Liability for Gun Free Zones

"If you create a gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes."

This may be the most important pro-rights gun bill to come down in many years.

A version of the bill was first introduced in Arizona (HB2456 in 2002) by Rep. Randy Graf (R-6th), with considerable support (12 sponsors!).

In 2003, Rep. Graf re-introduced it in Arizona (HB 2320). The state of Georgia joined the effort to enact this important new legislation with HB31, introduced by Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-17th). At least two other states actively considered the bill.

The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act has excellent value even if it isn't enacted in its first years -- it is a just and common-sense bill that would help protect the public. Resisting its reasonable provisions requires taking the moral low ground -- that you have no right to defend yourself. A lot of very bad gun bills are planned, so it's critical to balance that with bills as positive as this one. Ask your legislators to at least look at the bill and support it. Basically, "If you create a gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes."



Talking Points & Bill Text

"If you create a gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes."

(NOTE: Copy of the proposed bill text follows.)

Originally introduced in Arizona as The Defenseless Victim Act of 2002, this bill recognizes that gun-free zones, recklessly made and typically with no alternative security provided, are known to be extremely dangerous.

We have seen this (when the bill was first introduced) in the Wakefield, Mass., slayings, the Luby's Massacre, and even the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, where pilots and passengers were defenseless, in the false name of security. Congress responded to that with the "Arm The Pilots" law.

The death toll from gun-free zones continues to mount, with the 2007 Virginia Tech slaughter of helpless students and faculty, and at a Christmastime massacre that year in an Omaha shopping mall. The mall had "no guns allowed" signs to keep out FBI-certified citizens with CCW permits. The murderer, as in all such cases, disobeyed the signs. The news media continues to suppress stories where armed individuals stop such mayhem. See for example, The Bias Against Guns, by John Lott, for numerous egregious examples. You can also read this eloquent gun-bias editorial online.

The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act basically says that, in public places, if you create a dangerous gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes. There is no cost or budget item associated with enacting this bill.

The idea that gun-free zones are safe is fraudulent.

It is a mythology perpetrated by anti-rights activists who can often be recognized by their beliefs that:

1 - self defense should be illegal,
2 - guns should be confiscated,
3 - no one but "authorities" should have guns,
4 - government can take care of you better than you can.

The anti-self-defense lobby would tell you to rely upon the police for your safety, but they always omit the inconvenient facts that:

1 - police have no legal duty to protect you;

2 - they routinely respond only after an event to pick up the pieces;

3 - when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

In the tragic homicides above
and countless others you see on TV,
the police don't draw their guns,
they draw chalk lines when you're gone.*

A person who would deny your right
or ability to self defense is as violent and
wrong as the person who assaults you.

Acting in self defense against a criminal assault is legally guaranteed in all 50 states and federally, as it should be. It is as old as the first written laws of civilization. Denying the fundamental right to self preservation is unjust, immoral, dangerous and should not be tolerated.

The notion that gun-free zones are safe is fraud perpetrated on the public:

a) Only innocent victims like you and me are affected. Armed criminals ignore no-guns signs and could care less -- they're laughing at you.

b) No alternate form of security is provided. You are knowingly and recklessly made vulnerable, while property management accepts no responsibility for your safety or their negligent behavior. The bill addresses only blatantly anti-gun-rights actions that would callously disarm you and ignore your plight.

c) Despite bias in news coverage and the fear-mongering left, privately held firearms have been repeatedly shown to deter and prevent crime in one scholarly study after another (detailed at great length in Armed, by Kleck and Kates). Since the nation's inception we have known and embraced the freedom-giving truth that guns protect the innocent, and that this is good.

d) Denial of your civil rights under color of law is a federal offense under 18 USC §241 and 18 USC § 242:

The Gist: Anyone who, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, custom or regulation, willfully deprives any person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, shall be fined, or imprisoned for up to one year, or both.

If bodily injury results, or if the violation includes the use or attempted or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosive or fire, the prison term rises to up to ten years. If death results, or if such acts include kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, or an attempt to kill, the violator may be fined, imprisoned for any term of years up to life, or put to death.

Initial reactions to the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act have been highly supportive by knowledgeable people in the gun-rights movement. It shows all the signs of becoming a major national rallying point. This could turn into one of the key gun issues of the decade (literally, the right to bear arms), especially if terrorist attacks continue and defenseless innocent victims are slaughtered.

The public-opinion value alone, forcing the other side to support helplessness and victimization, are worth the effort. Now is a good time to bring this issue into the spotlight.

The bill was first introduced as HB2456, sponsored by a dozen representatives, in the 45th session in Arizona (2002). The legislators say it gives them something to sink their teeth into. Give your legislators something this good -- ask them to introduce the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act in your state, for all the right reasons.

Some additional observations appear after the following bill text.

This is good law, supportive of our fundamental rights,
a deterrent to criminals who would perpetrate attacks,
a winner in the publicity battle over gun rights,
and it places responsibility squarely on those
who would cause harm by their direct actions.

It deserves to be enacted.

Please give it your support.

Ask your representatives to introduce and vote for
the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act.

Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
Scottsdale, AZ
Not good enough, unfortunately.

If my teenager gets shot at a mall that does NOT forbid it's patrons to be armed, I can probably put together a pretty good civil lawsuit against the property owners. It won't matter if I win the case or not, it will cost them to either defend or settle.

If you want to motivate business owners to get rid of "gun free zones" you aren't going to do it by appealing to their sense of morality or righteousness. You can only do it by making it financially attractive.

Making them responsible for the people they disarm (if they choose to go that route) is only half the equation. There needs to be something to legally protect the businesses who choose to allow their patrons to carry. Anti-gunners already know that criminals ignore these signs; that's not why these signs are put up. They're put up because they are convinced a law-abiding citizen with a firearm will only make things worse by compelling the attacker to do more damage, or by inflicting additional injuries with vigilante crossfire.

People are slowly (VERY SLOWLY) beginning to get the message that attackers often go in with the intent to deal as much death as possible before they get taken out or incapacitated. A citizen shooting back can't make a scenario like that any worse. It's a hard realization to arrive at because people always want Option C: Do nothing and everything will be okay.

In addition to making disarmament an accountable action, we need protection for those who choose to respect our Rights.
Not sure about other states, but in WA...gun free zones have no legal standing, unless they happen to be in areas that are lawfully firearm restrictive.

So the most that can happen, is to be asked to leave. Which I would choose to have happen over the alternative.
Not sure about other states, but in WA...gun free zones have no legal standing, unless they happen to be in areas that are lawfully firearm restrictive.

So the most that can happen, is to be asked to leave. Which I would choose to have happen over the alternative.
This is true. But we've seen the kind of idiocy that leaks out of the civil courts in the form of ridiculous lawsuits. Even if you win, it's expensive.
Here is the text of the Arizona bill in 2003

There is a similar vulnerability of liability already in place in Washington if a company places security cameras in a parking garage. This opens the company to an implied duty to watch out for the people who park in the garage and so share responsibility to have done something if a crime occurs.

I worked in the security division of a nationwide insurance company and they deliberately did not place security cameras in their parking garages for this reason. (This is not a theory open to argument, it is a fact of the reasoning CorSec and their attorneys took to omit the cameras). Believe me, insurance companies understand the concept of liability. ;)

My point then is, that if the law recognizes liability (to act) for having placed the security cameras, then it should follow that on the flip side, the liability could be argued to exist for a city or business for preventing security measures which could have lawfully been taken (by the individual) but were nullified by the "gun free zone".

By passing legislation which brings a price tag to those who support a gun free zone you would certainly be appealing to the money aspect of a business, a loss from punitive damages or increased overhead in the form of liability coverage even if no incidents occur.
It doesn't have anything to do with a business' sense of morality or rightousness, it has to do with the possibility of getting your business's hind-end sued off or having to pay the piper for forcing your anti-gun views onto others.


ALWAYS follow the money. The minute any of these idiotic ideas start COSTING the ones preaching them their OWN money they are real quick to drop it. They have no problems redistributing other peoples life energy (wealth) to institute their plans though. :nuts:
Don't ask, don't tell. Keep it concealed and no one will know.

If you wish to ignore the signs at Blockbuster, that is a personal decision. In Oregon the "gun free zones" are designated by private property owners, usually because of some stupid company policy. If you are responsible and carry properly concealed, no one will ever know unless you have to defend yourself. In that case, who cares about their stupid policy? If they wish to press trespassing charges, then oh-well.

In Oregon,you cannot be charged with Trespass until you have been asked to leave,and refused.If they don't know you're armed,they can't/won't ask,therefore you cannot be charged with Trespass.However,if they ask,leave...and leave politely,leave an impression of responsible gun ownership,someday they may change their policy...


Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Rimfire Challenge Dec 12th @ DRRC
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA


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