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The Gun-Free Zone Liability Act of 2018

Improving American Safety and Security
Eliminating Bias and Prejudice
Restoring Constitutional Values
Dropping the Pretense: "We don't want your kind eating here."

Establishes liability for harm caused by criminal conduct, when such conduct is wholly or partially enabled by limiting an individual’s right or ability to self defense.

REFERENCE TITLE: Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act
State of Arizona
(sponsoring house)
Fifty-third Legislature
_________ Regular Session

__.B. _____ Introduced by ________________________


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1. Title 13, Chapter 31, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding new section 13-3123:

A.R.S. §13-3123. Gun-Free-Zone Liability.

A. Any person, organization or entity, or any agency of government that creates a gun-free zone shall be liable for damages resulting from criminal conduct that occurs against an individual in such gun-free zone, if a reasonable person would believe that possession of a firearm could have helped the individual defend against such conduct.

1. In the event the conduct is a result of a terrorist attack as federally defined, or adversely affects a disabled person, a person who is a member of a minority as federally defined, a senior citizen or a child under 16 years of age, treble damages shall apply.

B. For the purposes of this section, criminal conduct shall include offenses specified under this title in Chapter 11 (Homicide), Chapter 12 (Assault and Related Offenses), Chapter 13 (Kidnapping), Chapter 14 (Sexual Offenses), Chapter 15 (Criminal Trespass and Burglary), Chapter 17 (Arson), Chapter 19 (Robbery), Chapter 25 (Escape and Related Offenses), Chapter 29 (Offenses Against Public Order) and Chapter 36 (Family Offenses).

C. For the purposes of this section, the term “gun-free zone” shall mean any building, place, area or curtilage that is open to the public, or in or upon any public conveyance, where a person’s right or ability to keep arms or to bear arms is infringed, restricted or diminished in any way by statute, policy, rule, regulation, ordinance, utterance or posted signs.


Gun Free Zone Bill Talking Points

1. It’s important to remember “gun-free zones” aren’t gun free at all—anyone with a gun can come and go at will—the signs stop no one, but honest people may feel honor bound to obey, relinquish their rights and disarm themselves before entry.

2. Federal law matches this bill—it is a federal crime to deny a person’s rights (‘Anyone who, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, custom or regulation, willfully deprives any person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, shall be fined, or imprisoned...’) 18 USC §241 et seq.

3. The bill is perfectly constitutional: it treats all facilities with so-called gun-free zones and without so-called gun-free zones the same as all others. It provides equal treatment under the law, protection of civil and human rights.

4. A store owner who simply lets people come and go in peace has no consequences under this bill.

5. Store owners who attempt to deny people their civil rights under the Constitution by posting a no-guns sign might create a liability for themselves if a person is harmed while on the premises. Other potential criminal penalties are unaffected.

6. America abandoned the bad concept that “we don’t want your kind in our store” nearly a century ago, and this disgraceful effort to deny civil rights should end. It is offensive to a large segment of the law-abiding public.

7. Insurance companies who tell their clients they must post the signs or lose coverage are being untruthful—the signs do nothing actual, provide no protection, no law supports such action, no coverage is lost, it is a disgraceful political position and anti-rights agenda, nothing more. Threats of removing insurance coverage verge on extortion for political purpose.

8. Creating a “make-believe” gun-free zone is known to be dangerous, reckless and negligent. Virtually all mass homicidal attacks have taken place where the public has been disarmed by the well-meaning but feckless signs and policies.

9. True gun-free zones have a purpose and we support these, even though they are expensive and involved, requiring controlled access and egress, metal detectors, staffing and training, like at airports and courts.

10. The desire to erect pretend gun-free zones by posting signs that essentially state, “In this building you are protected by this sign” reflects hoplophobia, a morbid fear of weapons. These people should consider treatment, not the denial of rights for their neighbors, to satisfy their own fears, recklessly subjecting others to danger.


Presentation to Committee:

If a store owner allows a no-guns sign attempting to prevent the civil rights of law-abiding people from lawfully entering with a firearm -- and a person is harmed in an attack while in the store, the store owner faces a possible liability for the reckless, negligent and dangerous denial of the person’s civil rights.

If on the other hand a store owner allows no such sign and simply lets people come and go in peace, and makes no effort to deny people’s fundamental human rights as they enter, they have no liability outside what they normally have in routine business.

That’s all this law does.

The notion that people can deny your civil rights and ban your constitutionally protected property by posting signs is as insulting and wrong as racist signs that long ago banned people from eating at a lunch counter or sipping water at a fountain. Aside from the extreme danger these pretend gun-free zones create, where no one with a gun is actually stopped from entering, it is time for its offensiveness to be recognized, and this sort of bias and prejudice to end.

As a side note, to paraphrase federal law, it is a felony if ‘Anyone, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, custom or regulation, willfully deprives any person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, and shall be fined, or imprisoned...’ 18 USC §241 et seq.



The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act --
“If you create a make-believe gun-free zone, you’re liable for any harm it causes.”

So-called “gun-free zones,” implemented privately with door signs or by government with laws and rules, are reckless, negligent and known to be dangerous. “Your children at this school are protected by this sign.” Right.

After years of delay, recent murder rampages have alerted the public and legislators to the fact that so-called “gun-free zones” are anything but gun free. They are free-fire zones where psychopaths know they will meet defenseless victims and no resistance.

The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act meets this challenge head on.

The bill respects private property rights and allows anyone to declare a make-believe “gun-free zone.” There is no cost to government. It simply attaches liability if a well intentioned but fraudulent “gun-free zone” causes harm.

The bill had been previously introduced in Arizona, and in Georgia and New Hampshire, but failed to pass at first. It will be in Arizona again in 2018 and is under consideration in other states.

The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act has excellent value even if it isn’t enacted in its first years -- it is a just and common-sense bill that would help protect the public. Resisting its reasonable provisions requires taking the moral low ground -- that you have no right to defend yourself, or that your civil right to arms can be denied by a wall sign.

A lot of very bad gun bills are planned, so it’s critical to balance that with bills as positive as this one. Ask your legislators to at least look at the bill and support it. Basically, “If you create a make-believe gun-free zone, you’re liable for any harm it causes.”




“If you create a pretend gun-free zone, you’re liable for any harm it causes.”


Originally introduced in Arizona as The Defenseless Victim Act of 2002, this bill recognizes that so-called “gun-free zones,” recklessly made and typically with no alternative security provided, border on the absurd, i.e., “NOTICE: You are protected by this sign.”

The original impetus for the bill came after "gun-free" massacres at the Luby's cafeteria in Texas, the Wakefield, Mass. slayings, and finally the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, where pilots and passengers were defenseless, in the false name of security.

Congress responded to the muslim jihad assault on our airlines with the “Arm The Pilots” law. The rest of the nation needs a similarly common-sense response.

The death toll at pretend “gun-free zones” continues to mount. The list is well known and needs no repeating -- which mass murderers revel in -- and repetition is known to encourage copycat activity.

These posted locations are proud of their “no guns allowed” signs, laws or policies that keep out even FBI-certified citizens with proper permits -- despite the disastrous results. The murderers, as in all such cases, disobey the signs or laws, which surprises no one, not even the media. The news media continues to suppress stories where armed individuals stop such mayhem. See for example, The Bias Against Guns, by John Lott, for numerous egregious examples, or simply Google the subject, which mainstream outlets refuse to do, or refuse to reveal.

The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act basically says that, in public places, if you create one of these dangerous make-believe gun-free zones, you’re liable for any harm it causes. There is no cost or budget item associated with enacting this bill.

The idea that make-believe gun-free zones are safe -- is fraudulent.

It is a mythology perpetrated by anti-rights activists who can often be recognized by their beliefs that:

1 - self defense should be illegal,
2 - guns should be confiscated,
3 - no one but “authorities” should have guns,
4 - your right to arms can be denied by posting signs,
5 - government can take care of you better than you can.

The anti-self-defense lobby tells you to rely upon the police for your safety, but they always omit these inconvenient facts:

1 - Police have absolutely no legal duty to protect you;
2 - Authorities routinely respond only after an event to pick up the pieces;
3 - When seconds count, the police are just minutes away;
4 - They like parading around in full battle dress for the cameras, for hours, after the action is over.

In the tragic homicides referred to above, and countless others you see on TV, the police don’t draw their guns, they draw chalk lines when you’re gone.*

A person who would deny your right or ability to self defense is as violent and wrong as the person who assaults you.

Acting in self defense against a criminal assault is legally guaranteed in all 50 states and federally, as it should be. It is as old as the first written laws of civilization (Code of Hammurabi, Five Books of Moses). Denying the fundamental right to self preservation is unjust, immoral, dangerous and should not be tolerated.

The notion that make-believe gun-free zones are safe is fraud perpetrated on the public:

a) Only innocent victims like you and me are affected. Armed criminals ignore no-guns signs and could care less -- they’re laughing at you.

b) No alternate form of security is provided. You are knowingly and recklessly made vulnerable, while property management accepts no responsibility for your safety or their negligent behavior. The bill addresses only blatantly anti-gun-rights actions that would callously disarm you and ignore your plight.

c) Despite bias in news coverage and the fear-mongering left, privately held firearms have been repeatedly shown to deter and prevent crime in one scholarly study after another (detailed at great length in Armed, by Kleck and Kates). Since the nation’s inception we have known and embraced the freedom-giving truth that guns protect the innocent, and that this is good.

d) Denial of your civil rights under color of law is a federal offense under 18 USC §241 and 18 USC § 242:

The Gist: Anyone who, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, custom or regulation, willfully deprives any person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, shall be fined, or imprisoned for up to one year, or both.

If bodily injury results, or if the violation includes the use or attempted or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosive or fire, the prison term rises to up to ten years. If death results, or if such acts include kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, or an attempt to kill, the violator may be fined, imprisoned for any term of years up to life, or put to death.

Initial reactions to the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act have been highly supportive by knowledgeable people in the gun-rights movement. It has the potential and broad value to become a major national issue. This could turn into one of the key gun topics of the decade (literally, the right to bear arms), especially if terrorist attacks and media-fueled copycat mass murders continue and defenseless innocent victims are slaughtered.

What good is the right to arms, if possession is banned everywhere?

The public-opinion value, forcing the opposition to support helplessness and victimization, are worth the effort. Now is a good time to bring this issue into the spotlight. All state legislatures should at least have similar bills introduced showing support for the principles involved.

The bill was first introduced as HB2456, sponsored by a dozen representatives, in the 45th session in Arizona (2002). The legislators say it gives them something to sink their teeth into. Give your legislators something this good -- ask them to introduce the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act in your state, for all the right reasons. Three states have had the bill on their floor, Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire. Your state belongs on this list. Reach out to your elected representatives and encourage them to act. Bring the bill language to them, in person, on paper. Much more effective than just another email.

Some additional observations appear following the bill text below.

-- This is good law, supportive of our fundamental rights,
-- a deterrent to criminals who would perpetrate attacks,
-- a winner in the publicity battle over gun rights,
-- it places responsibility squarely on those who cause harm by their direct actions.

It deserves to be enacted.

Please give it your support.

Ask your representatives to introduce and vote for The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act.


• If you have a problem with holding people accountable for death and mayhem they cause by enabling crime, then of course you’ll be against the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act. That’s a position some anti-rights activists may take. Bring ‘em on. If nothing happens, i.e., they’re correct and make-believe gun-free zones are pleasant, safe and crime free, then the bill has ZERO effect on anything -- and costs nothing. Personally, I think that facet is particularly edifying. Sort of like, what harm could it do?

• Despite what some people have claimed, private property rights are unaffected by the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act. Read it yourself and see. Gun-free zones are allowed, entirely at a property owner’s free discretion just as they are now, and property rights remain 100% intact. You can keep guns, ban guns, allow only one type, open, discreet, it doesn’t matter, and the new law is silent on this. There is NO coercion (and also no government spending!) in this bill at all. That’s a big part of its beauty. In fact, only people who would ban your rights and ignore your plight are affected in any way, and then only if you’re attacked and harmed on their grounds. No blood no foul. It’s a truly balanced and even-handed bill.

• Also note that truly private property like your home or ranch are exempt from the bill. ONLY public property or property open to the public is affected. There is a clear difference (well, some diehard libertarians might not agree, but you can’t please everyone) between truly private property (like your home) and a place that is open to the public and privately run, like a mall, or WalMart. Public places have a well-established duty to provide a reasonably safe environment, and they have been getting a free ride on this issue, at your expense. They can still ban guns remember, and you can still go shop elsewhere. For a wonderful “No-Guns-No-Money” wallet card that you can leave with stores that won’t allow you to enter armed, visit the Arizona Citizens Defense League site.

• All this does is make clear that whoever creates an obviously dangerous situation, by forcing the disarmament of innocent people entering -- which they’re still fully entitled to do under the bill -- there’s a consequence for that risky action. As there should be for creating such a self-evidently unsafe situation. And it only matters if the danger manifests, and some psychopath turns some hair parlor into a victim zone. If there’s no assault, then there’s no problem. Gun-o-phobes can sleep tight thinking the rest of us are just a bunch of paranoids. The bill merely addresses criminally misguided notions of safety.

• You may find that your legislators object on grounds that are hard to justify. I’ve had some tell me the bill would be fine if it only limited businesses, and left the government’s make-believe gun-free zones, like parks and buses, intact (talk about hubris!). Other legislators, including an attorney whose clients are in business, say businesses should be excluded but government must be controlled! Just emphasize that make-believe gun-free zones are dangerous -- who sets them up is not the issue.

• Try thinking of this as the Luby’s Massacre Act. Maybe that will help emphasize the blatant and profound fraud of proposing make-believe gun-free zones as safety nets. The heartless, insensitive, thoughtless perpetrators of defenseless victim zones should be ashamed of themselves. At the very least they must be held accountable.

• Try thinking of this as the Come-And-Go-As-You-Please Act. Instead of disarming in your car, using gun lockers, or avoiding some places altogether, you just travel about, armed or not as you prefer, and that’s all. It’s so much better when public places just let people come and go as they please, without signs and bans, to simply go about their business. This is how most public places act, and it is responsible or even patriotic. Think about it -- on a day-to-day basis, places without these deceptive gun-bans operate just fine. Going into 2018, Arizona has more than 325,000 CCW-permit holders, and many other openly armed citizens, routinely, legally and peacefully coming and going.

• Think about what the opposition will have to sound like to say they don’t want any liability for murdered victims they had disarmed. They have to stand up for defenselessness. It’s a good time for the Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act.

* This phrase from a Cartridge Family Band song is used with permission.


A version of the bill was first introduced in Arizona (HB2456 in 2002) by Rep. Randy Graf (R-6th), with considerable support (12 sponsors!).

In 2003, Rep. Graf re-introduced it in Arizona (HB 2320). The state of Georgia joined the effort to enact this important new legislation with HB31, introduced by Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-17th). At least two other states actively considered the bill. In 2008 the bill was introduced again in Arizona as SB1159. Prosecutors opposed the bill several years ago on the grounds that: without those excited utterances we won't be able to convict half the people we do. This is a partial list.



If I lived in AZ you would have my vote.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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