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Thread: Parmatown Mall is polite, OC unfriendly

  1. #1
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    Today I went to the Parmatown Mall in Parma, OH to say hello to some friends at the food court, grab a Pepsi, and then go buy a new CD from one of the music stores. I happened to be openly carrying my sidearm. I smiled and said good morning to anyone with whom I made eye contact, including the head security guard of the mall, who reciprocated and continued walking past me. About 10-15 paces later, I passed a well-dressed gentleman and exchanged a good morning, a smile, and a head nod. After passing one another, he turned around and inquired about my status as a CCW permit holder. I politely informed him that I was not yet a CCW permit holder. but that I was openly carrying because that is lawful in the State of Ohio, and in fact the only way I am permitted to carry without a permit. He responded by saying that concealed weapons were not allowed in the mall. I again politely informed him that I was not carrying concealed, but openly and again reiterated that open carry is legal in the State of Ohio without any permit or license. I asked if there were signs which prohibited firearms in the mall and apologized if I had missed them, because I had looked for them prior to entering the premises (the kind that are usually a gun in a circle with a line drawn through it, like the no smoking signs which are posted in that manner). He informed me that there were, in fact, signs posted at every entrance stating the rules of the mall.

    This was true. Posted at every entrance is a rather inconspicuous sign which lists all the Parmatown Mall's expectations and rules, ranging from not using obscene language to children of school age being expected to be at school during school hours. However, this gentleman was incorrect to assert that these rules explicitly prohibit all firearms on the premises. The sign only explicitly prohibits concealed weapons. A reasonable person's (and my) interpretation of this was that lawful open carry was not prohibited. I noted this out loud, to which the reply was something to the effect of "Well, we just don't allow firearms. Only security is allowed to have them."

    He told me that I was welcome to re-enter the mall after securing my firearm in my vehicle, but that I would have to leave the premises immediately. I asked if he would mind allowing me to walk the shortest route to my vehicle (back toward the food court) rather than exiting immediately and then walking all the way around the mall. He agreed to this. We then exchanged names and a handshake, and he escorted me to the exit I had requested.

    Throughout the incident, he was pleasant and cordial, even though we were in disagreement. He was not aware that open carry was legal without a license. I mentioned the Supreme Court case to him and a little bit about the background of the case and the reasoning behind the decision as we walked.

    The Parmatown Mall is private property, and as the manager of that private property, Mr. Nick Rudy had and has every right to prohibit the carrying of firearms on the premises of his mall. However, I respectfully disagree with Mr. Rudy that it is necessary or even desirable to prevent otherwise law-abiding citizens from exercising these reasonable and necessary rights in his establishment.

    No one was visibly alarmed or made any comment other than Mr. Rudy, and that includes his security guard, though I cannot be certain that he observed my firearm as we passed and neglected to ask him when we spoke again shortly after I deposited my firearm in my vehicle (in accordance with Ohio law concerning transport of firearms in a motor vehicle, of course. ). I myself displayed no aggressive or threatening behavior, gestures, or speech and remained cordial and polite as I spoke with both of them.

    Our civility and cordiality notwithstanding, I fully intend to politely inform Mr. Rudy in writing of my intentions to no longer patronize any of the establishments in the mall. This saddens me greatly because the Parmatown Mall is one of the most convenient places for me to go for many things. There is a food court, where my favorite sandwich shop, Charley's, is, along with several friends who work there. There is a GameStop where I have made probably 85% of my game and game-related purchases in the past 3 years. And there is a WalMart, TGI Friday's, and a Dick's Sporting Goods, all of which I have patronized.

    I would prefer that I be able to practice my public rights on Mr. Rudy's private property. However, I will respect his wishes and exercise my right to not spend my money in his establishment.

  2. #2
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    Nice write-up.

    What were Mr. Rudy's objections to CC in the mall?

    I wonder if he's thought about the fact that people have to go unarmed into the mall and back out to their cars? Near where I live, the police say that most people have no idea of the amount of criminal activity that goes on around the local mall - and it's not in a bad part of town at all.

    Itirritates me greatly that those who post are not liable for our safety.

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    I would have missed that sign also. I watch for the big no gun sign. I never stand around and read the fine print on all the signs at the door.

    Parmatown mall is on its way to becoming another Randal mall. I just stay away from all of these CPZs. Plenty of other stores to spend my money at.

    I give you credit for the OC. I'm just getting into it and only OC around my home and CC in public places.

    John

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    Mr. Rudy's objections were reasonable. He is not the owner of the mall, only the manager. It is the policy of the owners of the mall not to allow concealed weapons on the premises, and, according to Mr. Rudy's interpretation, that extends to open carry as well. He is a fellow gun owner who intends to get his CCW permit soon as he informed me yesterday. As he put it, he is "on my side" but he doesn't make the rules, he merely enforces them.

    I did return to the mall yesterday (unarmed, of course) to hand Mr. Rudy a handwritten letter commending both him and his head security guard for their courtesy and professionalism in their interactions with me, and also informing him that, in the same manner that I obeyed his request immediately not to carry in the mall, I would be fully respecting his request not to carry in the mall in the future, but that I would be doing so by not patronizing any of the stores within the premises of Parmatown Mall, much to my displeasure.

    Mr. Rudy responded positively to my letter, thanking me for it sincerely and reassuring me that I was welcome as a customer if I wasn't carrying, but regretfully was unable to change his mind about carrying weapons in the mall because it was not up to him, but rather the owners of the mall.

    So long story short. . .

    Mr. Nick Rudy: friendly, polite, and professional.
    Parmatown Mall and its owners: unsympathetic to those who carry firearms for self defense (unless you wear a uniform and a badge).

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    Jgregel: Unfortunately, I am unable to lawfully CC since I do not yet hold a CCW permit. So open carry is my only option if I wish to carry lawfully.

    Surprisingly, no one has hassled me or acted strangely around me except for two managers who have approached me and asked me to leave their store. I think managers who give the line about everyday customers who aren't carrying being upset think far too little of their customers' intellectual capacity. Any reasonable person can judge that a guy walking around, going about his business like any other customer is no threat to them.

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    It seems the next logical step is to contact the owner.

    Be sure to mention how often you have patronized the stores in his mall and that they will be losing that business. In these economic times, that should be even more relevant to him.

    Then, consider writing each of the stores with which you did business and inform them of the same thing. If each of them contacted the owner, who knows...

    Then, have each of your carry-buddies do the same thing, staggered over a few weeks.

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    JSK333 wrote:
    It seems the next logical step is to contact the owner...
    And if you can, include copies of receipts from non-postingstores in your communications.

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    BCinOH wrote:
    [snip]
    About 10-15 paces later, I passed a well-dressed gentleman and exchanged a good morning, a smile, and a head nod. After passing one another, he turned around and inquired about my status as a CCW permit holder. I politely informed him that I was not yet a CCW permit holder. but that I was openly carrying because that is lawful in the State of Ohio, and in fact the only way I am permitted to carry without a permit. He responded by saying that concealed weapons were not allowed in the mall.
    I'm not sure I would think of it in that sort of situation, but while I was reading your account, the thought occured to me that an excellent response would be "Thanks for letting me know. I'll keep that in mind for when I get my permit."

    And then, if possible, simply walk away.

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    He was very adamant about no weapons period being allowed in the mall even though the signs only mentions concealed weapons. I even made it a point to point out the language to him and the fact that I was not concealed carrying, but rather open carrying.

    He still insisted that I leave while carrying. He's the mall manager, so what he says is law, even if it doesn't agree 100% with the signage. I am obligated to obey his lawful request as an agent of the property owners.

    Not only that, but probably the worst way to convince anyone that open carry ought to be allowed in their private establishment would be to disrespect them and be rude like that. You wouldn't want anyone to disrespect you in that way, and I'm not about to disrespect anyone in that way either.

    If we want to win hearts and minds and demonstrate to people that concealed carriers are regular citizens (and maybe even a little bit *more* polite than the average citizen!), we need to be sure to be polite and courteous to the utmost even if it means we have to leave an establishment.

    If I had been rude, how do you think my letter would have been received? Because I was courteous and friendly throughout, the head security guard even did a little research into the laws in the area and called me back the next day to inform me of a local ordinance that prohibits any and all loaded firearms from being carried. I politely mentioned to him that the law was passed in 1967, that State law preempts that ordinance, and that the Supreme Court of Ohio settled that in OFCC v. Clyde.

    I thanked him for taking the time to do that research and asked him for the number to the Parma City Council so that I might perform my due diligence as a citizen and inform the Council that they have a law still on their books which has been preempted by State law for 6 years.

    The next step, of course, is to contact the owners of the Parmatown Mall and let them know precisely why I will not be patronizing their mall any more and why I will recommend against any of my friends doing the same (even though none that I can think of actually carry at present).

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    Where do you live? I was looking to videotape my open carry encourters.

  11. #11
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    Parma Heights.

  12. #12
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    Well BC. I do not shop at Parmatown. I go out to Southpark in Strongsville to shop. I would rather give them my money as they are carry friendly and in my opinion is a much cleaner, nicer mall.

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