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Old August 24, 2014, 09:48 PM   #1
TimeIsRunninOut
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Apartment office with no gun sign

I came back to this sign after a week long vacation, "no firearms allowed" ars 4-229. Due to the nature of the business does this sign limit me from being able to carry while on the property? There was nothing in my lease agreement about not being able to carry or own firearms while being an active resident. Just looking for advise.
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Old August 24, 2014, 10:08 PM   #2
Jorg Nysgerrig
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If you're in Arizona, you may want to look at this: http://www.azleg.gov/ars/4/00229.htm
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Old August 24, 2014, 10:39 PM   #3
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I love questions in which the OP asks about a local law but doesn't tell us where he lives. So, here's the answer; you can carry there unless you can't due to the laws of the place of your residence.
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Old August 24, 2014, 10:51 PM   #4
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arizona what type of property is this
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Old August 24, 2014, 10:51 PM   #5
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Well, the ars 4-229 pretty well gives it away. Considering this is a unilateral amendment to your lease (not a lawyer, just a lay opinion) I'd call my landlord or the property management company first.


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Old August 24, 2014, 11:03 PM   #6
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I interpret it as only applying to the office, not the rest of the complex. If they want to ban firearms in the complex, proper signage should be put up at all the entrances to it, not on the office door after you're already inside it.
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Old August 24, 2014, 11:04 PM   #7
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"Well, the ars 4-229 pretty well gives it away."

Maybe I'm a bit harsh but if I cited PCVA. 46.035 would many people know what I was talking about. I just see lots of folks asking legal questions that are state specific but not giving a clue as to where they live. But, Mea Culpa anyway.
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Old August 24, 2014, 11:46 PM   #8
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Reread paragraph A. This seems to apply only to retailers and not rental apartments. I'm assuming you mean that this sign was posted in or around the office for your apartment building/complex.

I'd look into whether there are any statutes prohibiting a "no guns" clause in a rental lease. Ask a lawyer.
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Old August 25, 2014, 12:42 AM   #9
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If you read ARS 4-229, you will see it applies to on-sale liquor establishments.

If I were you, I'd carry as I always had in your apartment building, and not educated them. They may just put up the signage to keep some resident quiet, and don't need to be informed by anyone other than their own attorney that anything is amiss.
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Old August 25, 2014, 08:44 AM   #10
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Title 4 of Arizona statutes appears to only apply to 'Alcoholic Beverages', and the licensed establishments allowed to sell them:

http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp
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Old August 25, 2014, 05:14 PM   #11
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Sorry for missing the state on there. It is a privately owned complex with no way to contact the owners. The apartment manager is very anti gun, so I was unsure if it was posted to be harassment or if there was a conflict during the time I was gone. If it pertains only to liquor sales, than I have nothing to worry about. I don't go in the office ever.
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Old August 25, 2014, 05:17 PM   #12
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This is the sign that has been posted since my return.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (71.6 KB, 178 views)
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Old August 25, 2014, 05:27 PM   #13
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At least with that paper sign, the manager now knows they will never be robbed.... cause guns are banned....


Whew.......


Because criminals obey laws AND paper signs....
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Old August 25, 2014, 06:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeIsRunninOut View Post
The apartment manager is very anti gun, so I was unsure if it was posted to be harassment or if there was a conflict during the time I was gone.

Seems the mamager is very gun ignorant also. A quick Google of ARS 4-229 shows that many Arizona businesses are confused about it. BUT....I pulled this from the AZ-CDL website.......

Quote:
There is no direct statutory violation for walking past a "No Firearms" or "No weapons" sign in any other private establishment. HOWEVER, and this is important, a private property owner has the right to set whatever conditions of entry to their property that they wish. Any sign they post to that effect, including any variant of a "No weapons" sign, is considered a constructive notice of their intent, and will be so considered in a court of law. In short, if you ignore the sign, and you get caught, you can be charged with criminal trespass under ARS 13-1502, 1503, or 1504, with penalties ranging from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony.

Generally, if you're seen carrying in a private business that's posted, you'll be asked to leave, or possibly to secure your firearm in your vehicle, and if you comply, that will be the end of it. However, it doesn't have to go that way, it's strictly up to the property owner how they handle it. Typically, the larger and more obvious the sign you ignored, the more likely it is that a call to law enforcement will be the first option. And that also bears directly on the "I didn't see the sign" excuse holding up, both with the police and the judge. A tiny little sign down at the bottom of the door that you'd need a microscope to see will likely be excused. A great big banner over the door with a gunbuster logo (red circle/slash over a gun pic), typically repeated several times before you get three feet in the door, should have given you a clue that "I didn't see it" wasn't going to fly.
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Old August 25, 2014, 07:16 PM   #15
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They say no guns allowed pursuant to a law that forbids entry to licensed alcohol sellers. Do they have a liquor license? The manager probably got the sign from a friend who does own a booze shop, because it was free. So, without knowing what it is that he has, he posts it. I might march in the office and demand to know why the required posting for a comment period prior to a liquor or beer license acquisition was not posted...as they must obviously HAVE that license now, and suggest that legal issues might arise with the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control if they are now in the business of selling alcohol on premises, as suggested by this signage...Just a casual random evil thought.
Just stay out of the club house. They can't do squat to you in the property you rent, or the property you rent access to like the parking lots and such. The clubhouse could be argued that you are denied entry due to your status as a legal gun owner, and being barred access due to that status is discriminatory, especially since you PAY to have access to that area, and either the sign should be removed or a reduction in rent for all law abiding gun owners living there would be appropriate, to be compensated for being denied the use of said areas. I doubt you'd get any attorney to sign ON to that legal theory, but it sounds nice.
If they are ONLY restricting access to the office, and allow contact/rent payments by other means, then drop your check in the box and talk to them on the phone. When the lease is up - move.
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Old August 25, 2014, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeIsRunninOut View Post
This is the sign that has been posted since my return.
Unless they serve alcohol on the presmises, they have no idea what they are doing.

Assuming they do not have a liquor license, the open question is does the "pursuant to ARS 4-229" render the sign meaningless since ARS 4-229 does not apply to the situation (my opinion)?
Or does the overall message of the sign, nonsense/contradiction notwithstanding, constitute a "reasonable request" under ARS 13-1502 (third degree misdemeanor trespassing that does not even count as misconduct with guns).

Congrats on finding one of the few signs in AZ that is in color and the right size Is it on laminated card stock by any chance?
Quote:
4-229. Licenses; handguns; posting of notice

A. A person 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 constituting 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.
I usually find the sign non-compliant with (A)(2) or (E) but do my (F)(2) check anyway out of curiocity and have never found a second one posted next to the liquor license as required by (A)(1).

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Old August 25, 2014, 07:35 PM   #17
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Since this is an apartment office, and not an "on-site retailer" I'd say it's worthless. And I'd keep my yap shut about it so they don't post the proper signage. Just saying.
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Old August 25, 2014, 07:48 PM   #18
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeIsRunninOut
I came back to this sign after a week long vacation, "no firearms allowed" ars 4-229. Due to the nature of the business does this sign limit me from being able to carry while on the property? There was nothing in my lease agreement about not being able to carry or own firearms while being an active resident...
As others have noted, this sign on the door to the office for the apartment complex is applicable to retail establishments selling alcohol for consumption on premises. Whatever legal effect it might have, it's hard to see how it could in any way bar a resident or a resident's invitee from lawfully carrying a gun in the public or common areas of the complex or a resident's apartment. At the very best, it could apply only to carrying a gun in the office.

And even though it's a form of a "no guns" sign not really applicable to a business office, it probably will be given the effect of providing notice, for the purposes of Arizona's criminal trespass statutes that anyone carrying a gun into the office is trespassing and therefore subject to arrest. See for example ARS 13-1502 (emphasis added):
Quote:
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 4-229 "no guns" sign on private property is reasonable notice prohibiting entry by one carrying a gun. I don't think I'd be inclined to bet on an Arizona court saying that it is not reasonable notice. It might not be the most appropriate sign for some place other than a bar or restaurant, but it does pretty much tell you that whoever in on the other side of the door doesn't want guns inside.
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Old August 25, 2014, 07:54 PM   #19
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18 posts and no one has asked the most obvious question;

What does the O.P.'s apartment lease say?
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Old August 25, 2014, 08:00 PM   #20
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSA1
18 posts and no one has asked the most obvious question;

What does the O.P.'s apartment lease say?
That was covered in the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeIsRunninOut
...There was nothing in my lease agreement about not being able to carry or own firearms while being an active resident....
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Old August 25, 2014, 09:04 PM   #21
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In Ohio, (Not AZ, I'm Unsure) but a landlord can not prohibit a tenant from owning / keeping firearms.

Ohio is unfortunately typically not on the leading edge of anything firearms related so I would be surprised if Arizona does not have a similar provision.
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Old August 25, 2014, 11:59 PM   #22
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All I can find in AZ law is,
http://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/03102.htm
Quote:
13-3102. Misconduct involving weapons; defenses; classification; definitions

A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
...
2. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or concealed within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation if the person is under twenty-one years of age; or
...
B. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section shall not apply to:

1. A person in his dwelling, on his business premises or on real property owned or leased by that person or that person's parent, grandparent or legal guardian.
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Old Yesterday, 12:11 AM   #23
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There is this,
Quote:
33-1342. Rules and regulations
A. A landlord, from time to time, may adopt rules or regulations, however described, concerning the tenant's use and occupancy of the premises. Such rules or regulations are enforceable against the tenant only if:
1. Their purpose is to promote the convenience, safety or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord's property from abusive use or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally.
2. They are reasonably related to the purpose for which adopted.
3. They apply to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner.
4. They are sufficiently explicit in prohibition, direction or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform the tenant of what the tenant must or must not do to comply.
5. They are not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.
6. The tenant has notice of them at the time the tenant enters into the rental agreement.
B. A rule or regulation adopted after the tenant enters into the rental agreement is enforceable against the tenant if a thirty day notice of its adoption is given to the tenant and it does not constitute a substantial modification of the tenant's rental agreement.
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Old Yesterday, 12:14 AM   #24
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Other than that, I find nothing in AZ law save the Preemption law, but that applies to political subdivisions, not private companies. We need a real attorney here...egad...
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Old Yesterday, 12:26 AM   #25
Frank Ettin
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I've covered this before, but I'll repeat it.

Absent an applicable state statute or court decision, there would be no reason why a "no guns" clause would not be enforceable in a residential lease with a private (i. e., non-governmental) landlord. What can, and can not, be in a residential lease is usually heavily regulated by statute, but as far as I know only a few States (the ones I know are Minnesota, Ohio (if the tenant has a CHL) and Virginia) have laws that would prohibit a "no guns" clause. If you sign the lease with that clause in it, keep a gun on the premises and the landlord finds out, you will no doubt be evicted, and a court would almost certainly uphold an eviction.

And no, that would not be "unconstitutional" nor would it be [illegal] discrimination.
  1. Rights protected by the Constitution are essentially irrelevant when dealing with a non-governmental actor. As explained by the United States Supreme Court (Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Company, Inc, 500 U.S. 614 (U. S. Supreme Court, 1991), emphasis added):
    Quote:
    ....The Constitution structures the National Government, confines its actions, and, in regard to certain individual liberties and other specified matters, confines the actions of the States. With a few exceptions, such as the provisions of the Thirteenth Amendment, constitutional guarantees of individual liberty and equal protection do not apply to the actions of private entities. Tarkanian, supra, 488 U.S., at 191, 109 S.Ct., at 461; Flagg Bros, Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 156, 98 S.Ct. 1729, 1733, 56 L.Ed.2d 185 (1978). This fundamental limitation on the scope of constitutional guarantees "preserves an area of individual freedom by limiting the reach of federal law" and "avoids imposing on the State, its agencies or officials, responsibility for conduct for which they cannot fairly be blamed." Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 936-937, 102 S.Ct. 2744, 2753, 73 L.Ed.2d 482 (1982). One great object of the Constitution is to permit citizens to structure their private relations as they choose subject only to the constraints of statutory or decisional law. ....
  2. In general, discrimination is not illegal. You do it all the time. Every time you decide to shop in this store rather than that, you have discriminated. Every time you decide to buy this rather than that, you have discriminated.

  3. Businesses discriminate all the time too, and legally. Apple stores discriminate against people who want to buy a PC by only selling Apple computers. Many restaurant discriminate against Orthodox Jews or Muslims by not strictly following the dietary laws of those religions. Many restaurants also discriminate against persons not wearing shirts and/or shoes by not admitting them. Tiffany discriminates against poor people in the prices they charge. Businesses also discriminate whenever they hire one person instead of another who has applied for the job.

  4. Discrimination is merely choosing one thing over another or rejecting a possible choice. Discrimination is the very essence of freedom and private property. It is the right to choose. It is the right to exclude. It is the right to decide how you want to use your property.

  5. Discrimination is perfectly legal, unless some law makes it illegal. There are laws that make discrimination illegal on various, specifically identified and defined bases, illegal -- at least if you're a business open to the public or an employer or in some other specified category. In general, gun owners aren't a protected class.

  6. So in general a "no guns" clause in a residential lease is valid and enforceable unless state law prohibits such clauses in residential leases.
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