Is it illegal?

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fljohn
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Is it illegal?

Post by fljohn » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:58 pm

is it illegal to CCW into a bank if you have a permit? thanks for you reply.

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tector
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Post by tector » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:53 am

A bank is not a problem, unless they have posted no firearms. Then that would be a trespass, just like any other posted place.

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Post by fljohn » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:39 am

tector wrote:A bank is not a problem, unless they have posted no firearms. Then that would be a trespass, just like any other posted place.
Thanks Tector. THats what i though but wanted to make sure.

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CallMeLTC
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Post by CallMeLTC » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:02 am

tector wrote:A bank is not a problem, unless they have posted no firearms. Then that would be a trespass, just like any other posted place.
To my understanding, it's only trespass once you're asked to leave and refuse.

If a store has a sign up that says no food or drinks, and I cruise in with a slurpee, am I trespassing before they ask me to leave?

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Post by Mighty Hd » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:28 am

tector wrote:A bank is not a problem, unless they have posted no firearms. Then that would be a trespass, just like any other posted place.
Incorrect

No firearms signs in Florida mean absolutely nothing.

They can only ask you to leave, then you must. If you do not then bad things can happen if LEO gets involved.

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mjmensale
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Post by mjmensale » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:31 am

tector wrote:A bank is not a problem, unless they have posted no firearms. Then that would be a trespass, just like any other posted place.
"No Firearms" signs carry no legal weight in Florida except in government buildings. You are trespassing only if you are asked to leave and refuse.

And if you're carrying concealed why would they know it?

Moe
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Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you. John Steinbeck

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tector
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Post by tector » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:32 pm

mjmensale wrote:
tector wrote:A bank is not a problem, unless they have posted no firearms. Then that would be a trespass, just like any other posted place.
"No Firearms" signs carry no legal weight in Florida except in government buildings. You are trespassing only if you are asked to leave and refuse.

And if you're carrying concealed why would they know it?

Moe
Well, I only have the 2004 edition of Gutmacher's book, but at the time he plainly stated (Ch. 7, p. 108-9) that this was his PERSONAL OPINION of how things should work (that is, he, like you, thinks you have to be asked PERSONALLY to leave). He explicitly said there were no FL cases on point at the time. Is there a new statute or court decision since then?

If not, I'll leave it to you to have the honor and glory (and expense) of litigating the issue up to Florida Supreme Court. Absent a subsequent change in the law, I can certainly imagine a court saying "Hey, dumbass--that was what that sign served to do: they were telling you to leave if you had a gun. You were asked and didn't leave, so your heiney is in a sling now." Would it really surprise you if a court took this position? (Not saying they should, but we have to be realistic about what courts do every day.)

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mjmensale
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Post by mjmensale » Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:04 am

That was (and is) Gutmacher's opinion because there is no state statute explicitly dealing with those signs.

There are, however, statutes dealing with trespassing, whether that is done through verbal or graphic means.

Moe
America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. Claire Wolfe

Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you. John Steinbeck

If you try to take our firearms, we will kill you. Mike Vanderboegh

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Post by rideonthis » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:56 pm

mjmensale wrote:That was (and is) Gutmacher's opinion because there is no state statute explicitly dealing with those signs.

There are, however, statutes dealing with trespassing, whether that is done through verbal or graphic means.

Moe
and it wont be a simple trespassing, they tack on trespassing with firearm. to my knowledge
A2 FOREVER
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tector
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Post by tector » Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:48 pm

Like I said, be my guest in taking the 3 or more years, and $100k+, to litigate State v. Mjmensale up to the Florida Supreme Court. We'll be rooting for you!

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mjmensale
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Post by mjmensale » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:52 am

I don't know what your problem is, tector. I'm not violating any statutes. IF I am asked to leave, I leave. BTW, if I'm concealed, then no one should know, should they?

The question was whether it illegal. It's not. I don't have any problem here.

Moe
America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. Claire Wolfe

Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you. John Steinbeck

If you try to take our firearms, we will kill you. Mike Vanderboegh

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Post by glockpacker » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:59 am

As I've said before here, I moved a big chunk of change out of BB&T because they put signs up, and I wrote lots of letters to them. I even got a call from their "South Florida President" asking me to stay.

So I don't go into BB&T any more, and Wachovia put up little tiny signs, so I won't go in there either.

I figure if they put up a sign, the grass is greener elsewhere.
Eric
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(Stolen from Moe without permission... because it's true) Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you. John Steinbeck

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Post by rob_s » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:40 am

I'll take the fact that there is not case law to date regarding this, at least none that the posters here can point to, as evidence that you're not going to be arrested, you're not gong to be charged with anything, and you're (at most) simply going to be asked to leave.

In all the years that Florida has been a shall-issue state, do you really think that, if it were a criminal offense to carry into a business with a "no guns" sign, nobody would have been arrested, charged, or convicted? And that the host of firearms internet geeks wouldn't have found out about it and posted it all over the various forums?

I'll happily take the Pepsi challenge and carry wherever I believe it to be legal.
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tector
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Post by tector » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:49 am

mjmensale wrote:I don't know what your problem is, tector. I'm not violating any statutes. IF I am asked to leave, I leave. BTW, if I'm concealed, then no one should know, should they?

The question was whether it illegal. It's not. I don't have any problem here.

Moe
Well, my only "problem", as you put it, is that I've noted that your interpretation of the law is just that, yours. There is nothing wrong with that interpretation, IMO, except for the fact that you are not a judge. I hope you are right. But if you are going to give people advice around here based on your own opinion, but you should at least note that fact IF that advice could put them in legal jeopardy. It is one thing to bet your own butt and money on how a cop and court would react, it is quite another to advice others to make the same bet unknowingly.

The bottom line is this: there is NO court decision resolving this issue. You and Gutmacher think it would probably be resolved one way. And if I were a betting man, which I am, I'd bet your side prevails. I'd put up maybe $100 on the issue. But I am not inclined to bet an unknown amount of jail time and a LOT of money on the issue, not with the cops and courts I've seen. And somebody else might like the full airing of the issue so they can make their own informed decision.

If that constitutes a "problem", then I don't really understand why we even bother to have this forum.

As for me, if someplace has a sign that says "don't carry here", I am not carrying there (in fact, I am likely not going there if I can avoid it, such as in in Glockpacker's example). Happens all the time at the post office. Somehow I manage.

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tector
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Post by tector » Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:33 am

rob_s wrote:
In all the years that Florida has been a shall-issue state, do you really think that, if it were a criminal offense to carry into a business with a "no guns" sign, nobody would have been arrested, charged, or convicted? And that the host of firearms internet geeks wouldn't have found out about it and posted it all over the various forums?

I'll happily take the Pepsi challenge and carry wherever I believe it to be legal.

Well, I'll never said you shouldn't carry where you believe it is legal. That is your action based on your opinion, and only you are at risk for it. Fine with me. It would be quite a different thing to fob off your opinion as fact, however. Presumably Gutmacher had a reason for disclaiming his opinion as just that, "his opinion". It means there might be countervailing opinions. That could be a problem if the opinionholder is your judge. You live in Broward County. Do you think there might be some of those on the bench around here? Have you been following the antics of our local judiciary of late?

As to your first point, taking the absence of legal precedent as proof of anything is a fool's game. The number of unresolved legal issues is astounding. If you read Gutmacher's book, you repeatedly encounter issues where he says the issue is undecided by the courts. If you are going to bet that this means "no liability" in every case, you must believe you have a guardian angel on your shoulder, so I am not sure why you need to carry anyway.

First, in most cases, you are not going to be found out as carrying where a sign asks you not to. Then, in those cases where you are found out, in most of THOSE cases, the business is not going to escalate the issue if you leave. Even Moe agrees with leaving at this point, so in MOST cases the cops won't even have a chance get involved.

But let's assume you are in the minority of cases where the business owner freaks out, and thinks his business is going to turn into the next Luby's and decides to call the cops, because he's too afraid to even confront you. What happens?

The cops come. Are they down to earth, in which case they just ask you to leave, and, unless you are nuts, you do just that? Or are they PITA cops you sometimes run into? If they are, you may be going to jail. You can bail easily enough, but then it will be up to your local prosecutor what do do next. If you have a brain, you now will spend many thousands of dollars on a retainer for an attorney to deal with the prosecutor. Hopefully he will see things your way. If not, what happens then?

The VAST number of cases get plea-bargained here, meaning they never get to a court. You and I and Gutmacher never hear of them, and they have no value as precedent. But let's assume that doesn't happen, then what happens?

You get to play the same hoping game with your judge. The jury is not going to do you much good, since they don't decide the law, just the facts, so unless you can create some real doubts there ("I didn't see the sign!"), it is just you and the judge. And let's say you lose (ouch). The judge might cut you a break on sentencing, so you so you don't appeal. But let's say he doesn't. Then what happens?

The vast number of criminal cases do not generate any published opinions. No one knows of them except the participants. All those law books you see in a legal office or law library are almost all published APPELLATE decisions. You want to make law? You have to appeal.

But let's say the judge doesn't cut you a break on sentencing and you appeal. Then what happens?

Assuming you are out on bail pending appeal, you write more very big checks to lawyers. And however your appeal goes, we HOPE your court writes an opinion. Many times they don't. They can just affirm with little or no comment. And if they do that, then you get to your last stop, the Florida Supreme Court, where a decision will very likely produce a written opinion, one way or the other.

Do you now see how very unlikely it is that any given case will generate a written opinion that can be relied upon? The fact that this issue is still unresolved means nothing.

The number of "no carry" business is tiny down here. Other than the post office (which has a clear federal law to back it up, no issue there) and Fed Ex, I can't think of a "no carry" business I ever encounter, other than some gun shops. If you want to keep open the option of making law with our local cops and BSO, and our esteemed judges, more power to you--keep carrying wherever your opinion guides you. I'll be rooting for you all the way. To me, it just is not that big deal. If I know that some business doesn't want me in their shop with my gun, I am not going. We'll both be happier for it. No big deal.

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Post by HotShot308 » Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:49 am

tector wrote:<snip> Happens all the time at the post office. Somehow I manage.
Oops, somebody brought up the post office again... another one of those places where the area is grey, but if the law is strictly interpreted it would seem CCW is legal if you have a CWL...

Here's some background on this from our very own Moe on the issue...
mjmensale wrote:Sarhog MAY be right in his assumption that it is legal to carry in the Post Office. :eek

THIS is the poster that is in the Post Office, usually out of sight. Notice in subsection "a" that it refers to exceptions listed in subsection "d"? Except that subsection "d" is NOWHERE to be found on the poster! #-o

So is it legal to carry in the Post Office? A reading of the USC would seem to indicate yes. If all I'm there for is to conduct legitimate business and not to rob the place, what is the problem? :-k This is one of those cloudy issues that has not gone to trial yet.

This is what 18 USC § 930 actually says and what you need to be aware of. It also explains where this poster is supposed to be displayed.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html ... -000-.html
18 USC § 930

Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities


(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(b) Whoever, with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(c) A person who kills any person in the course of a violation of subsection (a) or (b), or in the course of an attack on a Federal facility involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be punished as provided in sections 1111, 1112, 1113, and 1117.

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
- (1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
- (2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
- (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.

(e)
- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm in a Federal court facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
- (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to conduct which is described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (d).

(f) Nothing in this section limits the power of a court of the United States to punish for contempt or to promulgate rules or orders regulating, restricting, or prohibiting the possession of weapons within any building housing such court or any of its proceedings, or upon any grounds appurtenant to such building.

(g) As used in this section:
- (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
- (2) The term “dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 21/2 inches in length.
- (3) The term “Federal court facility” means the courtroom, judges’ chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States.

(h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.
This quote is from this thread....Carry in Banks

The other funny part... I have never seen a Post Office post this sign properly, at the entrance. It's always somewhere inside, or if you have to go through the area where the boxes are and go through another door to get to the section where the clerks are, it's near that door. And the law states they can't charge you if the sign is not posted properly. =D>
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tector
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Post by tector » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:02 am

I think the willingness to engage the legal system here is in direct proportion to the lack of actual engagement with the legal system to date. Bismark once famously said (in a slightly different context) that "no man should see how laws or sausages are made." That goes double for making law in the courts.

There are arguments you come up with when are already in a jam (when you've got nothing to lose), then there is just avoiding the jam to begin with (when you still have plenty to lose). Try to keep that distinction in mind.

Good luck to all you armchair lawyers!

Carry on (so to be speak :smile )

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TC
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Post by TC » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:24 am

tector wrote:The number of "no carry" business is tiny down here. Other than the post office (which has a clear federal law to back it up, no issue there)
You think post offices are covered by a clear federal law? :eek

I believe (based on analysis by attorneys) that it was illegal to carry in a post office in Texas when I lived there, but ONLY due to the way state and federal law interacted. Under the old law (note: the actual law, not what the sign selectively quoted) you would have been legal under as long as you weren't breaking any other laws. Except that the required sign conformed to Texas' requirements for a "no guns" sign that does have force of law in that state, so that you'd be breaking TX law... and since you were breaking the law while carrying, you were breaking federal law!

By the same analysis of the federal law, in FL it would have depended on the very issue you say is unclear!

Recently the federal code was revised and it's unclear what impact the revision has. It may no longer be legal. That is one I don't plan to test. But "clear law", ha!

(Guttmacher doesn't really address this. He simply notes as an aside it's illegal with no analysis. I don't know if he just never investigated and assumed it was illegal, or maybe he had an analysis in previous editions and now thinks since the revision it's flatly illegal, or what...)

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Post by fljohn » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:29 am

a post office is a government building correct?

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tector
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Post by tector » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:57 am

TC, I think the post office ban clearly violates the Second Amendment, so I don't even have to get to "your" issue. And it doesn't even require that the Supreme Court "incorporate" the Second Amendment against the states through the 14th Amendment (which they would have to do to strike down state laws, if they ever finally find the Second Amendment to be an individual right).

But, despite my opinion, I am not carrying in a post office, and, apparently, neither are you, despite YOUR opinion. My "problem" is with telling people "you can carry there" when it is not clear you can, which is what went on previously in this thread. Those who are going to put their neck in the noose should do so in an informed manner, not based upon what are only undisclosed "opinions" dressed up as fact.

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