Carrying In The Mall (New Approach To Asking This Question)

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by MNC642, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. MNC642

    MNC642 New Member

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    NEWBIE FIRST POST:

    Hi everyone, I am new to posting but have been reading your stuff for a few months now before I joined today. Some good discussions going on here and thought I would take this opportunity to say a few words and get some feedback on something that troubles me. I have seen similar questions like this, but not defined or answered so let me try it this way.

    I started carrying about a month ago and I must say I am quite annoyed with what "I have to know", and more so what "I have to guess" having the priveledge of carrying a gun. Why are the laws so vague? Why is it police are scared to answer questions in fear of a law suit? Why it is most police officers don't even know the correct answers and you can get 4 different answers asking 4 different officers? Their usual answer is “I wouldn’t know, I carry because I am a cop and I can carry anywhere I want so it never occurred to me to find out where I could carry as a civilian with a permit.â€

    My first post here will be on the topic of "Places off limits" I apologize in advance for its length.

    Now I somewhat understand <cough> the "Public Gathering" law and that shopping is not considered as a "Public Gathering" even though you are there for the specific purpose of “spending money†or showing up for a 50% off sale… but my question is specifically within the malls. You can carry at one mall but not another. Discover Mills I think it was mentioned specifically because of a place inside that serves alcohol, a church and some army recruiting center. Now this is where my question is but let me say this first….

    I can go into the restaurant at a mall and have an alcoholic beverage, but I cannot take my alcoholic beverage with me out of the establishment into the mall and walk around with it. I am bound to the 4 walls of the restaurant and must consume it before I leave. I cannot pass through the doors and exit the establishment with an alcoholic beverage in my possession. I can not walk out the outside using the outer exit door to go straight to my car and finish my drink in the parking lot along the way, I cannot exit to walk outside with a alcoholic beverage to have a smoke taking it with me so my waitress doesn’t throw it out before I return to the table, I cannot walk out the mall entrance doors at the rear of the restaurant into the mall and throw my bottle or plastic cup out in the first trash can I see after I finish the last swig of it. If I walk outside or around the mall with a drink I would be in violation of one or many laws they could think up. (Public drinking, drinking in public, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness… blah, blah, blah….)

    HERE IS MY QUESTION:
    If "Malls" in general are not a place deemed as public gatherings (except when a concert or some “organized event†is going on outside once in a while) If I am NOT in the restaurant that is serving alcohol by the drink, have NOT been to the restaurant or had anything to drink, (Remember now that if I had or did choose to have a drink I am restricted to that restaurant and the alcohol must remain in that restaurant except when it leaves in my tummy). Then why the heck would that mall be off limits to carry a gun just because some restaurant that serves alcohol is in some wing of the mall that I did not and do not care to go in nor have I been there? Also that it applies to ALL the wings of that mall or anywhere even in the parking lot of such an establishment. That establishment has no affiliation with the mall, they are just a tenant paying rent in their little squared off section like any other store in there…. Same goes for the church or army recruiting center inside the mall as long as I keep my distance from it and not enter their doors. They can’t solicit, recruit or preach outside their store doors because they are not renting the lobby or area by the fountain etc… that is for outside vending and they pay for a table “or space†in the middle of the floor or along the walkways and pay slightly less rent. That to me would be the same as enforcing a law when I walk down the street and walk in front of a bar but don’t go inside, I can be charged with a crime even though I did not enter it? If I didn’t go in there, if I am not inside the place in question, how is it a crime or in violation of anything or why would this restrict me from carrying there?

    I asked this same question to several officers on the Lawrenceville Police department and Gwinnett County PD. Probably totaled about 7 or 8 counting both agencies over a month or so as I ran into them in the streets. Not about slipping and falling, but regarding “Carrying At The Mall†<smile>. I asked this face to face when I saw them to receive an honest answer and not be mistaken as some “Freak On The Phone†as I think they suspected a few months prior when I tried to call these agencies on the phone. Of course I had to Preamble saying: “This is off the record, just an opinion, please answer as if you were not a public official and I understand this is only your opinion and not legal adviceâ€.

    They ALL simply told me “I was unaware that you could carry at any mall in Georgia, that is a public gathering and I would definitely have to lock you up or site you for it†One or two simply said “I would just ask you to leave if you didn’t act cocky or cause a scene, but as far as I am aware you cannot carry inside ANY mall…†Most everyone asked openly admitted to not knowing the answer because as a cop they can carry anywhere they want without restrictions, so they never bothered to be concerned with "where they can't carry" or "what places we civillians could not carry".

    So what is one to do here?

    It makes no sense….. Let me sum it up with an example for you……

    Example: I go to the mall and pass by a restaurant. After passing their doors I slip and fall 5 feet past their doors on the mall floor because some kid wet their pants and made a small puddle on the floor. Can I sue the restaurant closest to the puddle?

    Example: I go INSIDE the restaurant to have a drink or eat, I walk through and out their doors, exiting the restaurant and slip and fall 5 feet past their doors on the mall floor because some kid wet their pants and made a small puddle on the floor. Can I sue the restaurant closest to the puddle?

    Now remember, we are not talking about a public street or residence with certain footages from the street with “right of way†conflicts here….. Assume that the cause of the slip and fall had nothing to do with the store, was a not from a drink someone took outside the store, or someone that threw up from the food inside the store onto the mall floor. The mall is responsible for anything inside the mall. The tenant’s only responsibility outside their door is to clean the glass so people can see into their store and even that is questionable if they actually do that themselves and the mall doesn’t do that included in their rent…..

    So what is one to do here? I have to go to some lawyer and ask a question (as many officers told me that is where I need to ask any questions) only to have him say “Do it, it is not illegal, if you get arrested just hire me to be your attorney and I€™ll beat it for you†One would think he would do it for free after obtaining his advice right?

    Help on this please?
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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  3. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    There are some links to case law and AG unofficial opinions if you would like some more reading on it. (Links are at the top of this page).
     
  4. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    Hell of a first post. To my understanding, Discover Malls (and all malls in GA) are not off-limits, even though they might have restaurants that serve alcohol or churches in them. However, as is often the case nowadays, the law doesn't matter so much as the whim of the arresting officer and the judge that sees your case. We're trying to fix that, but right now, things are completely and utterly retarded. I carry at the mall.
     
  5. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    Step 1: Join GCO if you haven't already. This is the single best thing you can do as far as your right to carry a weapon in the state of GA goes.

    Step 2: Read up on the case law, specifically Farmer v. State (firearm accessible in the car up to 200 yards away = PG), State v. Burns (McDonald's is not a PG, and the legislature differentiated between "public place" and "public gathering"), Unnoficial AG opinion U84-37 (Shopping malls are not public gatherings, except as you delineated in your post), and Unofficial AG opinion U96-22 (Public places are different from public gatherings.)

    Hope that helps some.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    "when people are gathered or will be gathered for a particular function and not when a weapon is carried lawfully to a public place, where people may gather." Burns, 200 Ga. App. at 16 (emphasis in original removed)
     
  7. MNC642

    MNC642 New Member

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    Well, believe you me, I WILL continue to carry in the malls and use what I just posted as a defense. After all, no one will ever know about it unless my life is on the line and I have to pull it out. But in the unlikely event my shirt is raised high, stuck on the holster or I reach for my phone and it is next to my weapon I just wanted to see what others do and say about it. I mean after all, it is NOT a felony and I have a strike or two that I am allowed before they pull my permit or try to lock me up for any violations. I just think it is absurd that I have to use my first and only strike on something as ridiculous as this….

    It is NOT a case of public gathering vs. public places, just the simple fact that one or two stores in the mall serve alcohol, or an Army recruiting office is a "government office" that takes up space there and they claim it deems the entire mall off limits for carry because of it. Discover Mills is specifically on the list of places NOT ok to carry right here on GPDO web site and a few others, and I read many posts about it as well.

    In other states I have lived, you can go into a restaurant (NOT A BAR) and as long as you are NOT sitting right at the bar, and you are NOT consuming any alcohol, and that the bar is SEPARATE from the dinning area such as a dividing wall of some kind (does not have to be totally enclosed just “somewhat partitionedâ€), you can carry no problem and have your meal. In GA they say if the restaurant serves alcohol by the drink and it can and is consumed on the premises, you can NOT enter the establishment at all whether you are drinking or not while you are carrying. I saw a few people saying this was OK in GA and I almost joined a few weeks ago when I read it but wanted to see if somone else caught it first.

    Now I can understand “bars†because of what might and has happened and doing so for the few that mess it up for us. I mean most go to bars to have more than one, spend some time, socialize, and usually wind up getting "loaded" by accident or not, or breach the "Legal Limit" where they shouldn't drive and certainly should not be in possession of a weapon. But at a restaurant, you just want to have a SINGLE beer or ONE glass of wine with your dinner and the "Bar Brawl" is highly unlikely to happen as it would be more likely in a "Bar & Grill" where it would in a family restaurant. Besides, one drink and you can still legally drive, except in places like NJ where the legal limit is so low you can’t even have a shot without being declared “Legally Drunkâ€.

    Now if you did want to consult a lawyer, who specializes in such types of law “Specifically in Carry Permits†that you can write down your list of questions, have a battery of questions and use up the time well and pay for an hour of their time. Quite frankly, all he will do is give you his opinion, say it is a gray area, or “will have to see if it ever came to court†and that just stinks…..

    Same thing with firing ranges. I can understand that many homeowners without permits show up, as well the scrawny weakling that has been beat up and picked on his whole life wants to stand up and make sure he can handle his weapon when it goes bang, or some ditzy broad who just likes a “Big Bang†and goes there to make noise once every few months. But if I have a license to carry a gun, if I passed a local, state and FBI background check to carry a gun IN PUBLIC, I have to unload when I come into their store? These people are selling guns, I am sure they believe in the right to bear arms. After all…. They are giving us a place to shoot our guns, but we must stand outside the door on the sidewalk and unload our mags or drop 5 or 6 bullets into our palms before we walk in? That is just another thing that gets me irritated…..

    Thanks for the responses, some good replies and great reading material I will have to do tonight.

    --------------------------
    You have the right to bear arms, just not here, here, here and here and also over there…..
     
  8. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    Just to make sure this is clear... It is NOT illegal to carry in Discover Mills. It's on the "no firearms signage" page because they have signs prohibiting the carry of firearms, and these signs have no legal weight in Georgia. You can be asked to leave while carrying, and you must comply within a reasonable period of time, but even if you refuse, the worst you can be charged with is criminal trespass (I think, :ianal: and I don't quite remember with enough confidence to be certain about this).
     
  9. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    The short answer without citing sources and making this a long protracted post is this:

    Can you carry in a mall? Yes.
    But you cannot carry within (at least) 200 yards of a public gathering (place with the happy drinks)
    but you can carry in a mall.
    but not if you're within 200 yards of a public gathering


    The best answer is to conceal your firearm.
     
  10. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    And this is from a big-time OC crusader type.

    And I, another who crusades for and by OC, agree.
     
  11. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Aye.

    I open carried in North Point mall, but I knew the risks involved.
     
  12. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    While we're on mall carry... I'll drop these here.

    The first one is especially interesting.

    https://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/vie ... php?t=4922
    https://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/vie ... php?t=2684
    https://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/vie ... php?t=3255
     
  13. MrMorden

    MrMorden New Member

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    I disagree slightly. I see no reason to prohibit carry at a bar. What I *do* see a reason to prevent is drunk people with firearms. So how about a law that allows carrying in a bar, but makes it a misdemeanor to consume alcohol while carrying? If you are carrying a gun, you should not be drinking (no, not even a beer with dinner) -- it's just too easy for that to cause you legal trouble if you need to use your firearm.

    It is very rare that I will drink anything, and I never have while carrying. If I am at a bar and am unimpaired, there is no reason for me to be prevented from exercising my Second Amendment right.
     
  14. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    I think most here agree with you. The single biggest problem with the PG law, as it affects me, is the fact I can't carry while eating out in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Any decent restaurant almost has to sell alcohol to survive in today's market. If you have to disarm (and not leave it in the car, that is a no-no too) then you are so severely limited in your carry rights that you either have to be a sheep or be a criminal and carry anyway (not that I advocate this).

    I love beer. I mean I love it. However, I do not drink while carrying. I am not concerned with the physical effects of the alcohol, but the potential for legal troubles. I am also concerned with the perception people will have about someone carrying a weapon while consuming alcohol.

    I say allow carry in restaurants (real bars maybe not). Maybe just not allow carry in the actual bar/lounge part of the restaurant. Make it criminal to drink or be drunk (apply a legal limit) while carrying.
     
  15. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    I feel that they should make it legal to carry in places that serve alcohol provided you are not drinking while in possession of a firearm.

    If you want to drink at home while carrying, go for it - you don't need a GFL to carry on your own property or in your house so the rules for the GFL don't apply there.
     
  16. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    I completely agree with you. If there's a legal limit for driving, there should be a legal limit for carrying. It ridiculous to think that guns are inherently more dangerous than cars when alcohol is involved. Both are very bad juju.
     
  17. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    I don't want any "reasonable" restrictions on guns or the carry thereof.

    Cars/driving = privilege

    guns/carrying = right.
     
  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    :roll:
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Um, make the law the same for them as for us.