A week ago today we wrote about Derek Poe, the AR-15 open carrier that had his rifle seized after carrying it slung across his back inside the mall police said was “in a manner calculated to alarm.”
We noted that at the time, the mall had a policy against weapons. It wasn’t enforced, however, and the required “30.06” signs were not posted, allowing concealed carry.
Thanks to the incident Mr. Poe created and the fear he apparently created in mall shoppers, Parkdale Mall has now posted the required legal signage banned all firearms, both open and concealed.
After a man’s arrest for carrying a rifle in public, Parkdale Mall has posted signs prohibiting concealed firearms at entrances, a reinforcement of the company’s longtime policy that nonetheless is catching some flak.
Derek Poe, 26, owner of Golden Triangle Tactical in the mall, had an AR-15 rifle seized by police Dec. 28 after police received calls from shoppers who said they were “terrified” at the sight of a man carrying a rifle through the mall.
An warrant was issued for Poe’s arrest on a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. He turned himself in last week.
“Parkdale Mall has never allowed the carrying of weapons of any kind except those carried by certified law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties,” wrote Todd Anderton, the regional marketing director for CBL and Associates Properties in an email Thursday. “This policy has always been part of the mall’s code of conduct.”
Parkdale Mall always had an official policy against guns on the property to cover themselves as a legal matter, but they had not posted the signs that would have given that policy legal teeth, tacitly allowing legal concealed carry.
That’s gone now. The legal right to carry a concealed weapon in Parkdale Mall is gone. Shoppers now have a true “gun free zone,” thanks to the response by the mall to the actions of a lone long gun open carry advocate.
From New Mexico, to Utah, to Wisconsin, and now this incident in Texas (and in other places too numerous to mention), long gun open carry has resulted in rules and laws being passed that constrict where gun owners can legally carry guns.
Is this not the exact opposite of what long gun open carriers claim they are trying to do? When your tactics are failing, it is time to discard those tactics.
The tactic of long gun open carry is being proven to be counterproductive. The result of carrying AR-15s and AK-pattern rifles to places where the public is not expecting to see them is not leading to the normalization of the practice, but is instead resulting in the public calling for more rules, regulations and laws against the open carry of long guns.
The end result is that when we really need long guns in public—say, during a riot, mob, or some other failure of civility—there will be laws against it that the authorities can use to disarm us.
Tell me again… why should we support tactics that lead to our rights being eroded, instead of expanded?