Self Defense Tip: Know Your Local Laws


The Culver’s Five outcome brought a similar story to mind, and this one happened to me a few years ago. There I was, peacefully minding my own business (as I so often am when these things happen to me), enjoying my day at the mall, watching the play of the waters in the fountain, when a cop stepped in front of me and said, “Put your hands on top of your head.”

Some background…

Minnesota had recently passed a “shall-issue” carry law to the usual shrill squeals of the enemies of freedom.

“Blood in the streets!…Road rage shootouts!”

The only reason they didn’t add “Mall massacres!” to the litany is because the local malls had all announced they would ban firearms on their premises. The only problem with their plan wass that under the new law, they couldn’t.

Minnesota Statutes section 624.714 subdivision 17(e) states:

“A landlord may not restrict the lawful carry or possession of firearms by tenants or their guests.”

The Mall of America in Bloomington claims to be the largest mall in the country, and they had posted signs at the entrances to the mall saying:

“In Accordance with Minnesota Law, GUNS ARE BANNED ON THESE PREMISES”

The only problem with those signs was that, in order to ban guns, the statute requires an operator to post a sign stating explicitly “(INDICATE IDENTITY OF OPERATOR) BANS GUNS IN THESE PREMISES.” In addition, the requestor or their agent has to personally inform the permit-holder and demand compliance.

So, being the enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment that I am, I went to the Mall of America that day (with a couple of friends and a video camera), armed with copies of the pertinent sections of the Minnesota statutes along with wallet-sized copies of US Code Title 18, sections 241 and 242, (conspiracy against rights and deprivation of rights under color of law.)

I was carrying a Baby Eagle 9mm in an Uncle Mike’s Horizontal Shoulder Holster and a Kel-Tec P-11 backup piece in my front pocket. Being 6’4” and 350 pounds means my pants pockets are pretty big. I also had a small tape recorder clipped to my belt.

We wandered around the mall for about 20 minutes with the only outward reaction to our armed presence being one clueless store clerk, who tried to tell me that the law was specifically written so that malls could exclude guns.

Then I noticed a mall security officer coming toward me. I clicked on my tape recorder, looked at him and smiled, prepared to explain to him why he couldn’t ask me to leave.  But he wouldn’t look me in the eye and instead veered off. I figured he was waiting for backup, so I wandered around some more, chatted with salespeople and eventually wound up in an open area in front of one of the anchor stores.

I was looking at a fountain commemorating the September 11th terrorist attacks when a police officer stepped in front of me and told me to put my hands on top of my head.

“I have a permit,” I said, but he just repeated, “Put your hands on your head.”

When I did so, the officer behind me handcuffed me and then, before he removed my open pistol, he turned off the tape recorder on my belt. He then removed the Baby Eagle and asked if I had any more weapons. I told him about the P-11 and a folding knife I was carrying.

He then proceeded to ask if I had seen the signs the mall posted. I replied that yes, I had, but that they were improperly posted and incorrectly worded. “Tell it to the court,” he replied. At the same time, one of his comrades was bracing one of my friends, asking what group we were with, who we were working for, etc.

Mind you, at that point not one mall employee had asked me to leave. I was just a peaceful shopper, who had committed no crime. Why? Because even if they could legitimately ban guns at the mall, they would have had to ask me to leave. If I had refused after being instructed to do so, then I would have been committing a crime. That didn’t happen.

Anyway, the cops paraded me in handcuffs through the halls of the mall. Mall security asked if the officers wanted to use the service corridors, out of the public eye, but the cop said, “no,” apparently wanting to ensure everyone saw the scene. I was taken down to the police substation in the basement. Once there, they emptied my pockets, pulled out my permit and driver’s license, and unloaded my magazines.

One of the cops asked, “Aren’t high capacity magazines banned?” I replied, “Those are pre-ban, and they are normal capacity. The new ones are reduced capacity.” I was then instructed to take a seat in an empty room while still handcuffed.

“Am I under arrest?” I asked. “We’ll see” was the reply.

About 10 minutes later the same officer who was interrogating my friend earlier, stepped in and asked me, “What channel is this going to be on?”

“Huh?” said I intelligently.

“What channel are you with? KARE-11? FOX-9? What channel?”

“I’m not with anyone.”

“Come on, what channel is this going to be on tonight?” he repeated.

“Any channel that thinks it’s newsworthy,” was my reply.

“Okay,” he proceeded, “so what group are you with?”

“None.”

“So why did you come out here today?”

This was the one question I was ready to answer. “Why did Dr. King march in Selma? Because people’s rights are being trampled.”

The cop snorted and left.

A few minutes later another officer came in, asking similar questions. Not happy with my answers he said, “Can we talk man to man here? You’re not recording me are you?”

I assured him my tape recorder had been removed. “It’s people like you who are going to screw this up for everybody, he continued. “The state has done us a favor by allowing people the privilege of carrying a gun, and guys like you who just want to push things past their limits are going to screw it all up. 

Well, with so many breathtakingly idiotic comments, where does one start?

“First of all,” I replied, “the state did not ‘do us a favor’. It merely finally recognized our rights. And I am not ‘pushing’ anything. The plain language of the law states a landlord may not restrict tenants or their guests from carrying. The plain language of the law states what the signs have to say and where they have to be posted.”

“Well I don’t care about all that” he said. “This is a family place and people’s kids shouldn’t have to see people carrying guns out in the open.” (One of my friends later pointed out that this was the perfect opportunity to ask, “So people should only carry in strip clubs and bars?”)

I replied, “Everyone, especially kids, should see people exercising their inalienable rights.”

“Inalienable, huh?” he snorted. “We’ll see. I’m gonna run your permit through the Ramsey County Sheriff, and then I’ll be back.” Damn, he still didn’t take the handcuffs off!

A few minutes later he was back to take the handcuffs off and inform me that I hadn’t been “arrested.” In a bizarre twist of semantics, I apparently had only been “detained.”

“We did it down here, because with all the people up there… we didn’t want anything to get stolen. I’ll be back in a couple of minutes,” this stellar public servant promised.

When he returned, he brought with him a man who introduced himself as the “Head of Mall Security.” This security chief informed me that he was giving me my verbal warning not to return to the mall armed.

I explained that under the law, landlords couldn’t ban tenants or their guests from carrying.

He replied, “Well that’s all over my head.”

“I understand that.” I said, “I’m just letting you know, so you can pass it on to someone with some authority.”

On that happy note, they returned my guns (in a brown paper bag, with all the magazines unloaded) and escorted me to the parking lot.

And I was so hoping to get arrested! Maybe next time.

 

comments

  1. avatar ST says:

    Perhaps the title should be rewritten, as the author indeed knew the laws better than the LEOs who are tasked with enforcing them in Minnesota.

    What may be a more relevant term is “know the local perspective”. Not everyone in any given state is unanimously happy about citizens having the right to carry,and some of the dissenters are District Attorneys and Police who know the consequences of jamming up a legal citizen are nil.As long as the harassment isn’t recorded or otherwise left in a record the worst that can happen is an ugly lawsuit.

    The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey stand as great examples of this sad phenomenon. Not only is the 2nd Amendment generally ignored in those states they also disregard the statutes in the FOPA. Attempt to leave a Port Authority airport with a legally possessed firearm without a New Jersey or New York permit to own and one WILL be arrested on sight. That arrest is illegal on several levels, but it doesn’t stop PA from doing it.

    When travelling it is wise to not only understand the letter of the law,but the local ‘interpretation’ of that law.

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      No, PA has nothing to do with the illegal acts/statutes that are endemic across it’s eastern border…

      1. avatar ST says:

        PA is in reference to “Port Authority”.

      2. avatar Patrick Carrube says:

        haha, not “PA” as in Pennsyltucky, “PA” as in Port Authority!

  2. avatar GaryinVT says:

    Perhaps TTAG should have “Ballsiest Gun Owner of the Day’?

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      We should have an annual event to recognize pro-2A citizen-activists, where the guests of honor get to shoot big brass balls out of black powder cannon.

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        I like this idea… but I tend to like anything that can be used to justify a BBQ on a sunny day.

    2. avatar another ken says:

      Please, let’s not make a hero out of this guy. His “Occupy the mall with my guns!” form of protesting is a poor way of solving this particular problem. All this does is produce juicy blog reading.

      1. avatar Matt G. says:

        I totally agree with Ken! Nothing good can come from antagonizing our benevolent benefactors. We all need to just settle down a little and submit, then maybe we will learn to better see their point of view and realize we are all safer under they’re protection.

        Remember folks, Big Brother is our friend!

        1. avatar Matt G. says:

          *Their

          (Where is the edit button?)

    3. avatar sdog says:

      ha yea i’ll say. pretty brave dude here.

  3. avatar Rabbi says:

    I am confused. Perhaps I misread something. If “The plain language of the law states a landlord may not restrict tenants or their guests from carrying”, how can signs with proper lanquage restrict carry?

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      Assuming that the article hasn’t had a ninja edit, it is rather clear.

      Effectively, the law removes the possibility for a landlord to ban guns. The way it is written, the TENANT may ban guns, but not the landlord.

      Thus, as in the article above, the individual tenants may ban guns by posting signs on all entrances that say “Sears bans guns within it’s store here” where ‘Sears’ is replaced by the business in question; However the mall may not post “the mall owners ban guns,” AND, even in the case of a sign for a legal ban, the sign itself does not hold the weight of law.

      1. avatar Rabbi says:

        Thanks for the clarification!

  4. avatar Skyler says:

    Pardon me, but I don’t believe you are a tenant of the mall. Unless there is more to the story than related here, you have no property interest in the mall or any part of the mall. You are an invitee or a guest. That is entirely different than a tenant. I’m guessing that this part of the law was written so that shop owners could arm themselves to protect their shops, or people in apartments could keep their weapons.

    Sounds to me that except for a minor error in the sign, they did everything exactly right. They observed you carrying on their premises and asked you to leave. Seems to me that you are acting like a sea lawyer.

    I’d suggest in the future that you consult a lawyer before trying to challenge the limits of a law. And don’t talk to the police without a lawyer present.

    1. avatar IndyEric says:

      Yes, he was a guest or invitee. What’s your point?

      1. avatar Skyler says:

        I erred. He is an invitee, not a guest.

        My point is that he has no point. He’s acting as though the mall did something wrong, when they didn’t. He knew that they didn’t welcome guns. So first, he was rude. Second, he’s trying to make a point about carrying that is contrary to the law as written. He doesn’t know the difference between a social guest and a tenant and an invitee. Third, what is the purpose of playing sea lawyer over minor errors in the wording of a sign? If the wording is only slightly off, a judge is just as likely as not to rule that constructive notice was given and was effective — especially since he acknowledged to the cops that he had seen it.

        I mean really folks, is this the silliness that you’re comparing to a Rosa Parks scenario?

    2. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      “A landlord may not restrict the lawful carry or possession of firearms by tenants OR THEIR GUESTS.”
      —–
      Clear, now?

      1. avatar Skyler says:

        Look up the legal definitions of invitee and guest. Don’t assume you know the meanings of terms used in laws.

        So you ask if it is clear, and any lawyer would say yes, but not to those who don’t know the law.

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          The law does not explicitly state “social guest”. Therefore, the legally-ambiguous term “guest” could be argued to include both “social guests” and “invitees”.

        2. avatar Skyler says:

          So your point would be that he put himself at risk to challenge a possible interpretation of a potentially vague word in a statute?

          I’m guessing that most judges would quickly rule on the meaning of “guest” here to mean social guest by the intent of the law and probably the background to how it was developed.

          But go ahead, call this “brave” if you’d like. I call it pointless and risky.

        3. avatar rosignol says:

          Well, the way the law generally works in the US is that someone needs to run afoul of the law in order to establish standing to challenge it. This involves risking a conviction, and a conviction for a firearms-related law often involves seizure of the firearms, if not loss of 2nd-A rights.

          IMO, putting that on the line *is* brave… and activism frequently requires a bit of obnoxiousness. Politeness doesn’t generate much publicity, and without publicity, the people sympathetic to your cause remain unaware.

        4. avatar hualosman says:

          Dear Sir,Let’s define the three terms were looking at here in relation to the story; landlord, tenant, and guest.Landlord = The owner of the mall. Tenant = The stores who rent space at the mall. Guest = The people shopping at the mall.What occured is that the owner of the mall (the landlord) posted a sign saying guns were banned. It is illegal for the landlord to restrict the carrying of firearms. Each tenant, which means each individual store, can ban guns from their premises. None of them did. Therefore, no laws were broken or even really nudged.

  5. avatar JohnK87 says:

    He did not do anything wrong. The Mall of America cannot under the law restrict carry- only the stores leasing from them can. In Minnesota, if the store is posted AND you are asked to leave, you can be ticketed for petty trespassing.

    Minnesota issues a permit to carry a pistol, and it is not required to be open or concealed carry, it is up to you how to do it.

    So, a Minnesotan who was following the law and not causing any disturbance was illegally detained, handcuffed, paraded through the mall, put through an interrogation in a room with cuffs still on, then released without charges. Technically, he was not “arrested” because they did not state that and what for, but he certainly was not free to go. A lawsuit would show that his civil rights were violated when he was detained without cause.

    The letter of the law has not stopped various private and government agencies (i.e. the State Fair) from claiming to have power they were not given. Unfortunately, when you have anti-gun security and police, it will take a test case to resolve it in their heads. Until their company/government loses money or the police are held personally liable for deprivation of civil rights, they will continue to do so.

    I used to be more of an advocate of open carry than I am now, after California showed that if you piss enough liberals off they will find a way to take away the rights you have. So, I continue to follow the law, and carry, where allowed by it.

  6. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

    Just an update:
    The signs now say “Guns are banned on these premises.” The MoA still can’t follow the law. You can see the new signs here:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/MOA_Hours_080704.JPG

    According to Minnesota law,
    “i) the requester has prominently posted a conspicuous sign at every entrance to the establishment containing the following language: “(INDICATE IDENTITY OF OPERATOR) BANS GUNS IN THESE PREMISES.”; and
    3) “Conspicuous” means lettering in black arial typeface at least 1-1/2 inches in height against a bright contrasting background that is at least 187 square inches in area.”

    That’s not arial typeface in the picture, nor are the letters at least 1-1/2 inches in height. Of course, arguing all of this requires that we neglect the MoA’s status as a landlord.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      The mall probably doesnt lease the common areas.

      But I guess it feels invigorating to stand up to the man, no matter how silly your arguments about signs and how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

      1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

        “The mall probably doesnt lease the common areas.”
        —–
        By that logic, a landlord could ban carry in the hallways of an apartment building. I’m no lawyer, but it would seem that such a ban would not stand up in court.

        1. avatar Skyler says:

          I’m sure they could. But they can’t ban carry in the tenant’s apartment. That would seem to be the point of the law, no?

          He’s playing with fire. This wording is not something that should be challenged so lightly. If you want clarification of the wording of the statute you should carefully plan it out and not just charge around however it strikes your fancy.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          I’m sure they could.

          I’m sure they couldn’t. “Common areas” are leased areas, just like the stores are, except that they are leased by all the owners in common. Costs relating to the common areas are shared by all the tenants on a percentage basis, usually spelled out with great specificity in the store leases.

        3. avatar Skyler says:

          And so now there are at least two perhaps gray points to argue:

          1. What does “guest” mean?

          2. Does the “guest” rule apply to common areas?

          I wouldn’t want to be in court arguing this unless I had to. It’s pretty weak and can easily, and most likely would, go against the challenger.

          Add one more:

          3. Does the wording have to be precise or is constructive notice sufficient? That is, since he acknowledged that he saw the sign and understood it, but just didn’t like its wording, is he protected. Again, I would only like to use that defense if I were desparate.

        4. avatar Ralph says:

          Constructive notice is insufficient if the statute set out very specific language and form. That’s pretty typical when the conduct to be curtailed is a matter of right.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    Having a security clearance does not lend itself to this kind of activisim so I am not one to challenge the law to make a point. There is a Grand Canyon of seperation between Rosa Parks and Bruce Krafft. While both are legitimate civil rights activists, Ms. Parks activism had more universal support. You always want to structure the demonstration to win the maximum amount of sympathy. All the patrons of the Mall of America saw was a OFW armed man being disarmed by the police and frog marched through the common area. That is not going to pluck a lot of heartstrings. Perhaps a small framed grey haired woman was treated that way it might have been successful in generating sympathy.

    I just this civil rights protest to be less than successful. I will further and call it what it is — a slightly less than epic fail.

  8. avatar Bill C. says:

    While I enjoy reading TTAG and am in agreement with the philosophy of the site, not this time.

    Going open carry to the Mall of America is looking for a confrontation. Why not just carry the concealed piece in your pocket and be done with it. You got exactly the response you were expecting, exactly the treatment you expected and the outcome as well. Further, by open carrying and getting the perp walk in front of everyone in the MOA, you gave the anti’s more fodder.

    Stealth wins.

    1. avatar Bruce W. Krafft says:

      “Why not just carry the concealed piece in your pocket and be done with it”? Because I was trying to make a statement. I was younger and full of piss and vinegar and had a touching faith that police would actually know and follow the law. Failing that I had video back-up . . . except the FoaF who did the video wound up losing it in a hard drive crash, and I had a couple of friends (including one of the guys who helped write the law) explain to me in words of one syllable that test cases are for other people. So now when I see someplace like the MegaMall posted I just go elsewhere. For someplace like CA Pizza Kitchen (who doesn’t post but has a no guns policy) I make sure to stop in and let them know how happy I am that in these tough economic times they can afford to turn business away. Except I can’t do that any more because that particular location went teats up and the restaurant that’s there now doesn’t ban.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Going open carry to the Mall of America is looking for a confrontation.

      That’s why I support it. Legal confrontation is good. I’m not big on civil disobedience, which is confrontation that, on it’s face, is illegal. This conduct was nothing of the sort.

  9. avatar JP in Tennessee says:

    Civil rights are not advanced by exercising them in a “stealthy” manner. An honest reading of the Constitution is that we have the right to bear arms openly in all places open to the public. Any law that is more restrictive than that is an infringement on our rights.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      I concur.

      The 1st A isn’t there to protect what you say to friends in the privacy of your home. It’s there to protect what you say where everyone can hear it.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      JP, I could not agree more. Exercising a right “on the sneak” is not exercising the right.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Visiting the Mall of America while legally, quietly and peacefully open-carrying is looking for trouble, which was exactly the right thing to do. All you sunshine patriots and summertime soldiers can stay home and cower like little girls while Bruce sticks up for your rights. That’s the way it is in every movement. The brave ones soldier on and take the heat, while the rest whine about it.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      Oh get off it. He wasn’t protecting anyone’s rights. He was being a sea lawyer. The mall handled him according to the law and he still got bounced. So what is the point?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I don’t know what a “sea lawyer” is, but I’m an actual lawyer and can tell you that nothing ever gets accomplished without agitation, resistance and legal battles. The only reason you have the ability to carry is because of people like Bruce and a lot of bribery and coercion by the NRA. So grow up and grow a pair.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Ralph:

          While I agree in principle, you need a sympathic victim to garner public sympathy. As much as we all love Bruce you have to admit he doesn’t the bill.

        2. avatar DaveL says:

          In most civil rights cases I’m aware of, if the public had been disposed to be sympathetic to the victim their rights would not have been violated in the first place.

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          but helps to have a sympathetic victim.

          Headline #1: OFWG led out of the MoA in cuffs versus

          Headline #2 Sweet Grandma dragged by burly cop out of the MoA.

          Which headline makes the arrested open carrier look like the victim?

        4. avatar DaveL says:

          Does it help? Sure. But that hardly means we should hold off standing up for our rights until a suitably PR-worthy subject comes along.

          Should the Greensboro Four, all young black men, have stayed clear of the whites-only counter until they could find a diminutive woman like Rosa Parks to take their place?

          Unphotogenic but well-informed protestors may not evoke sympathy from the masses. But they can and do change the minds of conscientious and principled people. And those people become the cracks in the uniform wall of social convention that makes routine civil rights violations comfortable for those masses.

        5. avatar Ralph says:

          I’m sure that there were no nuns among the Madison 5, but they won, didn’t they?

        6. avatar Totenglocke says:

          So find some people who WOULD garner sympathy and re-do this. A Catholic priest wearing his collar, a young mom with a child (or two!), an old woman, etc. We all know that white males are despised in this country by the MSM, but that doesn’t mean you can’t exploit their stupidity to our advantage.

        7. avatar Skyler says:

          Marine Corps Dictionary:
          Sea Lawyer

          Someone who appears to know all the angles and methods to escape punishment or who provides legal advice while not a lawyer. And I’ll add that it is a term of derision and usually implies that the sea lawyer is wrong about his understanding of the law.

          Maybe you’re a lawyer, but I question your wisdom if you would advise this type of method to challenge what is a pretty trivial point in the law.

          And seeing as how the NRA has done nothing except obstruct legal challenges to the idea of bearing arms being a right, I’ll pass on being thankful for them.

        8. avatar Ralph says:

          what is a pretty trivial point in the law

          Firts of all, when the state violates our rights, it isn’t trivial. Second, I never encouraged a client to do anything to create a lawsuit. That’s called barratry and it’s illegal. But I was happy to take their cases and win them. And I found that when the state had to write a check, its conduct miraculously changed.

        9. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          Correct. He did nothing wrong. The mall ninja security and the police violated the law after cuffing him. They should have stopped him, asked for his permit, and let him go on his way. I hope Bruce sues. And I am a lawyer.

      2. avatar JP in Tennessee says:

        A Navy or Marine Corps veteran, I presume?

  11. avatar Silver says:

    I swear, if I hear one more person refer to a Constitutional right as a “privilege”…

    For some of these scumbags, driving is more of a right than the Second Amendment.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      Oh, heck, all of our rights are a privilege. The Government can revoke them at any time they feel fit, and they have done this in the past.

  12. avatar scott says:

    All I see coming out of this is someone tightening the law to make Mall of America’s position clearer and stronger. It’s a private business and at the end of the day the court is going to side with private business being able to decide if they want people packing on their property. I’m as big a supporter of property rights as I am of right to bear arms.

    So, cool story brah.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      This has been going on for sometime in Minnesota and there is zero movement to “tighten the law to make Mall of America’s position clearer and stronger.”

      In fact, as time has gone on I’m noticing fewer and fewer NO GUN signs around the Twin Cities.

      >>It’s a private business and at the end of the day the court is going to side with private business being able to decide if they want people packing on their property.

      That all went out the window when we decided that public businesses couldn’t infringe on people’s rights (see: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States)So, cool story brah yourself.

      1. avatar scott says:

        Heart of Atlanta Motel is not even close to the same as this. That was a civil rights case involving race. A private owner of business still has the right to refuse service to anyone as long as they don’t discriminate based on color, etc. And in fact, if a business is small enough and doesn’t conduct interstate business, nor receive any state or federal business, businesses even have the right to discriminate for any reason they want including race.

        I don’t think you understand your chosen case cite.

        Also, civil rights were taken out of the equation of being a state’s right at any level, gun rights are still somewhat under a states control. A private business owner CAN infringe on your rights and in fact they do all the time. For instance this website can choose to delete this post even though I may argue that’s infringing on my right to free speech.You need to understand, I am VERY pro-gun rights. However it is quintessential facet of American freedom that a PRIVATE property owner should be allowed discretion on how it’s used. For instance, if I owned a restaurant, it should be MY choice as the owner of the restaurant whether or not to allow guns in. I don’t believe the Government should be involved in that decision making process. State Universities are public spaces by definition as my tax dollars go there, so I believe it is a right to carry a firearm there.

        Nice try at the snappy retort though, Brah, lol.

  13. avatar Martin Albright says:

    All it’s going to take is for one of these open-carrying activists to do something stupid (and I don’t even mean shoot somebody, I mean something like go the the restroom and accidentally leave their gun behind for a teenager to find – don’t say it doesn’t because happen, cops, security guards and soldiers do it all the time) and we will hear a call to “close the open carry loophole.” Open carry advocates think they’re “normalizing” guns but in reality what they’re doing is explaining to the anti-gunners exactly what they need to do to eliminate open carry.

    And can we please dispense with the Rosa Parks comparisons? The fact that a private establishment does not allow an OFWG to pack a gun openly is not the same thing as denying you the use of the premises based on your skin color. Not even close.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      So we should not open carry so we can preserve the right to? Yeah, that makes sense.

      And, FYI, infringement of rights is infringement of rights.

      1. avatar Sean K says:

        If you say that a business that is open to the public can forbid you from one right (The God given right to keep and bear arms), they can forbid you from any other rights.

        Do you not put an equal importance to all your rights, I sure as hell do.

        UNconstitutional is UNconstitutional

        1. avatar 101abn says:

          “God given Right” to keep and bear arms?? How the hell did God get into this. Let us stick to reality, or some semblance, of it here. One person being an asshole is not going to change minds, it takes a lot of people working thru the channels. If you want to get arrested/detained, be my guest. If I need a weapon, I am not going to ask, “May I”? What we really need to get on the road about, is to make it illegal for criminals to carry weapons. That would solve everything, no, wait, there is that violation of civil rights thing…………….

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        “And, FYI, infringement of rights is infringement of rights.”

        Really Steve, where have you been for the last 20 years? In the US, black people’s rights are vastly superior to white people’s rights.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          One of my professors in law school is a well-known civil rights attorney. While I didn’t agree with everything in class, he had a great response to this type of statement: “ok, so you are willing to be treated like a Black man for the next week? With all of its benefits and burdens? Right.” You have it so twisted, and clearly don’t appreciate the joys of getting pulled over by police for nothing but driving while black.

        2. avatar Totenglocke says:

          Absolutely I am. I’m willing to have all the same opportunities, yet be told that I’m never responsible for my actions, that someone is an evil racist if they ever disagree with me, that I can sue my employer if I get fired for poor performance because “they’re racist”, etc.

          I know quite a few black people who would laugh at the fact that you think black’s have it so tough.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      This is making me wonder about how previous public accommodations civil rights jurisprudence might play into this? Do any of the legal folks frequenting this site have any ideas about that?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        No, because I haven’t researched it. But I do note that a lot of the jurisprudence in Heller and McDonald was driven by the civil rights cases, and “keeping and bearing” was treated in the manner of a civil right by both courts.

        In the end, I don’t think that discrimination against carrying and discrimination against a race are one and the same. One can choose not to carry; one cannot choose to be of a different (and favored) race.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      can we please dispense with the Rosa Parks comparisons

      Actually, Martin, Rosa Parks was not trying to make a point or advance the cause of civil rights. She was tired at the end of a long day and decided that she wasn’t going to give up her seat to a white guy. So you’re right, but not exactly in the way you meant.

  14. avatar Aharon says:

    I shall boycott Mall of America. Not that I’ve ever been there or plan to go. I hate shopping malls. The only mall experience I like is a good gun show.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      So your boycott is really meaningless. Just as trying to compare this to the civil rights issues of the 1960’s. Come on – you may think it unfair or unreasonable not to be able to walk around fully armed, but being told not to carry in Macys is hardly like being told you can’t vote, can`t mix with others or live in certain areas. Get some perspective.

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        “but being told not to carry in Macys is hardly like being told you can’t vote, can`t mix with others or live in certain areas.”

        True. Being told that you’re legally mandated to be a victim and forfeit your life / limbs is vastly superior to lesser things such as voting, housing location, or dating prospects.

  15. avatar Kansas Scout says:

    I am unclear about how you were carrying. Open or concealed. If concealed, how did they spot you? Were you trying to get found?

  16. avatar Twinkie says:

    Why didn’t you just carry concealed? More effective and less provocative. I know you want to flaunt your freedom but I don’t see why you’d want to frighten people. Which you obviously did.

    If we lived in a society where carrying guns on one’s person openly when one is not a recognized figure of authority then I’d be 100% cool with doing so. But we don’t. You get the same effect of having a gun with it in a less brazen position with a lot less of the hassle.

    Much like the gay rights movement suffers and benefits from”Pride Parades” so too will the 2nd Amendment movement suffer (and possibly benefit) from stunts like this. The problem with gun rights and open carry vs. civil rights is that one is based around carrying a dangerous object while the other is not. One step at a time, here.

    Let society get used to the concept of people like Soccer Mom and Dad carrying a deadly weapon to the ball game or the mall concealed before you start doing it openly.

    NOTE: I am pro-carry. I am also pro-same sex marriage. But in both instances I don’t like people making a spectacle of themselves when trying to exercise those rights or campaign to obtain them. It tends to be counter-productive.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Without same-sex couples “making a spectacle of themselves,” there wouldn’t be any right to same-sex marriage. The only thing that makes change is confrontation — the entire legal, political and economic system is built on little else. Without confrontation, we have no change, no competition and no rights left.

  17. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    This man had the “RIGHT” to carry in this silly mall, and he wanted to get arrested so that he could take on these fools in court. I’ve watched the show MALL COPS and these rent-a-cops are all useless. The so called “real cops” that they call for back up seem to know little to nothing about MN gun laws.

  18. avatar William says:

    Okay, so let me get the “wisdom” of some of these comments straight…

    It’s not an issue of civil rights unless the person is ethnic in some manner

    We should not stand up for our rights in any open manner, but should slink around in dark places unless we find a poster child that somehow elicits sympathy from the masses

    Anyone who takes a stand for rights should be belittled and ridiculed if he takes a direct, obvious and confrontational stance especially if he doesn’t fit our stereotype formed by the first two points

    Anyone who takes time to learn the laws so that they cannot be coerced by mall cops and ignorant or hostile to freedom cops is automatically a sea lawyer by virtue of the fact that they informed and educated themselves.

    I think I’ll reject such “wisdom” as cowardice and support people who actually put it on the line to further rights. I will support them without regard to their skin color, sexual orientation, or social/economic status. Because I think basic human rights are for every human – so call me a racist or specist, but I stand on the fact that every human should be afforded human rights.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      I think you misunderstand. The truth is that this guy hasn’t got much of a leg to stand on. He’s not protecting his gun rights, he’s just being a fool.

      The law is clearly intended to allow property owners to control who can carry weapons on their property and this man thinks that he should have a right to trample on their property rights.

      He doesn’t understand the law as written and wants to use his misunderstood version of the law to stomp on a law abiding property owner.

      If it’s his intent to promote change in the law to get freer recognition of gun carry rights, then this is a fail because the whole thing can easily be handled without addressing the questions he presumably wants challenged.

      It’s show boating. If you want to challenge laws, you should make sure you know what you’re doing or you’re very likely to get into big trouble. Fortunately, the mall appears to have observed the laws quite well, with the minor quibble of the wording on the posted sign.

      The intent of the law is clear. The intent of the mall of America as property owner is clear. He’s just being a buffoon and being overly dramatic about it.

      If you want to challenge gun rights, then study what the law is, consult with experts on the law and don’t presume that you understand the terms involved. If you break the law, you’re much more likely to be treated gently if it was a true misunderstanding with no intent to harm, than if you intentionally set out to intrude on property owner’s rights and in the process screw it up.

      If we need crusaders, I hope the gun rights community can come up with smarter than this.

      1. avatar Matt G. says:

        Regardless of whether the law allows the MoA to ban carry, the law says they can only approach him and ask him to leave, afterall any buisiness gas the right to refuse service for any reason, only IF he did not leave then would he be guilty of anything and that would me minor trespassing, nothing but a fine.

        However, he was not approached buy any mall personell until after he had been “detained”(a term of dubious legality) and then he wasn’t ALLOWED to leave until after questioning.

        The moment Bruce asked if he was under arrest and the cop responded “we’ll see”, he should have sated that “if he was not under arrest then he was free to go” and proceeds to attemp to leave. This would have forced the officers to either arrest him (which would have led to a wrongful arrest suit seeing as he had not been asked to leave and then refused, so therefore had not violated state law) or they would be forced to let him go.

        Remember, in America there is no such lawful thing as “detained”. There is “under arrest” and not under arrest. Thankfully it is against the law for one to be held without arrest.

        1. avatar Matt G. says:

          Forgive any typos there, this phone is not my friend.

  19. avatar MikeSilver says:

    Next time this happens, you make sure to get names . Then contact a pro-gun civil rights attorney like John Monroe who did the Culver suit. You have many claims and since the mall was involved you could get a nice sizable settlement for the unlawful detention.

    Suing governments for money is pretty hard. I rarely here about big payoffs from them. However, as these suits happen more and more, the payouts will get bigger.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      It doesn’t take a big payoff to make a big change. The Madison 5 did not get a big payoff, but they changed things in Madison forever. The “don’t touch my junk” guy got no payoff, but he exposed the TSA like none before him, even though he was grandstanding. The guys who dressed like Wampanoags and dumped the British tea into Boston harbor weren’t paid anything, but they made us all coffee drinkers. The list goes on and on.

  20. avatar Bill C. says:

    “Minnesota had recently passed a “shall-issue” carry law to the usual shrill squeals of the enemies of freedom.”

    From the third paragraph in the above article, Mr. Krafft refers to the “shall issue” carry law. My understanding of shall issue is that it specifically refers to concealed carry. At least it does here in North Carolina.

    Why does an article about open carry get prefaced by referring to a concealed carry law.

    Mr. Krafft went to the MOA looking for a confrontation and he was completely successful.

    1. avatar Matt G. says:

      “shall issue” refers to licenses to carry weapons. Whether the license refers to open or concealed carry varies by state.

    2. avatar Bruce W. Krafft says:

      In Minnesota the carry law says:
      A person, other than a peace officer … who carries, holds, or possesses a pistol … on or about the person’s clothes or the person, or otherwise in possession or control in a public place … without first having obtained a permit to carry the pistol is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. A person who is convicted a second or subsequent time is guilty of a felony.

      On or about the clothes or the person. There’s nothing about concealing or not concealing.

      1. avatar Bill C. says:

        Does that mean that before the carry law mentioned above, there was no provision for open carry in MN?

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          Correct.

  21. avatar JohnK87 says:

    Again, Minnesota law allows open OR concealed carry at your preference.

    If the property owner doesn’t want you carrying a gun, he must ask you to leave AND you must refuse before it becomes an offense, and that is a $25 petty misdemeanor trespass. There is ZERO violation of Minnesota law just to carry, open or concealed, at the Mall of America or any other place other than those specifically prohibited in the statute. The Bloomington police are detaining people without cause in an attempt to intimidate carriers from a lawful activity.

    Do you think it is right for a cop to disarm, handcuff and detain you without any probably cause or violation of the law? I do not think so. I think it would be an actionable civil suit. Whether it is wiser to push this in the anti-gunners faces, or just to carry concealed and go about my shopping, I’ve already decided. I cover it up.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a property owner that has posted his policy about firearms to disarm and make safe any individual they find on their property in spite of their posted notice. Their perfectly reasonable method of informing you of having violated their lawful policy is to ensure that you don’t shoot them while they do so.

      If you see a sign that says that they don’t welcome people carrying guns and you do so anyway just because you think their sign wasn’t informative enough, then you pretty much deserve what you get.

      Next time, just tell them their sign in poor and if they persist, sue them for not being clear. Confrontations while carrying are a bad idea.

      1. avatar Matt G. says:

        Sue them for not being clear? Can you sue carl’s Jr. Because the name doesn’t make any sense?

        And it’s not perfectly reasonable for a private individual to infringe on any other private individual’s natural rights.

        1. avatar ilkhan says:

          Actually the name “Carl’s Jr.” does make sense. First there was a restaurant “Carl’s”. Then they opened a smaller fast food version “Carl’s Jr.”.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carls_jr#History

          🙂

  22. avatar Mark says:

    Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

    Ideally, you want to do the most effective thing to accomplish your goal. If it’s fostering acceptance of open carry, being paraded around handcuffed sends the message that you get arrested for open carrying. No one from the mall ever sees the ‘well, I guess you’re just detained’ bit.

    Exercise your rights, but if you’re shooting for more than just exercising them – ie, fostering understanding of those rights in the general public – think for a bit before doing something.

    There may be better ways to accomplish your goals.

  23. avatar Blake says:

    I respect property rights. If a mall puts up signs banning guns, then respect their property rights and take your business elsewhere.

  24. avatar Tony says:

    All saying respect the mall’s signs are missing the point. From his description, there is specific verbage that has to be there for it to count in accordance with the law. The law also stated landlords couldn’t restrict tenants or their guests. A specific store manager would have to tell him he couldn’t carry in that store. TX has a similar requirement for banning carry called the 30.06 law for the section of the concealed carry law in which it is located. It details the size of the sign, the size of the letters, the colors, and that is has to be bilingual. It also gives specific verbage. If the sign doesn’t have the specific phrase and meet the size and color requirements it is invalid. The same would apply to the mall’s signs. Words mean things. If the law says this is the requirement then there is no latitude for the mall owners to do their own thing. Next time have someone not carrying stay separate from the group and have them record the events.

  25. avatar Ralph says:

    I note that in Massachusetts, there is no express prohibition against open carry (with or without a CCW license), but anyone who chooses to open carry a handgun outside of their own home or property will be braced by the police and perhaps arrested for some bogus bullsh!t like “disturbing the peace.”

    The bogus charge is the prosecutors’ clever little way of getting around the rule of lenity (which resolves written ambiguities in favor of the defendant) and the common law rule than statutes in derogation of common law must be strictly construed.

    Since it seems that nobody wants to open-carry here, the people who tend to get in trouble for open carrying are those who accidentally flash. Printing is no issue whatsoever, though, since the folks here live in condition white and wouldn’t know a gun bulge from a kidney tumor. I carry everywhere I can, sometimes print a little and have never been made, even by police.

    It’s also been my experience that outside of the greater Boston Area of Occupation, the police are pro-2A and want us to be able to defend ourselves. One Chief went so far as to state publicly that license holders make his job easier. Which is not why I carry, but still, I applaud the sentiment.

  26. avatar nannooo says:

    I guess the defense authorization bill can have you thrown in jail without any investigation or lawyer for possible terrorist activity. lol. Maybe that is why they passed this bill…too many nutjobs in this country flinging around fire arms like they are toys.

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