VA "No Gun Signs" Do They have any standards?

This is a discussion on VA "No Gun Signs" Do They have any standards? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay. Forgive me if this exists elsewhere, I did a forum search but didn't find it. I was out at a restaurant today, and as ...

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Thread: VA "No Gun Signs" Do They have any standards?

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    Member Array DKPRC's Avatar
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    VA "No Gun Signs" Do They have any standards?

    Okay. Forgive me if this exists elsewhere, I did a forum search but didn't find it.

    I was out at a restaurant today, and as I entered and I saw a small sign (perhaps 8 inches by 8 inches) that showed a little stick-figure cowboy, and the words, "Sorry Pardner. But Unless You're the Law, Your Firearm Must Stay in the Car!"

    As it happened I wasn't carrying because the restaurant had alcohol, and I don't think the law that the VA legislature passed is in effect yet.

    It reminded me of another time, at a movie theater, where I was carrying, and I noticed a really tiny sign in the corner near the doorway, which had a picture of a revolver with a Red Circle X on it. The picture was perhaps the size of a U.S Quarter. I do not even know how I saw it, I just happened to glance in that direction and spot it. and so was forced to return to my car.

    Handgunlaw.us says that it is unlawful to carry a concealed firearm on private property where prohibited by the owner OR where where posted prohibited.

    My question is: Do they have any standard by which they must adhere regarding signage? Size or Language? Or is the coin sized no-firearm sign, or the little stick figure cowboy sufficient and if I happen to miss it, I'm looking at a trespass charge?

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I spoke with someone at the VSP and they said it is private property and if you don't respect the wishes of the property owner you can be arrested for trespassing. That is, if you are asked to leave and refuse.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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    Member Array DKPRC's Avatar
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    Okay. So the worst that can happen if you miss their ridiculously small sign is that they ask you to leave and you do.

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    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Concealed means concealed.

    This is when the difference between a G-27/26, and a G-22/17 really starts mattering a whole lot.

    I only worry about banks, and even then I try to stay the hell out of them.

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    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    Don't buy into the garbage that ignoring the wishes of a private establishment can only be slapped on the wrist and asked to leave...

    From the Code of Virginia:
    O. The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property.

    That means if you ignore the signs and requests of a private establishment, you are illegally carrying a concealed handgun, will face charges, and will lose your permit. This does not apply to state universities and public places, but businesses, people's homes, etc. Virginia doesn't mess around with the rights of property owners.

    No standard notification requirements. I don't want to see how far a judge would take this one, either. If officers start charging these offenses, who knows, we may get in trouble if they happen to have a no-guns notice on their website. Heck I'd be more worried about the standardization of signs than the lack of one. For now, at least, we can live in quiet ambiguity and use reasonable explanations as defenses including the ridiculous location and size of the prohibition notices.

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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titleist View Post
    Don't buy into the garbage that ignoring the wishes of a private establishment can only be slapped on the wrist and asked to leave...

    From the Code of Virginia:
    O. The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property.

    That means if you ignore the signs and requests of a private establishment, you are illegally carrying a concealed handgun, will face charges, and will lose your permit. This does not apply to state universities and public places, but businesses, people's homes, etc. Virginia doesn't mess around with the rights of property owners.
    Right. The real point is, how do you know if it is prohibited? If you don't see a sign and go in, you haven't knowingly violated the law.

    Of course, if you DO see the sign and go in anyway, you have.

    IANAL, but my approach would be: go about your business normally. If you happen to see a sign, don't go in and instead choose to patronize a business that wants your money. Don't spend all of your time obsessing over a search of every inch of the place for a half-inch sign. If someone asks you to leave, leave.
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
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    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Even the sign on my local bank's front door is not easily seen. And it's not at eye level.

    The bottom line in life is you play by big boy's rules. Gonna leave your gun in the car and go into the mall to go into Jared's? You better hope you don't happen to be in the mall when and where an active shooter decides to go off (e.g. Salt Lake City and Omaha).

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    Member Array patrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKPRC View Post
    Okay. So the worst that can happen if you miss their ridiculously small sign is that they ask you to leave and you do.
    Exactly. but they would have to know you are armed and how are they going to know that unless you or someone tells them? Do yourself a favor, screw the sign. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. MCdonnel signed that bill which will take effect in July of this year. I'm sure one of those students at Va Tech would have wished they to ignored that stupid sign when that nutbag shot and killed 33. Carry it responsibly and carry as often as possible.
    If you can read this thank a teacher. If it is written in English thank a Marine.

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    To answer the OP question. NO, there is no standard signage. Whatever the owner/manager wants to use is legal. If he writes it on a piece of toilet paper with a crayola crayon and posts it, it is legal.

    As to the restaurant serving alcohol, as long as it isn't posted, open carry is legal in VA.
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    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    I'm just trying to play the devil's advocate. A lot of places have itty bitty wittle signs only suitable to be seen by a midget with 20/10 vision, but if it really came down to it I believe you may be subject to prosecution, willfull violation or otherwise. If a owner or agent of a company tells you they do not welcome armed patrons, there is no amnesty on the way to the door. Not only are you violating laws on the way out after being told, you've been violating 308 the second you broke the boundary of their property. I pray for the common sense of the judicial system... hehe that made me giggle, but if a cop, prosecutor, judge and jury all are having bad days at all the wrong times you may be in a world of hurt.

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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titleist View Post
    I'm just trying to play the devil's advocate. A lot of places have itty bitty wittle signs only suitable to be seen by a midget with 20/10 vision, but if it really came down to it I believe you may be subject to prosecution, willfull violation or otherwise. If a owner or agent of a company tells you they do not welcome armed patrons, there is no amnesty on the way to the door. Not only are you violating laws on the way out after being told, you've been violating 308 the second you broke the boundary of their property. I pray for the common sense of the judicial system... hehe that made me giggle, but if a cop, prosecutor, judge and jury all are having bad days at all the wrong times you may be in a world of hurt.
    If someone breaks into your house and rigs your lightswitch so that hitting it kills your neighbor, are you guilty of murder when you press it and he dies?
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
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    Quote Originally Posted by titleist View Post
    ....
    That means if you ignore the signs and requests of a private establishment, you are illegally carrying a concealed handgun, will face charges, and will lose your permit....
    [emphasis added]
    Titleist, I don't try proving a negative, so I won't claim it has or will never happen.

    However, please let us know when you hear of someone losing their CHP for simply being on/in posted property when they have not argued nor refused to leave private property nor otherwise engaged in other criminal activity, such as brandishing, threats, etc.

    Trespass, yes.

    Gun crime or cause for revocation, hum?

    All 18.2-308 O says is that a CHP "shall not thereby authorize". IMHO, whatever is constructed from that is not unlike, "Appropriate Attire Required" or "No wet bathing suits" and any trespass charges that might follow.

    There is no crime defined in 18.2-308 O as there is in, say, 18.2-308.1 et al -- e.g. "he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor" or "he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony; however, if the person possesses any firearm within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence."

    IMHO, there is a big difference between "Your CHP doesn't give you a right to...." vs. "It is a misdemeanor/felony to...."

    As always YMMV.

    BTW -- see my signature about this not being legal advise.
    Last edited by DaveH; March 28th, 2010 at 08:53 AM. Reason: changer "or" to "nor"
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    Sure glad I am in TEXAS Where the signs have to follow the law..all the same standerd size and all the same sign..

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    Quote Originally Posted by varob View Post
    I spoke with someone at the VSP and they said it is private property and if you don't respect the wishes of the property owner you can be arrested for trespassing. That is, if you are asked to leave and refuse.
    We have by law an Atty Gen. issued "standard sign" , size, where to post (visible upon entry ), etc. However, they say the same thing if it is a non-compliant sign.... you could be arrested for trespassing if you are asked to leave and refuse. However, our standard reply is.... we could accomplish that and wouldn't have to be carrying a gun.

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    Member Array DKPRC's Avatar
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    Yeah. I know in South Carolina where my parents have their CHL, there is a standard signage, and if the property doesn't meet the signage, it's not enforceable.

    I guess the only think you can do is make a "reasonable effort" to ascertain the businesses stance. (i.e make a quick glance for a sign). And if you don't see one, and I do happen to get made (g*d forbid) and asked to leave, just do so politely.

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