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BOSTON UNIVERSITY Commonwealth Ave and Concealed Carry

Discussion in 'Massachusetts Laws' started by Riddermark999, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Riddermark999

    Riddermark999 New Member

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    Hello,

    Just got my License To Carry class A in Mass. I don't live in Boston but my girlfriend lives in Brookline just one street off Commonwealth Ave so I travel there through Boston several times a week.

    My question is traveling in a car on Commonwealth Ave where Boston University is located is that breaking the law while concealed carrying because it is a university?

    It seems a little silly to think that it is because how many people use Commonwealth Ave which is a major artery through Boston and I assume gun owners who conceal carry drive through there often.

    However, this link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Avenue,_Boston .... under Description states that Boston Universality owns much of the property in and around Commonwealth Ave.

    What about the sidewalk of Commonwealth Ave? Can I walk/ride a bike on it while concealed carrying?

    Isn't it just the buildings of Boston University that are the campus and not the street or the sidewalk of Commonwealth Ave? I usually go into a coffee shop (chain coffee shop) on Commonwealth Ave with my computer. Does that make it illegal to have it in there because Boston University owns most of the property on Commonwealth Ave and rents it out according to the link above? What about some of the pizza shops (again chain pizza shops) on Commonwealth Ave that are right next to Boston University buildings?

    The street where BU is is 1.5 mile stretch. There is a Firestone tire shop there, Enterprise Rent a Car, Goodwill etc. This leads me to believe that carrying laws do no apply to Commonwealth Ave street and sidewalk and other non school businesses.

    I appreciate any thoughts on this issue. Thanks.
     
  2. M1911

    M1911 Moderator

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    The public thoroughfare (street and sidewalks) are not owned by BU and thus are not part of the campus. I wouldn't be worried about that at all.
     
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  3. 21H

    21H New Member

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    If the coffee shop you're referring to is Espresso Royale I'm 99% certain it's located in a BU-owned building.
     
  4. Vermonster

    Vermonster Member

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    and in case you were wondering, the BU CoP is not exactly gun friendly (or OC friendly for that matter).
     
  5. Riddermark999

    Riddermark999 New Member

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    I just wanted to say thanks to all the people who replied. This gives the issue more clarity for me.
     
  6. KMaurer

    KMaurer Moderator

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    The fact that the university owns the building doesn't make it part of the campus. Between Harvard and MIT, half of Cambridge would be "on campus" if that were true. Only the campus itself is prohibited.

    Ken
     
  7. 21H

    21H New Member

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    So then what is the definition of "on campus" when all of the buildings are separated by public roads/thoroughfares? If two academic buildings across Comm Ave from each other are considered "the campus," why would a 3rd, administrative building not be considered in the same light?
     
  8. PappyM3

    PappyM3 Member

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    I would definitely consider an administrative building to be "on campus". However, a building that just happens to be owned by the university but serves no university functions would not be on campus. That's what I'm gathering anyway.
     
  9. M1911

    M1911 Moderator

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    There is no definition in the statute and the last time I had a lawyer research it he couldn't find any precedent.
     
  10. Brian E. Simoneau

    Brian E. Simoneau New Member

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    Subject to certain exceptions, none of which are relevant here, G.L. c.269, §10(j) prohibits the carrying of firearms and other ‘dangerous weapons,’ “in a building or on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college or university.” Certainly, the public streets and sidewalks within the City of Boston are not considered “University grounds.” If there are buildings which are open to the public, but are owned by the University, carrying would be prohibited therein, e.g. University Bookstore, coffee shop, etc… In my experience, University Police will enforce this law with a “zero-tolerance” approach. However, the “rule of lenity ,” which applies to statutes such as this requires that the defendant be given the benefit of any ambiguity.
     
  11. pjorg

    pjorg Member

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    As with anything worth discussing, there's lots of nuance here. You've gotten good advice from people that know the law, and I recommend the that you heed it.

    It's true that BU does own a whole bunch of property on Commonwealth Avenue between Kenmore Square and Packard's Corner. However, as others have mentioned, mere ownership is unlikely to meet the standard of the law as it relates to carry. There are basically three categories (that I can think of, anyway):

    1. Facilities that the University operates in direct support of its educational charter (dormitories, classroom buildings, faculty and staff offices, administrative space, etc.).

    2. Facilities that the University operates as wholly-owned retail subsidiaries on University property which may target their students primarily, but which are open to the public and do not require a trip through a Category 1 area to get to. Examples: The Barnes & Noble in Kenmore, the Starbucks, Subway, Olecito and City Convenience fronting Comm Ave on the ground floor of Warren Towers, etc.

    3. Facilities that are University-owned, but are leased to third parties which operate businesses out of them. Examples: Bertucci's in Kenmore, various businesses on the northern 600 block, southern 700 block, and southern 900 block of Comm Ave. These would include Espresso Royale, the Starbucks on West Campus across from FitRec, Upper Crust, Panera, etc.

    Category 1 is, under any reasonable standard, off-limits. Categories 2 & 3 are where it is less clear, but I think there is a strong argument to be made against these areas being "exclusion zones."* BU Police are likely to respond to any 911 call to any BU-owned property, no matter whether it's leased or not. If you get to the point where you're dealing with the police, as always, it's going to depend on a lot of factors and you may have prove your righteousness in court. It is still Massachusetts, after all.

    As for sidewalks, they are just like any other sidewalk in the City of Boston. Just make sure you don't wonder into a BU-owned open area...like Marsh Plaza, for example.


    * Note: The George Sherman Union, despite having no real access control to keep the public out of the building and its food court, has signs posted at the door explaining that use of the facility is restricted to BU affiliates (faculty, staff, students, alumni) and their guests. IANAL, but this seems to place it squarely into Category 1.
     
  12. pjorg

    pjorg Member

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    BU just purchased some streets from the City of Boston.

    From http://www.bostonherald.com/business/real_estate/view.bg?articleid=1061139880:

     
  13. 30Mauser

    30Mauser NES Member

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    Hey OP... listen to this guy. And note that he didn't have to start his post with "IANAL" [thumbsup]

    This just serves to illustrate the absurdity of these "no fire" zones. Is it is or is it aint? Just raging stupidity. [hmmm]
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  14. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger NES Member

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    Pretty trivial. You're not likely to be on any of those streets anyway unless you're going to / from a BU building.
     

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