Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby MyWifeSaidYes » Tue May 15, 2018 1:32 am

joerocket wrote:... Do you agree, that I could legally keep a long gun at my business even though the landlord posted a sign prohibiting firearms? ...


No.

The sign prohibits firearms.

You have a business lease, not a residential lease.

You may NOT have firearms in your place of business.
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby djthomas » Tue May 15, 2018 5:49 am

joerocket wrote:But since 2923.126 is titled "duties of a licensed individual", and a Ohio concealed carry permit doesn't authorize you to carry a long gun concealed, it seems reasonable to think that in respect to a long gun being skept my place of business I am an "unlicensed individual".

I'll also point out that section headings (titles) are legally meaningless. They are provided for convenience only but have no legal effect. 2923.126 could be entitled "Rules for aliens from outer space" and it would still apply to every human in Ohio unless the actual text of the statute provided otherwise.

From ORC 1.01:
... Except as otherwise provided in section 1301.107 of the Revised Code, Title, Chapter, and section headings and marginal General Code section numbers do not constitute any part of the law as contained in the "Revised Code".

Also - note that the provision you're relying on states "Nothing in this section shall negate or restrict a rule, policy, or practice of a private employer that is not a private college, university, or other institution of higher education concerning or prohibiting the presence of firearms on the private employer's premises or property..."

The bolded preamble means the law is not giving them anything they don't already have; rather, it's not taking anything away. So even if 2923.126 didn't exist, the right of a private employer to prohibit firearms is inherent in other rights established by law (e.g. trespass).
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby M-Quigley » Tue May 15, 2018 8:25 am

joerocket wrote:I am not an attorney so I hate to rely too heavily on my logic.


Unfortunately relying on logic is sometimes one of the biggest mistakes people make about interpreting law :(
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby joerocket » Tue May 15, 2018 9:56 am

djthomas wrote:
joerocket wrote:But since 2923.126 is titled "duties of a licensed individual", and a Ohio concealed carry permit doesn't authorize you to carry a long gun concealed, it seems reasonable to think that in respect to a long gun being skept my place of business I am an "unlicensed individual".

I'll also point out that section headings (titles) are legally meaningless. They are provided for convenience only but have no legal effect. 2923.126 could be entitled "Rules for aliens from outer space" and it would still apply to every human in Ohio unless the actual text of the statute provided otherwise.

From ORC 1.01:


That is good information to know since I did not realize the titles are legally meaningless. It definitely gets confusing for a normal citizen like myself trying to understand it when the section is titled, "duties of a licensed individual" and throughout the whole section it mentions restrictions on licensed individuals specifically. But then we when get to 2923.126(3)(a) it says "person" instead of licensee and uses the term "firearms". I get the impression that your opinion is the landlord can legally restrict non-residential tenants from possessing any firearms (not just handguns) by posted signage based on 2923.126(3)(a), is that correct?
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby schmieg » Tue May 15, 2018 10:07 am

That is correct. And they can prohibit it without signs as well by telling you in some other way. If you are told to leave a place while armed, don't argue, just leave. A failure to leave when told can result in a trespass charge. And, the sign, if present, doesn't have to be anything special; it can be written on toilet paper with a crayon and it is still valid.
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby joerocket » Tue May 15, 2018 10:19 am

djthomas wrote:Also - note that the provision you're relying on states "Nothing in this section shall negate or restrict a rule, policy, or practice of a private employer that is not a private college, university, or other institution of higher education concerning or prohibiting the presence of firearms on the private employer's premises or property..."

The bolded preamble means the law is not giving them anything they don't already have; rather, it's not taking anything away. So even if 2923.126 didn't exist, the right of a private employer to prohibit firearms is inherent in other rights established by law (e.g. trespass).


Ok that makes sense. In my situation I own the business, so I am the private employer and want to have a firearm at my place of business. We do not have any company policies that would prohibit me from having a firearm at work. There are also no provisions in our lease prohibiting firearms. There are signs prohibiting firearms posted at the common entrances to the building, which is my concern. I am not sure if the landlord actually wanted firearms prohibited on the premises or if they were posted due to requirements by the former tenants that occupied the most of the commercial space (government offices and a school). There are probably 2000 people in the building that would be considered residential tenants and less than 100 people from the tenants of the commercial space including all their employees and guests. So from a common sense standpoint is seems silly to prohibit a small percentage of the people in the building when they cannot legally prohibit the rest.
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby joerocket » Tue May 15, 2018 10:32 am

schmieg wrote:That is correct. And they can prohibit it without signs as well by telling you in some other way. If you are told to leave a place while armed, don't argue, just leave. A failure to leave when told can result in a trespass charge. And, the sign, if present, doesn't have to be anything special; it can be written on toilet paper with a crayon and it is still valid.


OK thanks. If I was ever asked to leave a place while armed I would do it immediately, I am not the type of person to try to argue it. The reality is the chance of the landlord catching me with a firearm then pressing trespassing charges is slim to none. But I am just trying to make sure that I handling myself properly, so I just wanted to educate myself more on the law then have a discussion with him to see what his stance really is.
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby djthomas » Tue May 15, 2018 11:00 am

joerocket wrote:Ok that makes sense. In my situation I own the business, so I am the private employer and want to have a firearm at my place of business

Right but there are multiple private employers in play here, you and the landlord. If you read the trespass statute it says "no person while on the land or premises of another..." And section 2923.126 is even more explicit on this point saying "the owner or person in control of private land or premises." So absent some statutory or contractual provision to the contrary either the owner or tenant can post the premises, notwithstanding the wishes of the other.

So it's not as simple as only being concerned about the common areas, the landlord can (and seemingly has) prohibited firearms in the portion of the premises leased to you as well by virtue of posting the building containing your leased space.

When it comes to the law, common sense has nothing to do with it. Here's my take: Your building is clearly posted and you're aware of it so there's no use pretending you didn't know (if you get caught). You suspect the landlord might not actually care, so ask and see if they'll come down or he'll amend your lease to allow it. You'll be no worse off than you currently are and it'll help you plan for the next lease expiration.
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Re: Landlord's rights to prohibit guns

Postby joerocket » Tue May 15, 2018 2:27 pm

djthomas wrote:
joerocket wrote:Ok that makes sense. In my situation I own the business, so I am the private employer and want to have a firearm at my place of business

Right but there are multiple private employers in play here, you and the landlord. If you read the trespass statute it says "no person while on the land or premises of another..." And section 2923.126 is even more explicit on this point saying "the owner or person in control of private land or premises." So absent some statutory or contractual provision to the contrary either the owner or tenant can post the premises, notwithstanding the wishes of the other.

So it's not as simple as only being concerned about the common areas, the landlord can (and seemingly has) prohibited firearms in the portion of the premises leased to you as well by virtue of posting the building containing your leased space.


I see what you are saying, I was looking at it from the angle that I would be considered the private employer since that is more logical in that context. But still understood based on the language in 2923.126 the owner could prohibit firearms on his own, without regard to my wishes.

djthomas wrote:When it comes to the law, common sense has nothing to do with it. Here's my take: Your building is clearly posted and you're aware of it so there's no use pretending you didn't know (if you get caught). You suspect the landlord might not actually care, so ask and see if they'll come down or he'll amend your lease to allow it. You'll be no worse off than you currently are and it'll help you plan for the next lease expiration.


There are close to 30 different entrances to the building from the street or parking garage. Less than 10 of them are posted. I could easily enter the building and get into my office space without seeing any posted signs, but it certainly wouldn't be the most convenient route. It would also be silly to try to argue that I never noticed the other entrances were posted. Next time I see the owner I'll ask him about it to see what his stance is. Hopefully I can get him to take the signs down or at least put something in writing that I am permitted to have a firearm on the premises. I should have dealt with it when we initially leased the space. Worst case I am pretty confident they would make an exception to keep us as a tenant, but I won't be able to put that pressure on them for several years since we are only about 1/2 way through our lease. So I'll be stuck with whatever they say for awhile. Thanks again for all your help.
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