There is much more to the decision to allow lawful possession of firearms in buildings than is apparently being considered by those who propose to ban firearms.
Let’s look at the statute as respects banning firearms (not weapons) in non-residential buildings.
"While carrying a firearm, enters or remains in any part of a nonresidential building, grounds of a nonresidential building, or land that the actor does not own or occupy after the owner of the building, grounds, or land, if that part of the building, grounds, or land has not been leased to another person, or the occupant of that part of the building, grounds, or land has notified the actor not to enter or remain in that part of the building, grounds, or land while carrying a firearm or with that type of firearm.
This subdivision does not apply to a part of a building, grounds, or land occupied by the state or by a local governmental unit, to a privately or publicly owned building on the grounds of a university or college, or to the grounds of or land owned or occupied by a university of college, or, if the firearm is in a vehicle driven or parked in the parking facility, to any part of a building, grounds, or land used as a parking facility."
However, the Legislature clearly did not favor banning firearms. The legislature made it very attractive not to ban firearms by providing immunity as described in the statute below.
"A person that does not prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on property that the person owns or occupies is immune from any liability arising from its decision."
So forfeiting immunity by banning firearms could turn out to be a very costly decision. Those proposing to ban firearms have not mentioned their associated increased risk of liability should something horrible happen. This is not a free move.
What a sign does not do is negate anyone's personal right to be safe. The sign does shift the responsibility for a disarmed person’s personal safety to the person who disarmed them.
Let's look at three hypothetical situations.
If a city decides to prohibit firearms within their buildings and thereby removes a citizen’s lawful means to personally defend themselves, the responsibility to maintain that person’s personal safety is transferred by the sign to the city. The city accepts the financial consequences for any harm that should happen to the person which the citizen may have prevented had the city not disarmed them. Unfortunately we have learned government officials are not concerned with their decisions that needlessly risk spending taxpayer’s money.
Let's say you are wondering if you want to prohibit firearms at your place of business. Well, the same law applies to you. If you decide to ban the possession of firearms, you forfeit immunity for your decision also. Have you decided how you are going to personally protect those people whom you have disarmed? It is fact that criminals will be attracted to your gun ban sign (not that they will comply with it) when deciding which businesses have made it safer for them to do their work.
The following alternative sign may prove useful to you, and be a real money maker for your business. Our wallets do not go where our firearms are not welcome. This sign will not invite criminals to enter your business either.
LAWFULLY ARMED CITIZENS
The law also states:
An employer that does not prohibit one or more employees from carrying a concealed weapon under sub. (15m) is immune from any liability arising from its decision.
Employers who prohibit employees from carrying a concealed weapon at work also forfeit all immunity from any liability for their decision. By assuming the responsibility for providing the personal protection for each disarmed employee while they are on the job, you may expect to be asked to prove to a court how you took all necessary measures to provide for your employees personal safety. The employees’ survivors will have a dead body to prove to the jury that you didn’t.
I have a sign for you also.
LAWFULLY ARMED EMPLOYEES
Preparation for going to college this year may include one more task. It is lawful for an 18 year old to constitutionally open carry (some restrictions apply). If you are at least a 21 year old college or university student or the parent of a student who is age 21 or older, make sure that you (or your son or daughter) obtains your Wisconsin weapons license. Where ever you (the student) have been disarmed on campus, the institution forfeits immunity for any consequence as a result of their decision thereby assuming the responsibility for your personal safety.
I also have a sign to enhance campus safety.
LAWFULLY ARMED STUDENTS
I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. Any common sense you may have read above should not be construed as legal advice, so ask a good attorney (who carries Professional Liability insurance in case his/her advice to you is wrong) if you have questions.
Most signs prohibiting firearms will eventually come down when 1) criminals force them to, 2) business profits drop too much, 3) the CFO figures out why #2 is happening. Don’t expect public institutions to care, because it’s not their money they are wasting after all.