Extraordinary Liability Advisory
The following is text of an advisory that we recommend be presented to Ohio businesses or employers when customers or employees become aware of considerations to post discriminatory signs banning CHL-holders who are exercising their constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense:
NO FIREARMS ALLOWED?
Businesses May Incur Extraordinary Liability
Occasionally we hear that signs have been posted on local business entrances to prohibit firearms on the property of that business.
These notices are designed to warn law-abiding customers, who are duly licensed by the State of Ohio to carry concealed firearms for self-protection, that they are expected to give up the right of self-defense while on that property.
Every state that borders Ohio has a law similar to the one that has now passed here. Concerned business owners are encouraged to inquire among their counterparts in every state that borders Ohio. In doing so, company policy-makers will learn that the opponents of this law continue to peddle fears which have no basis in reality: not in Indiana, where concealed carry has been legal for nearly 80 years; not in Michigan, where these same arguments were made before passage of similar reforms; not in Kentucky, which does not offer businesses the blanket immunity which Ohio does; and not in Pennsylvania, where NO training is required for persons to obtain a license.
If, despite the wealth of facts from other states and from our own, business owners still feel threatened by warnings that Ohio law does not offer enough immunity from liability should businesses allow firearms on their property, decision-makers must also realize that this same immunity clause recognizes the potential for liability if they prevent a law-abiding citizen the right to self-defense while traveling to and from, or while inside, their place of business.
In giving this notification to customers, these businesses may incur an extraordinary liability should customers be attacked while at the business or in the business' parking lot, since the management has specifically preempted the individual's right of self-protection.
Further, these businesses may incur an extraordinary duty of care and responsibility to protect customers while they are on the business property. But even an attempt to provide extra protection does not negate the extraordinary liability incurred by usurping the personal rights of its customers.
Generally, when these businesses consult their attorneys and their insurance companies concerning the extraordinary liability and the extraordinary duty to provide more extensive safety and protection for customers, the signs immediately come down.
We recommend that businesses that have posted such signs check to be sure they understand the legal and financial consequences of such unwise actions, and to be sure their insurance is sufficient to cover the potential for additional liability.
For more information, please visit www.buckeyefirearms.org, and consult the section entitled "What Businesses Need to Know about CCW".
This advisory is not intended to be deemed or considered legal advice. It IS intended to advise decision-makers to seek unbiased legal advice on the issues of extraordinary liability and extraordinary duty of care and responsibility to protect customers while they are on the business property before posting discriminatory signs barring CHL-holders.