Arizona no weapons signs

This is a discussion on Arizona no weapons signs within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Trying to read the law wrt no weapons signs in AZ. What's the penalty if you don't see the sign and accidentally carry into a ...

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Thread: Arizona no weapons signs

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    Member Array Bardo's Avatar
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    Arizona no weapons signs

    Trying to read the law wrt no weapons signs in AZ. What's the penalty if you don't see the sign and accidentally carry into a location that's got a sign posted?

    It seems like (from reading handgunlaw.us) that 'it is an affirmative defense' if you weren't notified of the sign... Does that mean that unless the proprietor explicitly points out the sign to you, that you have a defense if you mistakenly did not disarm?

    I hear you guys occasionally talking about signs having the "strength of law" what exactly does that mean?

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    What's the penalty if you don't see the sign and accidentally carry into a location that's got a sign posted?

    The same as accidently speeding--guilty regardless of whether you saw the posted limit or not.
    Face it - if you're carrying, signs carry legal weight in your state, it's posted IAW the statute requirements; it's your responsibility to look for it and comply, not the business owner's responsibility to say, "Hey, did you see the sign?"
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    Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?
    “YES”
    Arizona does not require any specific wording, size, location or format for No Firearms signs which prohibit the carrying of a firearm on private property. The only requirement is that the signs provide a Reasonable Notice that firearms are prohibited. They do not need a sign if the property owner has someone at the door giving notice to those who enter. If you enter a property that does not have signs and the owner or person in charge of the property ask you to remove the firearm you have to or you can be charged with trespassing. Arizona does have wording in their law for the posting of Places that Serve Alcohol and specifications for that posting. See 4-229. Licenses; Handguns; Posting of Notice in the Constitutional Carry Section Above.
    Failure to obey a properly posted sign or the verbal instructions of the property owner or those who represent then could result in you being charged with Criminal Trespass.
    Just my interpretation, and IANAL.

    As long as it is posted at the entrance, that is considered giving notice, it is your responsibility to check for signs.

    If not posted they must have someone at the door telling people weapons are not permitted.

    If not posted, but ask to leave you must leave or face a trespassing charge.

    Carrying on posted property carries a Criminal Trespassing charge.

    I hear you guys occasionally talking about signs having the "strength of law" what exactly does that mean?
    In some states signs are just a feel good thing for the owner. Disregarding them will not cause you legal problem. Other states, like AZ disregarding a sign posting no carry is the same as violating the law.
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    In AZ it seems to be a gray area. If you read the applicable statutes, a "no gun" sign is effectively the same as the property owner personally asking you to disarm, so if you don't, you are trespassing. Practically speaking, however, there appear to be few, if any, prosecutions for that. And that leads to signs like Ikea's which gently suggests that they prefer a weapon-free environment... huh? The only specific signage regulations are found in the statute which applies to carrying arms in places that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption. Let your conscience be your guide.
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    Member Array fullmetal1911's Avatar
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    Just joined to reply to this thread specifically. I'd really appreciate some clarification, because my understanding was that if a sign was not specifically posted in a conspicuous manner at the entrance to an establishment that states that firearms are prohibited then you are all clear. I had an instance the other day where I was unclear as to whether or not I was good, I went to a laundromat in Mesa, AZ there were absolutely ZERO signs anywhere near the entrance or outside stating that firearms were prohibited, but once I was inside and had gotten my laundry started I noticed a sign on the back wall that stated "establishment rules" or something to that effect that at the very bottom said that no firearms or weapons were permitted. Am I correct in the fact that I broke no law carrying my weapon into the establishment since it was not clearly posted outside the entrance that I was not permitted to do so?

    I would really appreciate it if someone could either post up or PM me with which sections of the laws pertain to private establishments prohibiting weapons and the manner in which they must post that weapons are prohibited. Just trying to get a little more informed so I don't commit any crimes of ignorance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullmetal1911 View Post
    I would really appreciate it if someone could either post up or PM me with which sections of the laws pertain to private establishments prohibiting weapons ...
    See earlier post, reference to Arizona Revised Statutes 4-229.

    You can refer to Handgun.us to get you started. Signage in AZ does have the force of law.

    Here's a link to the Arizona Legislature's web page on that statute: ARS 4-229 Licenses, Handguns, Posting of Notice.
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    I pretty much disregard “No Gun” signs, unless it’s a federal building, post office, school, etc.
    If an owner asks me to leave in an area that’s posted, I will leave promptly without any argument or “you are losing my business”, etc.

    In AZ, I can’t imagine you’ll have any issues, unless you can’t keep it concealed and are a loudmouth that needs to argue if asked to leave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullmetal1911 View Post
    Just joined to reply to this thread specifically. I'd really appreciate some clarification, because my understanding was that if a sign was not specifically posted in a conspicuous manner at the entrance to an establishment that states that firearms are prohibited then you are all clear. I had an instance the other day where I was unclear as to whether or not I was good, I went to a laundromat in Mesa, AZ there were absolutely ZERO signs anywhere near the entrance or outside stating that firearms were prohibited, but once I was inside and had gotten my laundry started I noticed a sign on the back wall that stated "establishment rules" or something to that effect that at the very bottom said that no firearms or weapons were permitted. Am I correct in the fact that I broke no law carrying my weapon into the establishment since it was not clearly posted outside the entrance that I was not permitted to do so?

    I would really appreciate it if someone could either post up or PM me with which sections of the laws pertain to private establishments prohibiting weapons and the manner in which they must post that weapons are prohibited. Just trying to get a little more informed so I don't commit any crimes of ignorance.
    There is an official "Gun Buster" sign for arizona. It must meet certain dimensions, image, and wording. It must be placed in a conspicous place near the entry AND next to a liquer license (2 signs for establishments that serve alchohol).

    As far as what you are describing, it's simple rules of the establishment. It holds as much weight as the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" signs. Owner, management, and even staff can simply ask you to leave if they see that you are carrying whether or NOT they have a sign posted. Their place, their rules as long as it's not discriminatory. The laundromat would need the actual state mandated sign placed near the entrance to carry more legal weight, but they really don't NEED a sign to ask you to leave.

    It's a simple trespassing charge if you refuse to leave. It's not like you'll be hauled off to jail and your 2nd amend rights stripped away.

    BTW, I've seen quite a few bars post the sign on the BACK side of the door. You don't see the sign until you are walking OUT. Weird. So when you walk into the bar and don't see the sign as you enter, look on back of the door, or find where they placed their liquer license.

    EDIT: I've heard a lot of times, they ask you to simple lock the gun the car, and come back in. I've never experienced this personally, but it's what I hear.

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    Member Array fullmetal1911's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanation tuksonrider. If I understand what you are saying correctly, I was not in violation of the law because they did not have the "official" sign posted near the entry, and if they had a problem with it all they can do is ask me to leave, and there is only a problem if I refuse to comply with their request.

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    Member Array g26az's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayzor View Post
    I pretty much disregard “No Gun” signs, unless it’s a federal building, post office, school, etc.
    If an owner asks me to leave in an area that’s posted, I will leave promptly without any argument or “you are losing my business”, etc.

    In AZ, I can’t imagine you’ll have any issues, unless you can’t keep it concealed and are a loudmouth that needs to argue if asked to leave.

    This is pretty much how I got about things. Concealed means concealed. As long as they don't see it, there is no problem for anybody, right?

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    i do believe it only becomes criminal trespassing after a reasonable request to leave is ignored.

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    The movie theater near where I live is in a local mall. On weekedays there are cheap days for us "old farts" where you go in through a side door, not at the boxoffice. Boxoffice has a "no-guns" sign but if you enter through the side door it is not visable. I have had local LEO's tell me not to worry about it if the sign is not seen upon entry. I always carry concealed and have had no problems with theater management. Just realize if you are spotted carrying and asked to leave you must comply.
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    Signage (and CC) laws vary by state and knowing those laws determines what actions I take when I come upon a sign (and carrying as well).

    My rules:

    1. If the sign meets all the requirements and there are substantial penalties that could affect my wallet and/or my ability to carry I turn right around and spend my moneyelsewhere.

    2. If the sign meets all the requirements but there is no penalty for ignoring it I continue about my business. If discovered and asked to leave I will immediately leave -- never to return and support that business again.

    3. If the sign does not meet the requirements I continue about my business. If asked to leave I would leave -- never to return and support that business again.

    I travel quite frequently and always ensure I am up on the latest requirements to ensure I do not run afoul of the laws (whether I agree with them does not matter). In my profession even an arrest can have significant repercussions.

    In one state I travel in signs have the force of law *if* they meet certain criteria with respect to size, image, colors used, placement, location, and wording. Most places I go in that state the signs do not even come close to meeting all of the requirements. Therefore, I continue to follow Rule #3 in that state. In another state I travel frequently to the signs only carry the force of law if I refuse to leave (at which point I would be subjecting myself to weapons violations and trespassing violations -- a two for one special). But otherwise the signs themselves mean nothing -- I have to be discovered and refuse to leave (See Rule #2).

    Of course I always follow the requirements under Federal and State law with respect to places automatically off limits by operation of law regardless of whether there are signs or not.

    In all the time I've carried I've never been discovered in a manner that led to my being asked to leave. I believe it's because people generally are unaware and that the signs themselves are posted as a placebo for the masses (or the business owner) to feel good.

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    Member Array minimalbrat's Avatar
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    I was going in a store the other day that has two sets of doors. You know, you go through the first set and get your cart and then go through the second set to shop. Well nothing posted on the first set of doors. I get my cart and proceeded to go through the second set and there is the sign. Ticked me off. I wouldn't have gone in at all if they had posted it on the outer doors.
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    redundancy

    Quote Originally Posted by minimalbrat View Post
    I was going in a store the other day that has two sets of doors. You know, you go through the first set and get your cart and then go through the second set to shop. Well nothing posted on the first set of doors. I get my cart and proceeded to go through the second set and there is the sign. Ticked me off. I wouldn't have gone in at all if they had posted it on the outer doors.
    There's a store here that has a little 4 square inch sign like that. There's an Enter side and Exit side, once you get inside the first set of entry doors, you'd have to break the glass to get out again once you see the little sign that's not even up to legal standards...both the exit doors work either way and aren't posted, so it's a pretty rediculous situation to get stuck in. I spoke to the owner but he's pretty set that he's doing everything legally. I laughed at him and told him to say goodbye to my money which is unfortunate for him because I'm remodeling soon. Not much more you can do than try to educate somebody on how to do it legally and take your money somewhere else.

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