.
 

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This one is kind of tricky because it does not involve gun laws directly, it would be some type of trespass or misrepresentation likely.

If you are asked to leave a business becuase you are carrying, it seems very unlikely to me that a LEO would arrest or a DA would prosecute some type of violation or misdemeanor. Any law that would apply would probably apply to other reasons the business asked you to leave as well. If you actually need to use your gun to defend yourself in a justified scenario, the complications of the fact you were carrying where there was a sign asking you not to is going to be the least of your problems.
 

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I think the sign has more to do with insulating (real or imagined) the owner from civil liability if a gun was ever used by a customer on his property.
 

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From what I understand, if it's state run property or a gov't building then it is illegal to carry there. However, if it is private property (like a place of business) then it is policy and not law, so any decent lawyer should be able to get you out of any trouble that would put your permit at risk... but I'm no lawyer.
 

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Just a little off-topic, but I had a discussion with a LEO in a parking lot where the owner had posted his own made up speed limit and no left turn signs.
Luckily LEO agreed that I did not need to obey arbitrary signs, and he just recommended that I slow down :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just a little off-topic, but I had a discussion with a LEO in a parking lot where the owner had posted his own made up speed limit and no left turn signs.
Luckily LEO agreed that I did not need to obey arbitrary signs, and he just recommended that I slow down :)
Thanks for the replies. It seems that most people believe that should the situation arise, it becomes more of a Trespass situation than an actual gun related or CCW situation. With that said, I assume I will always be given the option to leave the property and if not, that would be the basis for my defense should I encounter an overzealous officer. I suppose the next question is will I, in fact, be given the option to leave or does the sign being posted create an automatic Criminal Trespass situation?
 

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Only Andy and Obummer (seem to think) they can create laws by decree. The rest of us have to get the legislator on board before our ideas become law. The owner can post whatever he wants on his property. Doesn't make it The Law. My question to you is why do you spend your hard earned money there if there is this much concern about your legal standing. Find someplace else without the sign...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Only Andy and Obummer (seem to think) they can create laws by decree. The rest of us have to get the legislator on board before our ideas become law. The owner can post whatever he wants on his property. Doesn't make it The Law. My question to you is why do you spend your hard earned money there if there is this much concern about your legal standing. Find someplace else without the sign...
With all due respect, the answer is not as simple as spending my money elsewhere. The fact is we have to live among, and patronize, many businesses that don't agree 100% with our personal choices. Sometimes we can avoid them out of principle, but other times we cannot or we simply find ourselves in a position we didn't foresee (i.e. noticing a sign upon exiting). Therefore, I would like to know what I'm up against legally before I decide to tiptoe around the county going out of my way to avoid them completely.
 

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It was a question not a directive. I'm not sure what more I can add to this. I don't believe a private establishment posting a sign carry's any legal weight at all unless, as already stated, there are other local ordinances prohibiting you from carrying there. You've already stated that you would rather violate the sign than not carry. So the way I see it you have a few choices, you can carry and violate the store's policy. Abide by the policy and leave your gun at home or go somewhere else. If you use your gun in a defensive situation within NYS you are likely to lose your ability to carry regardless of if there is a sign or not. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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I'm not a lawyer, but this is the general consensus....

Barring local ordinances, the only thing you could be charged with is trespassing. We need to look at the trespassing laws though. In order to be trespassing in a place open to the public (which a movie theater is), you have to defy "a lawful order not to enter or remain, personally communicated to him by the owner of such premises or other authorized person." (emphasis mine)

In my opinion (and lots of others), a sign isn't personally communicated.

Here is a link to the trespassing laws of NY
Laws of New York
 

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From a completely logical "letter of the law" viewpoint- I agree with most here that a private sign is not law and would at most be a trespass issue.

However- consider the practical side of things. Make sure you judge the risk based on your local police, DA, and especially Judges. You may not simply be asked to leave and given the opportunity. The sign could be interpreted as a prior notice that you have already violated and jump things straight to arrest. A DA who is anti-gun could view things poorly and pursue the case more vigorously than other ismple trespass situations. If convicted, a judge who is negative towards guns may impose a sentance on the upper end of what is allowed - based on the nature of the violation. It may be legal, doesnt mean it can't bias the system against you within those areas where discretion is allowed. Worse yet- the charge alone, even without conviction, may be enough for the issueing judge to have you CCW permit revoked.

Im not saying it is right, or moral, or that I agree with it- but it is a reality that needs to be considered. Assess your own risk based on your local area.
 
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