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Concealed where they have signs that say not to?

Discussion in 'Glockers of the Old Dominion' started by frank4570, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. frank4570

    frank4570

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    I tried reading the laws on this but I can't make any sense of it.
    I want to know what law,if any, is being broken if a person carries concealed in a private business which has a sign that says not to.
    The culpeper video club just put up one of those signs.
    If the penalty would be that they could ask me to leave, if they saw my concealed gun,....well, they could ask me to leave.
    I am still trying to find out why the sign went up in the first place, it is something about another video club store wanting somebody to leave and the police telling the business they had to have a sign for the police to be able to do anything.
     
  2. Gregw/aGlock

    Gregw/aGlock NRA Member

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    IANAL. That said, no laws are being broken if you carry in a posted business, unless they ask you to leave and you refuse. Then you could be charged with tresspassing. Personally, I try to avoid posted businesses, but if I must go in one, then I simply disregard the signs and keep the "concealed means concealed" attitude. If, by some remote chance, they find out and ask me to leave, I'll leave.
     

  3. John Fry

    John Fry

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    It's a class 1 misdemeanor or 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine. See Virginia1774
    Virginia1774
     
  4. frank4570

    frank4570

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    Uh oh, looks like you are right.

    "Code 18.2-119 provides that "f any person without authority goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, . . . after having been forbidden to do so by a sign or signs posted by [the owner] . . . , he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."

    If I remember correctly, a class 1 can also cause you to loose your permit.
     
  5. Soul Hunter

    Soul Hunter nous défions

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    and for a state that will tend to lock you up in you're driving too fast, you better be comfortable in your decision if you decide to venture into such an establishment. the manassas incident tells me that not all cops get it in VA.
     
  6. Truckee

    Truckee Aging Goat

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    DISCLAIMER: IANAL either, nor a judge. What I type here must be taken for what it's worth.

    However, I am within the 'system.'

    VA. Code 18.2-119 is written for situations of physical trespass. To include upon "Posted" property; post owner notification by oral, written or (POSTED) sign, and/or in violation of protective order or EPO etc.

    There are statues dealing with methods to "Post" property. I can find no statute that designates, denotes or describes 'no guns' signage... and that type of sign does not prohibit "physical trespass," which 18.2-119 deals with.

    I will not say that it would be "impossible" to find a liberal CA and a liberal judge that would try to use the Statute against you in the circumstance cited in this thread. But, I can confidently opine that a fair attorney would likely get such a charge stricken... even in front of a liberal bench. The courts know the intent of 18.2-119 as written and case law supports this opinion.

    A quick search did not reveal anyone being charged using 18.2-119 when carrying inside a 'forbidden zone.' Where Virginians cannot carry is specified by statute. Property owners can, to be sure, specify what goes on within their property... however, one has to be specifically notified.

    In all of the situations I know of, Gregw/aGlock has the scenario correct. I'm not in a 'liberal' part of the Commonwealth, but each of the officers that I know will not charge you... unless you remain on premises after being advised to leave. Claim you saw no signs and you're not liable as such signs have no merit by Code of Virginia.
     
  7. vafish

    vafish

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    I think it's a class 1 misdemeanor for the first offense and a class 6 felony for the 2nd.

    If you read § 18.2-308. it says:

    Then way down below in section O it says:

    The way I understand it is if Section O does not authorize you to carry where a private property owner prohibits it, then your permit is not valid and you can be charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

    Of course I am not a lawyer, your mileage may vary, and this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.
     
  8. golai

    golai

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    Perhaps the easy answer is that the trespass statute requires a person to remain on a property after being "forbidden to do so." The signs that I have seen simply say "no CCW" and not "no person carrying CCW."

    I have spoken to two assistant commonwealths' attorneys in Northern Virginia and both have told me that you can only be charged with trespassing by a business that posts no CCW after being specifically asked to leave and the signs do not have any effect.

    Don't take this as legal advice.
     
  9. vafish

    vafish

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    Golai,


    The big question for those 2 attorney's is "Is there any case law that supports your opinion?"

    When I asked my attorney about carrying in a US Post Office in Va he said that he had researched it and felt that it was legal, but that there was no case law that had been taken to the appelate level in VA and until there was it really didn't matter because you could be arrested and become the test case, oh and he was more than willing to defend me at $200 per hour* if I was arrested for carrying in a post office.



    * I think that was his fee, but it might have been even $300 per hour
     
  10. golai

    golai

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    Vafish,

    The Post Office stands on entirely different grounds (pun intended) because it is federal property and the federal law banning the carrying of weapons on federal property would pre-empt state law. (Let me add that it is not necessarily all that clear whether the Post Office can ban the carrying of weapons).

    In terms of the no CCW signs in regular establishments, I did a little research which I ask that no one take as legal advice. In doing the research on the trespass statute it does not appear that the appellate courts have really addressed the issue of exactly what after "being forbidden to do so" means. It seems like the Courts take this as easily decided in the particular casee. I do think that logically it applies to persons and not items the persons might be carrying. If the signs said "no persons with concealed weapons (regardless of whether they have CCW permits)" I would think it might be, but maybe not, a different issue. Keep in mind that it is clear that once a place of business asks you to leave, you must comply or else you will be charged with trespassing.

    In any event, I volunteer you to be our test case. Either that or have an elected official request an opinion from the Virginia Attorney General. The opinion is not binding on a Court, but persuasive.
     
  11. vafish

    vafish

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    Sure, just start sending the checks for my legal defense fund. When I think I have enough money saved up I'll push the issue and get arrested. :)
     
  12. cs133atom

    cs133atom

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    In Virginia, if you are a valid CHP holder and you carry on private party where the owner says NO; you can only be charged with trespass not a firearms violation. Section "A" of the code defines a concealed weapon and does not apply to CHP holders.

    Thanks,

    C
     
  13. golai

    golai

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    Yes, but it is the trespassing charge we're worried about.
     
  14. vafish

    vafish

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    How do you explain section O?

    O. The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property.

    The way I read that your Concealed Handgun Permit is no longer valid if the private property owner prohibits carry on their property. If that's correct, it looks to me like you also could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Not only that you could be charged even if they don't ask you to leave.
     
  15. golai

    golai

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    I think the best interpretation of section O is only that it does not create a right to CCW on someone's private property, but that it does not invalidate the CCW. Simply put, it means that you cannot say to the private property owner, you can't kick me out because of my CCW because I have a permit.
     
  16. cs133atom

    cs133atom

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    Sorry for the delay in replying; as stated carrying on private property when prohibited by the owner of the property, or where posted as prohibited. Violation is a trespass charge and not a firearms violation. There is a ton of case law on this subject in the VA law books. Most of the time the trespass charge is dismissed as well as the property owner does not wish to press the issue.
     
  17. Gregw/aGlock

    Gregw/aGlock NRA Member

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    How is "private property" defined? I wouldn't consider a shopping mall as "private property" as it is a public place. So, how do I handle signs at malls? Concealed=concealed. Someone's house is another story.
     
  18. golai

    golai

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    The trespass statute doesn't speak in terms of "private property." It merely requires the owner, lessesee, custodian or other personal lawfully in charge of the property to forbid a person from coming on or remaining on the property. Here is the trespass statute:

    § 18.2-119. Trespass after having been forbidden to do so; penalties.

    If any person without authority of law goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing, by the owner, lessee, custodian or other person lawfully in charge thereof, or after having been forbidden to do so by a sign or signs posted by such persons or by the holder of any easement or other right-of-way authorized by the instrument creating such interest to post such signs on such lands, structures, premises or portion or area thereof at a place or places where it or they may be reasonably seen, or if any person, whether he is the owner, tenant or otherwise entitled to the use of such land, building or premises, goes upon, or remains upon such land, building or premises after having been prohibited from doing so by a court of competent jurisdiction by an order issued pursuant to §§ 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-278.2 through 16.1-278.6, 16.1-278.8, 16.1-278.14, 16.1-278.15, 16.1-279.1, 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9 or § 19.2-152.10 or an ex parte order issued pursuant to § 20-103, and after having been served with such order, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This section shall not be construed to affect in any way the provisions of §§ 18.2-132 through 18.2-136.
     
  19. frank4570

    frank4570

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    Ok, wait a minute. Does this mean that you can't be charged with a class 1 untill somebody has told you specifically to get out?
     
  20. John Fry

    John Fry

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    In order to have the privilege to carry a concealed weapon, you must abide by its terms under 18.2-308 (O). If you go where the permit says you can't, then your permit is invalid and it is as if you didn't have a permit to carry concealed and will be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. It has nothing to do with trespass under 18.2-308 (O). In fact, you could be charged with both carrying a concealed weapon and trespass. If you were to open carry in a place that had a no firearms sign, the worst that could happen is a trespass charge.