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Establishments Prohibiting Lawful Concealed Carry…What do I do?

Question:  My favorite place to dine (Chipotle) has already began posting the no firearms signs. I assume this is in advance of the revised law taking effect the end of the month. I have seen them in many different locations so I am assuming this is some kind of a corporate directive. My question for you and the staff is… What is your recommendation for addressing the issue? Face to face with manager, letter, ignore and eat elsewhere, etc.

Answer: Usually when you see ‘no firearm’ signs going up in multiple locations of the same establishment, it is a corporate directive, not the individual stores.  You could have a conversation with the manager to ask for an explanation and background, but I doubt it would do much good.  Personally, I would send a letter to corporate asking for the reasoning behind the policy and explaining why you disagree with the policy.  Honestly, I’m betting it actually has nothing to do with guns and everything to do with potential liability issues.  This is the way corporate lawyers think.  “It’s ok if people get killed in our stores by criminal violence, we just don’t want to have any liability issues and run the risk of getting sued if someone with a gun comes into our store, has an accident and as a result someone gets hurt or killed”.

As far as your other choices, if it were me, I’d vote with my wallet and eat elsewhere.  You might also point that out in your letter to corporate.  Again, I doubt if they will care, but at some point each of us have to take a stand.  I quit shopping at Costco due to their ‘no firearms’ policy.  I’m a Sam’s Club guy now.  They don’t have such a policy.

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Secure Storage of Firearms by Public Establishments That Prohibit the Carrying of Firearms

September 2, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Legal Issues, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: Is there a particular Arizona Revised Statute that states that establishments that bar carrying a weapon must provide secure storage of your firearm?

Answer: Yes there is a statute that deals with this question.  It states:

13-3102.01. Storage of deadly weapons; definitions
A. If an operator of a public establishment or a sponsor of a public event requests that a person carrying a deadly weapon remove the weapon, the operator or sponsor shall provide temporary and secure storage. The storage shall be readily accessible on entry into the establishment or event and allow for the immediate retrieval of the weapon on exit from the establishment or event.
B. This section does not apply to the licensed premises of any public establishment or public event with a license issued pursuant to title 4.

C. The operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event or the employee of the operator or sponsor or the agent of the sponsor, including a public entity or public employee, is not liable for acts or omissions pursuant to this section unless the operator, sponsor, employee or agent intended to cause injury or was grossly negligent.

D. For the purposes of this section, “public establishment” and “public event” have the same meanings prescribed in section 13-3102.

To expand a little on the specifics of the law, in Section A, the place in question must be a “public establishment” or a “public event”.  “Public establishment” means that is would be a structure, vehicle or craft that is owned, leased or operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state (like a county or city).  “Public event” means a specifically named or sponsored event of limited duration that is conducted by a public entity or conducted by a private entity with a permit granted by a public entity.  Public events do not include an un-sponsored gathering of people in a public place.

Under section B, they are talking about places with a liquor license which is regulated under title 4 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Please understand that this law does not apply to private establishments or events.  If they do not permit people to carry firearms, they are not responsible to provide any type of storage for your firearm.

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Concealed Carry in Arizona Restaurants and Bars – Details of the New Law

September 2, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Legal Issues, Restaurant Carry, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

I have been getting a lot of questions regarding the new laws concerning concealed carry in Arizona restaurants and bars beginning on September 30th, 2009.  People have been asking for specifics and for references to the appropriate Arizona Statutes.  To that end, I have reprinted the following FAQ from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (DLLC).  Most should note that the changes were not to the criminal law in Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, but the liquor laws in Title 4 of the Arizona Revised Statutes…

A.R.S. 4-229.(A)1 Licenses; handguns; posting of notice
When does the law take effect?
Senate Bill 1113 was signed on July 1, 2009 and will become law on September 29, 2009. A.R.S. §4-229 provides for the possession of concealed firearms on on-sale liquor-licensed premises.

The link to this bill is: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/1r/bills/sb1113s.pdf.

What if I don’t want weapons on my premises?
A licensee who wants to prohibit the possession of firearms on his/her licensed premises may exercise that right by posting a sign which complies with standards provided in Title 4. Title 4 governs Arizona liquor law.
A.R.S. §4-229(D)(1)) and A.R.S. §4-244(29) provide for concealed weapons on the licensed premises in emergency situations. In addition, A.R.S. §4-229(29) provides for peace officers and members of a sheriff’s volunteer posse, while on duty, permission to possess firearms.

Where can I get a “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” sign?
The Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (DLLC) will provide signs for licensees to post at their liquor-licensed business, which can be requested by emailing questions@azliquor.gov. Please specify the type of sign and number of signs you are requesting. Include your name, phone number, and street address where you would like the sign(s) sent (no P.O. boxes please).  Signs distributed by DLLC will have the director’s signature and a DLLC watermark in the lower, right-hand corner. Printable version of the “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” signs can be found on the DLLC website
homepage. To comply with A.R.S. §4-229(C), posted signs must be on white, laminated, 110 pound index paper.

May I create my own “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” sign?
Yes, however the sign must strictly comply with A.R.S. §4-229(C) or the validity of the sign may be challenged. See specifications below:
The signs must meet the following standards to comply with Title 4 to comply with A.R.S. §4-229(A) and(C)(posting of notice):
• Contain a picture that shows a firearm within a red circle and a diagonal red line across the firearm.
• Contain the words “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” pursuant to A.R.S. §4-229 in block, capital letters printed in black.
• Picture and text must fill a space which is a minimum of 6 x 9 inches.
• The sign must be on white, laminated, 110 pound index paper.

Where must the “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” sign be posted?
The sign must be posted in a conspicuous location accessible to the general public. More than one sign may be posted on each licensed premises, but they must be posted at the primary business entrance(s) subject to local sign ordinances and immediately adjacent to the liquor license posted on the licensed premises.  Any other “No Firearms Allowed” signs you choose to display must be posted in a conspicuous location accessible to the general public.

At a later time, may I decide to prohibit guns in my establishment and, at that time, post a “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” sign?
Yes, you may post the sign at any time.

Can any concealed firearm owner carry his/her gun into an establishment that does not post a sign?
A.R.S. §4-229(A) references A.R.S. §13-3112 and A.R.S. §13-3102(D)1-2 which provide criteria for concealed firearm carriers. Those who qualify to carry concealed firearms under those laws may carry them into establishments that are licensed to sell liquor, unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of firearms.

Can a gun owner consume alcohol-beverages while in possession of a firearm?
No (A.R.S. §4-229(31).

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Questions about the new Arizona "Parking Lot Law"…

August 14, 2009 Legal Issues, Vehicle Carry Comments Off

Question:  The current version of the parking lot law states that firearms may be restricted in a parking lot if  “A property owner provides a parking lot or garage that is secured by a fence or other physical barrier, has limited access using a security guard or other security measure or if they provide secure temporary storage for firearms that is readily accessible on entry and exit from the premises.”  So I wonder if this would include a drop gate ( a wooden drop-down gate) that prevents cars from entering, though allows anyone on foot to walk in/through the garage or parking lot.”

Answer: Based on the language of this law, this is open to argument and interpretation.  The intention of the law would seem to be talking about a parking lot that has true limited access.  The situation you describe would only have limited vehicular access, but not restrict access by pedestrians.  In my opinion, this would not qualify as ‘limited access’ under the new law.  However, I am not naive enough to think that a non-gun friendly court could interpret the law differently.  This is one of those areas where we will have to see what actually develops as the law is implemented.

This is probably not a very satisfying answer if you were looking for a clear cut ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Unfortunately, it is the best I can give you at this point.

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State Attorneys General Support Second Amendment Incorporation Case…

August 4, 2009 2nd Amendment Issues, Legal Issues, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – Two-thirds of the nation’s attorneys general have filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in the case of NRA v. Chicago and hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This bi-partisan group of 33 attorneys general, along with the Attorney General of California in a separate filing, agrees with the NRA’s position that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms in the home for self-defense, disagreeing with the decision recently issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

“The historical record clearly shows that the Second Amendment was intended to apply to every American in every state in the country,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “As the Supreme Court said clearly in last year’s landmark Heller decision, the Second Amendment protects an individual right that ‘belongs to all Americans’. Two-thirds of America’s state Attorneys General agree.”

The Seventh Circuit claimed precedent bound it from holding in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment. However, it should have followed the lead of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. King, which found that those cases don’t prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The Seventh Circuit opinion upholds current bans on the possession of handguns in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois.

California attorney general Edmund G. Brown Jr. is filing a separate brief arguing that the Supreme Court should take up NRA’s appeal and hold that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the States.

“It is fundamentally wrong to violate the civil rights of any law-abiding person based on their zip code,” Cox concluded. “The fundamental right of self-defense must be respected by every jurisdiction throughout our country.”

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National Right to Carry Defeated in the US Senate Despite Majority Vote…

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – Today, by a margin of 58-39, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate voted in favor of an amendment offered by Senator John Thune to provide interstate recognition of right-to-carry permits. The amendment to S.1390, the National Defense Authorization Act, would acknowledge that the right to self-defense extends across state lines. Under this provision, individuals with carry permits from their home state, or who are otherwise allowed to carry a firearm in their home state, could carry in any other state that issues permits.

“Today’s strong majority vote in the U.S. Senate was an important step forward in the National Rifle Association’s decades long effort to make right-to-carry and national reciprocity the law of the land,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

Expanding right-to-carry enhances public safety, as criminals are deterred from attempting crimes when they know or suspect that their prospective victims are armed. A Department of Justice study found that 40 percent of felons had not committed crimes because they feared the prospective victims were armed. The Thune-Vitter amendment recognized that competent, responsible, law-abiding Americans still deserve our trust and confidence when they cross state lines.

Passing interstate right-to-carry legislation would not only reduce crime by deterring criminals, but — most important of all — would protect the right of honest Americans to protect themselves if deterrence fails.

“While we are disappointed that the 60 vote procedural hurdle was not met, the vote shows that a bipartisan majority agrees with the NRA,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “We would like to thank Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), along with all senators who voted in favor of this amendment on both sides of the aisle. The efforts of these senators were not in vain, as the NRA will continue to work tirelessly to ensure this important legislation finds the right avenue to come before Congress once again.”

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Responding to a Vehicle Break-In…

Question:  Someone recently broke into my vehicle and stole my emergency tool kit, a few dollars in change, some audio CDs, and a few other misc. items of little value. What they really took is my confidence in parking my vehicle in my apartment complex.  I am a highly trained military professional with no urge to use my weapons any more than I need to, but I’m very bothered by this occurrence.  I’ve decided to stake out my vehicle tonight (The night after the theft) and kill the person if they attempt to break into my vehicle again.  What issues do I face legally if I do this and I am successful?  I understand that this may not be the smartest course of action but I cannot post guard over my vehicle every night and I can’t bear the idea of someone breaking into it again, whether it be tomorrow, next week or next month.

PS: Does Arizona have an extension of domicile law similar to Louisiana? I’ve heard conflicting views on this matter.”

Answer: First, let me state right up front I know exactly how you feel.  I was in Salt Lake City to teach an NRA Instructor course recently and had my truck broken into my first night at the hotel.  They stole approximately $2000 worth of equipment and materials including my personal range bag (no firearms fortunately), a very nice EMT kit in a Pelican Case, an LCD projector, speakers, my instructor manuals and most of the materials for the class I was to teach.  Of course, my insurance did not cover it since I have my deductible set high.  In addition, there was the cost to repair the window ($500).

I had some of the same feelings as you.  I felt violated and angry.  I thought about staking out the hotel parking lot the next night too.  I thought about using pepper spray on them if I caught them.  It was fun to imagine the scumbags lying on the ground writhing in pain.

Upon more reflection, I decided it was a bad idea to do that and realized that it was just a random event that happened to me.  I have not had anyone break into a vehicle of mine for a very long time.  In thinking more about it, based on the fact they stole anything they could grab including boxes of books, they were probably just kids or gang members hoping to score something valuable.  With me they hit the proverbial jackpot.

I too am highly skilled with firearms and other hand-to-hand techniques that can visit mayhem and injury on those who would cross me.  But I won’t use those skills without proper cause.  It is not worth the long term ramifications on my life and the lives of those that depend on me and care for me.  I would submit that after cooling down and getting some perspective on the situation, you will probably agree with me.

As far as the legal issues if you followed through, you would potentially be committing first degree murder.  By lying in wait for them, you would be premeditating which makes it first degree murder.  In Arizona, that crime can carry the death penalty.  Frankly you sound like an intelligent individual whose life is worth much more than sitting jail because of some scumbag gang banger or delinquent.

Regarding your question on the extension of domicile, I believe you might be referring to the ‘castle doctrine’.  While Arizona does support the ‘castle doctrine’, you must actually be in your vehicle for it to apply.  It basically states that if someone is attempted to remove you from your vehicle by force, you can legally use force to prevent it.  If someone is attempting to remove you from your vehicle using potentially lethal force, you can then use lethal force to stop it.

I’d let it go.  Make it a point to part in a well lighted area of the apartment lot.  If you spot is assigned and not well lighted, complain to the complex management and get better lighting.  Don’t leave anything in your vehicle.  If you don’t have one, consider getting an alarm.  Make sure it has a flashing light so that people can see there is an alarm.

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Armed Security Guard Requirements in Arizona

Question: In Arizona, is there a statute that requires security officers who carry firearms to have firearms training?  Also, is there a statute that requires armed bouncers at a bar to have specialized training.  I’m not aware of any, but I’m wondering if you are.

Answer: Yes, in Arizona there is a statute that requires an armed security guard working for a licensed security company to have an Armed Guard card in their possession while working.  An Armed Guard card may be applied for after the completion of the 16 hour DPS approved Armed Security Guard course.  You will also need to submit an application, fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety and undergo a criminal background check.  Assuming a positive outcome on the background check, you will receive your card from DPS.  You must also be sponsored by a licensed security company.  You cannot simply take the class and get a card.

As far as being a bouncer employed by a bar, you are not required by law to have a license or training.  However, you must comply with Arizona law regarding concealed carry and possessing a firearm in a bar, if you choose to carry a firearm.  This would mean that you need to have written permission of the establishment owner to have a firearm in your possession, you cannot under any circumstances consume alcohol or use any illegal drugs while in possession of a firearm and you must possess a valid Arizona CCW permit if  you are carrying concealed.

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Do I have to volunteer that I have a AZ CCW during a traffic stop?

Question:  My wife and I will be visiting from Alabama.  Are Arizona and New Mexico proclaimation states. This is our first trip out west.

Answer: You should note that New Mexico does not recognize the Alabama concealed weapons permit at this time.  This information was taken directly from the New Mexico DPS website.  Arizona does honor the Alabama permit.

In Arizona you are not required to volunteer your status as a Arizona CCW permit holder or whether or not you are armed.  Similarly, in New Mexico you are not required to notify the officer that you are in possession of a permit or a firearm.  However, in both states if you are asked you must present your permit on request.  Additionally, in both states the officer can take possession of your firearm for the duration of the traffic stop.  This is primarily for their safety.  It will be returned to you at the end of the traffic stop if there are no other irregularities such as an altered serial number or the firearm has been reported stolen.  In every case I have seen, the firearm is returned to you in an unloaded condition.

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New Arizona Law Passed to Clarify "Defensive Display" of a Firearm…

Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer signed a new law that clarifies what constitutes a legal “defensive display” of a firearm.  This new law takes effect on September 30, 2009.

The law states that the “Defensive Display” of a firearm by a person is justified “when and to the extent that a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force.”

The law does not apply to the following circumstances:

  • When a person intentionally provokes another person to use or attempt to use unlawful physical force.
  • Uses a firearm during the commission of a ‘serious offense’ or ‘violent crime’ as defined by State law.

In addition, “Defensive Display” is not required prior to the either the threat of or the actual use of physical force, if the use of force would be justified.  In plain English, if you are justified in using physical or deadly force, you are not required to make a ‘Defensive Display” prior to the using either physical or deadly force.

For the purpose of this law “Defensive Display of a Firearm” includes:

  • Verbally informing another person that you possess or have a firearm available.
  • Exposing or displaying a firearm in a manner that a reasonable person would understand was meant to protect oneself against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical or deadly force.
  • Placing your hand on a firearm while the firearm is contained in a pocket, purse or other form of containment or transport.

This law is an extremely important development that broadens the legal protection and extends the options of someone that carries a firearm for the purpose of self defense.  Prior to these clarifications, the above acts could have potentially constituted aggravated assault on the part of a person attempting to legally defend themselves from a legitimate threat.

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