Open Carry story in Savannah Mall

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by gsusnake, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    Also posted at Opencarry.org





    Wow. What can I say?

    I went to the Savannah Mall, which is right next to Hunter Army Airfield, to go to Bass Pro Shops and pick up some ammo. Now, I normally CC IWB, but I decided to throw the pistol into a cheap Uncle Mike's nylon POS and wear it on my hip.

    I got numerous reactions, varying from "Thank you for keeping us safe" to "Are you a cop/in the military/a crazy person?".

    Bass Pro didn't have a bit of a problem, understandable as they are in the business of selling guns. I had to check in at the front counter and let them know I was carrying and that I had a permit, but I expected that.

    The manager at EB Games asked me if I was a LEO, and when I said no, he asked why I was carrying a pistol. I could tell he was a little uncomfortable but I smiled and said "Well, at least you know that when I'm in the store, you're not going to get robbed."

    However, when I went to Waldenbooks to pick up my monthly reads (Playboy, Guitar World, and Guns and Ammo) I could tell the manager was extremely nervous, as he watched my browse the store like a shoplifter. I was flipping through G&A before I bought it when I felt gentle pressure on my side, above my gun. The manager had called the police and expected me to be arrested.

    The officer (who was young, about my age) asked me for my firearms license and my photo ID, and then asked me to hand him my weapon. I provided the cards he wanted and asked him what the charge was for the weapon.

    "Oh, there's no charges yet, I just don't want you to be armed while we're talking."

    He then asked me why I was breaking the law by carrying openly. I replied that OC is legal in the state of GA with a firearms license, and he said he'd have to call his supervisor. I've still got the pistol on my hip, holstered, at this point.

    The Sgt. shows up with a pocket copy of the GA Code, demands that I give
    him my sidearm, and threatens to arrest me for resisting.

    I slowly unholstered the weapon, popped the mag out, took the safety off, and unchambered the round, then handed him the empty pistol with the slide locked back. He also asked me who I was and what my business was.

    I replied that I was trying to shop and that any more questions would be answered after I knew what charges I was being held on and in the presence of my lawyer.

    He got visibly annoyed at this point, called for backup to "watch" me, and he and the beat cop who initially stopped me went off to confer over what they could charge me on.

    After about 20 minutes or so of this, a plainclothes detective showed up, took my weapon from the sgt. and asked me to come with him. I asked him what charges I was being held on and he replied

    "We're not going to charge you with anything, I'm just here to escort you to your car. I'll give your pistol back to you when we get outside and if you wish to continue shopping you'll need to conceal it before you come back in. You're not allowed to OC in malls in GA (blatant lie) so please don't do it again"

    So we walk out to the car, he hands me the pistol back, I reload it and chamber a round as he watches, put it in the IWB sitting on my front seat, and go back into the mall.

    I went back into Waldenbooks, informed the manager that his behavior was absolutely unacceptable, and that I'm informing his corporate office of his intolerant behavior, and then tell him that I'm going to Barnes and Noble at the other mall.

    Got in the car, put the pistol back in the OC holster, drive three miles to the other (much nicer) mall and walk in while OCing, spend three hours shopping with a pistol in plain view on my hip, and get absolutely NO negative reaction.



    Is it worth my time to file a complaint with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police about the unlawful detention? I have the full details, officer's names, badge numbers, etc. and am really tempted to march into my lawyer's office on Monday and start the proceedings.

    Any thoughts?

    Oh, and don't go to Waldenbooks. Barnes and Noble is much nicer to their law-abiding customers.
     
  2. Dan H

    Dan H New Member

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    I dont have a problem with them asking you to leave, but is it legal for them to ask that you hand over your gun when you clearly havent done anything wrong?

    Yes, I would file a complaint. First they tell you that you are resisting? Then they lie about OC in malls? They can ask you to leave, but it is not illegal.

    And yes, I would be pissed off too...
     

  3. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    I don't think so, it IS legal for them to disarm you while they investigate. Officer safety, etc.
     
  4. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    Welcome gsusnake,

    I was the one that asked you to post this over here from www.opencarry.org.

    I hope you'll stick around, this is a comprehensive site that goes over everything Georgia specific. There is a lot to be learned here.
     
  5. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    In Georgia, you may open carry wharever you can conceal carry. Malls, are okay for carry, thus, you may open carry in them. They can ask you to leave, but it isn't against the law. You must follow their directions.

    If they say leave, you must leave. If they say conceal, you must conceal. If not, you can be busted for trespassing.
     
  6. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Welcome to GPDO gsusnake!

    I'm glad you chose to open carry.

    I would have gotten the badge numbers for the officers + detective so that I file a complaint. As people who are tasked with enforcing the law, they should understand it first.
     
  7. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    I disagree. If they tell me to conceal I tell them to make me. I am not aware of any legal authority given to officers that says they can dictate the manor in which I carry, other that it be done with a holster.
     
  8. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    I meant the store owners can ask you to conceal. I agree with you Rammstein, the cops cannot make you conceal.
     
  9. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    Thanks for the welcome.

    I got all that information... photographic memory comes in handy sometimes.
     
  10. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    and just for the record, NO ONE in the mall asked me to leave or conceal until the police did something.

    The manager at Waldenbooks is kinda chickenshit for not asking me politely to leave, which I would have gladly done, didn't even have to get the po-po involved.
     
  11. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    Exactly should get their info and school them on the law....as said they can ask you to leave and you can take your business else where but for him to tell you its illegal i think they need to hear it from someone with a little authority.
     
  12. jgullock

    jgullock Active Member

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    I definetly would file a complaint with the PD. At the worst it can only highlight the beat officers and supervisors incompetence and may edjucate these clowns a bit.
     
  13. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Oh, and when you file the complaint include all the supporting documents that support your case, since I doubt they will actually look it up themselves.
     
  14. Watch_Their_Hands

    Watch_Their_Hands New Member

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    I agree with everyone else. File your complaint, get your supporting paperwork together, and continue to inquire until you make your way up the chain of command and someone explains why the cops have a right to tell you that you must conceal carry in that mall. :wink:
     
  15. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Maybe I need to make a trip to this mall...

    While open carrying naturally.
     
  16. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    When are you going? I might go with ya. Can't miss this.
     
  17. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Probably after school is over with.

    Because that is when I will be able to start open carrying again.
     
  18. Watch_Their_Hands

    Watch_Their_Hands New Member

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    If it were closer I'd love to go, too. :twisted:
     
  19. Dan H

    Dan H New Member

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    Field trip!
     
  20. glockgirl

    glockgirl New Member

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    so pick a date and we'll see how many people show up...

    and for those of us without a GFL yet (uhh like me) we can post the bond...