Gun free zone (courtesy breitbart.com)

By Andrew Crisologo and Dr. John Eden

Tennessee Senator Dolores Gresham recently introduced Senate Bill 1736 which would establish that “if the person or entity posts to prohibit the possession of firearms on the property, the posting entity, for purposes of liability, assumes custodial responsibility for the security and defense of any concealed handgun permit holder harmed while on the posted property.” This is not a new concept . . .

Arizona has had several bills introduced since 2002. The Defenseless Victim Act of 2002 (HB 2456) was the first. Subsequent bills in Arizona (HB 2320), Georgia (HB 31), Kansas (HB 2353) and Illinois (SB 0048) have not yet made it into law. However, under Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Act, property owners are immune to liability if they allow concealed carry on their properties. They lose immunity if they post gun free zone signs.

Is this the new front in the fight to eliminate so called “gun free zone” (GFZ)? As things stand now, there is no liability risk in most states for establishing a GFZ. Concealed carry license holders are disarmed and those who disarm them need to do nothing to ensure the security of those on their property.

It is a fantasy to believe that signs protect people in a GFZ from someone who is determined to cause harm. We know that GFZs are “hunting preserves for psychopathic murders” [ed: a term coined by Massad Ayoob] and have been the location of nearly every mass homicide, except for two, in the concealed carry era. Therefore, it is quite predictable that the next mass murder will occur in a GFZ.

Alan Korwin makes the argument for holding liable those who create gun free zones: “If you create a gun-free zone, you’re liable for any harm it causes.” He summarizes the fraudulent arguments of the anti-rights activists and their mythology. They believe that:

  1. Self-defense should be illegal.
  2. Guns should be confiscated.
  3. No one but “authorities” should have guns.
  4. Government can take care of you better than you can.

The anti-self-defense lobby tells you to rely on the police for your safety. The police have no legal duty to protect you and they routinely respond only after an event to pick up the pieces. When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

The notion that GFZs are safe is fraud perpetrated on the public because:

  1. Only innocent victims like you and me are affected.
  2. No alternate form of security is provided.
  3. Privately held firearms have been repeatedly shown to deter and prevent crime in one scholarly study after another.

At the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference Dr. Edeen asked, “What strategy can we have to hold the owners of gun free zones accountable when they disarm us and then something bad happens?” Alan Gottleib, founder and Executive Vice-President of the sponsoring Second Amendment Foundation, suggested a legislative strategy that would put teeth into laws about GFZs: that if you establish a GFZ, you are held liable.

This would allow those who are damaged by GFZs to seek damages. (Video of this exchange can be seen on YouTube.) It would then become a liability to own a gun free zone. If a business posts a GFZ, it assumes the responsibility of defending the private citizen. Should citizens decide not to carry means for self-protection, that is their decision. When a business makes this decision for them, it should become responsible for the safety of all patrons.

Alan Korwin then told the audience about the two bills mentioned above which were previously put forward in the Arizona legislature. He also reminded us that the right to bear arms is an enumerated civil right and that 18 USC Sections 241 and 242 makes it a Federal crime either to conspire to deprive someone of a constitutionally protected right (241) or for a person to act under color of law to deprive someone of his or her rights or privileges protected under the Constitution (242).

He also implored us to make the public aware that these “make-believe gun free zones” do nothing but protect the criminal. If a criminal has decided to commit a crime, why would they be stopped by a GFZ sign when they are already breaking the law? After the jihadist attacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Congress removed military bases from the list of federal GFZs because they recognized them as dangerous to our military. Civilians are also in danger in GFZs.

The only way we will be rid of these “victim disarmament zones” is when businesses and corporations recognize that their liability is greater if they perpetuate the myth that GFZs are safe and continue to employ them.

Buckeye Firearms Association advises Ohio businesses and employers that when they post discriminatory signs banning Concealed Handgun License holders, they may incur liability should customers be attacked while at their facilities or in their parking lots. They may incur duty of care and responsibility to protect customers while they are on their property.

Some argue that it is the business’s freedom to decide whether firearms are allowed or not on their property. To paraphrase John B. Finch about fists and noses, a business’s freedom to make decisions ends where my right of self-defense begins.

We need to make the public aware of the dangers of these fraudulent gun free zones. An educated populace can pressure their elected representatives at the state and federal level to pass legislation that will make these “killing spree zones” as extinct as those well-intentioned, but flawed laws should become.

(This article was republished with permission from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership)

——–

Dr. Crisologo

—Andrew Crisologo, DPM is a resident in podiatric surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He seeks to be a resident voice to promote and educate others about the Second Amendment and its relation to the medical field.

 

erdeen—Dr. John Edeen is a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon in San Antonio, TX and is active in seeking the right to carry for qualified hospital staff.

 

121 Responses to Gun Free Zones: Who is Liable?

  1. As pro gun as I am I also think we need to be weary of intruding on property rights. In the long run, it’s the right to property that will prevent any kind of confiscation.

    • There is a difference between private and public property, e.g., your home and your widget store. I agree that you should have control over who and what may be allowed into your home, but if you are operating a public facility – inviting the public in for example to sell widgets or food, different rules apply, and I think this is appropriate. You can’t for example post a sign that says ‘no black people’. If you are going to demand people give up their right to self defense, then it certainly seems logical that you should take that responsibility on yourself.

      This might cause a lot of business owners to actually think a little more about the meaning of the second amendment, that is certain!

      • I disagree. Private property is private.

        Just because you allow the general public access to your property does not make it public. Taxpayers didn’t purchase my facilities nor pay my bills for me. If I don’t want a certain behavior in my facility, then that’s the law for that space. Don’t like it? Go elsewhere.

        You have the choice to respect my rules, or leave. Your opinion means little to me. If a rule of mine makes business dwindle, I will consider changing it.

        That’s how voluntary interaction works. Forced servitude and access is tantamount to slavery.

        • You don’t give up liability with private property. If your stairs are rotted out and someone walks up them and falls through and seriously injures themselves, you’re liable.

          This bill is no different. You certainly have the right to ban firearms, but if you’re going to make a rule like that and it goes wrong, why shouldn’t you be liable?

          If you don’t like being liable A) Don’t invite anyone on your property, or B) Don’t render them defenseless.

        • Yea I like the completely free market also, but here in the real world we have to understand that it’s just an idea, does not exist and will never exist.

          I think the idea that the second amendment exists in public, always, makes a lot of sense.

        • Except, a gun free zone is not inherently dangerous. It, in itself, poses no threat. That’s entirely different from rotted out stairs.

          A private property owner inviting the public to visit is only rightly responsible for the public for foreseeable risks related to the operation of their business. Rotted stairs, wet floors, faulty wiring all count. Unpredictable criminal activity committed by third parties is out of bounds.

          People only want this because they’re using threat of deadly force (that’s what laws backed by men with guns are, after all) to obtain what they could not through mutual, fraud-free exchange. It’s unjust enrichment and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Just because it’s for a good cause doesn’t make theft by force any less reprehensible.

        • Cloudbuster, your analogy is, legally speaking, inapt. The property owner has control over conditions on the property, and is bound to keep his property in a safe condition, at least with respect to conditions that are known or could be known with a reasonable inspection. A criminal who comes on the property is not a condition of the property and, obviously, is not a condition under the ownership, possession or control of the property owner. Let’s take an example. Your daughter comes to my house for a sleepover with my daughter. If she falls through the stairs because they are rotted, and I knew or should have known they were rotted, I am liable. But if a man breaks in and kidnaps her, should I as a landowner be liable to you for the kidnapping of your daughter?

          As to the stairs, I am liable because I was negligent. As to the latter, I am not negligent at all, yet this bill would impose liability without fault simply because I prohibited guns on my property. How is this fair?

        • “Jonathan – Houston says:
          February 2, 2016 at 16:11

          Except, a gun free zone is not inherently dangerous”

          That is, until it is dangerous. The 2a is not there for ‘inherently dangerous’ places last I checked.

          “People only want this because they’re using threat of deadly force (that’s what laws backed by men with guns are, after all) to obtain what they could not through mutual, fraud-free exchange.”

          Enforcing the 2a in public is fraud? Isn’t that special!

        • ” Taxpayers didn’t purchase my facilities nor pay my bills for me” Nazzofast Guido, my custom, provided to you in payment for goods or services, damn sure is paying your bills for you. But no problemo, try to demand I be disarmed on your premises, you won’t be seeing me, or my coins.

        • “yet this bill would impose liability without fault simply because I prohibited guns on my property. How is this fair?”

          How is it not a fault when, assuming someone is hurt in a crime that they could have conceivably defended themselves – and you the property owner restricted that right?

          This is exactly the point of the second amendment, that you have the right.

          I do get the whole debate on public/private property question, but the point remains, why should you have the right to restrict a law abiding citizen from exercising his second amendment rights?

        • Would a property owner be liable for damages if they did not install sufficient lightning protection (such as a lightning rod) and the building were struck by lightning and the ensuing fire caused injuries/deaths? This more closely resembles the GFZ thing, at least by the criteria laid out here. The incident is unpredictable and uncontrollable (on the business owner’s part), and a single decision on their part can reduce the inherent danger involved. Neither is foolproof either; just as an armed citizen can fail to defend himself, so can a lightning rod fail to operate successfully. The only obvious difference is that a good lightning rod is a very significant expense, while not imposing a GFZ is free.

        • But if a man breaks in and kidnaps her, should I as a landowner be liable to you for the kidnapping of your daughter?

          I dunno. Did you put a sign on the door that said “Attention kidnappers: Defenseless teenage girls inside?”

        • Jonathan wrote:
          “Unpredictable criminal activity committed by third parties is out of bounds.”

          But it’s not unpredictable. Banks have armed guards because people Rob banks because that’s where the money is.

          Businesses can buy inventory theft insurance because a certain fraction of the inventory can be predicted to be shoplifted.

          And we certainly can predict that gun-free zones will be the sites for more mass shootings than non-GF zones, for reasons covered here and elsewhere.

          A single mass shooting, bank robbery, or shoplifting incedent is random in that that single event is not predictable as to the day and time. But statistics can and do provide the probabilities of such events. Therefore they are foreseeable, if not in detail then in aggregate.

        • Property rights both private and public are very important to me. Allowing a gay couple to sue a cake maker out of business was wrong, but it seems public opinion and the law says otherwise.
          Using that as an example no business open to the public has the right to deny me my enumerated rights. If gov can force you to perform labor for someone you don’t like then gov can say you will allow me with my gun or be liable if something happens.
          I don’t agree with either example really. Since I carry concealed I routinely ignore no guns allowed signs. At least I assume I do since I don’t look for signs or go out of my way to find out if guns are banned.
          A business can’t put up a sign that says no blacks, gays, or whatever allowed. That violates civil rights. Well so does a no guns sign.

        • I’m torn on this issue because because property rights should be absolute, the reality is that are not. Businesses must have fire doors and fire extinguishers. They have to have wheel chair ramps and handicap parking. Movie theaters cannot jam cell phones. You can’t choose for whom you bake a cake or who to photograph. This is the world we live in and gun owners have to lobby to pass laws to protect the right to self defense or the Statists will strip it away inch my inch by leaning on businesses to post the gun free signs.

          Also while mass murders are rare we know that the perpetrators ARE targeting GFZs. The creators of the GFZs SHOULD bear the liability if they create the unsafe environment. It’s like a beach resort throwing food waste into the water and wondering why the sharks attack their swimmers more often than those at other resorts who don’t chum the waters. All while having a sign proudly proclaiming, “Shark Free!”

          If businesses want to falsely advertise as being GFZs without active methods to restrict guns they should bear the liability of increasing the risk to their patrons. Laws making them liable will incentivize them to hire armed security/do searches to become an actual GFZ or forget the stupid ineffective signs and let the public protect themselves.

      • Private property doesn’t become a public anything just because trading is occurring there. Title II of the ’64 Civil Rights act is unethical.

      • “You can’t for example post a sign that says ‘no black people’”.

        Exactly, posting a “Gun Free Zone” sign is just as negatively discriminatory to lawful gun owners as the other sign would be to black people.

        GFZ’s do not protect against direct criminal activity.

        The only justifications for them can be:

        1) the idea that someone carrying a gun would “go off” in an altercation
        2) that they would have an ND while in the store.

        The first is negatively discriminatory, presuming that gun owners are unstable or predisposed to rash behavior. Sounds like the kind of stereotyping/discrimination we are all supposed to avoid.

        For the second you could only rely on statistics proving that it’s unlikely, or maybe only allowing Israeli Carry zones. Loaded Chamber Free Zones? Good luck enforcing that.

        • “Discrimination” is not per se unlawful. I am not committing an illegal act because I discriminate between brown bread and white bread, or pink instead of blue. The only discrimination that is unlawful under the statutes is that perpetrated against members of a protected class. Protected classes are those which have suffered invidious discrimination because of status, e.g., age, sex, national origin, religion, race and most recently sexual persuasion.

          There is a difference between discrimination and violation of civil rights. A violation of the Second Amendment would be of the latter variety, just as failure to Mirandize, unlawful searches and seizures, violation of First Amendment rights, etc. The distinction is critical. Discrimination can be prosecuted against individuals and companies as well as the government; civil rights violations can be prosecuted against ONLY the government and its agents (i.e. local public entities other than the states, which are not subject to suit under the Civil Rights Act).

          Under current law, you cannot sue a private individual or business for violating your civil rights. And quite frankly, there are abundant reasons to not extend liability to individuals, the primary one being that your constitutional rights are a guarantee against the government, not private individuals.

        • “And quite frankly, there are abundant reasons to not extend liability to individuals, the primary one being that your constitutional rights are a guarantee against the government, not private individuals.”

          A valid point, but is it not the government that is responsible for setting the rules in place that define ‘place of public business’? Furthermore, assuming that a business retains the right to exclude a CCW – what right are they using to do this that trumps the 2a? Is this a constitutional right that they have? Finally, assuming the business can exclude such people, who will they call to enforce it? Will the business owner pull a gun or will they call…. the government?

    • Isn’t it reasonable to assume that if a property owner actively requires you to be disarmed on their property, that they should take some responsibility for your safety while you are their guest?

      • No. Is it unreasonable for a property owner to ban armed persons from his property who might do him or his family and guests harm? I think not. If you are a known entity, that’s one thing, but a stranger is another. Go back a couple of centuries, and disarming at your host’s door was the protocol, the same protocol that developed the two-handed toasting cup, since it precluded the guests from attacking their hosts. I don’t have to invite my enemy in except under conditions acceptable to me.

        • The “disarming at your hosts door” custom is a bad example. The custom was a two way street; the visitor had to disarm while the host had to guarantee the visitors safety from not only internal but also EXTERNAL attack.

      • The only way they can actively require you to be disarmed is to install metal detectors and guards who disarm people through force.
        I’m siding with property owners on this one. Unless you’re being forced to shop there, you shouldn’t be able to sue them for getting hurt by a 3rd party when you shop there. And anyone who says that these signs infringe on the 2nd amendment can only argue thus when the sign carries rule of law (and even then, arguably, only when the law is nationwide).

  2. After the shooter’s responsibility is considered, it is your own fault for going where you can’t carry (unless we are talking about court, airport or something like that.) Private property owners should be able to ban just about anything they wish.

    • … and they should be held liable for the results… If your policy causes me to get injured, you are liable for the results. So sorry, voluntary business transactions do not wave liability.

      • It is their property – you don’t have to go there and you don’t have a right to go there without their permission.

        • Is it really “private property” if it’s zoned “commercial”? And for that matter, what other Bill of Rights recognized rights are at the mercy of a property owner’s discretion?
          I guess they can kick you out for expressing your 1A rights, but say you live in an apartment; does the 3A no longer apply?
          Am I allowed to be unreasonably searched and my property seized because I was at a grocery store, instead of my home? I don’t recall being patted down and my car searched every time I go to a commercial setting, but often I have to leave my gun in the car.

        • Evan: ALL constitutional rights are at the mercy of a private property possessor/owner. Your rights are vis-a-vis the government, not vis-a-vis anyone else. If I tell you to STFU I have not violated your First Amendment free speech rights, because I can’t, since I am not a government or a government actor. If I search your person and property when you enter my property, even without cause (just like Disney Land does) I have not violated your fifth Amendment rights. If I tell you you can’t pray at my dinner table becasue I am of a different religion, I have not violated your first Amendment rights. If I tell you you can’t come into my home because you are black/brown/foreign/Muslim/Jewish, I have not unlawfully discriminated against you because my home is not a place of public accommodation.

          In short, as between you and me YOU HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

  3. If your business is open to the public then the rights of the people are to be upheld. You can’t infringe on my right to free speech when I enter your store by gagging me so the rkba should not be infringed.

    • The ‘rights of the people’ are to be free from government restrictions on free speech, NOT private businesses.

      A business may not physically muzzle you but they may kick your happy ass out of their property if they don’t like your speech. They may not do so because of your race, gender, etc but that is not a constitutional issue, it is based on law.

      • Bingo. Your civil rights are only guaranteed as against interference or violations by public entities, not private ones.

  4. Easy way around this. Store posts a sign something like:

    “We prefer that you not carry weapons while in this establishment. If you are carrying, please make sure it is sufficiently concealed to prevent us becoming aware of it. If we become aware of you being armed we will ask you to leave. We’re not saying you can’t carry in here because that would be teetering on suppressing the civil rights of another but we really don’t like guns and don’t want to know if you have one.”

  5. I think that what this means is that test cases be tried across the country, and that they be well funded by pro-2A organizations. The theory is that the businesses, by banning firearms on their premises, have implicitly guaranteed the safety of their patrons. If you are therefore injured, you have a breach of that duty. It is the proximate cause of that injury, and, you are due damages as a result of this breach of duty. Maybe should start with more pro-2A states, since it is going to be a stretch, at least initially, showing that they have assumed the duty of protecting your safety.

    • A law suit won’t do it, only a statute. The current state of the law, with some exceptions, does not recognize a duty by private businesses protect anyone against illegal acts by third persons. Without a duty, the action fails. Private businesses are liable for conditions under their control, and criminals coming onto the property are not in any sense of the word under the control of the business owner.

      And this is even without considering the whole “but for” causation analysis, which you blithely assumed without discussion, unless we are to impose liability without causation. The plaintiff in a normal case would have to show that “but for” the sign that disarmed him/her, he/she would have been armed, and that by being armed the injury would have been prevented.

      Then you have the whole issue of proximate cause, . What if one of the victims is a child or prohibited person who cannot possess firearms? Or person who for personal reasons choose not to carry. Should these people, who would not have been carrying anyway, be allowed to sue the business simply because the owner posted a sign?

      It is either that, or require every business owner who does not want guns in his store to hire a private security guard, an expense that most small businesses simply cannot afford. It is for this reason, among others, the the California Supreme Court declined to impose a duty on business owners to protect against that illegal acts of third persons.

      • I think it can be and has been argued that you don’t need to carry a gun to be protected by CCW laws. The fact that there might be someone on the premise who is armed is a deterrent to criminals and makes everyone safer. Once the sign goes up, there is no longer anything left for a criminal to ponder, they know that anyone who is law abiding has disarmed (I’m assuming states where sign carries force of law) for fear of breaking the law. So the business has advertised that no one inside has the means to protect themselves, emboldening criminals. The question here is do people who enter have a reasonable right to believe that the posting of the sign ensures that the business has taken measures to ensure that it’s patrons follow it’s policies once they’ve entered? If the answer is yes (and many anti-gun groups believe the sign protects them), then are they negligent when they take no action to actually enforce their policy, have advertised that helpless targets exist within, and have now essentially allowed criminals to enter and perform violent crime assured there will be no ballistic resistance? I’m not so sure it’s as simple as a property rights situation. Of course, I’m no lawyer but I think it is something that can be argued.

        • JH,

          Tennessee is one of those few states were those signs do have the force of law behind them.

          Thanks
          Robert

  6. “a business’s freedom to make decisions ends where my right of self-defense begins.”

    BS. Don’t go in the business. That’s YOUR right. If you decide to go in there, it’s on you.

    • If you prevent me from defending myself and I get injured… That’s on YOU. It’s like saying that if your don’t like salmonella, don’t eat out. Actions have consequences.

      • No, those are not even remotely similar unless the business in question puts a nice sign outside their door telling you they are serving salmonella. Try again.

    • There’s the correct answer right there:
      Just last week I asked a restaurant owner here in Texas (who had not posted a 30.07 compliant sign but had a homemade one instead) where his armed security guard was. He looked as me in confusion for a moment so I then added that since he wished to prohibit me from defending myself and my family in his establishment as is my responsibility, I expected him to do so for me out of his own pocket. If he wished to keep my business I added, he needed to either respect my rights or hire an armed guard. Simple enough.

  7. Horrible idea. Great landing at the wrong airport.

    All this does is further thrust Individuals into the unloving arms of others; whether businesses, government or whomever. That’s opposite of and anathema to the virtue of personal responsibility at the core of firearms ownership.

    More than that, it erodes private property rights and freedom to contract. My property, my right to ban guns. Your body, your right either to accept or reject my policy.

    “If you create a gun-free zone, you’re liable for any harm it causes.” Wrong. A gun free zone never shot anyone. Ever. The cause of your GSW is that spree shooter or armed robber over there. Go seek remedy from him for his actions, not the sandwich shoppe owner. Don’t impose new and not-at-all-novel mandates on property owners for other people’s actions and for risks you assumed.

    • How far do we go with guests and/or patrons assuming risk? Does that mean a property owner has no liability no matter what happens to their guests? Thus a property owner can make a hole in their floor, cover it with a carpet, and have no liability when a guest steps onto the carpet and plummets into the hole?

      Look, I support property owners having EXTREMELY WIDE LATITUDE in managing and using their property as they see fit. That does not mean that a private property owner can grossly neglect the well being of guests on their property. How you expose your guests to peril and grossly neglect their well being doesn’t matter. Having a hidden hole in the floor exposes your guests to serious peril. And prohibiting your guests from defending themselves exposes your guests to serious peril.

      We cannot in good conscience, as good and decent people, condone private property owners exposing their guests to serious peril.

      • Utter nonsense. An owner can take corrective action to repair holes in his floor or other defective conditions, and liability in this circumstance is well recognized. It is a different matter entirely when a criminal comes onto the premises to rob the place. In the first scenario, the landowner is liable for his own actions or inactions, in the second you are holding him liable for the criminal act of a third person. Further, all persons who are ineligible to carry arms, whether because of age, conviction, or state or local law, would be disarmed anyway, whether or not the owner has a sign. Suddenly we have imposed on ALL businesses a duty to provide armed security to everyone, armed or not. Do really think it would be a simple matter for every mom and pop store, every gas station or 7-11, every Burger King and McDonald’s (all three of which are owned by franchisees, not corporations), even every doctor and dentist, to provide armed security at every location. Are you willing to pay the cost in the products and services you purchase?

        • An owner can take corrective action to repair … defective conditions, and liability in this circumstance is well recognized.

          Thus a property owner is liable if they create a defective condition on their property. And a property owner creates a defective condition when he/she prohibits people from being able to defend themselves from third party attackers.

          So, if property owners do not want to be liable for the actions of third parties, then property owners should not intentionally and artificially interfere with guests’ ability to deal with third parties.

        • Sorry, fatally defective legal reasoning. The landowner does not create the risk that a bad guy might come into his business/home, negligently, intentionally, or otherwise. Unless he hired a hit man to cap your ass. The bad guy creates the risk of harm, which does not exist until the bad guy arrives.

        • Mark N.,

          On the contrary a business that boldly proclaims itself to be a “gun free zone” does increase the risk of violent criminals attacking.

          This is so obvious that even the most stridently anti-gun supporters in the United States refuse to put up large “Gun Free Home” signs in their yards. (Watch the clandestine video where actors posing as gun-control activists go to several vocal gun-control proponents and ask for permission to post “Gun Free Home” signs in their yards.) Everyone instinctively knows that violent criminals avoid hard targets and gravitate toward soft targets.

          Do the courts recognize this in jurisprudence? Of course not. The courts are flat out wrong on many things … and this is one of them.

    • and if a 3rd party spills something on the floor making it slippery and you slip and fall and break you arm can you sue the place? I know of several lawsuits related to that very issue. How again does that differ from a place that bans you from carrying in a firearm and a 3rd party hurts you? The only real difference is you might have time to wipe of the spill or have a sign that say floor is slippery when wet that is fairly common in rest rooms. So maybe the answer is the require a disclaimer on gunbuster signs. Something like “The place bans law abiding people from carrying in a firearm but we are not responsible if a criminal carries in a firearm and hurts and/or kills people enter at your own risk.”

      Thanks
      Robert

  8. The law isn’t about rights, it’s about liability. That’s an entirely different thing.

    You don’t give up liability with private property. If your stairs are rotted out and someone walks up them and falls through and seriously injures themselves, you’re liable.

    This bill is no different. You certainly have the right to ban firearms, but if you’re going to make a rule like that and it goes wrong, why shouldn’t you be liable?

    If you don’t like being liable, A) Don’t invite anyone on your property, or B) Don’t render them defenseless.

    • I think that anyone entering the establishment knowing that it is a “gun-free” zone has voluntarily entered a space where they cannot use a weapon to protect themselves. As a concealed carrier and business owner, I believe that it is MY responsibility to either take a chance at a gun-free establishment or go elsewhere. You cannot hold a business owner responsible for the actions of others.

    • Someone who walks into your business and breaks their leg because you had a hole in the floor has a case, assuming you didn’t warn them about it.

      Someone who disarms themselves because they really like your fries has no such case if a third party assaults them. The most responsible party is the criminal. The NEXT most responsible person is the victim who knowingly disarmed himself or herself. It’s only at the third level that we can start to talk about the business owner.

  9. So could journalists be banned from a restaurant because theyl might overhear a private conversation? And if the journalist announced his or her occupation could he or she be a served in separate but equal accomodations? And if a muslim entered the restaurant and risked contact with pork would the muslim be quarentined or refused service? Equal rights is here. Seperate but equal just did not work out.

  10. Just how far do private property rights go? My position is that private property rights end where they will cause the death of a guest.

    Let’s look at it another way. Suppose a private property owner loves peace and tranquility and really, REALLY hates any and all commotion. Can that private property owner require guests to wear shackles in order to guarantee that they cannot defend themselves with their fists — and thus create an even bigger commotion — if an intruder attacks them?

    I say no. To go that far is not righteous. And if it is wrong to limit someone’s ability to use their fists to defend themselves from attackers, it is just as wrong to limit someone’s ability to use their personal firearm to defend themselves.

    • My position is that private property rights end where they will cause the death of a guest

      Well, that’s a far cry from the situation supposedly operating here, where the store owner’s ban, might (not “will”), in the exceedingly unlikely event of an “active shooter,” prevent someone from shooting back and saving his own life. There’d be no way to show that the disarmed person would actually have been able to draw, shoot, and hit the shooter (a moving target) if only he were armed. Plus, you’ve never once responded to anyone who has pointed out that many patrons couldn’t be armed regardless of the store’s policy (prohibited possessors, minors, etc); does the store assume liability for them? Even if NO other patron could have been armed at the time (absent the store policy)?

      It’s simply absurd to make comparisons between an exceedingly unlikely event and a carpet covering a large hole in the floor, where it’s quite likely someone will step on the hole in the floor.

      Your legal doctrine is barking mad, and is exactly analogous to insisting on being able to sue gun manufacturers for the misuse of their product. After all, IF they hadn’t manufactured the gun, no one would have been shot by it. They both amount to suing person A for somehow indirectly enabling Person B’s bad acts.

      • Plus, you’ve never once responded to anyone who has pointed out that many patrons couldn’t be armed regardless of the store’s policy (prohibited possessors, minors, etc); does the store assume liability for them?

        No, the store is not liable for the other patrons (who are unarmed for other reasons). Furthermore, there should be no “prohibited possessors” … if someone is that dangerous, they should still be in prison. Otherwise, they have a right to defend themselves from violent attackers using their fists, chairs, firearms, or whatever else. As for minors, their parents are responsible for defending them from violent attackers, not the store.

        My entire point is this: I don’t care who the entity is or what their justification is, no entity — be it government or a private property owner — has any right to interfere with a human being’s right to self-defense. Period. If those entities would stop interfering with our right to self-defense, then they would have no liability.

        • Better wording of my last paragraph:

          “… no entity — be it government or a private property owner — has any righteous authority to interfere with a human being’s right to self-defense. Period.”

        • Who said anything about violating your self-defense? The only limitation on your right is a right to use a gun. Everything else is fair.

          And minors go shopping all the time. Try the Mall. Are you saying that a parent must accompany a minor under the age of 18 (or 21) everywhere they go because they have some sort of duty to protect there child from intentional criminal misconduct? Yeah right. Not only is any such rule impractical and contrary to common social norms, there is not a court in the land that has recognized any such legal duty. Try again.

        • Mark N.,

          Banning my ability to defend my life is banning self-defense. Why is it wrong to ban running from an attacker? Why is it wrong to ban using your fists or a chair to defend yourself from an attacker? If it is wrong to ban using your fists or a chair to defend yourself from an attacker, then why is it okay to ban using a firearm to defend yourself from an attacker?

          Why is it wrong for a private property owner to ban guests from using one object made of plastic and steel (chairs) to defend themselves … when it is okay for a private property owner to ban guests from using another object made of plastic and steel (handguns) to defend themselves? What is the legal basis for that?

        • Mark N.,

          As for minors shopping in public, yes it is their parent’s responsibility to protect their children from all threats. That is why we have child abuse and child abandonment/endangerment laws.

          Parents who leave young children alone in public will (hopefully) face penalties for child endangerment.

          Parents who leave older children in public is a question for another debate. (The relevant questions being whether or not parents leave their older children in an environment of implied collective care from all adults — which removes abandonment/endangerment accusations — as well as whether or not children are effectively no longer “minors” even though they are under the legally defined “age of majority”.)

      • Steve,

        Well, that’s a far cry from the situation supposedly operating here, where the store owner’s ban, might (not “will”), in the exceedingly unlikely event of an “active shooter,” prevent someone from shooting back and saving his own life.

        Where does the artificial constraint of an active shooter come from? There are countless examples of armed robberies in both public and private establishments with patrons in the immediate vicinity of the armed robber — plus multiple examples where such robbers have killed patrons. And there are countless examples where violent criminals have attacked patrons in the parking lot between their car (where they would presumably leave their firearm if going into a “gun free zone”) and the establishment that is the “gun free zone” … or between their home and the “gun free zone” if they walk or use public transportation.

        Furthermore, what does the probability of whether or not someone has to defend themselves have to do with anything? Gun-grabbers are forever claiming that violent attacks are so rare as to somehow negate the right to be armed in public. Now you are taking the gun-grabber’s side and claiming that the probability of defending yourself in a “gun-free zone” is so low that it justifies the property owner’s decision to declare his/her property a “gun free zone”?

        No. Our right to defend ourselves is inviolate. It is not a function of how probable an attack is. It is not a function of where we are standing. It is not a function of which items we use to defend ourselves. It does not require another person’s permission or acceptance. And to top it all off, our right to defend ourselves does not interfere with a property owner’s property rights. As I laid out in another comment … when I am an armed guest on someone’s property, my firearm does not interfere with their use of their property, my firearm does not limit where they or their other guests can go on their property, my firearm doesn’t interfere with their ability to come from or go to their property, my firearm doesn’t damage their property, my firearm doesn’t reduce the market value of their property, and my firearm doesn’t take away their title to (ownership of) their property.

        That is why it is wrong for a property owner to tell me that I cannot defend myself on their property. There is no such dimension to “private property rights”.

        • Because in classic legal doctrine, the risk of harm is a critical factor in determining the existence of a legal duty. If a risk is exceedingly small, but the cost to protect against that risk is exceedingly high, such as requiring a business premises to hire armed guards to protect all patrons, not just the ones of your choosing, the cost /benefit weighs against imposing a duty, particularly where, in many cases, the imposition of such a duty would cause the business to fail.

        • “Mark N. says:
          February 2, 2016 at 19:59

          Because in classic legal doctrine, the risk of harm is a critical factor in determining the existence of a legal duty. If a risk is exceedingly small, but the cost to protect against that risk is exceedingly high”

          And your argument fails right here. The cost of not banning second amendment carriers is 0.

        • Mark N.,

          So, we cannot place a burden on a business that will cause the business to fail, but we can place a burden on a patron that will cause them to die. Got it.

          Or, we could recognize the fact that an armed patron imposes ZERO burden on a business and demands ZERO burden from a business. (Armed patrons do not require security personnel.) And since an armed patron imposes ZERO burden on the business, the business has no argument for banning self-defense.

          Private property owners cannot have it both ways. They cannot both ban self-defense and expect to have no liability for the consequences of banning self-defense. If private property owners want to ban self-defense (which should never be possible), then they take on the liability for any injuries that result from that action. If private property owners want to have no liability for third party attackers, then they cannot ban self-defense.

  11. I think this is a serious violation of property rights unless the owner has some reason to feel his business presents a special problem. On the other hand shouldn’t we be concentrating on government offices and property that are designated GFZ FIrst?

  12. Second Amendment is a civil right. Denying access to law abiding gum owners is exactly like denying access to blacks, asians, Jews, women, or even Muslims. It is a violation of the law that is ignored but currently impossible to reverse.
    GFZ are a tools that lawyers and insurance companies force despite facts to the contrary due to misunderstanding or agendas. So this is where we attack. Reverse the liability equation. Property rights only go so far. The line is civil rights.

    • I’ll keep saying it until it soaks in. You have no civil rights as against any other individual or business, only against the government. And even then, you cannot file a federal civil rights action against any State because of State immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. What you are referring to is discrimination, and the anti-discrimination laws only protect members of a “suspect class.” “Suspect classes” are those groups who have suffered historic “invidious discrimination.” Gun owners are not members of a suspect class, and indeed gun owners likely include members of all suspect classes. The odds of gun owners falling within the scope of the discrimination laws is slim to none.

      • And I’ll keep saying it until it soaks in.

        “Gun owners are not members of a suspect class, and indeed gun owners likely include members of all suspect classes.”

        Not sure if you have been paying attention lately, it sure seems to me like we are such members.

        “The odds of gun owners falling within the scope of the discrimination laws is slim to none.”

        Until they are, that is.

  13. How is this any different than the anti’s desire to sue a gun manufacturer over a criminal who commits murder with one of their products?

    • Ouch! I went into this post/thread on the “Hells yeah! Sue the pants offa them!” side. But many above posts saying, basically, “You made the choice to disarm and do business with them…” softened my opinion. Then Geoff PR dropped THAT bomb on my noggin! I’m now firmly in the “Yeah, these aren’t the droids… er, laws we’re looking for” camp.

    • Because the firearm manufacturer simply sold a legal product, the property owner took an action that resulted in an unsafe environment for their patrons.

      • Uh, no. But or some third-party bad guy there would have been no problem. Just like with gun manufacturers.

        What we have here is a lot of intellectual hypocrisy because some people here don’t like that the same arguments we’ve been making for years can work both ways. Just like ‘if it saves one life’ shouldn’t be used to take away my property rights it shouldn’t be used to take away the property rights of business owners.

        • I’m not arguing for or against, just saying the business posted an advertisement that the individuals within who follow the law are disarmed, I think it could be argued that if they didn’t take other steps to ensure their policy was enforced that someone may have a case that they were negligent for not doing so.

  14. This involves an active denial by a property owner of a person’s natural, and civil rights to bear arms and self-defense. If a person is injured because their rights were denied, they should certainly be able to hold the denier responsible. Laws that grant immunity (i.e. 2011 Wisconsin Act 35) for those who do not prohibit individuals from carrying concealed are complementary to holding deniers responsible. Encourage your state representatives to adopt similar measures.

    • Complete crap. No one is being denied the right to self-defense. The only thing you might be denied is access to the business establishment… which does not belong to you, OR the public.

  15. We know that GFZs are “hunting preserves for psychopathic murders”
    GFZs are also target rich environments.

  16. The only way we will be rid of these “victim disarmament zones” is when businesses and corporations recognize that their liability is greater if they perpetuate the myth that GFZs are safe and continue to employ them.
    Agree. Businesses and governments should be sued when people are injured or killed in their GFZs. I really wish some of the parents and spouses of those people slaughtered at GFZ institutions would file some lawsuits against owners, municipalities and governments.

  17. How have we come to the point in our society that private property owners have no regard for the well-being of their guests? How have we come to the point that we say a private property owner can be a tyrant and deny guests their right to defend themselves?

    Elaborating on that last point, an armed guest has absolutely zero effect on a property owner’s property. It doesn’t damage the property. It doesn’t deny the owner access to their property. It doesn’t prevent the property owner nor guests from going anywhere on the property that they please. It doesn’t affect the market value of the property. And it doesn’t cause the property owner to forfeit their property. If a guest being armed doesn’t affect the property owner’s ownership, use, or value of their property, how does a property owner claim a right to prohibit a guest’s self-defense?

    • What do you mean, “how have we come to this point?” This is the way it has ALWAYS been. What these laws propose is a radical change in classic rules of negligence law.

  18. “USC Sections 241 and 242 makes it a Federal crime either to conspire to DEPRIVE someone of a constitutionally protected right (241) or for a person to act under color of law to DEPRIVE someone of his or her rights or privileges protected under the Constitution (242).”

    For you word masters…Should the word DEPRIVE be changed or word RESTRICT be added. Seems this would prevent states from taxing Ammo or preventing some state policy to infringe. C

    • The “color of law” part is particularly important to a full understanding. It means acting, or purporting to act, pursuant to official authority or on behalf of a governmental entity. If I tell you you can’t bring your gun onto my property, I am not acting “under color of law,” nor am I conspiring with anyone to violate your civil rights.

      But a violation would occur as shown by the following example: Police do not have probable cause to search your property. But I have access to your property, legally or illegally. If I break into your property and search on my own, without any suggestion by the police, there is no violation of your civil or constitutional rights. But if the police ask me to break into your property, and I do so, uncovering evidence the police want, I have conspired with them, and both of us have violated your civil rights. Is that clear?

  19. This is a non-starter where private property is concerned. When you disarm in order to use a service or property that is a GFZ, you are tacitly accepting the risk to your life by entering.

    Such is not the case if you are compelled to use a public facility, such as a courthouse or DMV.

  20. I think if youve asked the state for any sort of license to run a business, you cant get too upset if you have to follow state mandates for the operation of that business. Nobody is taking away property rights of business owners, mearly regulating the operations of people who have voluntairily asked the state permission to run a business, no? Dont want to follow state laws dont ask for a dba, llc, or any other legal shield and take your chances. I dont see a difference between this and forcing a company to post unemployment insurance and minimum wage laws

  21. I am not in favor of making an innocent business owner liable for the acts of criminals and psychopaths who the business owner does not control. Once we go down that road, there’s no coming back. I thought that POTG were in favor of personal responsibility. Maybe I was wrong, and we’re only in favor or personal responsibility when it suits us.

    I strongly favor immunity for innocent business owners who do not post their premises, just as I am in favor the current law of immunity for innocent firearms manufacturers and dealers who sell a gun that ends up in the hands of bad people.

    No innocent party should be responsible for the criminal acts of others outside of the control of the innocent. Otherwise, innocent business owners, manufacturers and sellers will be sued out of existence by Bloomberg and his minions.

    • Maybe I was wrong, and we’re only in favor or personal responsibility when it suits us.

      Many of us understand where you’re coming from. Others want to be able to do their own thing anywhere, on anyone else’s property, and want to pass laws forcing people to accept their presence under circumstances dictated by them. I call them the “spoiled brat” fringe of the gun rights movement.

      If you don’t like the conditions a private business owner places on his business then DON’T ENTER. That respects his rights. You do NOT go sic the government on them. Unless you’re a spoiled brat, just as bad as the progressives.

      • Steve,

        Please explain how refusing to give up your ability to defend your life makes you a “spoiled brat”?

        Please explain how it is good and righteous when private property owners demand that guests/patrons give up their right to self-defense?

        Please explain how private property owners are not “spoiled brats” or “tyrants” when they demand that guests give up their right to self-defense?

        • Because, you do not have the right to be on his property without his consent. You are demanding the right to enter his property without his consent, specifically, under conditions that he has expressed will cause him to deny consent. The reason for his denying consent is irrelevant. You do NOT get to say “I get to go onto your property anyway, and what you want matters less than what I want.” THAT is the action of a spoiled brat.

          If you do not wish to disarm before entering Hoplophobic Groceries… then don’t go into Hoplophobic Groceries. That’s your remedy. He’s not forcing you to disarm. He’s forcing you to keep out of his store.

        • SteveInCo,

          Any motivations for a private property owner to ban a guest’s right to life are perverse and wrong … an affront to the sanctity of human life and the bedrock “live and let live” foundation of our entire society. Such attitudes herald the destruction of our civilization.

          Contrast that with an armed guest’s good and righteous motivation … upholding the sanctity of human life and the bedrock “live and let live” foundation of our entire society. Remember, the armed guest upholds the property owner’s ability to “live” because the armed guest does not ban the property owner’s right to life nor interfere with the owner accessing their property, using their property, developing their property, and keeping ownership of their property.

    • Ralph,

      No innocent party should be responsible for the criminal acts of others outside of the control of the innocent.

      I agree, no innocent party should be responsible for the criminal acts of others.

      What so many people are missing here is that an establishment that bans self-defense is not an innocent party. If a stranger tied your hands behind your back and enabled a violent attacker to beat the living daylights out of you, that stranger would be an accomplice to the violent attacker … an accessory before the fact. An establishment that bans self-defense is tying your hands behind your back and enabling violent attackers to have free reign. That makes them an accessory before the fact … or an accomplice, whichever your prefer.

      Do our courts assign and apply those exact legal terms (with corresponding legal consequences) to establishments that ban self-defense under the banner of “gun free zones”? Doubtful. And that wouldn’t be the only thing our courts have wrong.

      • They are not banning “self-defense.” They are banning one tool that may be employed for self defense. And as all of you have implicitly recognized, not every armed person entering a business is an innocent. How is the business owner supposed to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys?

        • “They are not banning “self-defense.” They are banning one tool that may be employed for self defense.”

          And this is another falsity, the gun is a force definer, that is to say you the unarmed man may be able to attempt to defend yourself against a man with a gun, but you will have to be both very good and very lucky to come out on top even against a frail person with some wits or a dumb person with intent when they are armed. Removing the right of arms from a confined group means that a bad actor knows he can enter that space with a gun and prevail. It is absolutely not ‘one tool’, it is the ONLY tool that can be employed against an armed attacker.

          I get the whole private property rights thing, yea yea yea. The state intrudes on my private property rights and yours – both in your home and your business all day long. It is not so far a stretch to require that those businesses that demand that you give up your rights to enter their public place of business then take a measure of responsibility for that action. Haggling out the details of this is a matter for the legislators and the lawyers but the rights protected by the second amendment must remain just that; protected.

          Paul Weston; “If a Western politician put a fox in a hen house, who is guilty of killing the hens?”

  22. What if a business banned cell phones so customers would not be disturbed by other customers (i.e. movie theater, restaurant). If they are held hostage for several hours and the women were sexually assaulted, would the business be liable for not allowing someone the opportunity to call for help?

    I think the liability in this scenario would be equivalent.

    • But no one bans cell phones, they ban the use of cell phones during a movie, play, etc. disregarding policy gets the phone user ejected or arrested if they refuse, not simply having the item in their possession.

  23. Great concept, but it will forever fall on the rocks of the fact that you don’t have to go there, which is the first place I would go as the lawyer of the defendant.

    “So you knew the establishment prohibited firearms.”
    “Yes.”
    “And you went in anyway?”
    “But I need something to eat.”
    “The defense rests.”

    • ding ding… apparently people care enough about ‘mah rights!’ to sue but not enough to not go in such a place for french fries.

    • And what happens when all grocery stores within a 300 mile radius are “gun free zones” and the prospective patron has no choice of a grocery store that is not a “gun free zone”?

      • Bringing up such a fantastically unlikely scenario as your answer to “just don’t go there” shows you’ve lost the argument.

        • Once again, you are bringing probability into a discussion of rights. You are taking the same side as gun-grabbers saying that an infringement of a right is okay as long as the probability of physical injuries resulting from that infringement is “low” (whatever “low” means) … or that infringement of a right is okay as long as the probability that all stores within 300 miles banning self-defense is low.

          And you fail to address the person living in a rural, isolated town in a Western state where there is only one grocery store and the next closest grocery store is 120 miles away. Is it okay if your local grocery store bans self-defense since you can go to another grocery store 120 miles away? Is it okay if your local grocery store bans self-defense since you can incur several thousands of dollars in costs to move closer to another grocery store that does not ban self-defense?

          Looking at it another way, is it okay that self-defense (concealed carry) is banned in New York and California since the people who live there have the option to move to another state (or at least another county within the state that will issue a concealed carry license)?

          No, it is not okay. It is not okay to ban self-defense under any circumstances. Period. Especially given that a person who merely possesses a firearm causes no harm, injury, nor burden to anyone else.

        • I’m not the one grasping at straws, bringing up ridiculous scenarios to justify violating a shop owner’s right to refuse service to anyone. That’s the sort of shit the left pulls, forcing bakers to bake cakes.

          Gun owners with an entitled attitude. I may just go puke now.

        • SteveInCo,

          In terms of entitlement, when it comes to a guest’s right to life, yes, they are entitled to their right to life and no one else is entitled to take that right away under any circumstances — including being on another person’s property.

          And no, an armed guest is not forcing the property owner to do anything, other than respect the guest’s right to life. An armed guest is NOT forcing a baker to bake cakes that they do not want to bake. An armed guest is not forcing a property owner to use a different entrance to their property or anything else.

          I bring up various “edge” conditions to illustrate the error in your position. You and others have claimed that a property owner can ban a guest’s right to life because there are alternate businesses available for the guest, because guests can use alternate self-defense tools, because the probability of a criminal attacking a guest is “low”, and/or because a guest does not have an “urgent” enough need to insist on their right to life. And yet when I pose scenarios where there is no alternate choice of business, when alternate tools are insufficient, and when an attack actually happens, you discount my scenarios rather than admit that a person has an unalienable right to life.

          And I understand why. If you admit that a person sometimes has a right to life in your conditional world, then you have to define at what probability of attack, at what level of urgency, which tools are insufficient, and how many choices are insufficient before a person can legally insist on their right to life. Of course all that means is that a person actually doesn’t have any right to life at all.

  24. I think this entire concept of “responsibility for safety” is absurd.

    We already acknowledge that the Police department et al is “not responsible”. That is, the force of men and women, under arms, specifically trained and experts in this exact field, are not responsible, not liable, so therefore we’re going to project this on Joe Business Owner?

    And, what, they’re only liable for the people who are permitted to use a firearm, not generic John Q Public that walks in? They’re not liable for the safety of your teenage kids (who typically can not get a permit to carry) at the ice cream parlor?

    It’s completely ludicrous at every level.

    “There was a mass shooting at Chuck E Cheese, but thankfully the only 2 adults there weren’t permit carriers, nor were the 20 children at the birthday party. So the corporation has no liability for this incident and isn’t going to get sued in to insolvency.” Anyone else think that sounds extraordinarily stupid?

    Your safety is your responsibility, no one else’s. If you are going in to some place that makes you feel “unsafe”, don’t go. If that’s because of a “no guns” sign, then DON’T GO. Go somewhere else.

    “Well, there was a shooting at the restaurant I was at, but my carry gun was in my car.”

    Then why did you go in in the first place? You felt it was worth the risk? Well, I guess it wasn’t was it? That’s why they call it risk.

    Oh, wait, they had Frank, the 60 year old Security Guard, since that was the minimal requirement to “avoid liability”. So that made it ok? He was shot first.

    I think “no gun” signs with concealed carry are stupid “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. Open carry, that’s different. (Yes, it is different, no really.)

    Y’all want to force your lifestyle choices on the general public. You want a world like “Piece of the Action” from Star Trek. Like the public nudists in San Francisco. You want to “normalize” it so that it’s “ok” to carry a heater in public. “Heck, I’m comfortable with my pistol/rifle/nudity, why shouldn’t they be?”

    Sorry, I should be able to put a “no nudists” sign on my store front. “But it’s my 1st amendment right to free expression against the oppression of society on my choice of dress.”

    No visible weapons in my store, thanks. No pistols, rifles, bandoliers, knives, swords, sharp sporks, bats, cudgels, nunchuks, shields, bolas, slings, bows, arrows, cross bows, bolts, or pea shooters. No nudists, thanks. No bare butts, swinging johnson’s or free flying tata’s. Sorry. Put ’em in a bag, or a raincoat.

    No shirts, no shoes, no service. No tank tops, swimsuits, or flip-flops.

    • Will,

      As for police having no legal duty to protect anyone:
      Sure, that is current jurisprudence. How about we consider what is actually right and wrong? If you listen to gun-grabbers, that is exactly what they are claiming — that police DO have a duty to protect you … and that is why they claim it is okay for government to disarm us. Even gun-grabbers know that it is wrong and obscene to disarm someone AND have no duty to protect them.

      So, where I can be armed without sanction from government, I agree that police have no specific duty to protect me personally. The problem arises when someone disarms me against my will. Actions have consequences. A private property owner who restrains my ability to protect myself is liable for any harm that comes to me as a result of that restraint. If you are the property owner and you don’t want any liability, then don’t restrain anyone. What is so hard about that?

      As for your criteria for selecting your guests or clientele, that is a different matter. What should never be up for debate are the conditions when a property owner can ban someone’s right to life … because no one should ever be able to ban someone’s right to life.

  25. While a property owner does have the right to enforce a no guns allowed policy, by simply posting a sign and not physically enforcing this policy, they are creating a dangerous environment for their patrons and employees. They have restricted the law abiding from self protection while allowing criminals to enter with their weapons by not checking them at the entrance to the property (not just the door). I would also think the victim or family of a victim killed or injured in a government building could win a case against the state or federal government for writing a law that does the same, makes the property a dangerous place while restricting their ability to defend themselves and not taking on the responsibility of securing the location.

  26. Bless all your principled little hearts, those of you who oppose this. You just keep right on playing billiards while the other side is playing “back alley knife fight.”

  27. As long as the GFZ sign is only a “suggestion” and violation of that does not cause the gun owner any hassle, let them put up the sign. If the state treats it the same as trespass, or if you could be arrested or detained because of this, then the sign would have to include a caution – “Target Rich Environment – Unarmed persons present” and the business owner would have to post the same at his personal residence!

  28. A foot doctor?

    Yes, this post is about liability, and not 2a rights so much.
    If land owner can be held liable for injuries resulting somehow from not allowing guns on his property via a 3rd parties actions, the same land owner could be held liable for simply allowing legal gun owners on their property who then goes postal and harm innocents. This won’t stand.

    • Some states have or are promoting companion laws that release property owners from liability for any incidents due to carry on their property.

      • So when curious little Johnny gets my gat (or his Dad’s gat) and shoots a playmate, the property owner is immune? Oh wait, we can’t have that! Gun owners must be responsible, and must safely store their guns! you say. So now the property owner is responsible for the manner in which anyone who comes on to his property maintains possession of his/her firearm, right? Where does it end?

        • The property owner is immune so long as they aren’t negligent, the responsibility falls to whomever was negligent. Some here argue that the property owner should never be held liable for the actions of another, I think that’s agreed upon by all. The touchy part is where the property owner is potentially negligent in disarming the law abiding with a sign and failing to do so to criminals who may not only enter in violation of the sign (where the business owner failed to enforce their own policy) but are emboldened by the sign. I think it’s at least logical that this is arguable in court. The best choice is for states to relieve property owners for simply allowing their patrons to freely follow the law and be responsible for their own safety and their potentially negligent actions.

        • So when curious little Johnny gets my gat (or his Dad’s gat) and shoots a playmate, the property owner is immune?

          Yes, the property owner is immune to liability as long as the property owner did not DICTATE how you or Johnny’s dad store their firearms.

          Of much more importance it is up to Johnny’s dad to supervise Johnny, which includes ensuring that Johnny does not get his hands on dangerous object like knives, matches, poison, and firearms. And if Johnny’s dad is going to leave Johnny in your care, then it is up to you to ensure that Johnny does not harm himself with your firearm or any other items.

  29. This goes a bit far. It should be more along the lines of requiring adequate security, deferent, and counter measures to a threat. You cannot hold someone liable for the actions of another person.

    This law is no different than requiring liability insurance on guns in case they’re stolen and used in a crime.

  30. Carry concealed and keep your mouth shut. Nobody knows unless they use a metal detector. If for some reason the owner notices (not likely if you’re doing it right) and asks you to leave, politely apologize and be on your way.

    • Maybe, you should skip directly to “be on your way” and skip the prior steps.

      Why give the gun hating douchebag any of your money?

      • Maybe they are the only store in the area that has what I’m looking for. The world is not an ideal place where we can always avoid dealing with those we don’t like or vigorously disagree with.

        • Indeed, it’s not.

          It’s also not a place where we can require people to suspend their judgment about their business dealings just because we like guns and they don’t.

          Your two ethical choices in this case are to either: disarm and do business with the guy or do without. Going in there concealing against his wishes is trespass, whether or not he catches you doing it, just as it’s trespass if someone hangs a no trespassing sign on his land, and you walk across it without getting caught.

        • I am lucky where I live as the only place I have found that has a gun buster sign is a pizza place that was ok so I wont be going back. All the other places I have gone doesn’t have a sign. Then again where I live I see people open carrying every 3 or 4 trips out of the house.

  31. I don’t think business owners should be held liable for anything, for some of the reasons posted above. I just think a business shouldn’t legally be able to restrict 2A rights. Don’t make it a liability issue, just make GFZs illegal, period.

    And by extension, make employer disarmament orders illegal too. My company doesn’t let us carry at work or in company vehicles, despite us working on gas lines in some pretty rough neighborhoods. I don’t like the idea of my street crew guys and gal not being able to defend themselves if some shit goes down. And if some disgruntled customer decided to shoot up the shop, I’m fucked. My office is all the way in the back with no egress route besides a side exit that I can only reach through another office and part of a hallway.

    • Threadwinner!

      The idea of Whole Foods or some other anti-gun establishment paying out the nose when somebody gets hurt sounds good, but it’s not the right answer. Too messy, too many lawyers involved.

      For SteveinCo and all the others who hammer on about property rights, my answer is this. You have a right to own a store, to stock the shelves, to advertise, and to welcome people to shop. But you don’t have an automatic property right to a business license for whatever business you have.

      Change the laws so that if you want that business license for any type of business that you open up to the general public, you allow armed patrons, period. Don’t like it? Enjoy every single one of your property rights, including your “right” to disarm guests or make them leave… hell, make everybody leave forever if you want… but don’t expect to have the privilege (not a right) to operate as a business.

      Every business is regulated. This should be one of those regs.

  32. Maybe a compromise would be a law requiring all gun free zone / gun buster signs to have some language to the effect of: “By posting this sign, this business has an increased risk of being target by mass murdering psychopath. Do business here at your own risk.”

    If tobacco warnings are constitutional this should be fine, right?

  33. Wasn’t this settled out about 30 years ago when hotels and motels were sued for creating unsafe environments by not having secure doors, credit card type keys and inferior lighting inside and out. I remember multiple big cash lawsuits and payouts for rapes, robberies and worse because the hotels and motels were failing to protect their guests. These days you can’t find a hotel with a regular door key because people would keep them and come back later ad walk in. Super well lit parking lots and hallways so people can’t hide. Side and back doors that only open with that fancy credit card key so anyone not registered has to come through the lobby where there are people 24/7 or locked doors.

    Call me stupid but I would think that if you can sue successfully, claim a ton of money and change an entire industry because the parking lot was too dark and a guest got hurt, disarming a lawful, properly trained person who gets hurt or worse should bring damages beyond belief. Add on to this scenario, the unarmed person who gets hurt and relises a person who could have possibly protected them was disarmed and every bottom sucking attorney will be lining up for their pay day.

    All I’m saying is that if the “private property rights” people here were correct then i would have used a standard key in a tumbler lock at the Marriot last Saturday Evening.

  34. If this were to pass and that is a big IF all that would happen is insurance carriers would look at there statics and see how often these happen determine how much their likely payout would be and then raise people with there gun busters signs insurance that much. Insurance carriers would require businesses to tell them if they change stances. Business will get hit with higher insurance rates and might rethink their gunbuster signs because of the increase cost to have them but true believers will just consider it a cost for doing business.

    Thanks
    Robert

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