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Armed Trespass?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by ZigZagZeke, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I was browsing the HandgunLaw.us web page for Oregon and noticed that they say that in Oregon a "No Firearms" sign has the force of law, meaning that one is criminally trespassing by simply entering the facility armed, CHL or not, concealed or not. That's not what I have been told from other sources and even in my CHL class. It's not my understanding of the law, and it makes a huge difference in my ability to legally carry concealed. My understanding is that someone in charge must ask you to leave, and then if you refuse to leave you are trespassing.

    I sent an email to the HandgunLaw.us administrators saying they were at odds with the general understanding of Oregon concealed carry law. This is the reply I got:

    We need to get a definitive answer from somewhere. Anybody got a statement from a rock solid source (preferably a legal professional) on this?
     
    telero likes this.
  2. telero

    telero Salem area, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That's an excellent question. I read that awhile back and had the same question...what is it in the ORS that gives the sign force of law? I've always understood that trespass required a warning to leave from someone in charge, and that if you refuse, that's when it becomes trespassing.
     
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  3. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Here's a subsequent reply I got from HandgunLaw.us later today:

    So it's a mixed bag. If the property is not specifically mentioned in ORS as off limits, then they DO have to ask you to leave first. I'm very grateful to Gary Slider at HandgunLaw.us for pursuing the question on a Saturday, and even more impressed that he got some official answers.
     
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  4. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I went into a bank recently, was posted No Weapons!
    There wasn't anyone to frisk me, and I didn't reveal anything threatening.
    Transacted and departed, no one the wiser.
     
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  5. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Interesting question. Good thing it was cleared up.

    I do think some people think that posting a sign has some force of law, regardless of what it says (towing unauthorized parked vehicles notwithstanding).

    I once worked at a place where they updated their employee policy to read that "illegal concealed weapons" were prohibited - which I am sure they thought meant any and all weapons period, and did not consider the fact that a handgun with a CWP was not "illegal".

    A lot of people make assumptions about firearms laws - which is why we often see questions about where to "register" a firearm after someone has bought one in a locale where "registration" is not the law (indeed, no mechanism for it).
     
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  6. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    "property not specifically mentioned in law as off limits do not have the force of law and they must ask you to leave first." Are there any properties mentioned in the law currently? The Post Office, Federal Buildings, Sherriff's office, Courthouse.... so basically these are the only places and they dont even need the sign in the first place. Oh, anyone know the law that specifies the Post Office as off limits?

    ...if the actual business owner them-self placed the sign would it be considered the same as being told?


    and FWIW I will still hand out No Guns=No Money cards and avoid shopping at any "gun-free" store. I think its important to continue to do that regardless of the legalities.
     
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  7. 1337BaldEagle

    1337BaldEagle Earth Active Member

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    My understanding is that the only reason they have a sign up is so that if one is asked to leave and one doesn't then you may be charged with trespass. It was my understanding that they sign and the direction from the PIC must be in conjunction.

    But now that I'm typing it out it kinda sounds off...

    Eagle
     
  8. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    You can ask anyone at any time to leave your premises and if they do not then they can be charged with trespass.

    How this applies to signs banning weapons, I am not sure - I would think the same principle applies - you have to be asked to leave first and you have to refuse. In which case, how is the fact that you are carrying a weapon any different?

    http://www.oregonfirearms.org/chl-central/prohibited-places

    Personally, if someone asked me to leave their premises under those circumstances (only because I was carrying concealed, and no other reason), I would usually leave immediately, and I would not come back. I would also make sure that as many of my friends, family and people here on this forum and other places knew that this happened.

    The only situation where I would not leave would be if it was an emergency and I was trying to locate a loved one on their premises.
     
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  9. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    In some states, a sign does have the force of law. I was surprised to hear that Texas has that law, and there are even approved signs.
     
  10. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I had never seen a no gun sign at Washington Square. I had checked the doors for signs and never saw one. Last week I noticed a standard size/print piece of paper posted next to the no smoking red circle on the glass off to the side of the doors. I went over and saw that it is the house rules. About 15 of them. No weapons/firearms is listed. Along with no skateboarding, no skimpy clothing, no loud boisterous behavior. It even prohibited knives with a blade over two inches!!!

    Now, how many shoppers would actually take the time to go over to see what the paper was? You have to stand right in front of it to read it. Maybe it is their way of having rules, but posting them inconspicuously so as not to run off any shoppers?
     
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/oregon.pdf
     
  12. Provincial

    Provincial Near Salem, OR Well-Known Member

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    It is my belief that most of these signs prohibiting weapons are there to meet requirements by the insurance carrier. Their purpose is really to provide the defense lawyers proof that the business was not liable for any injury or death attributed to weapons brought on to the premises. It is the "My client clearly posted signs stating Don't run with scissors at the entrance to the building" defense.

    There are a significant number of businesses that are anti-gun, and I'm sure that they would (and do) put up similar signs even without the input from their insurers. A far greater number of businesses don't know or care more than what the insurer tells them.

    The level of response for being caught carrying is likely to be highly variable, and based mostly on the political beliefs of the owner and/or manager of the business. Having a CCW is more likely to mitigate any problem, rather than exacerbate it.
     
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  13. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I agree they might think it is a defense, and it is probably is part of what could be used as a defense, although IMO it would only really impress the stupid (i.e., most people) and lawyers.

    I kind of doubt an insurance company would require it, but then again maybe they would - a lot of their reasoning is stupid too, and they also are often influenced heavily by lawyers.

    The upshot for us though is that it doesn't really matter (in the PNW) whether they post a sign or not, it has no real impact or force of law.

    Whether they post a sign or not, they may ask any visitor to their premises to leave at any time for almost any reason save those protected by the ADA, non-discrimination laws and such, and if we don't leave then they may have us arrested for trespass - but the carrying of a weapon within the boundaries of the law adds no real legal risk - save that of being arrested and charged by a LEO who doesn't understand the relevant laws or is overzealous, in which case I recommend leaving as soon and quickly as possible and not returning.

    If you do encounter a LEO, do not argue with them - it only pisses them off. Comply with their orders, whether they are legal or not - one of their favorite tactics is to arrest someone for resisting arrest when there is no other reason for the arrest - it is their catchall Catch-22 methodology for dealing with anybody who has the temerity to question their authority (I have known a number of people who been arrested for resisting arrest when the arrest was for resisting arrest - circular logic if I have ever heard it - and one relative served time for it - only a few locales do not allow prosecution on that charge alone when there is no other basis for arrest).

    Do not mistake my statements above for a disrespect for LEOs - I was once a federal LEO, and I have a lot of respect for the job and the people who work in LE, but there are too many who abuse their authority in this way.
     
  14. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Its worth noting that if asked to leave and you dont immediately, the charge of trespass is upped to criminal trespass because you have a firearm. http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/164.265
     
  15. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    However, there are defenses.

    In the sidebar that shows "Decisions" on this page (http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/164.205), there are some interesting *possible* exceptions if you google the court cases. I wouldn't rely on them, and if asked to leave I would leave immediately.

    This is more or less academic - I really doubt that for most of us this will ever become and issue. We would try not to reveal that we are carrying a firearm, and most places would probably or maybe not ask someone who inadvertently did reveal such carry to leave.

    Regardless, it is good to know the law and how to react to reduce the likelihood of trouble.
     
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  16. Gary Slider

    Gary Slider West Virginia New Member

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    Anytime some one tells you that you must leave their property you must leave immediately or you are trespassing. The same as you telling someone to leave your home or leave your property. Talking to Attorneys they tell me what gets most in trouble is they try to argue with the owner or person in charge of the property and don't leave when they are told. That is what makes it a trespass charge and Oregon law specifically spells out that if you are a trespasser with a firearm then it is Criminal Trespass which Koda pointed out
     
  17. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It is their property. Same as my property. They have the right to make rules for their property just the same as I have the right to make rules for my property. Yes, I have rules. Stop by for coffee, you are welcome to carry. Stop by for beers or shots, leave your firearm at home or in your car.
     
  18. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Actually this is part true. You are not trespassing simply because someone tells you to leave. They must have the authority to do so. For example, a guest in your home might not have the authority unless you gave them permission to temporarily watch over your home while you were gone...neither can just regular employees of a business unless the manager/owner explicitly gave them the authority to do so.

    Authorized persons to trespass individuals usually are security officers, managers, owners, tenants, landlords or police.

    The problem with placing any sign is simply "I didn't notice the sign."

    If you can get Criminally Trespassed for a "No Guns" sign then technically, you can get criminally tespassed for:

    Bringing in food to a theater
    Not having your dog on a leash
    Parking in a Handcaped or other "No Parking" area
    Riding a skateboard or bike on a sidewalk
    Handing out a business card in an area that states "No Soliciting"


    See where this gets a slipperly slope? If you are legal to have it and be there, then you are legal to do it until told otherwise by an individual that has the authority to tell you otherwise. Then, and only then, are you actually committing a crime.

    So basically I just typed a long post to reitterate "screw their sign, if it's legal to carry then carry!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  19. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Carry concealed, keep it to yourself.
    If it's not your property, conduct yourself with humility, tact, and restraint.
    If asked to leave, quietly leave.
    Go home and write about your experience here.
     
  20. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Don't let them know you have a gun. And if you're asked to leave, leave. Criminal Trespass can be applied if you're asked to leave and don't, gun not withstanding.