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Thread: What is the penalty?
August 20th, 2011, 09:40 AM #11
August 20th, 2011, 09:59 AM #12Member
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Re: What is the penalty?
There doesn't appear to be anything addressing this issue in the PA uniform firearms act.
As to the question of can someone be charged with trespass, I'm not so sure. If you are discovered, you would be asked to leave and if you refuse you can be charged. But ignoring a no weapons sign is akin to ignoring the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" sign. You would be asked to leave, not immediately arrested or charged for entering 7-11 without a shirt.
August 20th, 2011, 10:07 AM #13
Re: What is the penalty?
§ 3503. Criminal trespass
(a) Buildings and occupied structures.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he:
(i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof; or
(ii) breaks into any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.
(2) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the third degree, and an offense under subparagraph (1)(ii) is a felony of the second degree.
(3) As used in this subsection:
"Breaks into." To gain entry by force, breaking, intimidation, unauthorized opening of locks, or through an opening not designed for human access.
(b) Defiant trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(i) actual communication to the actor;
(ii) posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders;
(iii) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders;
(iv) notices posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention at each entrance of school grounds that visitors are prohibited without authorization from a designated school, center or program official; or
(v) an actual communication to the actor to leave school grounds as communicated by a school, center or program official, employee or agent or a law enforcement officer.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it is a summary offense.
(b.1) Simple trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place for the purpose of:
(i) threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant of the premises;
(ii) starting or causing to be started any fire upon the premises; or
(iii) defacing or damaging the premises.
(2) An offense under this subsection constitutes a summary offense.
(b.2) Agricultural trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so he:
(i) enters or remains on any agricultural or other open lands when such lands are posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention or are fenced or enclosed in a manner manifestly designed to exclude trespassers or to confine domestic animals; or
(ii) enters or remains on any agricultural or other open lands and defies an order not to enter or to leave that has been personally communicated to him by the owner of the lands or other authorized person.
(2) An offense under this subsection shall be graded as follows:
(i) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year and a fine of not less than $250.
(ii) An offense under paragraph (1)(ii) constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase "agricultural or other open lands" shall mean any land on which agricultural activity or farming as defined in section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism) is conducted or any land populated by forest trees of any size and capable of producing timber or other wood products or any other land in an agricultural security area as defined in the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L. 128, No. 43), [FN1] known as the Agricultural Area Security Law, or any area zoned for agricultural use.
(b.3) Agricultural biosecurity area trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if the person does any of the following:
(i) Enters an agricultural biosecurity area, knowing that the person is not licensed or privileged to do so.
(ii) Knowingly or recklessly fails to perform reasonable measures for biosecurity that by posted notice are required to be performed for entry to the agricultural biosecurity area.
(2) It is a defense to prosecution under paragraph (1)(ii) that:
(i) no reasonable means or method was available to perform the measures that the posted notice required to be performed for entry to the agricultural biosecurity area;
(ii) entry is made in response to a condition within the agricultural biosecurity area that the person reasonably believes to be a serious threat to human or animal health as necessitating immediate entry to the agricultural biosecurity area; or
(iii) entry is made under exigent circumstances by a law enforcement officer to:
(A) pursue and apprehend a suspect of criminal conduct reasonably believed by the officer to be present within the agricultural biosecurity area; or
(B) prevent the destruction of evidence of criminal conduct reasonably believed by the officer to be located within the agricultural biosecurity area.
(3)(i) Except as set forth in subparagraph (iii), an offense under paragraph (1)(i) constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree.
(ii) Except as set forth in subparagraph (iii), an offense under paragraph (1)(ii) constitutes a summary offense.
(iii) If an offense under paragraph (1) causes damage to or death of an animal or plant within an agricultural biosecurity area, the offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(4) For purposes of this subsection, the terms "agricultural biosecurity area" and "posted notice" shall have the meanings given to them in 3 Pa.C.S. § 2303 (relating to definitions).
(c) Defenses.--It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) a building or occupied structure involved in an offense under subsection (a) of this section was abandoned;
(2) the premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
(3) the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.
(d) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "school grounds" means any building of or grounds of any elementary or secondary publicly funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education, any elementary or secondary parochial school, any certified day-care center or any licensed preschool program.
Yes, the usual practice is for the property owner to demand that you leave, and if you refuse, then it becomes defiant trespass in the traditional sense. But the USUAL practice is not the ONLY option, and you should be aware of the worst-case possibility. A motivated property owner combined with an aggressive anti-gun DA could charge you for the initial unlicensed entry, based solely on the obvious signs and your violation of the terms of the permission given.Attorney Phil Kline, AKA firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!
August 20th, 2011, 10:15 AM #14
August 20th, 2011, 10:19 AM #15
Re: What is the penalty?
You can be cited for trespassing for parking a big rig in a lot posted "No Trucks". You can be cited for just the same for hunting/hiking were posted "Fishing Access Only". Cited for entering an area marked "Employees Only". No warning is required. I can put a sign up where it would be most likely noticed stating "Open Carry Only, Concealment By Permission Only" on my land - and should you violate that you would surely be mistaken to believe that you could not be cited for violating that rule. I can even arrange a test of this. ...I'll let the Brookville Police know about my posting and invite an officer to observe anyone wanting to test this out.
ALL ingress to properties that you do not have rights to or privilege to, via actual or implied consent, is common law trespassing. To have actual consent you must be given permission by the property owner or licensee. To have implied consent you must be there for legitimate reasons, like to do welcomed business, or for reasons related to an expectation of duties. Should a property owner set a condition and provide fair warning with a posting, and you violate that warning, you are criminally trespassing. No further warning is necessary to warrant a summary citation.
When dealing with businesses, you are only legally there to do business with that company. Your legal rights and privileges for being on that property stops if you aren't there to do business. You can be cited for trespassing for parking on one business's parking lot which is posted "Employees and Customers Only", then walking across the street to shop at their competitor.
All rights stem from property rights. Yes, that includes your right to life, rights to guns, religious rights, rights from having the government require you to quarter soldiers, etc, etc, etc.RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger.
August 20th, 2011, 10:26 AM #16
Re: What is the penalty?
Simply conceal carry. A "No Firearms" sign isn't worth dying over. You can be charged with Tresspass, though you probably won't and it may not even stick if you do and worst case pay the fine and move on with your life. The risk of being given a citation for tresspassing isnt worth the risk of being unarmed, in my opinion.
I'm not a lawyer and I do not encourage or condone anyone breaking the law.
August 21st, 2011, 06:22 AM #17
Re: What is the penalty?
I am not willing to risk losing my rights and carrying in places that are prohibited/signed. In my "younger days" I may have done things which could have gotten me in trouble. Not any longer.
I still take my safety seriously. If I know I will need to go into a "non" area I will have alternate means with me that are legal which could be used to at least have a fighting chance at self defense ranges.
I am sure many carry a knife of some sort. Possibly a semi-sharp, pointed item like a pen shaped gadget. In addition to my normal daily carry items I have been known to walk with a 5' tall staff/hiking stick into prohibited areas.
Get creative for those times when you can not legally carry! Don't do something which might put you on the NO list.
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