Keep in mind that there are multiple types of gun free zones.
Those defined in state or federal law, where carry in such a zone is a criminal offense.
Federal law makes the security zone of airport terminals (past the TSA check point) and carry on Post Office property a criminal offense.
State law in most states makes carry in a court or courthouse (without the permission of the judge) a criminal offense. Many states make carry on school grounds for K-12 a criminal states. Some states also make carry past a NO GUNS sign a crime.
In many states (such as Indiana) NO GUNS* signs at private property and publicly accessible businesses are simply a statement of owner policy. If a person is discovered to be armed and is asked to leave the area, and does so, there is no crime. If, once asked to leave, the armed individual does not leave, then that person is guilty of trespass.
The laws usually include specific signage requirements to be valid, such as use of a graphic, minimum size of the font, possibly even bi-lingual text. In those cases, violation of the non-conforming sign is not a crime, but may fall under the second category of civil trespass.
You know that all the signage in the world don’t really mean jack to the bad guy that wants to do damage,all it does is to the people is to make all who abide with the stupid law defenseless victims,I 'can agree with no open carry,but I don’t open carry at all,I always think some one that open carry will be the first take down and as for me I am always carry concealed in such a way that I can carry concealed and the way I do ,the weapon does not print at all
I think that you are correct. I’m curious, though- and this would be a question for USCCA and the lawyers- if there’s ever a distinction between the act of self-defense and “permission” to carry.
Back a few years to the original question, for example:
Let’s say I’m in a school zone and I see an active shooter walking onto the playground. I retrieve my rifle that’s hidden in back of my truck and bring a quick end to the story.
The local prosecutor wants to make an example of me and charges me with homicide. He knows very well that I have a valid use of our state’s “self-defense” defense, so he also charges me with discharging a firearm in a school zone. Can USCCA assist me with the first charge, even though I don’t expect them to help me with the second charge? Or am I SOL altogether?
In all of the discussion here, I think there is some confusion between “prohibited places” according to the law (schools, court houses, etc.) and gun free zones, meaning private property displaying No Guns signs. In PA, at least, No Guns signs do not have the force of law. Other states may regard them differently. But getting back to the original query, if one were to be involved in a self-defense situation within a private establishment that does not allow firearms, and that prohibition does not have the force of law, as in PA, for example, I would expect that USCCA would have to provide a defense, absent any other illegal actions. I am not a lawyer, and I also did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Thoughts?