DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Should Gun Ban Businesses Be Liable for Criminal Attacks?

Ohio no guns allowed sign (courtesy gunguynextdoor.blogspot.com)

A doomed gun bill is making the rounds in the Ohio legislature. The first part would reduce the penalty for “inadvertently” carrying a firearms into a posted “gun-free” zone (a measure that Texas recently passed as part of its licensed open carry law). “This bill is just plain bizarre,” Jennifer Thorne, executive director of the Ohio Coalition against Gun Violence, told cincinnatti.com. “If people that are carrying hidden weapons, don’t they realize when they are stepping in a prohibited area? I don’t really buy that.”

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallWhat she really won’t buy: “Under the proposal, a business owner that prohibits concealed firearms could be liable if someone is injured [ED: shot? stabbed? attacked?] on their property. Thorne questioned why business owners rather than shooters should be liable if a gun goes off. She sees the proposal as a way of bullying business owners into allowing guns on their properties. ‘When did it become OK to blame victims of crime?’ she asked.”

Are you OK with a law that holds business liable for disarming their customers?

comments

  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    if you have the freedom to ban guns on your property, I should have the freedom to hold you personally liable for the results of that decision. It’s actual common sense.

    1. avatar Mitch says:

      The “freedom” to make somebody do something? That’s not what the word “freedom” means..

      If you don’t want to be disarmed, then don’t go places where you aren’t allowed to carry. Trying to make other people liable for your own decisions shows a complete lack of personal responsibility.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        That would be true if you didn’t have the power to force that decision on me. Quite frankly, if you open your business to the public the fact that I’m carrying a gun is none of your business. If you interfere with my right to keep and bear arms, then you are responsible for the results. It’s no different from a slip and fall incident. You are responsible to take precautions against issues caused by your decisions. If your precautions prove insufficient, you are responsible for the results.

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          That’s not how rights work. You don’t have the right to compel a private business to allow you to protest in their store, or to let you set up a table and start plying your wares in the back of the Walmart, or whatever else you think of.

          The Second Amendment protects you from government interference (well, it’s supposed to, at least..), not from private property owners setting their own rules.

          I say this as someone who carries illegally (the Constitution is my permit) and who avoids stores that ban guns (whether I’m armed or not.) But I’m not about to insist that private businesses must accommodate me or be entirely liable for my safety.

          Even in the best case, they’re not going to be truly responsible for my safety. I’m the only person who is responsible for my safety, and thinking otherwise is incredibly dangerous and foolish.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          By the same logic, the 5th amendment protects you from criminal charges, not civil liability for your actions.

        3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Forced?

          Show me ONE shopkeeper who’s out there abducting customers and spiriting them back to their stores sans firearms.

          I dare you. Just ONE.

          While you’re fumbling for a face saving sophistry, let me remind everyone of Goethe’s declaration that kein Mensch muss müssen. Nobody has to have to, or nobody is compelled to be compelled.

          You have free will and you choose whether to enter a gun-ban zone on private property. That’s a tradeoff you make. The store owner only lays out your options for interacting mutually, voluntarily with him. By rights, you may accept it or reject it, but not use armed agents of the state to threaten violence to impose your will on him. That’s thuggery as much as if you and the police had helped yourselves to his cash register.

          Dude, when even the Germans are outflanking you on the side of free will and individual freedom, you may want to reevaluate your position.

        4. avatar pwrserge says:

          Nice straw man there FLAME DELETED. Nobody is talking about “violence” we are talking about civil liability for the foreseeable consequences of your actions.

          Like I said, go to law school and brush up on liability law. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

        5. avatar AZTommycat says:

          The defense of CUSTOMERS should not be the responsibility of the property owner, HOWEVER, any business that prevents their employees from defending themselves should be held responsible for injuries to the employees due to removing a safety device.

        6. avatar Mark N. says:

          “Go to law school and brush up on your liability law”? Really? I am pretty sure that you are NOT a lawyer, and I, as a practicing attorney for the last 30 years, all of it involving personal injury and contracts cases, suggest that you may want to attend a first year class on Torts. Liability, except for statutory liability applied without fault, requires intentional MISconduct or “negligent” conduct. Negligence requires that someone (here the landowner) owes you a DUTY of reasonable care.

          Typically, as applied to premises liability, the owner/occupier has a duty to correct defective conditions of the property of which he knew or reasonably should have known. Under California law, which is pretty expansive on the subject, this duty extends to anyone entering the property, including guests, business invitees and trespassers. There has been extensive litigation on this subject, and typically, the owner/possessor owes NO duty to provide security to anyone absent, in rare cases, actual knowledge of repeated criminal conduct on the premises or adjacent parking ares (usually this describes bars and night clubs).

          What you are suggesting is that any and all landowners owe a duty to protect persons on the property, as there is no logical way to require it of some (e.g. business owners) but not all. This would mean hiring private security or owning and carrying guns at all times when “others” are present to protect against criminal acts that the owner/occupant did NOT commit. Because of course not every visitor carries guns, and the duty would extend to those who chose not to carry as to those who would carry if permitted. The California Supreme Court has expressly rejected such a proposition on more than one occasion. I think it extremely unlikely that any court in any jurisdiction would find an owner owes a duty to allow guests, invitees and trespassers to come on private property armed.

        7. avatar neiowa says:

          Mr Kommiefornia lawyer. NO individual or group has a legitimate power to deprive an American of his Constitutional rights by any method when standing on ground where the public has been invited. That includes by negotiation, arrangement or coercion.

          Holding up Kommiefornia “law” as some example of responsible iurisprudence is laughable. Next tell us how things should be based on Paris or Moscow.rules

        8. avatar SteveInCO says:

          NO individual or group has a legitimate power to deprive an American of his Constitutional rights by any method when standing on ground where the public has been invited.

          By that logic one CAN hold a protest inside a Walmart. It’s a constitutional right, after all. (You didn’t make any sort of qualification that a “harm” had to be done to make it an unallowable violation, as some have tried to do.)

          I’m so glad you’re utterly wrong about this.

        9. avatar alexander says:

          Mitch says:

          “That’s not how rights work. … The Second Amendment protects you from government interference (well, it’s supposed to, at least..), not from private property owners setting their own rules.”

          But when a private citizen calls upon the power of the State to enforce his will, then the government is brought into the picture. Hence, the liability for denying constitutional rights with the force of the State. Likewise, the 1st Amendment is a guarantee of non-interference in speech by the government. But if a private citizen calls the police to preclude another person from exercising his right to free speech, and the police in fact restrict the free speech, then government is involved and this becomes a Constitutional issue. That sign in the picture quotes a government law and brings the force of government into what otherwise would have been a private citizen’s issue.

      2. avatar meadowsr says:

        The “well just don’t go there” argument is all well and good, until it puts you into a catch-22, like, say, being required to go to the DMV by the same governmental (emphasis on the last two syllables) entity that makes the DMV a prohibited location.

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          Fair point, but the original question was about private businesses.

          I don’t think government should be able to ban law-abiding citizens from carrying on public property. But that’s not an argument about liability or private property.

      3. avatar Binder says:

        Public businesses cannot “LAWFULLY” control the actions of the patriots that do not affect the operation of said business. Please give me one other example of where a public business can dictate the actions of its patrons that has no effect on the business.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          “Please give me one other example of where a public business can dictate the actions of its patrons that has no effect on the business.”

          Just because a business is “open to the public” does not make it a “public business. It isn’t. It is private property, and that is all that needs be said. If you do not wish to abide by my rules, you are a trespasser whom I can LAWFULLY have removed, even arrested should you refuse to leave. Do you want an everyday example? “No shoes, no shirt, no service.” Another? If you decide to hold a protest inside my store, I can have you removed; my store is not a “public forum” where the First Amendment can be exercised.

          And by the way, just because someone carries a gun does not make them a “patriot.” It makes them a person with a gun who may or may not be a patriot, but may indeed be a hardened criminal intent on robbing my store. It could even be a patriotic robber. Happens all the time.

          So let me throw it back on you: Other than your bald, unsupported opinion, show me one example where a private property owner CANNOT have trespassers removed.

        2. avatar MattG says:

          “show me one example where a private property owner CANNOT have trespassers removed”
          I’ll give you five. Race, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion. Did I miss any?

        3. avatar int19h says:

          >> I’ll give you five. Race, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion. Did I miss any?

          Yep. National origin, citizenship (with some limitations), marital status, being pregnant, certain disabilities, and being a veteran. This is on the federal level – states can and do pile more on top.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      What you have is the freedom to choose whether to comply with the sign or go somewhere else.
      This sort of liability really only makes sense when talking about a government granted monopoly: a company or service that, by law, you can’t choose an alternative for or are forced to take part in, such as cable companies in many municipalities, the USPS with its monopoly on first class mail, the DMV, the social security, welfare, unemployment, etc. offices, and so forth.

    3. avatar Joe says:

      Wrong. They have the freedom to chose to ban guns just as you have the freedom to shop elsewhere.

      The only exception is government buildingshould where you have no choice.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        They also have the “freedom” to coat their floors in lard, they are still liable if I slip and break my leg. If you create an unsafe condition through direct action or through failure to take action when you have a responsibility to do so, you are liable.

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          So how much money did McDonald’s give you for spilling that coffee on yourself, anyway?

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Floors in public places are coated in lard, or let’s say other slippery substances such as soapy mop water, every single day. The liability is removed when the duty to inform is fulfilled, as by placing “wet floor” signs and/or cautioning pedestrians about the danger. A no-guns sign serves the same purpose. Your entry into the establishment constitutes your assumption of the risk.

          Let’s talk about that risk. Lard on the floor is completely unexpected and, serving no rational purpose, is unreasonable. Coating and not advising would introduce an unsupported risk and, yes, incur owner liability.

          No guns? That’s not the same thing. Whether the presence of guns adds to risks is a matter of furious debate. Even in here, 99% would agree that you should not be allowed to carry in public while intoxicated, as your judgment is impaired. Yet, you want to fine bar owners for banning guns (assuming the state didn’t ban them first, as most do).

          Yes, some bar patrons don’t drink alcohol and, yes, many that do can do so without becoming intoxicated. So what? What is also a fact is that some gun owners are idiots and will screw up or throw a wobbler and hurt somebody. If that gun were not on the premises, as I routinely hear law abiding gun owners will comply with, then those inevitable events would not have occurred.

          How does that balance against the risk of criminal violence? Don’t know, don’t care. What matters on this point is that that’s an unsettled subject of current controversy. That makes a store owner’s coming down on one side just as valid as another, in terms of reasonableness and liability, and completely incomparable to secretly smeared lard on the floor.

          Ultimately, it isn’t even about stats or risks. It’s about rights. His property, his right to ban guns. Don’t like it? Don’t go there. But the scenario finds no comparison to lard on the floors.

        3. avatar int19h says:

          In my humble opinion, if a shopkeeper coats their floors with lard and posts a prominent sign warning you that this is the case, and you still go inside, slip, and break your leg, you’re an idiot who should live with the consequences of your presumably-informed choice – and their liability ends at notifying you.

      2. avatar Binder says:

        Please give me one other example of where a public business can dictate the actions of its patrons that has no effect on the business.

        1. avatar Lava Shark says:

          How ’bout “No Shirt, No Shoes = No service”?

    4. avatar Reggie Browning says:

      You’re responsible for the decision to enter a store that bans guns. You agreed to the terms, you take responsibility for that decision. If you didn’t like being disarmed, then you shouldn’t have entered the store.

      This isn’t the same as a slip and fall, as that kind of an incident is directly caused by unsafe conditions created by the store. A robbery isn’t directly caused by the store owner banning guns on the property. You could say they might have picked that property because of the sign, but good luck proving that, and even if you can the robbery itself was still the cause of a third party’s decisions. You’re more justified in suing the individual involved, if they’re caught. Just as if you don’t sue a shop because someone pushed something off the shelf and the store didn’t have guards on the shelf to stop something from being easily pushed off.

    5. avatar Clear Thru says:

      pwrserge, I do agree with you.
      So much.
      After reading the entire post (135 and counting), I decided I had to come back up to the beginning to warn the unsuspecting others who will read this tonight…
      WARNING: LEGAL TROLLING AHEAD,
      The very reason most people can’t stand lawyers (What do you call a boat full of lawyers that sinks?… A good start.), and the problem with our society today, is about to be revealed.
      Common sense is apparently a term of past tense.

      Carry on.

    6. Cureforignorance YouTuber just made a video deriding CCW holders for ignoring anti gun signs at private businesses. I have been debating him, taking the point of view that my carrying of a concealed firearm in no way infringes on the owners property rights. No harm…no foul.
      His argument went from the ridiculous to the insane. First he used an analogy that we wouldn’t ignore a no smoking sign and smoke under a hoodie. When I pointed out that conceal carrying is to carrying a pack of cigarettes in your pocket as smoking is to actually shooting your gun.
      This was where he lost me. He replied: “The no guns sign doesn’t show a shooting gun but the no smoking sign does show a burning cigarette.”
      This guy is a firearms instructor. You can cure ignorance but you just can’t fix stupid.

  2. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    YES!

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      Count me in the yes column also.

      A business open to the public is what is known as a public accommodation and the biggest class of protected persons sure as hell ought to be those who choose to exercise their 2nd amendment rights. The only compromise I am willing to accept is to take away the force of law behind the stupid no guns stickers/signs, at that point if you are carrying concealed they have no way to know and the worst they can do is force you to leave, not put you in jail. Otherwise, as far is I am concerned, they should be required to accept liability for what might happen on their premises.

      1. avatar Reggie Browning says:

        No. That’s not right. You can’t sue someone for what some person that they had no control over did. No weapons doesn’t become a problem until a robbery occurs, the robbery was the result of the robber’s decisions. The blame rests entirely on the shoulders of the person who chose to rob the store.

        1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

          The problem with your argument is that gun free zones attract criminals with guns like honey attracts bears, so the owner has in fact set up an unsafe situation by his action of putting up the stupid sign. That said because those stickers and signs mean exactly nothing where I live, they are eminently ignorable. By giving force of law to the signs any state where they are allowed should state that posting them creates a contract for safety between the business owner and his customers

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          I’d love to see you try to back that up with actual statistics, Rusty Chain. Mass shooters are attracted to gun free zones because they get to kill more people before they are stopped. Convenience stores and gas stations are robbed because they have cash in the drawer, and the drawer is near the door. Grocery stores too. A “No Guns” sign does NOT mean that the business owner is NOT armed, as some robbers have found out to their detriment.

      2. avatar Reggie Browning says:

        Even if you could prove that the sign had something to do with the robber’s decision to rob the store, there still would have been no problems if the robber had not chosen to rob a store.

        In another aspect, it’s your decision to remove your gun and shop there. You are responsible for the decision of entering a place that you feel attracts robbers. I mean if a shop put up a sign that said “Warning, this shop is a robber magnet.” and you went in, then you deserve to be robbed just as much as the business does.

        1. avatar Esq. says:

          You’re right on. Putting a sign up actually helps avoid liability. Ignoring constitutional issues and all the other bs people are trying to bring up, and even assuming there might otherwise be liability (which I personally don’t think there would be), there’s a defense. The public is on notice of the alleged risk. Assumption of risk, open and obvious risk, latent defect, etc. All the same idea and really pretty basic tort law. I can’t imagine half the posters on this thread would be sympathetic to someone suing (or trying to) because they got tagged with a foul ball at a baseball game, warning signs or not.

  3. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Rarely is the store owner the victim of a crime, its usually a patron or employee. If the store owner prohibits weapons then by all means they should be liable.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      You’re just making up rules as you go along, which are no rules at all, since they can be capriciously revised. That’s precisely why we have a constitution, so everyone knows what the rules are up front and can decide for themselves how to act.

      What if my shoes give me blisters? May I force all restaurants to take down their “no shoes, no service” sign and serve me barefooted? Mind if I sit beside you? I just noticed a nasty ingrown toenail. Mind if I clip that badboy while you’re eating and I’m waiting for my meal? Wouldn’t want to get a fungal infection, you know.

      What about at the movies? Must theater owners allow everyone to jack with their phones throughout the movie? Wouldn’t want you to miss that text from your kid with the flat tire and no spare in that sketchy neighborhood, right? To Hell with everyone else’s movie watching rights. Or let’s just make Cinemark responsible for your misfortunes and write a check.

      Once you abandon bedrock principles like private property rights and exclusivity, you open the door to any and all foolishness and arbitrary impositions on othere. The proof? See just about anything in America today.

      What if

      1. avatar Binder says:

        People using their phones in the movie are interfering with the operation of the business; shoes are a health and safety issue. A person being armed fails both tests. Need another example

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          You are reacting without thinking. Yes, no shoes no shirt no service is a health and safety issue–but not for the store, but for the patrons who shop there, as food can be contaminated. Many people believe that banning guns is a health and safety issue as well–theirs and their customers.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    That place banned SAA’s? Must have love for the Beretta.

    Businesses that are open to the general public have no right to infringe on the general public’s civil rights. Your personal residence is one thing. But a space open and inviting to the public is another matter.

    1. avatar Mitch says:

      So if somebody wants to hold a protest inside a Walmart, that’s totally their right, huh? First Amendment and all that.

      Frankly, you people who would infringe on the rights of property owners (which far exceed whatever silly notion of “civil rights” you think you have) sicken me just as much as the gun grabbers.

      1. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

        As a property owner you have the right to keep me from carrying a gun (with force of law in many states). To me, that says we are entering into a contract where on your property you are now responsible for my safety, since you are prohibiting me from protecting myself with he best available tools. Either agree that the notion of a sign being protective against criminals in any way is silly (and allow law abiding gun owners to carry for their protection), or accept the responsibility of your moronic stance that the sign will prevent criminals from harming people who are on your property.

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          There’s no such contract. A contract requires four basic elements: offer, acceptance, consideration (something of value), and intent to create the contract.

          Yes, it’s more complex than that, as there must be competence, a meeting of the minds (mutual understanding of what this contract’s terms are), and some contracts must be in writing. There’s a whole introductory class on it in law school and some lawyers devote their practice to writing contracts. Nevertheless, the basics are sufficient for our purposes here.

          All a store owner is agreeing to is to serve you if you don’t bring a gun. You leave that gun behind, he serves you, contract is fulfilled. You can’t go adding on your own extra conditions unilaterally after you’ve both agreed to the contract.

          What if you have a heart attack at the store? Is it the store’s responsibility to have a CPR trained staff on site and a defibrillator on premises? If not, you sue?

          You make your own decisions and endure the consequences. Shifting blame and robbing other people’s rights are huge parts of the pussifucation of America. Quit contributing to it.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Property owner rights far exceed civil rights? That is about the dumbest statement I have ever heard on the net. Property owners are above the law and the constitution?

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          Show me the part of the Constitution that says you can infringe on the private property rights of others.

          You can’t, because the Fifth Amendment explicitly prohibits it.

          You’re also not allowed to go into somebody’s store and hold a protest. You know that, right? Your “First Amendment rights” don’t mean a thing on someone else’s private property. Nor do your Second Amendment rights.

          This is Civics 101. I’m so sorry your teachers failed you so completely.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          Show me the part where the Constitution allows you to infringe on the right of people to keep and bear arms via the force of government law? The 2nd amendment expressly prohibits it. That’s civics 101, I’m sorry your teachers failed you so completely.

        3. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

          From an insurance standpoint you become an “invitee”. Like when a mail carrier steps on your property. You do not have absolute property rights. Just ask Trump. With civil rights,equal access and weirdoes in public johns the whole concept of “I can do whatever I want “gets real muddled…I just won’t do business with azzwholes with “no Beretta(or sa Army) signs. Oh and I’ll tell the world too. This is for jwm…

        4. avatar jwm says:

          Mitch, so stores can ban muslims? Blacks? Red headed Irish? You’re living in an absolute fantasy of black and white with no shades in between.

          And it is a fantasy.

        5. avatar Mitch says:

          Property owners have a right to ban anyone they want.

          That’s frequently infringed upon by government, but that doesn’t eliminate the right. Any more than the litany of gun laws eliminates the RKBA. Rights precede government, whether government recognizes them or not.

          If you are cheering the diminishing of another’s rights for your own gain, then you are part of the problem.

        6. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Property owners have a right to ban anyone they want.

          That’s frequently infringed upon by government, but that doesn’t eliminate the right. Any more than the litany of gun laws eliminates the RKBA. Rights precede government, whether government recognizes them or not.

          Well said, Mitch!

          I have to confess I am getting a bit sick and tired of the mentality of people who bring up wedding cakes for gays, as if that somehow justifies a matching rights violation in our favor. No, it justifies eliminating the rights violation involved with the gay wedding cake case, and nothing else.

        7. avatar Mark N. says:

          Mitch is 100% correct. The Bill of Rights is a restriction on the power of the federal government (since expanded under the 14th Amendment to include states under most of those restrictions), not private persons. The Second Amendment does not apply as between private persons. The First applies only in “public forums”, not on private property. You have a right to be free of governmental searches and seizures, not mine, as you will learn if you go to a concert. And so on and so forth. Yes, my rights on my private property vis-a-vis you are unaffected by the Constitution. Period.

          Your example as to discrimination is inapt. You can’t discriminate against race, religion, etc etc because there is a federal law that says so, not because of anything that is in the Constitution. I can’t kill you on my property (or anywhere else for that matter) because there is a law that says so, not because of anything in the Constitution. Try again.

      3. avatar pwrserge says:

        You can exercise your rights in any way you see fit, if that exercise interferes with MY rights, you are responsible for the consequences. It’s called a balance of freedom.

        If you want to ban guns, that’s your prerogative. But, if your ban causes me to be injured, you are responsible for that injury.

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          That’s not what the word “rights” means, nor is that a recognizable (nor reasonable) philosophical position.

          You have no right to enter my business in the first place, nor are you obligated to. I can prohibit you from saying or doing things I don’t like on my private property, and you are free to leave or be arrested for trespassing.

          Answer the question: do you seriously believe you have a right to hold a protest in the middle of a Walmart without Walmart kicking you out because “muh freeze peach”?

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          Not an argument. Banning protests does not cause damages subject to civil liability. Banning guns can. No different from slip and fall cases.

        3. avatar Mitch says:

          You are really struggling here. I feel like giving you a hand, but I’m pretty sure it would be wasted.

          I can certainly think of situations where preventing a protest could result in damages, but thankfully few people are dumb enough to assert that they have First Amendment rights on others’ private property so it’s a non-issue.

          Still, since you are asserting that you have Second Amendment rights on others’ property, it seems prudent for you to provide citations for similar First Amendment cases (since the 1A is usually far better protected than the 2A from a legal standpoint, this shouldn’t be difficult at all.)

        4. avatar pwrserge says:

          Not an argument smart one. Banning “free speech” does not put your customers at the increased risk of death or injury. Try again.

        5. avatar BDub says:

          Your argument leaves out the third party that actually caused you the harm.

        6. avatar pwrserge says:

          Not quite. It’s called being an accessory.

      4. avatar million says:

        Private property rights should be sacrosanct but they are not. See public accommodations law.

      5. avatar Binder says:

        Protests effect the business, how is a concealed firearm effecting the business?

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Apples and oranges. I as a private property owner am not required to accommodate your wants, needs or desires, whether it harms me or my business or not. As a private property owner my only duty is to use reasonable care to protect against certain foreseeable risks arising out of the condition of the property to avoid injuries to persons coming on the property. A robber coming onto my property is not a “condition of my property,” any more than is a customer who enters and gets involved in a dispute unrelated to my business with another customer. So if two strangers get into it, for whatever reason, I as the property owner am not responsible for the harm that results when they start swinging.

  5. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

    Yes, if your sign banning guns has the force of law, and I follow the law by not bringing my gun into your store, should I be injured by someone who decides to break the law, you should be held accountable for creating that circumstance. Kinda illustrates how absurd gun free zone signs are…

    1. avatar Mitch says:

      I must have missed the part where you are being forced to enter businesses where you are disarmed. Because if that’s not what’s happening, then it sounds an awful lot like you’re just refusing to accept responsibility for your own actions.

      Some of the people here seem to have about as much of a sense of personal responsibility as children. Or liberals.

      1. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

        Yeah, those blacks should have just used the stores that allowed them in, no need to make a fuss if the owners don’t want you in their store.

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          You can make as much fuss as you want. That doesn’t give you the right to infringe on the private property of others. (And I have no idea why anybody would want to shop at a business that didn’t want you there in the first place.)

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Because I have lived in towns that had only 1 store.

        3. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

          Mitch, private property rights do not give you absolute power over said property if you open it up to the public as a business especially. See Public Accommodation laws. It really boils down to if you think the ability to carry a gun is a right or not, and it is frank which side of that argument you are on Mitch.

        4. avatar Mitch says:

          1) Public Accommodation laws are a violation of rights. You sound like the gun grabbers who say “the Second Amendment isn’t absolute, you don’t have a right to own an assault rifle, there have been laws on the books for decades, blah blah…”

          2) Public Accommodation laws have nothing to do with most Constitutional rights. There’s no public accommodation law that gives you the right to protest in Walmart, is there? (I keep bringing this example up because it’s a perfect 1A parallel and nobody seems able to acknowledge it, let alone refute it.)

          PA says the force of government will prevent you from banning people based on race, religion, etc.. That’s a violation of the property owners’ rights, even if I personally oppose racial, religious, etc. discimrination.

          It says nothing about the First Amendment, Second Amendment, etc.. According to the law, the Constitution guarantees you the right to an abortion, but I’m pretty sure public accommodation doesn’t say you can have one in the middle of a McDonald’s.

  6. avatar erik says:

    100% yes for business. If you require people to disarm, you are saying that you are responsible for protecting them. If you don’t require them to disarm, you are telling people they are responsible for their own safety. When you don’t protect them and require them be defenseless, you should be liable for any harm caused.

    no for personal property.

    1. avatar Mitch says:

      Businesses are “personal property”. And the idea that businesses are somehow magically responsible for your safety is ludicrously immature.

      YOU are always responsible for your own safety. You and only you. If you choose to go somewhere you are disarmed, that’s your decision.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        So if a business drops a gallon of oil on their floor and a customer slips and breaks their leg, they are not responsible for that? Gee, I think centuries of case law would disagree with you.

        1. avatar thegreatclownpuncher says:

          I agree with you that if they spilled oil they would be responsible, but I think a closer analogy to that in this context would be if one of thier employees sharted shooting up the place. You could still sue for creating that unsafe situation. If some one came into thier store and spilled oil right in front of you and you slipped and fell the store would not be responsible for thier actions.

        2. avatar Mitch says:

          “Case law” is not rights. Decades of case law would also say you have no right to carry a gun at all, champ.

          Regardless, there’s also a difference between unexpected hazards (like spilled oil) and hazards you are aware of before entering (like a prohibition on firearms.)

          Additionally, if businesses are liable for prohibiting firearms, then they must also be liable for allowing firearms. If a store permits gun owners and somebody is shot, should they be liable? No, of course not, because the patrons knew going in that guns were allowed. It’s just as absurd to demand liability for any shootings of stores that allow guns as it is to demand liability for any shootings of stores that ban guns.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          Not an argument. Banning something is an action. Allowing something is an inaction. You cannot be held liable for failing to act when you have no responsibility to do so. Liability 101.

        4. avatar Mitch says:

          Since the “responsibility to do so” (i.e. take a specific action to prevent harm) is enshrined in law, this is fallacious. If the law said you had a responsibility to prevent people from being shot if you allow guns in your store, then that’s what your liability would become.

          If I let snow accumulate on the roof of my business and it collapses and kills everyone inside, am I liable? After all, it was simply inaction, right?

        5. avatar pwrserge says:

          Yes… Because inaction liability is totally not broken by intervening criminal or negligent acts. #fullretard

          What law school did you go to? If I were you, I’d demand my money back.

        6. avatar Mitch says:

          You seem to be fundamentally confused on how liability and rights work in the first place, so I’m not sure you should be throwing stones here.

          So when are you going to hold a protest inside a Walmart? First Amendment and all that?

          (I note with considerable satisfaction that you still haven’t been able to acknowledge my excellent point, let alone rebut it.)

        7. avatar pwrserge says:

          It’s not an “excellent point”. It has nothing to do with the topic. Banning “free speech” does not place your customers in preventable danger. Banning guns does.

          As I said, go to your law school and get your money back. Though from your arguments, I’d bet your constitutional and civil law education ended at your GED.

        8. avatar Mitch says:

          If you can’t think of cases where a private business curbing free speech might result in harm being done, then you suffer from a rather sizable failure of imagination, friend.

          It seems your understanding of liability law is rather weak, to be honest. That’s not uncommon on the Internet, to be sure, but I’m not sure how insulting me is going to improve your knowledge.

        9. avatar pwrserge says:

          Then please, oh legal scholar, cite a single case where such damage exists. I’ll wait.

        10. avatar Esq. says:

          Been reading the comments and have to ask, what law school exactly did you attend?

        11. avatar pwrserge says:

          Rutgers. Though to be fair, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve had anything to do with anything other than patent filings.

        12. avatar Mark N. says:

          As I noted above, it is pretty obvious that pwrserge did not attend law school, so don’t expect an answer. He is, though, quite fond of sequiturs and changing the argument to suit his purpose rather than devoting any energy to the issue presented. Again, not very legalistic, as he avoids the essential policies underlying tort liabilities. He is also wrong that there can be no liability for nonfeasance (inaction) and only for “action.”

        13. avatar Pwrserge says:

          Keep stuffing those straw men Mark.

  7. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

    No.

  8. avatar Gman says:

    How is banning law abiding citizens, exercising their natural, civil, and Constitutionally protected rights, any different from refusing to provide service to someone based upon the litany of special categories? If your business is a place of public accommodation, then you must provide your service to everyone equally and not discriminate. This is just another form of “We don’t want your kind here”.

    1. avatar Mitch says:

      Except that public accommodation laws are already a flagrant violation of property rights. Saying “Well, we just want to add ourselves to the list of ‘special snowflakes’ who are shielded from the consequences of our own actions” isn’t mature or reasonable.

      If you choose to disarm, that’s on you. You could refuse to disarm (and accept the consequences if you are caught) or, you know, just not go there in the first place.

      1. avatar Binder says:

        Then just change the public business to a private club and you are good to go

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Because you cannot compare statutes imposing liability for discrimination with Constitutional rights. The anti-discrimination law is intended to protect “suspect classifications,” all of which are statutorily defined from discrimination in both public and private services,based upon public policy as determined by Congress, not on the Constitution. “Gun owners” are not a protected class. Second, your Constitutional rights are protected from governmental interference, not private interference.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        But the laws, enacted by government, enable the discrimination and thus the Constitution, and anti-discrimination laws apply. Simply because we are not one of the “special” people doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong. The “special” people list grows based upon public complaint about being one of those “We don’t want your kind here” groups.

        All that said, I personally don’t agree with any of the anti-discrimination crapola. I firmly believe in “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone at any time”. But let’s say a business began discriminating against a certain group. Let the free market system and the 1st Amendment take care of them. I really can’t see us going back to the 50’s ever again.

  9. avatar DRGO says:

    DRGO has been speaking about this issue for some time.
    We have asked a similar question: should hospitals which bar their staff from carrying be held liable for harm resulting from people being unable to defend themselves?

    drgo.us/?p=2487
    and:
    drgo.us/?p=2167

    Arthur Przebinda, MD
    Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Would you want to be held liable for the unforeseen and unforeseeable actions of an unknown third party who is unrelated to you in any way?

    No?

    I didn’t think so. Neither would I. Neither should a store, restaurant or any other pubic accommodation.

    I can understand that POTG want to stick it to anti-gun businesses, but this is too much.

    1. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

      But Ralph, all the business has to do to not be held liable for the actions of a third party is not restrict me from my right to carry a firearm for my protection. Or do you not believe that being able to carry a firearm in public is a right?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I believe that carrying a gun is a right. I also believe that being held responsible for the actions of another, wholly-unrelated party is a wrong.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ralph,

      I would argue that violent criminal attacks are quite foreseeable since we have over 1 million documented violent crimes in the United States every year that happen in every conceivable location … including businesses. If such violent criminal attacks were not foreseeable, then why do many businesses have bullet-proof glass, alarms, and locks on their doors?

      A business does not have to know for certain that an event will happen to them to be liable. No business expects any catastrophe to happen. They do have to be prepared in general … and certainly cannot interfere with any patron’s ability to respond to a catastrophe.

  11. avatar Lava Shark says:

    Mixed feelings on this one. It irritates me to see firearm bans in private business, but it’s their property and I don’t have to go there. So i can do without their services and take my money elsewhere. And the thug shooting at me is the real criminal.
    The real question is government property. Say I have to go to traffic court, and they ban guns. If I get shot, how much liability do they bear because they forcibly disarmed me during an involuntary proceeding? You can already see the lawyers circling overhead.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Government property is a different issue entirely, in large part because only government can compel you to do business with them. Your feelings are not “mixed;” it’s perfectly consistent to oppose a government-facility ban while allowing private entities to set their own rules.

      1. avatar Lava Shark says:

        My feeling are indeed mixed, as only I would be able to know and express. We don’t “allow” private property owners the privilege to dictate terms to their quests or customers, it is a natural right where private ownership and free assembly intersect. I don’t like the gun restrictions, but that is just as much their right to dictate control over their property as it is my right to decide on mine. I disagree with their decision as I may wish to carry wherever I go. That doesn’t override their territorial rights, so I must make a choice; enter unarmed or keep walking. Two fundamental rights are in conflict. Hence my mixed feelings.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Ah, gotcha. I thought your mixed-ness was in comparing the government to the businesses.

          Part of respecting peoples’ rights, alas, is doing so even when they’re doing something you don’t like. Seems like certain individuals on BOTH sides of our present day cultural divide could stand a lesson on that, but you in particular have got the right idea.

  12. avatar John says:

    Ironic that the same anti-gun people who want to hold gun manufacturers responsible for actions committed by their products, don’t want to hold business owners responsible for actions committed by someone with a gun in their gun free business, because the owner can’t control what people do with a gun.

    1. avatar 2004done says:

      True, but completely lost on those fools who think they know better that their paper sign provides any safety to us.

  13. avatar Jon in CO says:

    The fact that people are crying about concealed weapons is the real tragedy here. I go all sorts of places where “guns aren’t allowed”, with my firearm, and nobody seems to care or have any worries at all. Why, you ask? Because nobody knows I have it. Isn’t that the point? Keep your business to yourself, and it won’t become anyone else’s.

  14. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    There should be neither automatic liability nor immunity for businesses that prohibit weapons. Whatever the actual statute language, the effect should be to prohibit a judge in a civil trial from dismissing a suit claiming damages incurred by a patron assaulted on business premises, as well as not presuming in all cases that the business is liable.

    In practical terms, if a weapons-prohibiting business does nothing at all to protect its customers then it should probably be held liable. On the other side, if such a business does a reasonable job of providing protection, then it should not be penalized if those efforts fail.

    1. avatar 2004done says:

      I’m afraid that is the same lack-of-reasoning (“common sense and reasonable”) used to promote ineffective anti-gun laws, AKA victim disarmament laws.

  15. avatar Bob says:

    Some considerations in these circumstances…

    The sign says “Unless Otherwise authorized by law….”
    2A is my lawful authorization. When I’m out and about… Do I want to mince words or get into arguments and/or discussions about it. Nope not interested. Going about my business… its concealed, or maybe I won’t carry it.

    other considerations….

    -if concealed weapon is discovered, what can be the cost of such failure?
    -if concealed weapon is needed for defense and I don’t have it, what can be the cost of that failure?
    -what can be the cost of carrying in a GFZ, after a successful or failing DGU in said GFZ?

    Take responsibility, make your balanced decision to carry or not, go certain places or not, and continue with your day. Nobody can make that decision for you.

    I’m sure there are plenty of other things to consider, but those come to mind first.

  16. avatar kevin says:

    Absolutely not- that’s gun-grabber logic, making an innocent person responsible for a criminal’s actions.

    However. . . what about qualified immunity from a civil lawsuit for a business that doesn’t prohibit guns? Or a limitation of liability for general damages to a fixed amount, like doctors enjoy (in some states) for medical malpractice? Now you’re talking. It would encourage people to take responsibility for their own actions and lower operating costs (liability insurance premiums) for businesses that respect the constitution.

    Want to exercise your private property rights and prohibit CCW or OC? Fine, but that will cost you.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Kevin,

      Is a business “innocent” if they actively interfered with a patron’s ability to protect themselves from a dangerous condition (an attacker in this case)?

      Suppose a business with a large building refuses to have multiple exits, an arsonist starts a fire inside, and dozens of people suffer burns while waiting their turn with 100s of people to exit out of the single operational door. Is that business still innocent because they did not start the fire? Or do they share responsibility for those injuries because they created a dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the dangerous condition?

      1. avatar Mitch says:

        Businesses are liable (criminally and civilly) for not following fire codes.

        By your reasoning, a business is liable for everything that happens on their property. So if a business allows guns and a negligent gun owner accidentally shoots someone, then the business shares responsibility, no?

        Thankfully, the law doesn’t work that way.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Mitch,

          Here is the paradox that you are currently arguing:

          (1) A business that fails to enact basic safeguards against a known risk (fires) is liable for injuries to patrons.

          (2) A business that actively prohibits basic safeguards against a known risk (violent criminal attacks) is not liable for injuries to patrons.

          How can failure to enact basic safeguards be a liability and actively prohibiting safeguards not be a liability?

      2. avatar kevin says:

        uncommonly_technical- Okay, when I said “innocent,” I obviously meant that a business who gets robbed or shot up didn’t actually do the shooting, mkay? Sure, a business who is negligent in not posting “exit” signs or has a slippery floor, or (to use your example) violates fire codes, doesn’t get a pass for those acts/omissions simply because they allowed guns.

        What you may not know, and what I meant to address, was that businesses get sued simply because they got robbed and/or shot up. It happens all the time. Don’t ask me how I know. If they didn’t have a security guard, they get sued. If they had an unarmed guard, they get sued for not having an armed guard. If they have an armed guard, they should have had two. And if they have an armed guard who accidentally shoots a patron, God help them.

        What I proposed, which was obvious to me, was that a business who didn’t prohibit CCW’s couldn’t be sued for negligence for an injury that occurred during commission of a crime where self-defense is at issue. So no, they wouldn’t have immunity for violating fire codes. They wouldn’t have immunity for gross negligence. They wouldn’t have immunity for a slip-and-fall. But they would have immunity from a lawsuit if a customer gets mugged in the parking lot, because hey, the business didn’t do anything wrong!

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Kevin, your logic completely escapes me. So lets take the ‘slip and fall’ scenario. Lets say walk into a business, we’ll call it Walmart. Lets say another customer drops a bottle of vegetable oil and the bottle bursts and the floor is covered. While they’re walking to customer service to notify a store employee of the spill, you come along and slip and fall. You crack your head open, suffer a concussion, miss time off work, pain and suffering, yada yada. You seem to think that Walmart did something wrong. There is a huge difference between ‘fault’ and ‘responsibility’. In this case Walmart did nothing wrong but it bears the burden of responsibility for your injuries in this case (by law).

          On the other hand, if the business willfully makes a decision that puts you at risk you seem to think that they haven’t done anything wrong. Seems to me that you’ve got it backwards.

  17. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    If a business creates/mandates a dangerous condition and fails to take reasonable steps to mitigate the dangerous condition, they are liable for their decision.

    If a glass cutting business prohibits shoes, does nothing to eliminate glass shards on the floor in customer areas, and a glass shard on the floor cuts a patron’s foot, the business is liable.

    If a welding business prohibits goggles/shields, does nothing to shield customers from ultraviolet radiation, and a patron suffers ultraviolet radiation burns on their face/corneas, the business is liable.

    If a business prohibits self-defense, implements nothing to defend the patrons from violent attacks, and a criminal harms a disarmed patron, the business is liable.

    Private property does not mean that we can have zero regard whatsoever for the lives of patrons/visitors.

  18. avatar Ing says:

    “Thorne questioned whether business owners rather than shooters should be liable if a gun goes off.”

    So if a criminal’s gun “goes off,” we hold the criminal liable, right? Maybe the anti-gun fools will finally start placing blame where it belongs instead of punishing 100 million law-abiding people for someone else’s actions (yeah, right…).

    As for the question at hand, any private business has the right to prohibit customers from carrying guns; that’s a private negotiation between customers and property owners. But if the state uses force of law to prevent people from exercising their right to the tools of self-defense, then the STATE should be liable.

  19. avatar pyratemime says:

    I would view this in the same light as them creating any other hazardous condition in their establishment. Leave a giant puddle of water in the middle of the floor and I slip and fall, you are liable. Leave uneven floors unrepaired and I trip, you are liable. Have merchandise precariously stacked on the top shelf and it falls on me, you are liable. Same thing here, if a proprietor is making a choice to create a hazardous condition where I can be injured due to limiting my options for self-defense because of the conditions set in their establishment then they are liable for any resulting injury.

    It should also be clear in the law that liability is purely civil because there is nothing illegal about them making their choice. All criminal liability must be reserved to the person who entered the establishment with unlawful intent and action.

    That being said any law which makes that liability explicit must also be sure to offer the same explicit protection for owners who choose not to manage my personal choices. If a proprietor does not restrict lawful carry of arms then they should be specifically immune from liability for injury caused by unlawful carriage and use (IE a robbery) or negligent use (IE negligent discharge) by patrons.

  20. avatar decoy91 says:

    Premise liability.

    They should be held liable if they put up a sign calling for “no guns.” By putting up a sign they are announcing that their premises is an easier target, which should be considered an act of negligence. Business owners should have a duty of care for their premises. By creating a less safe environment for their patrons they should be held liable.

    Gun owners shouldn’t frequent businesses that actively stand against the second amendment.

  21. avatar Specialist38 says:

    They already are legally liable in most states.

    If I’m on your property and injured or killed, your bear legal responsibility.

    Most businesses ban weapons to limit liability. Same thing with company vehicles, etc.

    So if I’m on a jury hearing a liability case where someone disarms to enter a “no gun” facility and is injured or killed. I’m open to it.

  22. avatar misterO says:

    People who would infringe on the rights of property owners sicken me, too. I know more than a few bar owners who would prefer to allow their customers to smoke but they aren’t permitted to, thanks to pious non-smokers (who are free to go elsewhere). In that case the right of the business owner is trampled on. Here, when it comes to the people’s right to bear arms the bill of rights ends up sullied. I’d wager the very same people who insist that a business owner has the right to exclude firearms would also argue that the owner has no right to allow smoking. That’s not what the word “freedom” means…

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      A couple of nuanced differences. First, you cannot smoke in public without inflicting some degree of harm to those around you. You can however carry a concealed weapon without harming anyone. Second, while I’d agree with your claim that you can go elsewhere, the waitress can’t, which is why I never understood why OSHA never banned smoking in the workplace altogether (not that I believe OSHA has any reason to even exist, but…) To OSHA the choice of being a waitress at a smoke filled bar is not her decision but an economic decision. Otherwise there couldn’t be any restrictions on other jobs like say coal mining. If you didn’t want black lung disease you should have found a different job, etc. Third, states and municipalities regularly place restrictions on all sorts of behavior on the basis that others find such behavior irritating. They have as much of a right to place restrictions on public smoking as they do public nudity.

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      I’d wager the very same people who insist that a business owner has the right to exclude firearms would also argue that the owner has no right to allow smoking. That’s not what the word “freedom” means…

      And in my case, you’d lose that bet. Please send your money to…

  23. avatar Treedodger says:

    Jennifer Thorne, executive director of the Ohio Coalition against Gun Violence…
    “When did it become OK to blame victims of crime?”………Bwahahahahahahahaaha

    Seriously?……..Liberals make a living out of ALWAYS blaming the victim. It is all they do day in and day out……What a hypocrite.

  24. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Yes the business should be liable for any injuries caused by their actions of disarming you. Seems pretty obvious to me since those signs aren’t about to stop anyone with ill intent. And this is not like slipping on the floor which at most is due to negligence on the part of the business, but an intentional decision to deprive you of your rights.

    But I’d take it a step farther. If you live in a ‘may issue’ state and you are not a prohibited person yet you are denied your right to bear arms, the state and the sheriff or police department that made the decision to deny you your rights should be liable for any injuries you sustain because of their decision. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for New Jersey to pass such a law, however it’s possible that ‘may issue’ could be done away with if there were a few successful lawsuits to that effect.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      But I’d take it a step farther. If you live in a ‘may issue’ state and you are not a prohibited person yet you are denied your right to bear arms, the state and the sheriff or police department that made the decision to deny you your rights should be liable for any injuries you sustain because of their decision.

      That’s not taking it a step further, rather, you’ve identified the one case where I’d agree with you (it’s your proposals re: private property that are the “step further” and are “too far,”). It’s a government entity, backed by force, denying you your rights in public, and even on property where the business owner might be happy to see you carry a gun.

      The business owners, by themselves, can’t force you to disarm while on their property because they can’t force you onto their property in the first place. The government’s reach is EVERYWHERE however.

  25. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    It’s a public safety issue that has emergered because of unchecked hoplophobia.

    Fact: Mass shooters and criminals in general favor gun free zones.

    The downside of gun free zones is increased chance of a crime, bodily harm, and possibly death. The downside of no gun free zones is irrational paranoia for a few people.

    Feelings vs reality. The dilemma ensues.

  26. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    This is a tough one because of private property owner rights vs individual rights. I will go with keep third parties from interfering with letting people make their own decisions (like insurance companies, building owners telling businesses etc.)

    Ultimately something to remember is that you don’t need one of these laws theoretically to kick people out of your business. You just tell them to leave, like you can for p much any reason.

    That said this idea is also very much a liberal’s view on the world that the government will tell people what to do instead of letting them choose for themselves.

    That said if a couple of people in Aurora or Orlando had a gun they could have done some real good. It’s a shame that they were forbidden, and it’s a message we should use OUR freedom of not going to those businesses to express our displeasure. Rent a movie instead.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      ‘You just tell them to leave, like you can for p much any reason.’

      Unless they want you to bake a cake for their gay wedding.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Yes, that ruling was as wrong as “2+2=22”. But that’s utterly irrelevant, no matter how much you (or I) are butthurt about it. Why does that make it right to violate the property owner’s rights in yet another way?

        Whatever happened to “two wrongs don’t make a right?”

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          I think you’re missing the part where gays are a privileged class while gun owners and Christians are a disfavored class. It’s OK to force someone in the disfavored classes to do things against their will.

        2. avatar SteveInCO says:

          I fail to see the relevance. You’re (rightly) pissed off about there being favored groups, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to demand creation of another favored group.

          Government is interfering in the right of a business to not do business with someone, group X.

          How does that justify them interfering in the right of a business to do not business with someone else, group Y?

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Well for the most part I think it falls under the classification of ‘irony’. For what it’s worth I think that a business owner should be free from government intrusion pertaining to who he does or does not choose to do business with. Don’t like black people? Feel free to put up a sign. Jews? Ditto. Probably won’t be good for your business but it’s none of the government’s business IMHO. But the business also doesn’t have any right to call in the government and enforce their wishes by force of law. On the other hand, if your business decisions cause legitimate harm to others this is what the civil courts were set up for in the first place. Governments have always played the role of neutral arbiters in civil matters and I don’t think that is an improper role of government. So as to the liability of a gun banning business owner, that largely rests on the plaintiff proving that had he not been barred from bringing in his weapon that he a) would have actually had his weapon and b) would not have suffered his injuries. Probably a pretty high bar to prove, but I don’t see why the business owner should be granted special immunity under law in this case.

  27. avatar CTstooge says:

    I got diarrhea at Chipotle once.

  28. avatar HandyDan says:

    I see a lot of people talking about what people have the right to ban in private property, except the Constitution guarantees us the right to bear arms. Nowhere in the Constitution does this say that this is a right only protected from government abuse. If you are in the United States, you are guaranteed that right, period.

    1. avatar Lava Shark says:

      Does that include private residences as well? A homeowner can’t make have control over his private property?

  29. avatar strych9 says:

    An interesting question. In a perfect world I would say no.

    However, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in one where the government gets involved in everything and generally in highly retarded ways.

    First, there’s a huge difference between a grizzled shopkeep that says “Looky here sonny, I won’t sells ya no pickax or goldpan noways until yous git back out to yer horseless conveyance and git rid of yer smokewagon” and a shopkeep who’s asking the government to bring the weight of law to bear on someone who does something the said shopkeep doesn’t approve of. (“And I’d have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”).

    That may seem like a nitpicking but it’s not. In Ohio it’s a criminal offense, misdemeanor trespass if I remember my Ohio CCW class, to ignore (or miss) the GFZ signs. Therefore it’s not between you and the shopkeep, rather it’s between you and the government and I’d say that violates the 2A.

    Secondly, liability law is generally fucked anyway. Growing up I lived on a piece of property my dad owned which was surrounded by a beautiful retaining wall. My dad didn’t install the wall (that was done in the late 1800’s) and it was not possible to remove the wall. It was also not possible to fence off the wall. If a kid or other person, who was not invited to the property or even known to us, walked on the wall, fell off and was injured dear old dad was liable for that. Now that’s someone who entered private property uninvited and hurt themselves. If you’re liable for that I’d say that liability goes a lot farther when you hang your shingle and invite the public to enter your business since you’re now intentionally creating a situation.

    Third, this is legalized discrimination. I would argue that a private business can refuse service to anyone for any reason but that’s not what our government says. Our government says you can’t discriminate against people for some things but you can for others. That’s retarded. Pick one or the other: ether it’s a private business and discrimination is acceptable or discrimination is always unacceptable.

    Forth and finally, we know that mass shootings tend to happen in GFZ’s. That’s not up for debate. Therefore a rational argument can be made that the signs Ohio requires for private businesses are an invitation for violent nuts to commit violence against decent citizens and also for the criminal element to do what they do.

    So the way I see it is this: In a perfect world the government wouldn’t be involved at all and the vendor would be free to not do business with you until you disarmed just as you would be free to not do business with them unless they didn’t require you to disarm. Since that’s not the way things are, and for the reasons listed above, yes they should be held liable if you follow their rules to disarm and end up the victim of violence. They invited you in to do business, used the law to discriminate against you with a criminal penalty for you if you don’t obey and they did so in a situation where they know or should know that they are advertising to criminals and crazies while doing nothing to mitigate the increased risk they’re inviting you to take (unless of course they’ve got a shotgun behind the counter). They created the situation of their own free will. 100% liable in my book.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      A no guns signs does not “intentionally” create a situation, other than you not carrying a gun, but that’s not the situation you fear. The situation you fear is violent crime. No sign on the wall ever caused a violent crime any more than a sign on the wall prevented violent crime. Violent criminals cause and intend to cause violent crimes. Signs and store owners do neither.

      By your reasoning, simply allowing you to carry isn’t enough. You must be allowed to carry openly, a rifle, in a high ready challenge position, as you roam the store’s aisles. Anything less would impair your ability to defend yourself if trouble went down and thereby impose legal obligations on the store owner. Good grief.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Jonathan:

        No. You’re missing the point.

        Having 20 cans of gas in your business is legal. If it leads to a fire that harms people then you’re liable because you created the environment where you know or should know that such a problem could occur and harm people.

        The point is that the business intentionally invites people into a physical location for the purpose of selling something and making money for the business. That’s taking action and it creates a crowd of people. They then go through the trouble to procure and post the sign. Another action. It ensures that law abiding gun people are either not present or are disarmed. [It also, in Ohio, involves the government directly because in Ohio if they discover you have a gun it’s an immediate crime. They don’t have to ask you to leave before it becomes trespass they can just call the police and have you hauled away.]

        Therefore, they’re actively working to create an environment. If that environment leads to someone being harmed the business is liable under our current system. For example: If a concealed carry permit holder has a gun and is forced to disarm in a parking lot and then is injured by a mass shooter or a criminal that they may well have been able to deal with with their gun then the business created the environment that brought that criminal to the location and removed the law abiding citizen’s ability to deal with the situation.

        Since we know that nuts and terrorists are attracted to soft targets and that criminals prefer disarmed victims the business owner should know that too. By openly posting a “we’re a soft target/easy prey” sign they have 1) created the environment and 2) advertised it’s existence to the very people who would cause harm. In my mind they are therefore liable under the current system.

        I don’t like it but that’s the way it is and quite frankly, given that this is a legal form of discrimination against people who are doing nothing wrong, that fact that they could be dragged into court over it doesn’t bother me.

        As for your second paragraph that’s nice straw man you’ve built there.

  30. avatar Kapeltam says:

    If a business says I’m not responsible enough to carry a gun in their store, then I damn well will hold them personally responsible for my safety. Some of the places I go to for work are no carry zones. I make it a point to make sure they understand Wisconsin’s law allows me to hold them responsible. Especially since they have no armed security.

  31. avatar Nanashi says:

    If they aren’t getting robbed they have no reason to ban guns.

    If they know they’re getting robbed and ban guns they are intentionally putting their customers in danger.

  32. avatar Benny the Jew says:

    Liable? No, but they shouldn’t have the ability to make exercising your basic right to armed self defense a criminal offence just by posting a sign, either.

  33. avatar RetroG says:

    If businesses want to put up signs prohibiting guns in their stores, they should be able to do that. But if they want the law to enforce said sign, then they should be held strictly liable for any attacks a gun in the hands of a customer would have possibly prevented.

    That’s called compromise. Or trade offs.

  34. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Yes. If a business owner willfully runs a business with unsafe conditions, such as a leaky roof that causes someone to slip and break their hip, they are liable for it. Same should apply with banning guns; place gets robbed and I get shot the owner should be liable.

  35. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    One must realize that there are wildly varying types of businesses with regards to security, from wide open Walmarts with essentially zero security to nuclear power plants with controlled entrances and their own private SWAT teams ready to engage threats. My bank’s local branch has no restrictions posted. However, another nearby branch prohibits firearms and has a secured entrance equipped with a metal detector. Most retail stores, restaurants and gas stations are wide open. They make no attempt to provide for the security of their employees and customers. It is reckless and irresponsible for such businesses to prohibit the law-abiding from carrying in accordance with their constitutionally protected right. Reckless and irresponsible behavior is often the topic of discussion in civil law suits.

    For those that would say that these businesses shouldn’t be punished for the illegal actions of law-breakers, I say, then why is the Sandy Hook shooting civil case proceeding even when there is a specific law forbidding it. These businesses should be very wary. One day some enterprising lawyer will realize that this is another way to tap into some pretty deep pockets.

  36. avatar Joe Liberty says:

    If we are not going to hold police liable for not protecting the public, it is extremely inconsistent to hold a private property owner liable for not protecting his patrons. They have no legal duty to do so. By law, the only people you can’t discriminate against are covered by civil rights and disabilities acts. Anyone else is fair game, gun owners included.
    Furthermore, even if you wanted to hold such an owner liable, if a ‘hot coffee’ warning label is sufficient warning to protect McD’s from lawsuits, how is the ‘no guns in here’ sign any different. He informed you there was no security in the store, you accept the liability by going in.
    Personally, the only time I disarm is if the property owner has taken responsibility and there is armed protection for me and metal detectors to ensure everyone is equally disarmed.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      The issue is not a failure to protect. The issue is a deliberate action leading to preventable harm. That’s a HELL of a difference.

  37. avatar 2A approved says:

    Let’s say i’m at a convenience store to buy some chewing gum. Suddenly a car smashed through the wall and injures me. Is the Store owner at fault or is it the driver of the car. I mean did the Owner not think to put up a wall that could withstand a wreck..

  38. avatar Bob392 says:

    Simple. If a business owner is liable for inadequate fire prevention and suppression equipment and processes, why would we not make them liable for inadequate protective measures against violent assaults within their facilities? If it is insane to make businesses liable for not providing reasonable protection against violent assault, then it is equally insane to be required to install fire extinguishers, sprinklers, fire alarms, and emergency exits.

  39. avatar pwrserge says:

    I see some people still can’t tell the difference between inaction when the person has no duty to intervene and direct action that exacerbates a preventable situation.

    You’re not liable if your private camp ground catches on fire due to an accident. You ARE liable if your camp site bans fire extinguishers.

    The crux of the liability is in that the situation would not have had the damaging result except for YOUR DIRECT ACTION.

  40. avatar glenux says:

    I don’t claim to know all the answers.
    This issue is actually a little more complicated than what you might think.
    On face-value it might seem obvious that if you were denied the right to wear a firearm on someone else’s private property and were shot,
    does the property owner bear any of the liability?
    Liability laws?

    Years ago I was injured in an accident on the job.
    I sued my former employer in the workman’s comp court.
    I received a certain amount and my attorney got for more than what I thought was fair.
    I learned something about the law.
    Workman’s comp law in my state is not really in the favor of the employer as
    the Workman’s comp insurance fund is paid by the employers.

    If you are injured on the job, the law is very specific what your compensation will be.
    This much for a broken bone.
    That much for a burn of a certain percent and depending where on your body and what gender you are.
    Women get more compensation if the injury detracts from the appearance.
    For men it’s almost a badge of honor.

    However, if you are a customer on a premises and you receive the same injury as a worker, you could sue in Civil court and win much much more money.

    Should it matter whether the cause of the injury was an accident or a shooter?

    So, whether you carry a gun or not, the more general question is what kind of Liability does the store owner bear whether it’s a Tornado Storm, an Earthquake, a Fire, a Shooter?

    Would it matter whether the Shooter was a Disgruntled employee or a Disgruntled Customer?

    Believe me, if I were shot in a Gun-Free Zone, I would want to sue somebody,
    anybody.
    What if the shooter had no assets for me sue for?
    I do have the right to sue the business owner if the cause of my injury was an accident.
    After all this is a litigious society.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      I do have the right to sue the business owner if the cause of my injury was an accident.

      A shooting isn’t an accident, it’s a deliberate act by a third party. That makes it different from cases where the second party (the business owner) fails to guard against an accident, and certainly makes it different from cases where the business owner intentionally does something to you. How that difference plays out in current law is a question I don’t have the answer for. I do have an opinion on what the law *should* say, which is that you enter his property by his leave (even if it’s an “open to the public” business–all that does is change the default when no explicit permission is given from “no” to “yes”) and he can impose conditions on it and you can refuse to enter, or enter and abide, but you cannot enter and refuse to abide by those conditions and then expect not to be required to leave, with that (if necessary) backed up by force (the sheriff).

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        And the business-owner has made the conscious decision to disarm every GOOD person at their place, and has neglected or refused to hire any ARMED security when armed robberies and assaults are quite common. Sounds like infringing on people’s safety to me.

      2. avatar glenux says:

        SteveInCO

        I see your argument.
        I would like to be able to sue the business owner of a gun free zone,
        but I agree, there was no implied contract that the business owner
        bears any liability from harm due to a third party.

        That reminds me that I also can sue the police for lack of protection if
        a third party shoots me, because it is not in their commission to be my
        personal body guard.
        I can’t even sue a municipality if their state law allows them to ban all
        firearms in their city.
        For the individual business owner we also have to consider their
        “property rights”.
        Does might right to defend my life trump their property rights?
        I guess you are saying it does not.

  41. avatar anonymoose says:

    I hope this passes. My local grocery just put up a sign, hidden among the ads on the back entrance, and you wouldn’t know it was a GFZ if you came in through the front.

  42. avatar kap says:

    we are guests on their property with their permission, as such it is their duty to keep us safe from harm and if we are disarmed and come to Harm they are liable under the Duty too protect! so pass it
    If you have a problem with disarmament go else where, after writing a nice note saying why, enough nice notes represent a lot of buying power! sorta a mini boycott with out the hoopla!

  43. avatar alexander says:

    Equally, if the government, through negligence or culpability, allows criminals or terrorists to hurt citizens, it should also be liable.

  44. avatar Early BIRD says:

    It is very simple to determine the liability here. If a business denies you the right to exercise a legal right to carry, they then have formed a special duty to provide for your safety. Businesses are sued every day for failures to provide reasonable security for their customers. To deny someone the means to defend themselves surely enhances the business owners liability.

  45. avatar BluesMike says:

    I couldn’t even get half way through the comments. Here’s the deal.
    The property owner should be able to put up the sign because of the first amendment.
    I should be able to ignore it or not see it (legitimately) and enter the property with my gun concealed or not because the 2nd amendment says “shall not be infringed” which means “shall not be inconvenienced in the slightest.” The property owner can refuse my business and even ask me to leave. That’s fine. Any force of law behind those signs is a clear violation of the 2nd amendment, period.

    1. avatar dave in NC says:

      I agree with what BluesMike said.
      Just to add a different spin on the same subject consider this.
      Instead of “Should Gun Ban Businesses Be Liable for Criminal Attacks?”, make it “Should Gun Ban Employers Be Liable for Employees Safety”.
      I work for a company that bans weapons on their property including in privately owned vehicles, and as a condition of employment I had to agree to allow my vehicle to be searched if requested. (Now before someone blasts me with the “you don’t have to work there….and your free to find another job” argument, be real. Would you seriously uproot your family and move because of it?) I’ve been with this company for over 14 years and it’s located in a large city in NC and I have an hour commute each way, very early in the morning… i.e. 2am. And like most big cities has its share of areas that you wouldn’t want to be in at 2am. If I choose to follow my employers rules and NOT carry and were injured or killed going to or coming from work I think I/my wife should be able to hold my employer liable. By removing my ability to defend myself I think they must now assume responsible for it.
      Just my 2 cents.

  46. avatar Scottlac says:

    Count me in the YES column also. I have been saying this for years. Any entity that chooses to disarm legal carriers with a sign should also assume civil responsibility for the defense of their disarmed patrons.

  47. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Here’s a twist:

    If businesses can be held liable for not allowing carry, then will carriers be liable for not taking action in the even a crime happens and you are armed a d in proximity.

    Gun owners don’t have a duty to protect and I suppose businesses don’t either.

  48. avatar Badwolf says:

    I hate gun free zones. But as long as nothing is forcing me to enter, I am free to leave, and the business (employee) isn’t doing the attack… then to me it’s fair. I can ignore the sign (concealed means concealed) or I can take my business elsewhere.

    It’s his property, his rules. Same way, on my property my rules. I can ban whatever or whoever the heck I want on my private property. If you don’t like it you are free to leave.

  49. avatar Mark Horning says:

    Standard business liability law says that a business is liable and/or negligent if they:
    -Create a hazard.
    -Know of, but do not address, a hazard.
    -Should have known of a hazard.

    How is this different than a grocery store being liable if a customer slips and falls because the store negligently failed to clean up a spilled beverage? Note: it does not matter if the spill was created by a 3rd party. The business owner is still liable if they do not act in a reasonable manner to mitigate the hazard.

  50. avatar Warlocc says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about customers/visitors/patrons, since they can easily choose not to be there.

    Employees on the other hand, it’s not so easy to choose not to be there.

  51. avatar Publius says:

    I live in Ohio, thanks for bringing this bill to my attention. I’ve said for years that if a business can be sued for any accidents on their property, they absolutely should be liable for any violent injuries if they demand that their patrons not defend themselves. Time to write my congress critters!

    1. avatar Publius says:

      And I just found out that it was one of my reps who introduced it. I love having extremely pro-gun politicians in my district for state issues.

  52. avatar Yellow Devil says:

    No. Unless it’s a government entity or the business is a government sponsored monopoly for their services, than I would generally say no, along with any proposed law to force businesses to cater to firearm holders.

    Seriously people, if you see a sign like that, don’t go in and give them your money. I don’t like it when gays use the force of government to make bakeries bake a wedding cake for them or take photos at their wedding, so I don’t like it in this case either.

    1. avatar Publius says:

      It’s only “forcing” them to be consistent with rules regarding customer safety. If the businesses actions cause you to get hurt (such as slippery floors), they’re responsible. If they ban guns and an attacker injures you as a result, they’re responsible. Simple.

  53. avatar Don says:

    No.

    Businesses which are public accommodations should not be able to prohibit legal carry of weapons.

    The criminals alone should be held liable for their attacks.

    Not the business, not the gun, not the gun manufacturer, not the gun dealer, not the education system, not the police, not the NRA, not the criminal’s parents, so on and so forth. Otherwise would be applying the same BS thinking that the anti-gunners use, and while giving them a taste of their own medicine would be fun to watch, it’s still the same BS thinking.

  54. avatar MeRp says:

    IANAL so ignore my opinion, please.

    I think no guns signs should not have force of law on private property, and should not exist on public property (ie government property). That solves the issue; the sign becomes a request by the owner, not a government-backed imposition on your rights. If the owner (or duly authorized entity) asks you to leave, then you leave, otherwise you are trespassing. They could ask you to leave because you do not have a shirt on or because you are acting like a fool, or because you are carrying a gun. Who cares why?

    With that approach, since no gun signs are advisory, they are taking care of any possible negligence claims. And since they are not enforced by the government (only trespassing is), there’s no rights questions to solve.

  55. avatar Henry says:

    I am absolutely not a fan of America’s current “places of public accommodation” legal theory that forces citizens to surrender some of their personal rights in order to exercise their economic rights.

    That having been said, if you as a person are comfortable with the prevailing legal theory that the government can force you to surrender your personal freedom of association in terms of not discriminating in the classes of customer you will serve, or the classes of person you will hire, simply because you are engaging in commerce, then you should have absolutely no problem with the government also forcing you not to discriminate against customers exercising an enumerated constitutional right.

    Given that all but two of the mass shootings that have occurred in the past 50 years have been in “phony gun-free” zones, proprietors ought to be put on notice that they are increasing, not decreasing, the risk of their patrons. Any wise insurance company unconstrained by contrary regulation would charge those businesses a premium for strictly free-market actuarial reasons; therefore it is not beyond consideration that government should penalize them likewise.

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