• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • The forum will be down for about an hour this weekend for maintenance. I apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

Local College campus not legally posted

tpos

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
30
Location
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
I just had a quick question about carrying firearms on and inside buildings on a college campus here in our great state of Wisconsin. At a local state college campus, I have noticed that they do not have their building legally posted with no firearms signs on every door. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but unless they have every entrance posted, it would be legal to carry there?
 

Firearms Iinstuctor

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
3,207
Location
northern wis
http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/document/statutes/943.13(2)(bm)2.am.

For the purposes of sub. (1m) (c) 2., 4., and 5., an owner or occupant of a part of a nonresidential building, the state or a local governmental unit, or a university or a college has notified an individual not to enter or remain in a part of the building while carrying a firearm or with a particular type of firearm if the owner, occupant, state, local governmental unit, university, or college has posted a sign that is located in a prominent place near all of the entrances to the part of the building to which the restriction applies and any individual entering the building can be reasonably expected to see the sign.

For the purposes of sub. (1m) (c) 2., an owner or occupant of the grounds of a nonresidential building or of land has notified an individual not to enter or remain on the grounds or land while carrying a firearm or with a particular type of firearm if the owner or occupant has posted a sign that is located in a prominent place near all probable access points to the grounds or land to which the restriction applies and any individual entering the grounds or land can be reasonably expected to see the sign.
 

jackrockblc

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
256
Location
Jefferson County, CO
From reading FI's post above, even though the school doesn't post to every single entrance, there's still a high risk of prosecution.

...prominent place near all probable access points to the grounds or land to which the restriction applies and any individual entering the grounds or land can be reasonably expected to see the sign.


So, in essence, if you're reasonably expected to see the sign (by the fact that you're posting this thread, you clearly have), you can be prosecuted for carrying in a GFZ.
 

tpos

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
30
Location
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
From reading FI's post above, even though the school doesn't post to every single entrance, there's still a high risk of prosecution.



So, in essence, if you're reasonably expected to see the sign (by the fact that you're posting this thread, you clearly have), you can be prosecuted for carrying in a GFZ.[/COLOR]
Hey I'm just posting a hypothetical here. They have whole entrances to wings of the building that aren't posted, and if you are a person like me who generally takes one route into class, I would never have noticed other doors that were posted if I hadn't decided to take a different way out. If there is a legal requirement that every entrance must be posted, and the building doesn't meet that, then it should in theory be legal to carry there.
 

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,128
Location
White Oak Plantation
Be sure your attorney understands you understanding of state law, I'm sure he will convince a judge to understand state law the way you understand state law.
 

jackrockblc

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
256
Location
Jefferson County, CO
Hey I'm just posting a hypothetical here. They have whole entrances to wings of the building that aren't posted, and if you are a person like me who generally takes one route into class, I would never have noticed other doors that were posted if I hadn't decided to take a different way out. If there is a legal requirement that every entrance must be posted, and the building doesn't meet that, then it should in theory be legal to carry there.
The problem is, as noted before, you've already admitted you're aware of the GFZ. Now, the fact that your typical entrance(s) not being posted might have been a valid defense if you can make a judge and jury believe you've never used any other entrance or exit in the school grounds.

Plus, I don't know about this school, but mine has a "Student Code of Conduct", and it mentions firearms. It's bundled with the school map and schedule - which are used when registering. So a jury could say that it was reasonable for me to have seen it (thankfully, CO allows firearms by valid CHP holders on public schools).

The point is, really, that you couldn't point to a non-posted entrance and say "This GFZ is invalid!" You'll still be prosecuted, and that'll be your only defense. It's up to a judge and/or jury whether your interpretation is valid.
 

tpos

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
30
Location
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
The problem is, as noted before, you've already admitted you're aware of the GFZ. Now, the fact that your typical entrance(s) not being posted might have been a valid defense if you can make a judge and jury believe you've never used any other entrance or exit in the school grounds.

Plus, I don't know about this school, but mine has a "Student Code of Conduct", and it mentions firearms. It's bundled with the school map and schedule - which are used when registering. So a jury could say that it was reasonable for me to have seen it (thankfully, CO allows firearms by valid CHP holders on public schools).

The point is, really, that you couldn't point to a non-posted entrance and say "This GFZ is invalid!" You'll still be prosecuted, and that'll be your only defense. It's up to a judge and/or jury whether your interpretation is valid.
I understand the implications of this post as notification that I saw the posting. As for the student code of conduct, I was not given one, nor did I sign any student code of conduct when I applied for the school. Now, I did take the time out of my day to look up what it said, and it does prohibit firearms(I know, I know, this is me admitting to reading it). I understand the hypotheticals, and that it would be potentially iffy in a court of law, but if someone did not due their due diligence before carrying into school, and didn't search out the code of conduct like I did, they would in theory not be breaking the law. For the record though, as of class tonight, they have fixed their discrepancies in posting. all of the aforementioned un-posted entrances, are now legally posted.
 

pkbites

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
760
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ,
In Wisconsin colleges are not considered "school zones" like K-12 are. The violation for carrying there is no different than carrying into a private business that is posted. It's not a criminal offense it's a forfeiture. Forfeitures in Wisconsin are not crimes and cannot be punished with jail/prison. And the only way a non-state LEO can enforce a state forfeiture is if it has been adopted as an ordinance for whatever governmental unit the LEO is employed by. I do not know if U.W. police are considered state law enforcement. A local ordinance fine is going to be considerable less than the $1000 a class B state forfeiture costs.

In other words, getting kicked out of college is probably a greater consequence than any fine one might get out of it. Ignoring those signs is a violation of law, but not a serious one. I'm willing to bet that a lot of otherwise law abiding folks ignore those signs frequently.

I am not an attorney, this is not legal advice.
 

tpos

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
30
Location
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
In Wisconsin colleges are not considered "school zones" like K-12 are. The violation for carrying there is no different than carrying into a private business that is posted. It's not a criminal offense it's a forfeiture. Forfeitures in Wisconsin are not crimes and cannot be punished with jail/prison. And the only way a non-state LEO can enforce a state forfeiture is if it has been adopted as an ordinance for whatever governmental unit the LEO is employed by. I do not know if U.W. police are considered state law enforcement. A local ordinance fine is going to be considerable less than the $1000 a class B state forfeiture costs.

In other words, getting kicked out of college is probably a greater consequence than any fine one might get out of it. Ignoring those signs is a violation of law, but not a serious one. I'm willing to bet that a lot of otherwise law abiding folks ignore those signs frequently.

I am not an attorney, this is not legal advice.
Thanks for the thought out reply. I have no intentions of getting kicked out of school over this, I just was curious about it.
 

lockman

State Researcher
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
1,196
Location
Elgin, Illinois, USA
The unposted doors are the the only entry points for licensees, Otherwise all entries would be posted, right?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

pkbites

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
760
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ,
The "law" can only dictate what one cannot do, not what one can do. So why wouldn't that be the same as posting a building for weapons? Unless it's a statute specific prohibited place (jails, court houses, etc) if it's not posted can one assume the entrance and therefore the venue allows carry?

The last time I was at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa (June of '16) I entered the Barnes and Noble bookstore from the outside and (at the time) it was not posted. I exited the bookstore and into the mall area and noticed that the entrance into the mall from the bookstore (on both floors) was not posted. While it may be an oversight on their part, 2FB. It's not posted and not being a prohibited place by statute wouldn't that be a defense to carrying there?
 

Firearms Iinstuctor

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
3,207
Location
northern wis
The "law" can only dictate what one cannot do, not what one can do. So why wouldn't that be the same as posting a building for weapons? Unless it's a statute specific prohibited place (jails, court houses, etc) if it's not posted can one assume the entrance and therefore the venue allows carry?

The last time I was at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa (June of '16) I entered the Barnes and Noble bookstore from the outside and (at the time) it was not posted. I exited the bookstore and into the mall area and noticed that the entrance into the mall from the bookstore (on both floors) was not posted. While it may be an oversight on their part, 2FB. It's not posted and not being a prohibited place by statute wouldn't that be a defense to carrying there?
Failing to meet the statutory requirements is a defense and can be a good one. But one could very well have to take it up with the DA and then the courts to win.

It seems that the statue is clear all entrances have to posted to be valid.

Going for the ride might be worse then the legal out come.
 

tpos

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
30
Location
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
Failing to meet the statutory requirements is a defense and can be a good one. But one could very well have to take it up with the DA and then the courts to win.

It seems that the statue is clear all entrances have to posted to be valid.

Going for the ride might be worse then the legal out come.
I am certainly not interested in a legal "ride" so I agree with your comment. I also think about the last time I was ever asked about my concealed weapon, which would have been never, because it was concealed. If your doing it right, no one knows.
 

Va_Nemo

New member
Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
542
Location
Lynchburg
I would carry. Deep cover and enter/exit through a non-marked door. I would make sure I parked in a spot most convenient to that door.

Just because that was the one I wanted to enter/exit and because I did, having never seen that sign.

Nemo
 

pkbites

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
760
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ,
But one could very well have to take it up with the DA and then the courts to win.
As I posted before the charge would most likely be a municipal ordinance violation. So it would be a city attorney one would be dealing with. Yes one could be arrested and made to post bond, but in the end the penalty can only be a fine, not jail/prison time.


An ethics discussion could include the question "is it better to ignore those signs and carry, or be a sitting duck during an incident when you are unarmed?" This of course is a false dichotomy. The unmentioned 3rd choice is to not patronage businesses that post.

In the case of college carry getting kicked out of school is a pretty severe consequence. But is it as severe as ending up dead when an active shooting bursts in? One can't avoid going to college as easily as one can avoid shopping at certain unenlightened businesses. I assume Doug will be here shortly to poop on that premise.


About ignoring those signs: How many of you never drive over the speed limit? Because most traffic offenses are also non-criminal punishable only by a forfeiture. In other words if you obey those signs because you consider yourself a law abiding person, then exceed the posted speed limit you are a hypocrite. I'm sure someone will try to split hairs on that, rationalization being one of the strongest of human drives.

If carrying in a posted business is such a horrible thing, why is it a non-criminal violation punished only by a moderate fine? Under the law it really isn't such a grievous offense, is it?
 

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,128
Location
White Oak Plantation
On a trip out to California last year I was pulled over for doing 65 in a 60, right hand lane, on I-5 (Stockton area)...the CHP cop did not issue a citation, he warned me that going 10 less that the flow of traffic would likely get me shot. I needed to be safe and go with the flow of traffic.

The choice is, go to a school that you are paying for, or, get tossed out cuz you broke their rule. Not rocket science.
 

MKEgal

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
4,386
Location
in front of my computer, WI
pkbites said:
In Wisconsin colleges are not considered "school zones" like K-12 are.
Federal law says K-12.
Wisconsin law only considers grades 1-12 to be in the magical "gun-free" school zone.
Kindergartens aren't included.
So if you can find a standalone K, it's legal to carry there as long as they're not stupid (posted).

Several years ago the antis kicked up a fuss & tried to get the law changed.
I even called the state Dep't of Ed & asked how many standalone kindergartens there were, and they couldn't answer.
So I contacted my elected reps at the state level & asked that they not waste any time on the proposal.
It died.
 

pkbites

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
760
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ,
Federal law says K-12.
Wisconsin law only considers grades 1-12 to be in the magical "gun-free" school zone.
Kindergartens aren't included.
So if you can find a standalone K, it's legal to carry there
Actually no because it appears it would still be illegal to carry there under federal law. Sorry for the nitpick.
 
Top