No weapons in Hospital waiting room?

This is a discussion on No weapons in Hospital waiting room? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This happened in North Carolina, where a no carry sign is legally binding (i.e., if you carry, you are in violation and can be arrested, ...

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Thread: No weapons in Hospital waiting room?

  1. #1
    Member Array tflhndn's Avatar
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    No weapons in Hospital waiting room?

    This happened in North Carolina, where a no carry sign is legally binding (i.e., if you carry, you are in violation and can be arrested, not warned to leave)

    So I spent some time at a local hospital's surgical care waiting room today while my wife has surgery. I carried concealed to avoid the inevitable confrontation with hospital security if I carried openly at a women's hospital.

    We went last night for some pre-op treatment and checked carefully for any no-weapons signs. Saw none.

    Looked carefully on arrival today (different entrance), saw none. Waiting in pre-op with my wife, no problems. As was being rolled into the OR, I was sent to the surgical waiting area. No signs on the entrance, but once I entered the first area had no signs, but another area (attached room with a TV) had a small sign on the wall over the TV saying no weapons, concealed or otherwise.

    Now, NC state law says

    14-415 (c) ...where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises.
    My understanding is that "conspicuous notice" (according to my CCP instructor) means at the entrances to the premises.

    Question: what was my obligation as a CHP holder?

    If I sat in the one section of the room where that was not posted, was I in violation of the law?

    Was I obligated to leave the waiting room?

    Your thoughts...

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  3. #2
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    The specific rule you quote does say conspicuous posting, I would take that to mean at each entrance...but I wouldn't ask the hospital or perhaps they will then post at each entrance.
    Pocket carry is pocket carry and concealed is concealed. I wouldn't break any laws, but it sounds like you'd be OK.
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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Though not a legal opinion, I would say yes, you are obligated. Although it was not in the most conspicuous spot, it was, nonetheless, posted. Better safe than arrested, in my opinion.
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    Having seen the sign you should have left to sercure your gun; in that you could not have truthfully said that you did not know that to have a weapon was against the wishes of the hospital in this case.


    Having said that; how are they (the hospital) going to prove you saw the sign? The only one was in a room off the waiting area, if I understand your post. All entrance to the hospital were not posted and the waiting room entrance was not posted; so how can they(the hospital legal folks) claim that they (the hospital folks) are compliance with the law? Now; do you want to be the test case and do you have the $$ to be the test case?!?

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    Member Array tflhndn's Avatar
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    FWIW, I first learned about the sign from my mother-in-law, who had been waiting there while I was in pre-op with my wife. When I arrived at the waiting room, my mother-in-law met me outside and we went outside for a smoke. While outside, she quietly informed me of the sign.

    On our return to the waiting room I looked at the entrance and inside the first room. She said it was in the other room, (over the TV) so I just didn't go in there. (that way I could honestly say I did not see any signs in case the issue came up). Shortly before we left, I walked in to see what the sign looked like.

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    2 things I found that could influence whether you can legally carry in the hospital:
    1. If it is a State hospital
    2. If it is a teaching hospital

    Other than those 2 things you should be good to go unless conspicuously posted.
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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    In my opinion: You are obligated to follow the sign. If you see it, you obey it. A hospital is a bit difficult as you typically don't have a choice. For a regular business my rule is: if you post a no-weapons sign, I will obey it even if legally not required to, and find another place to spend my money.
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    Member Array tflhndn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulJ View Post
    In my opinion: You are obligated to follow the sign. If you see it, you obey it. A hospital is a bit difficult as you typically don't have a choice. For a regular business my rule is: if you post a no-weapons sign, I will obey it even if legally not required to, and find another place to spend my money.
    That's what I usually do, but I never expected to find a sign deep inside a building like that and was kind of wondering if anyone had seen anything like that and what others thought about how to react to it.

    BTW, for a previous poster, it was not a "teaching" hospital and is not a publicly owned hospital.

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    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    I'm no legal expert, but it would seem to me that if it's not posted at the entrance, it most likely isn't enforceable. What do they expect you to do, leave? If they don't want weapons, they should post at all entrances to the hospital. Now, if I had been there, I would avoid that room (since you say that posting is legally enforceable, unlike Vegas where I live where it's just a suggestion). I do my best not to violate laws while carrying. But that sign was just not reasonable.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tflhndn View Post
    Now, NC state law says
    14-415 (c) ...where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises.
    My understanding is that "conspicuous notice" (according to my CCP instructor) means at the entrances to the premises.

    Question: what was my obligation as a CHP holder?
    Unless you can find some other definition of the term "conspicuous" in the NC statutes, I believe that the mere fact you noticed the sign meant it was conspicuous enough. At the point you knew it was policy, you were notified. IANAL
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    I tend to agree with ccw9mm, but think that if it was only in that room, then it only applies to that room. Common sense would seem to indicate that if they wanted to whole place to be no-carry, the notices would be at the entrance. Just avoid that room. Bring a book.
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    Member Array tflhndn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    I tend to agree with ccw9mm, but think that if it was only in that room, then it only applies to that room. Common sense would seem to indicate that if they wanted to whole place to be no-carry, the notices would be at the entrance. Just avoid that room. Bring a book.
    That was the other question in my mind (but never made it to the posting):

    Does the sign only apply to the room the sign is in? Does it apply to the entire waiting area?

    Inquiring minds want to know?

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    Reading your state's book on concealed carry laws is the best way to find the anwer to your question. However, our book in Texas, can be confusing. For example, one paragraph states that CC is prohibited, listing churches, hospitals, and nursing homes. On the very next page is a paragraph that states that CC in those places is ONLY prohibited IF the "No Carry" sign designed and prescribed by the State of Texas is posted at all entrances to those buildings.

    While we're here, someone recently said on this website that Concealed Carry was prohibited by Federal Law for Post Offices. According to the Texas CC Law Book, there is no such Federal Law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacher Mick View Post
    Reading your state's book on concealed carry laws is the best way to find the anwer to your question. However, our book in Texas, can be confusing. For example, one paragraph states that CC is prohibited, listing churches, hospitals, and nursing homes. On the very next page is a paragraph that states that CC in those places is ONLY prohibited IF the "No Carry" sign designed and prescribed by the State of Texas is posted at all entrances to those buildings.

    In Kansas the law orginally had certain places listed as no carry zone (or victim zones if you like); then they passed an amendment that said that those place had to post inorder for it to be a no carry zone. I wonder if that is the issue in TX? The law changed but the book only got an adendum without a total reprinting.

    As I said earlier; it is posted and has the wieght of law.
    Though I have to wonder why the hospital would do what it appear they did if the want a "NO CARRY ZONE" throughout the building. I would say they need to post entrances for a person to be truly out of compliance!

    While we're here, someone recently said on this website that Concealed Carry was prohibited by Federal Law for Post Offices. According to the Texas CC Law Book, there is no such Federal law.
    Search the site I know this has been discussed. The "law" is posted on the signs at the post office entrance. I do not remember the number

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    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    Last month my mother had a heart attack. She was in a hospitol in Charlotte. I carried in the hospital for five days until one morning I happened to look up at some signs in the paking lot. At the very top
    was at posted sign. Eight feet or better high. It was a very small sign.
    I had checked the main entrance every time I went in and never saw any NO Weapons signs. I went a head and carried because it was too
    late to disarm. I also figured it was not legaly posted. I was pretty nervous. It was my last day.
    I don't think they know how to legaly post in the hospitals in NC. I am not going to tell them either.

    Semper Fi

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