This is a discussion on Suing stores that ban guns within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Tubby45 ID)As a private business owner, I will be damned if you are going to tell me how I can or can't ...
Despite the personal attacks, this is an interesting topic. I've not bothered to read the whole thread, but having tried lots of premises liability cases over the years, and being a CHL Instructor, I have an opinion or two. The general rule in Texas, and most other places, is that one is not liable for the criminal acts of another. There are exceptions, however, such as a premises owner in a high crime area who fails to provide adequate security measures for his customers or tenants, or where a premises owner or operator voluntarily undertakes to provide security, but fails to do so reasonably adequately. To some degree, it boils down to forseeability, as some have noted above.
Now, to the specific topic. First off, while I believe strongly in private property rights, I think a business operator is an idiot to post a "no guns on premises" sign of any kind, but obviously, it's America, and one has a right to be an idiot.
Second, one has to look at the effect of posting such a sign. What does it say to the invitee/business customer? Reasonably, it could be read to imply that the premises owner/operator is going to provide security. Additionally, and importantly, the owner/operator is taking affimative steps to remove the CHL-holder's ability to provide his own security. Sure, you never had to walk in the door, but customers aren't called "invitees" in the law for nothing. Invitees get lots more protection in the law than trespassers.
I think that there is a cause of action against the owner/operator if a CHL holder gets hurt or killed inside the posted store, but I also think that it is always going to be a tough case to prove and get a jury to award any damages on, for two reasons: 1. Causation. The injured CHL-holder, or his survivors, must prove that but for the sign posting, he'd have not been hurt or killed. 2. Again, he didn't have to go in in the first place. The end result will depend on lots of factors, as is true in any jury trial. We lawyer types don't call it rolling the dice for nothing.
Too many people in this thread say "you do not have the right for this" or "the business has a right to do that" unfortunately for you, generalizations fail against what the law says in your state or in my state. Are the signs just deterrents(like in MO & FL) or do they hold weight with law behind them?
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Laws are restrictive but sometimes necessary to maintain a civil society. Rights are nonrestrictive but are always necessary to maintain a free society.
Like other people said, if you want to waste time and money you can always sue. It is your time and your money you are talking about.
"The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"
In terms of liability, is there a difference between providing for the safety of customers and providing for the security of customers?
It would seem to me that safety refers to slippery floors, falling stock, tripping over stuff, etc., and security refers to protection of the customer from attacks upon their person.
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein
Ok guys lets look at history. Does anyone know if the survivors or victims in the Luby's shooting sued and won, lost or even had a leg to stand on?
Same thing with Va. Tech? Ft. Hood? Those are just the ones I can think of at the moment.
These cases if any would have set case law or presedent for providing security to customers and in the end it is the law that matters, not opinion, not guessing.
"A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013
I have a hard time finding anything about a store providing "security". Most tell the employees to roll over (submit) and pray the robber doesn't decide to kill them anyway.
On the other side of that I don't expect some poor pimply high school kid that is paid 6 bucks an hour to tackle a gun wielding robber either.
There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
In a state where carry of firearms is perfectly legal, I'd think a strong case can be made for the simple concept that disarmament of clientèle by business owners directly contributes to their inability to mount an effective defense if a robbery occurs. The crime might well not be foreseeable, but the bloody result when nobody is armed certainly can be. On that basis, I'm surprised more lawsuits don't come through ... and win, because of the contributory effect of disarmament in the resulting inability of a person to do a damned thing about a crime.
1) A store is not obligated to provide security from the random dangers of the world. It's not required to have fleets of police, medics, missile detecting radar, a fire department, biological hazard suits or any such protections. It is not required to give the H1N1 vaccine to everyone who shops there before you enter the premises - so you are protected from Swine Flu. etc.etc.etc.etc
It needs to be up to building codes and codes that allow safe exit in a fire, or occupancy room limits if there are any - that kind of thing and, as well, adhere to codes concerning its particular business activity (e.g. food/health codes for restaurants etc )
In other words, it is responsible for what it is responsible for: no business property - or any private property, like yours for example,- could ever survive the massive law suits were it obligated to protect you and everyone who chose to enter from all the dangers of the world. It is, in fact, from another view point, protecting other customers from gun accidents by denying you permission to enter with a gun. And, by default from this point of view, if the owner should let you in with your gun, he would then be liable for any injury/death from any such accident if it occurred. You see how it works? Once you accept the incorrect premise that a business must provide security for customers from everything, you are left with an impossible burden on the owner, who - no matter what he does- will always be responsible for some extreme danger to any and all who enter his premises.
2) And as has been said multiple times in this thread: you do not enjoy constitutional protection on private property from property owners wishes. People who don't like you can't march around your family room with placards and bullhorns to criticize you.
Your children are not protected by the 4th Amendment from you going into their rooms when you want. If you don't want someone carrying a gun on your property you can ask them to leave (forcing them to is up to the cops, who will if need be).
So, the store owner is not depriving you of your Gun rights. You don't have them there.
If you want to carry a gun in a store, find a store that allows the carrying of guns. Otherwise, forget it if you choose to go into the ones that don't as far as legal actions. You have no basis for such actions.
As Hamlet correctly noted, store owners do not usually have any duty to protect anyone from the criminal acts of others, as I originally stated is the general rule. However, we often see defendants in civil cases who lose jury verdicts or pay settlements because they assumed duties the law did not originally impose upon them. That is exactly why there is any cause of action at all when a Section 30.06 sign is posted, and why it is so silly to post them.
I'd add this, just as food for thought: The posting of a sign under Tex. Pen. C. Sec. 30.06 is the posting of a sign forbidding that which the State of Texas has deemed permissible. Why would anyone ever think that there is a good legal reason to do that? There are some lawyers out there giving some business operators some REALLY bad advice.
I'm not saying it's right, but I think a good prosocuter could make the argument that by knowingly ignoring the sign, I was already trespassing.
Same as if you put a no trespassing sign on your property. You should be able to charge them with trespassing without having to ask them verbally to leave. If you had to ask, then what woudl the point be of even buying the sign?
if the signs are meaningless by law then once discovered they must ask you to leave...if you refuse to leave you are trespassing...
hence the frequently used term...concealed is concealed...you are allowed to carry legally in stores with signs if the state law does not recognize the signs...if you are concealed properly there is no reason for management to ask you to leave...unless youve also ignored the "no shirt, no shoes, no service sign...
Before, simple criminal trespass was an A misdemeanor, but criminal trespass by an armed person was enhanced to a state jail felony. I suppose it still would be for a non-licensee.