Too many "No Guns" signs in AZ


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Jake L
March 11, 2013, 02:46 PM
I've been gearing up, training, and generally preparing to begin concealed carrying here in Arizona. I plan on getting an actual permit soon, as constitutional carry is a bit more restricted. But I've begun taking note of all the businesses with "No Guns Allowed" signs, theres a ton. As I read through Arizona's page on handgunlaw.us, it seems as if these signs actually carry the force of law for permit holders and constitutional carriers alike, and I will not be able to simply ignore them like you can in a few other states.

Am I wrong to believe that in some states you can carry in legal locations regardless of signage unless specifically asked by the property owner to leave? (Schools, post offices, etc still off limits of course). If this is true, and this is not the case with Arizona, what consequences are there for carrying in an AZ business with a No Guns sign?

It seems like these signs are on the entrances to around 85% or more of the businesses I enter... How is a person supposed to carry if 85% of businesses are legally gun free zones?

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627PCFan
March 11, 2013, 04:05 PM
AZ has force of Law. VA doesn't. I dont tend to shop in stores that are posted but if the wife drags me in.... I just cover up because I have the option

"It seems like these signs are on the entrances to around 85% or more of the businesses I enter... How is a person supposed to carry if 85% of businesses are legally gun free zones? "

Would you want to give them your money anyway?

Browning
March 11, 2013, 04:16 PM
AZ has force of Law. VA doesn't. I dont tend to shop in stores that are posted but if the wife drags me in.... I just cover up because I have the option

"It seems like these signs are on the entrances to around 85% or more of the businesses I enter... How is a person supposed to carry if 85% of businesses are legally gun free zones? "

Would you want to give them your money anyway?
Take note of the ones that don't and shop there.

If they don't want my gun in there, then they don't want my business.

Yo Mama
March 11, 2013, 04:37 PM
I'm in AZ, and I'd say it's more like 25 percent that have the stupid sign.

There used to be a great business card with facts about CCW holders, and how they have gone through the class, background check, fingerprint clearance, then asks the owner how much they know about everyone else in their establishment.

Just don't shop there, but let them know why.

Frank Ettin
March 11, 2013, 04:46 PM
I haven't been to Arizona in a couple of years, but I have spent a fair amount of time there. I've been mostly around Prescott and have visited Sierra Vista and Phoenix a bit.

Anyway, I don't recall a lot of "no gun" signs. Have things changed? Or maybe I've just been lucky.

Derek Zeanah
March 11, 2013, 04:57 PM
I've been mostly around PrescottI visited Prescott once. Shot a lot of ammo there too.

I'm curious as well - most of Prescott was pretty down with constitutional carry from what I could tell.

baz
March 11, 2013, 06:08 PM
As for other states, the two I'm most familiar with are AR and TX. In AR the signs are controlling, and you can lose your license if you ignore them. In TX, the law is very specific as to what the sign must say, and how (like with 1" letters). Signs not strictly in that format (called "30.06" after the code section that governs) cannot be enforced. Also in TX, a business that derives more than 51% of revenues from on premises drinking has to post, and concealed carry is prohibited. I'm sure the details vary quite a bit from state to state.

I traveled through Arizona last year, carrying on the basis of reciprocity for my AR permit, staying overnight two nights (Globe and Pinetop-Lakeside) and do not remember encountering any postings in the various shops and restaurants we went to.

Calibre44
March 12, 2013, 06:53 PM
Forgive my naivety ... but why would a business want the deny access to a law abiding citizen when a criminal isn't going to abide by it anyway?

Elessar
March 12, 2013, 07:32 PM
Forgive my naivety ... but why would a business want the deny access to a law abiding citizen when a criminal isn't going to abide by it anyway?
This is the crux of the argument against most gun control efforts.

swalton1943
March 12, 2013, 07:44 PM
Here in granbury, texas, the local wallyworld had , for a while, a 'no concealed carry' sign. I protested the sign to the mgr, and complained to the regional manegment. The sign came down and the mgr was replaced. Lots of others also complained, and I protested to a lot of folks, and we got a result. I mentioned that lawfolks would carry off-duty, and criminals would ignore the sign. Be heard!!!!!

ZeSpectre
March 12, 2013, 08:14 PM
Am I wrong to believe that in some states you can carry in legal locations regardless of signage unless specifically asked by the property owner to leave?
In Virginia a property can be posted "no firearms". However it carries no weight of law by itself. If you are "discovered" the property owner can ask you to leave. If you do not comply you can then be charged with trespass.

As to the businesses with the "no guns" signs, some of the standard tactics are....
1) Send a letter to the corporate headquarters (there are tons of sample letters you can find online). It can also be effective to save up some receipts from the businesses that you DO patronize and then include photocopies of those receipts to demonstrate the money the anti-rights policies are costing them.

2) Give the business a "no guns no money" card and walk away
Example one (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=603581)
Example two (http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/320601935/m/4500045213)

3) Sometimes, when it's a small business, you can actually have a reasonable conversation with a manager/owner. Often they just put the sign up as a "knee jerk" reaction and haven't thought about the implications of the sign such as

The sign may ATTRACT criminals since it announces that the shop in question is a "soft target".
Mass shootings generally occur in places where firearms are banned.
Gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules.


Stick by your beliefs (it won't be easy). I had several friends who got seriously annoyed that I wouldn't step foot into a movie theater (they're ALL posted around my area) right up until the "Batman" shooting. I knew one guy who still insisted that "couldn't happen here", I finally had to sever ties with that guy.

psyopspec
March 12, 2013, 08:29 PM
I haven't been to AZ for a couple years, but dad's spending some time there now to decide if that's where he'd like to retire. I'll be going for a visit at the end of the month. I really like that state - weird, but free.

I'm hoping your 85% was an exaggeration (please say it ain't so) or isn't the norm in most cities.

mbogo
March 12, 2013, 08:41 PM
Walk into these shops and put an armload or two of their pricier goods on the counter. As the cashier rings up the purchase, 'notice' the no guns sign on the door.

Ask them why they have it. Then, tell them you will not shop in a store that does not respect your right to the means of self-defense.

Repeat as often as you like, as it will only cost you time. Have your friends and family do it, too.

That will assign a 'dollars lost' value to their decision to ban guns in their stores.

mbogo

Jake L
March 12, 2013, 09:43 PM
I guess 85% of businesses may be a bit exaggerated... But when looking at restaurants it seems pretty accurate. I seem to recall back when businesses serving alcohol where opened to ccw in 2009, there might have been a big campaign to get these signs up in restaurants and bars. So that might have something to do with it. All of the above suggestions to show some activism and sway policies seem pretty good.

What experiences have you had with leaving your guns in the car when you encounter a location you need to enter but can't carry in? I've had my car broken into more than once, so I'm not too keen on leaving my gun in it.

TrailWolf
March 12, 2013, 09:55 PM
Where do you live in AZ?

I'm in Scottsdale - the liberal center other than Flag and Tucson - and I can count on 2 hands how many "no gun" signs I've seen, half of them being national chains like Whole Foods and Container Store... The other half are bars and strip clubs.

When it comes down to it: concealed means concealed and if you don't notice a sign on the door, well then you dont notice it...

Prophet
March 12, 2013, 10:00 PM
In Virginia a property can be posted "no firearms". However it carries no weight of law by itself. If you are "discovered" the property owner can ask you to leave. If you do not comply you can then be charged with trespass.

Pretty much the same in PA. Maybe it's the area, but the only places I've ever seen a "no guns" sign is at the recruiters office and similar gov't buildings.

AJumbo
March 12, 2013, 11:31 PM
If 85% of the businesses you enter have "No Guns" signs, you must spend a lot of time in bars...

psyopspec
March 13, 2013, 12:11 AM
What experiences have you had with leaving your guns in the car when you encounter a location you need to enter but can't carry in? I've had my car broken into more than once, so I'm not too keen on leaving my gun in it.

I haven't had any issues, but 1 close call that converted me. Few years ago I would sometimes be lazy about re-arming after entering my vehicle when returning from places where CCW was prohibited. One such time I left the gun in the vehicle overnight. That night, most of the cars in my apartment building's lot were broken into. I guess my truck was spared because of it's age and stock stereo equipment. I don't leave a gun in the car anymore but if I do it's for as brief a time as I can and in a lockbox.

If possible, I try to park somewhere I can see the vehicle from the inside. I also try to park in the the more public parts of the lot, like near the boulevard versus behind the dumpster out back.

psyopspec
March 13, 2013, 12:24 AM
http://www.learntocarry.com/nogunsnomoney/

I just found these for anyone wishing to print their own "No Guns = No $" cards. I'll have to buy some card stock and run a few before I head that way.

smalls
March 13, 2013, 12:26 AM
When it comes down to it: concealed means concealed and if you don't notice a sign on the door, well then you dont notice it...

What terrible advice.

The law says you have to adhere to what the sign says. So "concealed means concealed" does not apply here.

Now, in MI, that sign means nothing, and you could carry right past it into whatever store, restaraunts, etc.

jr_roosa
March 13, 2013, 01:17 AM
I noticed it a lot in AZ. Now I live in CO, and here it is a trespass charge to be in a posted business. On the other hand, I don't really see anywhere near as many signs as I saw in AZ.

Interestingly, every Chipotle in AZ is posted, but none that I have seen in CO are, and the chain is based here.

Weird.

-J.

dogrunner
March 13, 2013, 01:33 AM
No force of law in Fla. That said, if discovered and asked to leave you must do so. Further, trespass after warning is a charge. Armed trespass is a felony........that includes trespass for hunting.

BBQJOE
March 13, 2013, 12:12 PM
I am also in AZ, and have seen very few no gun signs.
My bank doesn't have one, nor my grocery store.
My pharmacy does, but I don't bother telling the lady at the counter that I carry.
I'm not sure if my costco does or not. Never looked, never cared.

If I'm going into a bar, I'm going to drink. Gun stays in car. Wife abstains, and drives. Actually she doesn't even drink, and always has a Judge in her purse, so I feel somewhat armed in a bar.

My place is listed on a restaurant allowed to carry website somewhere, although I forget the name.
I won't go as far as to put up a sign saying firearms allowed, but will offer a discount for people who have taken the time to take the course and become knowledgeable. I also have an NRA decal right by the register, so if there's ever any question...

Although, I'm a little concerned on how lax AZ's permit process has become. I'm not sure if I approve of it or not.

WardenWolf
March 13, 2013, 04:35 PM
Arizona signs do NOT have force of law. They are a statement of policy. The only way to get in trouble is if they see your gun, ask you to leave, and you do not. Then it becomes trespassing. It is no different than if a store manager asks you to leave for any other reason; if you remain on any property after being told to leave by someone with authority, you are trespassing. So ignore the signs and go about your business. I lived in Arizona my entire life until I moved to Virginia 5 months ago, and have my Arizona CCW. You don't have to worry about the signs as long as you're carrying concealed.

armoredman
March 13, 2013, 06:25 PM
Warden Wolf, you might want to read the back of your AZ CCW permit again...

"This permit DOES NOT authorize you to carry a weapon into an establishment prohibiting weapons"

Emphasis is in the original on the card. Now 13-3102 only covers public establishment/event, not private business,http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/13/03102.htm&Title=13&DocType=ARS

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...
2. "Public establishment" means a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated by this state or a political subdivision of this state.
3. "Public event" means a specifically named or sponsored event of limited duration that is 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.





...but the one about open alcohol is there.

Law,http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/4/00229.htm&Title=4&DocType=ARS

4-229. Licenses; handguns; posting of notice
A. A person with a permit issued pursuant to section 13-3112 may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of a licensee who is an on-sale retailer unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises. The sign shall conform to the following requirements:
1. Be posted in a conspicuous location accessible to the general public and immediately adjacent to the liquor license posted on the licensed premises.
2. Contain a pictogram that shows a firearm within a red circle and a diagonal red line across the firearm.
3. Contain the words, "no firearms allowed pursuant to A.R.S. section 4-229".
B. A person shall not carry a firearm on the licensed premises of an on-sale retailer if the licensee has posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section.
C. It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection B of this section if:
1. The person was not informed of the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section before the violation.
2. Any one or more of the following apply:
(a) At the time of the violation the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section had fallen down.
(b) At the time of the violation the person was not a resident of this state.
(c) The licensee had posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section not more than thirty days before the violation.
D. The department of liquor licenses and control shall prepare the signs required by this section and make them available at no cost to licensees.
E. The signs required by this section shall be composed of block, capital letters printed in black on white laminated paper at a minimum weight of one hundred ten pound index. The lettering and pictogram shall consume a space at least six inches by nine inches. The letters comprising the words "no firearms allowed" shall be at least three-fourths of a vertical inch and all other letters shall be at least one-half of a vertical inch. Nothing shall prohibit a licensee from posting additional signs at one or more locations on the premises.
F. This section does not prohibit a person who possesses a handgun from entering the licensed premises for a limited time for the specific purpose of either:
1. Seeking emergency aid.
2. Determining whether a sign has been posted pursuant to subsection A of this section.

Yes, if you are "outed" and the person who lawfully controls the premises/business located therein tells you to beat feet, yes you can be trespassed and physically removed by law enforcement. Bad juju. I just stay out of posted businesses.
BTW, Olive Garden restaurant in Casa Grande is NOT posted, pretty good chow. In fact...I am trying to remember where there IS a sig in CG...the local library puts one up and takes it down about every month or two, as they can't make up their minds. That IS a "public establishment".

WardenWolf
March 13, 2013, 09:31 PM
No, the way the law is set up is as a trespass statute. All that bit means is that business owners may prohibit firearms and you can't argue if they ask you to leave. I.e., it's not a civilly protected right. Anyone who has taken the course knows how it works. This is specifically covered.

Here's the complete procedure you have to follow to get your stupid self arrested (and I say "stupid self" because you'd have to be seriously stupid for it to happen):

1. Someone notices you're carrying. Asks you to leave.
2. You refuse.
3. Person calls police.
4. Police ask you to leave.
5. You refuse.
6. Police arrest you for trespassing.

The police have to witness you trespassing, and witness the person asking you to leave in order to arrest you. Otherwise it's hearsay. The signs alone do not carry the weight of a "No trespassing" sign or mean police can arrest you just for carrying in a posted premises. They have to actually ask you to leave in order for it to have any teeth.

sonick808
March 14, 2013, 07:48 PM
i'm in Chandler (east Phoenix metro) and I very rarely see these signs. 10% or less

SullyVols
March 14, 2013, 09:11 PM
I'm all pro-firearm. But if someone wants you off of their private property for whatever reason they should have that right.

Jake L
March 15, 2013, 01:21 AM
I spend my time in Tempe, Mesa, and Gilbert mostly. I see most of the signs in restaurants which serve alcohol. I am quite curious about the consensus on what the rules are governing carrying into posted locations.

Warden Wolf (not arguing), you say "Arizona signs do NOT have force of law. They are a statement of policy. The only way to get in trouble is if they see your gun, ask you to leave, and you do not." If that is the case, then why on handgunlaw.us (not a perfectly accurate site, but pretty dang reliable) does it say for Arizona "Do 'No Gun Signs' Have the Force of Law? -- YES". If you look at Washington state, it says "Do 'No Gun Signs' Have the Force of Law? -- NO." It then explains pretty much what you did, that if asked to leave you must.

Is there any other reliable source for me to go to that can explain this legalese? Basically I'd like to know: If I carry into locations posted "No Guns", and somehow get caught, could I face legal consequences? Or can I simply be polite and comply when they ask me to leave and I'm legally clean?

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 04:29 AM
Arizona signs do NOT have force of law. They are a statement of policy. The only way to get in trouble is if they see your gun, ask you to leave, and you do not. Then it becomes trespassing. It is no different than if a store manager asks you to leave for any other reason; if you remain on any property after being told to leave by someone with authority, you are trespassing. So ignore the signs and go about your business. I lived in Arizona my entire life until I moved to Virginia 5 months ago, and have my Arizona CCW. You don't have to worry about the signs as long as you're carrying concealed.

You are absolutely wrong. This is terrible advice if you live in AZ. No gun signs DO have force of law. A no gun sign is your notice that carrying is trespassing. You can get arrested for trespassing and misconduct involving a firearm if caught carrying on the premises of an establishment that has a no gun sign. They do not have to ask you to leave first if the sign was posted in a reasonable location and easily visible.

Most places will ask you to leave first, since it's a hassle for them to have to call the police, but they are under no obligation to do this.

How do I know this, you might ask?

I've spoken to my lawyer about it.
I've asked several cops about it.
My CCW instructor told the class (former local police officer - medically released, current contracted security of a location that has a no gun policy...he knows how the law works in this case).
My defensive handgun instructor told the class (current contracted firearm instructor for local PD, and current parole officer, if I remember right).
And lastly, and most importantly, that's what the law says!

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


Case law has determined a sign is deemed a reasonable request. Therefore, by passing the threshold of an establishment that has a posted no gun sign, with a gun on you, you are already trespassing, and can be arrested for it (and misconduct involving a firearm) without any kind of notice.

1. Someone notices you're carrying. Asks you to leave.
2. You refuse.
3. Person calls police.
4. Police ask you to leave.
5. You refuse.
6. Police arrest you for trespassing.

This is how it actually works:

1. Employee/property owner/etc notice you carrying
2. They call the police
3. Police arrest you for trespassing and misconduct involving a firearm.

You don't have to believe me, but you do it at your own risk. To the OP, go find a few cops and ask them. Speak to a criminal defense lawyer (you have one, right?) about it. Talk to instructors in your area about it. I highly doubt you'll see anything that contradicts what I'm saying here.

I live near Tucson. I'd say most places, even in Tucson, do not have posted signs. The few that I do find, I just don't give them my business.

psyopspec
March 15, 2013, 11:51 AM
^ Welcome to THR, and thank you for that post. Very informative. I held back from commenting on the legality of signage in AZ, but my own review of the handgunlaw.us PDF (http://handgunlaw.us/states/arizona.pdf) caused me to reach the same conclusions.

armoredman
March 15, 2013, 11:56 AM
Gaerek, please look up to my post, and back to azleg.gov, and read THE REST OF THE STORY. Oh, never mind, I'll repost it here.
2. "Public establishment" means a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated by this state or a political subdivision of this state.
3. "Public event" means a specifically named or sponsored event of limited duration that is 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.

In English, a place run by the government, NOT a private enterprise such as grocery store or used car lot. The only businesses specifically named as off limits are those serving open alcohol who have a proper sign posted.

I grew up in Tucson, feel I might know the town pretty well. Also know TPD officers - most of them don't know the law. :) I HIGHLY recommend that you do not carry in any place that has a no-guns sign, as if you get into a defensive shooting in the place a good lawyer will rape you for "looking for a fight where you aren't even allowed to carry your gun!" and such. I, of course, am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV - I have the dubious distinction of being thrown out of several businesses for open carry back in the days before we had CCW. Oddly enough, every single business that threw me out is out of business.
If you get an official legal opinion signed by a lawyer, please post it here.

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the welcome. I'll post a proper intro in a moment. I just saw this last night and wanted to keep the OP from getting in trouble. :)

EDIT: Replying to the person who replied to me while I was replying. :)

You don't have to take my word for it. If you don't think that's the law, I encourage you to find out first hand for us. GO ahead, carry into a place with a posted sign (and I'm not talking about the bar/restaraunt sign) and see what happens. Very likely, they will ask you to leave, but they are under no obligation to do so.

Again, I haven't just talked to cops about it. My lawyer had to try to defend someone who concealed at a local mall with a posted sign, and was arrested without being asked to leave first...she lost the case. Why? Because a posted sign is considered a reasonable request. Sorry, I'm not going to pay $300 or whatever it would cost, to get a signed written opinion from her on that law. I asked about that law during my initial consultation, and that's what she told me. My CCW instructor watched someone get arrested without notice while he was working (he always notifies, some of his co-workers do not). Let's also not forget what the back of the permit says.

If you wish to disobey the no guns sign you just walked past, it's at your own risk.

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 12:22 PM
Just wanted add another thing. I didn't just speak with TPD. I spoke with a couple of Pima County Sheriff's Deputies, as well as a DPS Officer. I've had the same problems finding answers to what a no gun sign means in Arizona...so I've asked basically everyone who would have knowledge who I've run into about it. I have yet to find someone who has contradicted what I said. Though, one of the Pima County Deputies did say that it used to be different, but there was a case several years ago that changed the definition of "reasonable request." It was 6 or 7 months ago that I talked to him about it, so I don't remember exactly what he said. I've seen him several times since, so if I run into him again, I'll ask.

Again, do what you want, but do it at your own risk. Regardless of how the law actually works, I'd rather not give money to places that don't respect my right to self defense.

WardenWolf
March 15, 2013, 12:44 PM
Funny, Gaerek, that is NOT what my CCW instructor said. Nor is it what anyone else I have spoken to has said. I'm only hearing that coming from YOU and you alone. I have taken the class within the last 5 years. That is NOT how things work in Arizona. A reasonable request to leave MUST be made before it can be considered trespass. Please stop spreading fear and uncertainty. The signs hold NO force of law on their own. All that little snippet in the law means is that business owners can lawfully say you cannot carry a firearm on their property; they are not forced to allow it. But it is still a trespass ordinance and they still must ask you to leave.

I am someone who makes it a point to know the fine points of this kind of law inside and out. You cannot be arrested simply for carrying in a posted business, nor is it "misconduct involving a firearm". It is simple trespass, and they must ask you to leave.

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 02:43 PM
Good thing you don't live in AZ anymore then. I can only comment on what I know and have been told. I've been told by about 10 different authorities on the matter (including a lawyer who lost a case on the issue). Plus, handgunlaw.us agrees with me, and that site is probably the best online source of gun laws available (though even they say their info is not law and to seek a lawyer for legal advice).

OP, disobey posted signs at your own risk. I'd recommend getting you legal advice from a lawyer who knows the law. Random people on the Internet, like myself and Warden cannot give legal advice, and personally, if I were you, I'd take both sides with a grain of salt. In the end, either way, why would you want to patronize a business who thinks you have no right to self defense? I certainly don't care to.

armoredman
March 15, 2013, 03:22 PM
You don't have to take my word for it. If you don't think that's the law, I encourage you to find out first hand for us. GO ahead, carry into a place with a posted sign (and I'm not talking about the bar/restaraunt sign) and see what happens. Very likely, they will ask you to leave, but they are under no obligation to do so.
Wow, I think I said I already did, years ago. The last thing you said that MIGHT change things is this snippet,

Though, one of the Pima County Deputies did say that it used to be different, but there was a case several years ago that changed the definition of "reasonable request." It was 6 or 7 months ago that I talked to him about it, so I don't remember exactly what he said.
THAT could be the difference, as I have managed to keep from being thrown out of places since I put on my badge, and we got CCW here in 1994, which also made a difference. :) I will reiterate what I did say, I don't recommend it, and if precedent has been set legally, then you're fighting an uphill battle, but I haven't seen this brought up in any other classes.

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 04:03 PM
Unfortunately, the Internet is sketchy when it comes to hard evidence. To be honest, I would love to be proven wrong. But for me, the potential cost (jail time, fine, loss of gun ownership rights, etc) simply isn't worth the risk. I don't have enough money to fight a charge like that and try to get the precedent changed.

Let me quote what the Arizona Gun Owners Guide (a book I highly recommend the OP get, I've read the whole thing three times now) says about this issue. It doesn't go into a whole lot of detail, unfortunately, but what it does say seems to jive with what I've been saying. After posting this, I think I may attempt to email the author of the book, and ask what it really means, and how he came to that conclusion:

Deliberately ignoring private [no gun] signs (or especially a direct request) opens you to a possible charge of criminal trespass (§13-1502) if the place wants to make it an issue instead of just asking you to leave.

I added "no gun" between private and signs for clarification, since it was referring to the Bold Faced title of the section of the book, and the bold face is mine. Italics are in the original quote. It appears that, at least the author believes, there is no need to ask you to leave, or request that you remove your firearm if you decide to ignore the sign. I don't know what more evidence is needed. I'll try emailing the author after this and see if I can get a response. I'll post if I do.

I love Arizona, but I've found that a lot of laws are very vague in how they're written. Bottom line though, I would love to be wrong about this, but I also don't want the OP to get in trouble because of advice on this thread.

EDIT: I just sent an email to Alan Korwin, the author of The Arizona Gun Owners Guide. Google him, and you'll see he probably knows more about this subject than almost anyone. Hopefully I'll get a response relatively quickly. As soon as I do (if he chooses to respond, that is) I will post it here.

Jake L
March 15, 2013, 04:37 PM
Gaerek, Armoredman, and Wardenwolf, thanks for your thorough replies. It seems like Gaerek and Armoredman are essentially in consensus that the posted signs have legal force and must be obeyed to keep oneself legally safe. Wardenwolf, I agree with you that many individuals I have spoken with say the law works precisely as you described. Yet when I actually read the literature, it seems to contradict directly what you and they say. The laws surrounding CC and 'no guns' signs did change in many ways in 2009. So perhaps that has something to do with all of the misconceptions we're trying to clear up here.

Until I can hear more about it from several "horses' mouths", I wont ignore the no guns signs (I have no time or ability to deal with any legal BS).

But just to add my $.02 to the thread, my best guess as to the letter of the law is that places serving alcohol seem to have a special status as far as CC goes. These places can post 'no guns' signs that have the absolute force of law without additional warnings required. Other places with 'no guns' signs (very rare) might not have the same force of law with their 'no guns' signs... Until I'm sure, I'll just have to disarm if I really want to patronize a 'no guns' business.

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 04:45 PM
But just to add my $.02 to the thread, my best guess as to the letter of the law is that places serving alcohol seem to have a special status as far as CC goes. These places can post 'no guns' signs that have the absolute force of law without additional warnings required.

This is absolutely true. Regardless of who is right about private no gun signs, you must obey the ones in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. In addition, there is NO Constitutional carry in those locations whether they have a sign or not. You must have a permit.

I'd recommend getting the book I mentioned above. It has all the pertinent laws for AZ (and some Federal) as well as plain English explanations of them. You'll be surprised about how much you don't know...just as I was. :)

Frank Ettin
March 15, 2013, 05:19 PM
Too much huffing and puffing and not enough actual citation to law.

I notice that no one has cited the actual Arizona criminal trespass statute, ARS 13-1502 (emphasis added): 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.

2. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, or the storage or switching yards or rolling stock of a railroad company.

B. Criminal trespass in the third degree is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Notice that it is criminal trespass in Arizona not only when one stays after being asked to leave. It is also criminal trespass to enter if one is on notice that entry is prohibited.

The question therefore becomes whether a "no guns" sign on private property is reasonable notice prohibiting entry by one carrying a gun. If an Arizona court would say, or has said, that it is, a "no guns" sign indeed has the force of law.

Certainly on the face of things it looks like a "no gun" sign could well be considered reasonable notice that entry to the premises with a gun is prohibited.

WardenWolf, if you still contend that a "no guns" sign doesn't have the force of law in Arizona, cite an Arizona court decision so ruling.

Gaerek
March 15, 2013, 05:58 PM
Thank you Frank. Even through all of that, I hadn't even thought to look at the Criminal Trespass statute. I was looking for an answer in the "gun" statutes. I'll still await the email from Alan Korwin, just to see what he says about it, but I have a feeling he's going to site that law.

Twmaster
March 15, 2013, 06:45 PM
Interestingly, every Chipotle in AZ is posted, but none that I have seen in CO are, and the chain is based here

Odd, the Chipotle down the street from my apartment has a gun sign. Thankfully it only says something like 'no illegal firearms'.

RJTravel
March 15, 2013, 07:52 PM
Thanks to Frank for clearing up this incredible pooling of ignorance. The statute is written so clearly that the common person cannot misunderstand.

Brockak47
March 15, 2013, 09:27 PM
Here in the Prescott Area and northern AZ in general I don't see many "no guns" signs on businesses

maybe in Awahtukee or something :p

bikerbill
March 16, 2013, 02:18 PM
baz is correct about Texas ... there are businesses that post a no-guns-allowed sign, but the only way they can enforce it is to a. somehow spot your concealed weapon and b. ask you to leave. Refusing to leave can get you cited for trespassing, but with no impact on your license ... I've carried in Texas for 10 years, have seen only a small handful of the 30.06 signs and they were in places I didn't plan to go anyhow ... now if we could only get open carry here ... you do see signs all over the place warning that the unlicensed carry of firearms in the establishment is illegal, but of course that's illegal everywhere in TX except on your own property ...

Match10
March 16, 2013, 05:11 PM
Signs carry no weight in Georgia. You must be contacted by a person in charge of the business or property and asked to leave.

Frank Ettin
March 16, 2013, 07:43 PM
The OP's question was about Arizona. Let's stay focused. Other States are off-topic.

Jake L
March 17, 2013, 05:14 AM
I'll definitely pick up a copy of Alan Korwin's book. It looks great.

Also, I've been noticing something new. Apparently, the "No Guns" signs are required to fit a very particular format to have legal force. Several of the signs I've been seeing lately aren't even close to that format. Therefore, they are ones I can feel pretty safe ignoring unless specifically notified. One small step for man...

Frank Ettin
March 17, 2013, 09:45 AM
...Apparently, the "No Guns" signs are required to fit a very particular format to have legal force...Looks again. I think you'll notice that the particular format sign is found at bar or restaurants -- places that serve alcohol.

See Arizona Revised Statutes 4-229 (emphasis added): 4-229. Licenses; handguns; posting of notice

A. A person with a permit issued pursuant to section 13-3112 may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of a licensee who is an on-sale retailer unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises. The sign shall conform to the following requirements:

1. Be posted in a conspicuous location accessible to the general public and immediately adjacent to the liquor license posted on the licensed premises.

2. Contain a pictogram that shows a firearm within a red circle and a diagonal red line across the firearm.

3. Contain the words, "no firearms allowed pursuant to A.R.S. section 4-229".

B. A person shall not carry a firearm on the licensed premises of an on-sale retailer if the licensee has posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section....

However, the statute defining criminal trespass in general (ARS 13-1502 as I've quoted in post 42) doesn't specify what sort of sign or other form of notice would be:...reasonable notice prohibiting entry...
That would ultimately be a question for a court if one were to dispute whether a particular sign or other form of notice satisfied the statute.

Jake L
March 17, 2013, 08:50 PM
Frank, thanks. This is why I'm not really planning on carrying "constitutionally". As nice as it is to have a state that respects my right to keep and bare arms, I'd like to educate myself with a CC class. Its just too easy to be confused with all the laws.

sonick808
March 17, 2013, 09:59 PM
For AZ folks, don't forget to put Tim Forshey's number in your phone in case you ever need to defend yourself. He is an instructor, lawyer and specializes in these cases.

Bobson
March 17, 2013, 10:11 PM
I live in North Phoenix. I see the signs fairly often. I've been pretty good about avoiding places I know are posted, but there are certain smaller, unique shops that are posted, and the wife isn't willing to stop shopping there, so I'll leave the gun in the car when we go.

If I had to guess, I'd say about 1/3 of the places we tend to shop are posted. I've been able to put about half of those on the "we don't go there anymore" list.

Gaerek
March 18, 2013, 02:38 PM
So just an update. I did not get an email back from Alan Korwin, but I didn't really expect to. I'm guessing he's a very busy man, and it's difficult to respond to every email sent his way. I have about a 25% track record of getting responses from people like him, but it was worth a try.

However, this weekend, I did speak with my defensive handgun instructor while at the range (he happened to be there) and I just got off the phone with my lawyer a few minutes ago.

According to my instructor, he said that the no guns signs having force of law is in the trespassing statute, not the gun statutes. Basically, by ignoring a sign, which is considered a reasonable notice, you are trespassing, and the property owner/operator is under no obligation to ask you to leave/disarm before calling the police. The police, in turn, are under no obligation to ask you to leave. They may ask the property owner if they wish to have you charged/arrested. His side note was that most places will simply ask you to leave. However, they do not have to.

My lawyer basically said the same thing. Though she clarified by stating that there could be a sign that says "No Green Bow Ties" and if you enter wearing a green bow tie, they can technically call the police and have you arrested, without asking you to leave. She also said that most businesses will ask you to leave first, but she knows of at least a half dozen locally that call the police without contacting you first.

Her recommendation is to look around the entrances of all private buildings you wish to enter. If they do not have a sign, you are probably ok, but if you are asked to leave, you MUST leave immediately. If you stop to argue, you are now trespassing and the police may get involved. In addition, she mentioned that some signs are very small, or in difficult to see places. She specifically mentioned some local malls that have their code of conduct posted in very small print at most entrances (some have no signs at all) and in it they mention no weapons. Usually there's a smallish 2in diameter sticker that has a gun with a red line through it. She said that her recommendation is not to carry in that place, though she said that you may still get charged, and the definition of reasonable notice may be argued in court...at your expense.

In other words, disobey no gun signs in AZ at your own risk.

EDIT: As has been mentioned, the specified "No Gun" sign is only applicable in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. If that sign is not present, you cannot be charged under that particular law. However, if there is another no conforming sign, you may still be charged under the trespassing statute.

Frank Ettin
March 18, 2013, 04:20 PM
...As has been mentioned, the specified "No Gun" sign is only applicable in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. If that sign is not present, you cannot be charged under that particular law. However, if there is another no conforming sign, you may still be charged under the trespassing statute. I wonder. After all, the applicable laws (4-229) explicitly says (emphasis added):...A person with a permit issued pursuant to section 13-3112 may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of a licensee who is an on-sale retailer unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises. The sign shall conform to the following requirements:...

So the law expressly authorizes carry with a permit, unless there's a particular form of a sign. That could obviate prosecution under the general criminal trespass statute, at least unless an Arizona court has said otherwise. I haven't done the research, so I don't know; and trying it out is probably a bad idea. Even if you were to win, it could cost you a lot of money.

Gaerek
March 18, 2013, 04:46 PM
So the law expressly authorizes carry with a permit, unless there's a particular form of a sign. That could obviate prosecution under the general criminal trespass statute, at least unless an Arizona court has said otherwise. I haven't done the research, so I don't know; and trying it out is probably a bad idea. Even if you were to win, it could cost you a lot of money.

That's a good point, actually. I know I had been told that you can be charged under the trespass statute, but the way it's worded seems to indicate that it's not true.

I certainly do not wish to be a test case. Besides, in my experiences, the only times I've seen non-conforming signs was also in the presence of conforming signs. I've never seen one without the other in bars or restaurants...so it might mostly be a moot point.

In the end, my general policy regardless of what the law says, is that I do not financially support businesses who do not support my right to self defense. It's their right to put up the sign, and keep me out. It's my right not to do business there.

ApacheCoTodd
March 18, 2013, 05:01 PM
It never bothers me except in open carry. In that case, I don't want to be seen removing a side arm to lock up in my car or motorcycle and the business owner then loses a customer at that time and likely in the future as well.

Not a statement of boycott (their store - their rules!) just a matter of practical considerations on the part of an oft armed Arizona-American.

Jake L
March 18, 2013, 09:09 PM
I have good news. I was daydreaming of a website like yelp made for keeping track of businesses that are gun friendly since its so important here in AZ. Well there is one.

http://friendorfoe.us/

It looks like an amazing tool for concealed carriers all over, and apparently membership (and thus the database) are growing fast.

Zonamo
March 19, 2013, 12:42 AM
Found these online-good way to let a business owner know the real impact of their magical force field sign:

No Guns No Money Cards (http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/Gun-Stuff-Mall#ngnm)

Or roll your own:

AveryŽ Business Cards for Inkjet Printers (http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Products/Cards/Business-Cards/Ink-Jet-Business-Cards_28877.htm)

harrygunner
March 19, 2013, 03:59 AM
I've spent a bit of time in Arizona and see the signs mainly in Phoenix. I'm not used to having to worry about such signs. So I take special care to look for them when I'm in Arizona.

Reduce those laws to "trespassing if refusing to leave" and Arizona would be even more than the #1 most supportive state.

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