A day or two after Memorial Day, Sam Peyton, a black, 40 year old activist who I'd had contact with prior to and after the St. Louis Open Carry walk in October, 2014, contacted me on Facebook about an incident at the St. Louis Zoo.
You can read his words of what happened right here: http://tinyurl.com/obcqc9w, but essentially he was threatened with having the police called on him if he and his EMPTY holster didn't leave the Zoo.
We talked about what happened, then decided on a two-pronged approach: he would contact the Zoo and ask about what kind of training the Zoo security people received (essentially an open records request which has still NOT been responded to), and I would contact Zoo management, not as Jeffry Smith - gun rights activist, but as Jeff Smith - inquisitive potential patron.
I called and left a message for Wyndel Hill, Zoo VP of Internal Relations, on Thursday or Friday (5/28 or 5/29/15) in which I stated that I understood that the Zoo had "No Guns" signage, and that I'd like to speak with him or someone else about it.
While I was awaiting a response, on Friday (5/29/15) I sent the following note (still unresponded to) to Susan Gallagher, head of Public Relations for the Zoo:
I spoke with Steve Barth the other day, and he told me that I should direct my communications to you, at least initially.
I’ll be visiting St. Louis in June, and it is my intention to visit the Zoo. Recently I’ve been told of something which concerns me greatly, which is that supposedly “No guns” signage has been posted at the Zoo entrances, evidently meant to inform patrons that they may not have a gun while in the Zoo.
This troubles me in a number of ways, including my belief that a firearm left in a car is a great deal more likely to be stolen, and ultimately misused, than one kept with its owner.
Would you please tell me the following:
1) Is what I have been told correct – the Zoo has posted “No guns” signage?
2) If #1 is accurate, under what authority has the Zoo posted such signage?
3) If #1 is accurate, who should I communicate with about getting the policy changed? Please provide the appropriate e-mail address(es)/phone number(s).
4) What municipality is the Zoo located within?
Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.