No-Gun signs in GA
Here in GA, No-Gun signs do not have the force of law, unless they are posted at places that are already off-limits (Gov't buildings, schools, you know the drill). For the first time since I've lived in GA (about 7 months) I saw a business with a No-Gun sign. In fact, I saw two.
The first was at Babies R Us. My wife and daughters and I were headed to the store to grab a few clothes for my youngest daughter. When we got to the door I saw a sign that read something along the lines of "The possession of firearms is prohibited on these premises". Deep down inside I laughed and thought "ACTUALLY, they're NOT prohibited on these premises" and I went inside anyway. I was concealing, so I wasn't worried about anyone seeing and throwing a fit about it. We did our shopping and left. To tell the truth, I was a bit irritated that there was even a sign. Maybe that's just unreasonable of me, but I'd think that business owners/operators would be aware of the law, and realize that their sign holds no water. Or maybe they're trying to take advantage of those that don't know the law themselves.
The second was a few hours later when we were meeting some friends for dinner at a pizza parlor. We walk up, get to the door, and again, "Firearms are prohibited..." is right in front of me. Once again I laughed a little inside, and walked in anyway (still concealing). What I saw inside surprised me (especially given the large amount of teenagers I saw out front): a very large bar/bar area. I started to worry a bit, considering that it is illegal to carry in a bar (unless given approval by owner). It is not, however, illegal to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. But seeing that this seemed more like a place where people intentionally came to drink, I started wondering a bit. In GA, the law defines a "bar" as such:
"(1) "Bar" means an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption of those beverages, including, but not limited to, taverns, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and cabarets.
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127"
It's called "The Pizza Joint", which gives the idea that it's a restaurant, but the pizza tasted like...*bad-pizza curse word*, which gives the idea that you'd probably have to be drunk to eat it (kind of being a smart ass here). So since this place seemed a little on-the-line, I went ahead and took my wife and I's handguns back to the car (I felt like drinking a little anyway, so that was another reason).
This all made me think a bit, and I wanted to get some opinions here on a couple things.
1) How do you all feel about what I did in this situation? I'm sure some of you might disagree with my decision to carry in a No-Gun building, while others may applaud me. So tell me, what do you think?
2) If you live (or hypothetically, if you lived) in a state where No-Gun signs do NOT have the force of law, what would YOU do in this situation? Would you enter anyway, knowing that their sign holds no water? Would you return your pistol to your car? Or would you just not shop/eat at that location?
3) Knowing that anybody that replies to this thread probably isn't a lawyer, I of course will not be taking any opinion as fact. But I am curious if anyone else thinks that this "pizza joint" might fall into the category of "bar" as defined above, or not. It was most certainly family friendly (not like a bar), but their physical bar was bigger than most actual bars I've been to, and they had a much wider drink selection as well. I am conflicted.
I would not have eaten the pizza. The pizza place is, by the Ga standards, a restaurant not a bar. The serving of food is the main business and is not incidental to the serving of alcohol.
The toys r us/babies r us store in town here has the same firearms prohibited sign and it's not in proper format per texas standards. When I first walked up to the door and seen it I paused but continued in accepting that I would leave if confronted and asked to. I've been in the store at least half dozen times without incident.
There's also a similar pizza/beer joint here but I haven't been there since I've had my CHL. Texas law allows any establishment to post a 51% sign that designates profit from alcohol sales and I'm sure this place falls under that since they are known for their variety of beer.
I have to agree that your pizza place doesn't meet the definition by your state law, at least by my interpretation of the paragraph.
Since signs do not hold the weight of law in GA, I don't see a problem with you carrying past them, however, I would not do it. It has nothing to do with whether it is right or wrong, it is I will not support a business that restricts my rights. Be advised the -R-US store sign has nothing to do with the people at that store, that is a corporate decision that there stores are posted.
Same applies to the pizza place, why support someone who restricts your rights? Especially if their food isn't good. As to the legality of carrying there. Oklahoma (where I had my first permit) law reads basically the same way. It was explained to us that if they made the appearance of making most of their money from food sales then it was legal to carry. Was given an example by a LEO, if a business was "Bob's Sports Grill and Bar" you were legal to carry, since it was an eating establishment with a bar attached. If it was "Bob's Bar and Sports Grill" , it was not legal to carry, since the primary purpose of the business was a bar, and they sold food as a side line.
I would have carried on like you did. This is good for me to know too as I visit GA often. Unfortunately here in TN the signs do hold the weight of law, so I tend to avoid those places as much as possible.
I agree with archer51 on this, although you did nothing illegal, I personally would not have done it. Yes, you have a right to carry a firearm, and their sign holds no weight of law, but they do not want firearms on their property. It is a matter of manners, for a lack of better word. They don't want guns, I won't take my gun there. Just as I don't want alcohol in my back yard (pool area with kids around), I am not opposed to drinking, infact I have an excellent wine and beer selectition, we just don't allow it around the pool-booze makes people do stupid stuff and we don't want drama around our pool, we even have no booze signs on the gate. Now, those signs hold no weight of law, but they do have the weight of manners/politeness, I would get very upset if someone violated MY wishes and brought a "concealed flask" to the pool area, and I feel that a property owner (even a business) has the right to say what is allowed on their premises period. No one is forcing you to shop at that store, no one is forcing anyone to use my pool therefore if you want to use the facilities, you abide by the rules. Don't like the rules, work to change them, in the case of a posted store, don't shop there and let the powers that be (owners, managers, corporate hq etc) know WHY you refuse to shop there, if they get enough negative feedback, perhaps the situation will change.
Short answer, to those who say "concealed is concealed and the signs mean nothing" well, they are RULES for being on someone elses property, do you not expect others to obey YOUR rules on YOUR property? Why do you feel exempt from their rules? Ignoring the sign may be legal, but it is also rude.
In line with Ogre's post above. The signs do not have force of law, meaning it is not a violation of GA weapons carry law to carry on the location unless the location is statutorily off-limits. That being said, it is a trespass on your part, and if you refuse to leave when asked, you will likely be arrested (and should be).
Originally Posted by pittypat21
My view is this - we should respect the rights of property owners. Simple as that. Simple as leaving your gun locked in your car, or just not frequenting the business.
(* By the way, I am a lawyer, but you aren't my client, and neither this post nor any of my other posts should be taken as legal advice, and only a crazy, misguided person would rely on such posts as legal advice! I mean, seriously, who in their right mind would rely on an internet post as legal advice???]
The way I understood it, and I'm NOT a lawyer :wink: was that it's only trespassing if you do not leave when asked. So up to that point, I am not trespassing just by being there. And I would of course leave an establishment if asked (whether carrying or not).
Originally Posted by PEF
Good food for thought, maybe my first choice should be just to stay out of these places. That being said, I could care less if I'm being "rude", especially when they'll never know unless it was a life or death situation.
Of course I would leave if asked, just like all other situations when carrying a firearm - I'll avoid confrontation and gladly walk away as my first and best option.
BTW, pittypat I love that signature.
So basically no one's rights but yours matter? Hmmm interesting proposal...avoid confrontation? How bout avoiding it all together and not violating the wishes of the property OWNER, just avoid going to those places if you can't be without your gunpowder using lead throwing binky. LOL.....:rolleyes:
Originally Posted by miller_man
I live in Georgia (when not deployed) and with two small grandkids, I can't get out of going into Babies-R-us when I'm with my wife......... Having said that, if I see a 'no-guns' sign I go elsewhere if I can. I have yet to see a posted Babies or Toys-R-us either........... I do look. I carry concealed most of the time anyway so I make my decision to do what I need to do, wether leave or continue on shopping.
Lucky for me, none of the restruants I frequent post 'those' signs.
Unfortunately, the signs do carry the force of law in VA.
I refuse to deal with any business which has these signs.
Strangely enough, even the Red Cross Bloodmobiles in our area have them posted.
Rights?!? When did we start discussing rights? I was talking about a choice, and was responding to your post where you talked about it being "rude", which again still not talking about rights.
Originally Posted by Ogre
And how is there confrontation if I go in a store, conceal carry my weapon and nobody knows??? I DID say I think I would be better off just not goin into those places, but I may not do that all the time - my choice, and its not illegal.
And nice comment about "gunpowder using lead throwing binky" - real mature.
The point I took away (sans ad hominem) is that we on this board speak highly of our 2A rights, but some seem to disregard the rights of property owners to exclude others from their property. Property rights include the right to exclude (subject to some restrictions that aren't relevant here). It seems a bit ironic that some are so guarded about their 2A rights, but will simply ignore the rights of private property owners that do not want armed individuals on their property.
Originally Posted by miller_man
Rights, it is the property owners RIGHT to say what happens on the owners property. The owner wants no firearms therefore the owner has a right to expect that persons on said property will not have a firearm. You are violating the property owners rights to control their property and what happens on it by ignoring their wishes. Just because it is concealed does not mean it is not there against the expressed (via signage) desire of the property owner. That is their choice and the property owner has every right to expect you to abide by their choices on their property.
As to my "binky" comment, it is meant to laugh at people who cannot seem to function without a firearm at thier side. I lived 30 years without ever having to have a firearm on me, let alone carry one every waking moment. Guess I am just lucky that I was never attacked by a crazed mommy in babies-r-us.