Posts Tagged ‘liability’

"Gun-free" Zone Fiction Flatters Carriers; Insults the Public

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

 It has only been two years since Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” was killed on a shooting range in Erath County, Texas. His murder was followed by the shooting death in Georgia of Keith Ratliff of the YouTube gun show FPSRussia, who was surrounded by his own guns, and Frank Petro, owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop in Tunnelton, PA who was killed in his shop with his own gun.

 

Also shot and killed in 2013 were Kaufman County, Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, despite the DA being “well-armed and so well-versed in guns,” according to his son, and other key law enforcement figures.

 

NGVAC Tell and Compel InitiativeStill it is the absence of guns–“gun-free” zones–that explains most shootings, say gun advocates, because bad guys know that good guys “have been disarmed!”

 

Under this self-flattering reasoning, armed guards are no replacement for armed citizens and Ford Hood, the Navy Yard and LAX airport are actually soft targets. “Let’s attack a military installation,” the bad guys say, according to gun advocates. “They won’t fight back.”

 

The gun-free zone fiction was rolled out by the gun advocacy movement as businesses have increasingly shunned belligerent and self-righteous “carriers” on their premises.

 

Just as Pepsi recently renounced the artificial sweetener aspartame and Chipotle renounced genetically modified food ingredients, top restaurant chains like Panera Bread, Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Target have renounced guns on their property. Why? They hear their customers!

 

But of course, there is another reason property and building owners do not want guns on their property. If they fail to post No Guns Allowed signs and gun violence, injury or death occurs on their property they “face the argument that it was entirely foreseeable” advises top real estate, finance and litigation law firm Mayer Brown LLP.

 

Mishaps that could expose such property owners to lawsuits include faulty holsters, someone bumping a carrier, a carrier bumping someone else, a carrier falling or a carrier “mistaking a situation for one in which he is legally entitled to use a gun for self-defense or to save others,” says Mayer Brown. Their legal memo, found here, may well be the first property owner guidance on liability from guns on their property. Certainly, the toddler who killed his mother with her own gun in a Washington Walmart in December would pose liability to property owners under this guidance.

 

Of course militant “carriers” who are afraid to go where normal people go without their lethal weapons usually transmute their cowardice into a public service. We are protecting the public they yell–if a “bad guy” shows up you’ll be glad we are around.

 

But the legal memo from Mayer Brown begs to differ. Not only are sheriff-wannabes unlikely to “defend” anyone in a gun violence situation they are likely to cause more bloodshed. Nor would a property owner be faulted for disallowing such armed enforcers. “A court could hardly claim that a duty of care was violated because a property owner put up signs to help prevent this additional danger posed by would-be heroes,” says the memo.

 

The truth is the presence of guns makes an environment less safe not more safe. Exhibit A is all major corporations/companies which ban guns from their headquarter buildings. Corporations don’t want a shoot out between bad guys and good guys in their offices–they want no guns to begin with.  Needless to say, there aren’t too many shootings in their “gun-free zones.”

 

 

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commercial and Residential Building Owners Face Massive Financial Risk Unless They Post “No Guns Allowed” Signs—Law Firm

Friday, April 24th, 2015

By Elliot Fineman

CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

NGVAC Tell and Compel Initiative

 

Since “Concealed Carry” has become the law of the land, and open carry is allowed in several states, National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) has speculated that property owners would be liable for gun injuries on their property if they did not ban guns. Now, Mayer Brown LLP, a top-ranked international real estate, finance and litigation law firm, has weighed in on the question at our request.
 
Mayer Brown, named “Firm of the Year” in the Appellate Law category by U.S. News & World Report for the second consecutive year, advises that “a property owner who did not put up the [no guns allowed] signs” would face the argument that it was entirely “foreseeable” that gun violence, injury or death “would occur, since he or she failed to prohibit” guns carried either concealed or openly on his property. Click Link for Illinois Property Owners Research Memorandum
 
Just as supermarkets would be responsible if someone slipped on a spilled liquid and coffee shops would be responsible if someone burned themselves with a hot liquid, property owners are governed by a “common-law standard of care,” Mayer Brown LLP told us, that requires them to provide a safe environment for employees, visitors and customers. Failure to satisfy the common-law standard of care has resulted in massive financial awards against property owners. Several years ago, airlines, theme parks and health clubs began to be sued under this precept for failing to keep external defibrillators available for customers and employees.
 
Property owners who fail to put up signs banning guns may well be found guilty of not maintaining a “common-law standard of care” and face significant financial risks, says Mayer Brown. Even defending such a suit would prove extremely costly.
 
What does this mean to you if you own property or are injured on a property by a legal gun carrier? It means that:
 
If you are shot accidentally or otherwise in a gun-related incident whether in an office, retail, mall or residential building, you can sue the property owner if “No Guns Allowed” signs were not posted.
 
Additionally, if a Building Owner does not put up a sign, you are at increased risk of being a victim of a gun incident at your place of business, where you shop or where you live.
 
The Mayer Brown memo centers on Illinois in response to the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, implemented in 2014, but the principles are the same in every state including states with laws immunizing property owners.
 
Of course, the NRA will reflexively argue that people are less safe in a building that bans guns because they cannot “defend” themselves and others. But the Mayer legal research memo makes clear there is a body of evidence demonstrating that armed citizens do not protect themselves and others the way they think and, in fact, make the environment far less safe than if no guns were present. This is why all major corporations/companies—including the NRA—ban guns from their headquarter buildings.
 
Further, the memo reports that even fully trained law enforcement officers miss about a third of their shots. “It is not foreseeable or likely that armed individuals could successfully defend themselves in a crisis situation” and they may “create more danger,” says the memo, “A court could hardly claim that a duty of care was violated because a property owner put up signs to help prevent this additional danger posed by would-be heroes.”
 
If the NRA threatens to sue a business or Building Owner for not allowing guns, the owners will be on strong legal ground defending such a suit. Nor is the Building Owner even taking a position in favor or against guns. Owners are prudently making a risk avoidance (elimination) decision.
 
The Mayer Brown memo also removes the necessity of individual businesses located on the property owners’ property from having to make individual decisions about gun signage; the Building Owner or property owner’s ban accomplishes that in one felled swoop for all the chains and businesses located in a shopping center, mall, office or residential complex.
 
What can you do? You can discuss the financial liability risk and dangers of allowing guns at the places you shop, work, visit and live. Now that this legal research memo is public information, a property owner cannot claim he did “not know” as a defense. The memo establishes that the danger of gun injuries when guns are allowed is entirely “foreseeable.” Foreseeability is the legal standard for establishing liability.
 
This legal guidance is good news for anyone who wants to shop, dine, work or be in public spaces without the heightened risk of gun violence. Concealed and open carriers can walk up and down the street with their guns—but if they enter restaurants, stores, theaters, offices and other businesses with signs up they will be in violation of trespassing laws and subject to personal liability. The memo provides many powerful reasons for Building Owners to post “No Guns Allowed” signs.

 

GUNS AND CIGARETTES

Monday, July 30th, 2012

In “How Guns Won” Time’s cover story (August 6, 2012) Joe Klein, states that Americans have turned against gun control. More accurately, it is “Uninformed Americans”—deprived of the real facts by the NRA’s relentless cover up—that appear to have turned.  It is important to recall the battle for public opinion during the cigarette wars; when given the real facts, Americans turned against the tobacco industry.  This will happen to the gun industry.

Until the U.S. Surgeon General Report on Smoking and Health in 1964, Americans did not know what the tobacco industry had known and covered up for years—smoking tobacco caused lung cancer.  Once the the  public was truthfully informed, attitudes quickly changed.  A Gallup Survey in 1958 found that only 44 percent of Americans believed smoking caused cancer, by 1968, 78 percent believed.

The situation with guns mirrors that of cigarettes.  The gun industry and NRA have known for years the devastation to public safety caused by guns in the absence of sane gun control laws; they have worked to cover it up.  In 1996, NRA pressure caused the elimination of funding for independent firearms research from the Center for Disease Control’s Budget (CDC). Today, the CDC only conducts firearm research first approved by the NRA. In 2003, the NRA caused Congress to pass the Tiahrt Amendment, which assures that sales to the criminal market continue unhindered.

To maximize gun industry sales, the NRA’s goal is that guns are carried at all times, in all places, by virtually anyone.  Once the the public is truthfully informed attitudes will quickly change; public support for stricter gun control laws will soar.


Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On Pinterest