Well everyone, I FINALLY got the cops called on me!
It all started with getting off of work and then heading up north to go to N. County Fair to get some badly needed work shoes. Per my usual routine, I strapped Tracker into her rightful spot and waltzed on through the mall. Half way to my destination (Payless) I encountered a fairly cute Israeli girl trying to sell me some Dead Sea lotions or something of that nature and spent 10 minutes entertaining her marketing endeavors. She either did not notice I was packing or did not care.
Heading into Payless I asked the cashier where I might find Safe-T-Step shoes and she directed me to the back wall. As I selected a pair of shoes to try on and sat down I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw several security guards grouping outside the door, to which I snickered to myself and proceeded to try on shoes.
About 10 seconds later, 4 security guards surrounded me and the head honcho began to ask me questions. Now, Liberty1, please don't beat (much less pistol whip) me for this but I don't have my freaking tape recorder yet so I didn't get the conversation! I will list what questions I can remember that they asked me and list my responses.
-Is that real? -Yes
-Are you an LEO? -Nope
-Do you have a license for that? -As long as I am not concealing it, I am unloaded and not within 1000' of a school it is perfectly legal.
-Do you have any bullets on you? -5 in a speedloader in my left pocket
-I think that is illegal -Nope, its not.
-Is that a knife? -Yes, it is
-Geez, do you always shop like that? -Not always, though I always have a knife with me
-What are you carrying that for? -Protection
As I sat there, holding a size 12 shoe with both of my hands, the head guy kept telling me to not make any sudden movements "for our safety" and to remain seated, etc. Apparently, telling someone that 5 times doesn't normally sink in because he kept repeating it.
Meanwhile, the cops were called in and were on their way. While waiting (15 minutes I think) I discussed the military jobs of the leader and one of his lackeys (both were ex-Marines), legalities of open carry and other such topics. The leader kept saying that he appreciated my cooperation and thanked me for my understanding of the situation and how I just can't be doing this now, given the day and age, etc. He did mention one recent shooting in Arkansas or something and people being nervous about it, to which I asked "A gun-free zone, I presume?" He said he didn't know... it probably was.
After 15 or so minutes and multiple directions for the police to arrive, two officers showed up. I greeted them and they withdrew the Tracker and my knife and escorted me outside. I offered them the opportunity to remove my speedloader but the cop said that I could keep it since I would be better off throwing it at someone at this point.
Here is the conversation that I had with the one officer to my left as I walked out of the mall to the parking lot.
-Him: Do you have a license for this?
-Me: No, I do not need a license for open carry. As long as I am not within 1000' of a school, I am not concealing the firearm and I am unloaded I am perfectly legal in carrying my weapon.
Furthermore, I believe that a memo was released to the Escondido PD about the legality of open carry, if I am not mistaken.
-Him: Ok, Ok. COuld you please explain to me then how the gun was in your pocket?
-Me: The gun was not in any pocket, it was in the holster just as you guys saw it the first time. If I may, may I turn and show you the holster? *Turn and show holster, hands in the air*
-Him: Ok, lets go outside right now. I didn't know that you had a holster on.
So we get outside and I sit down on the curb and they ask me my name, DOB, address and phone number. They ask me if I have any felonies and if the gun is registered to me, to which I reply "no" and "yes", respectively. One officer ran my gun in the computer and one talked with me and another stood to my right. The one in front of me taking my name down and whatnot chatted with me about guns and stuff. I told him about my blog and he wrote it down for future reference and I told the other two cops about it as well. Two of the three cops made it a point to tell me that they are pro-2nd amendment and that they understood why I am doing what I am doing and they mentioned how hard it was to get a CCW permit. I told them I wanted one but that I wasn't a "butt buddy" with the sheriff nor was I a jeweler. I also told them about the OC lunches and the difference in LEO reactions to the first and second ones and they had a good chuckle about it.
About 15 minutes after I was taken outside I was given my gun back and I was allowed to reholster it. The policemen said that I was perfectly legal and everything was kosher and it was now between mall security and myself. Turning to the head of security he said that he appreciated my understanding and hoped that I was treated in a professional manner but the mall can't allow me to have a gun, particularly when children are 10' away. I told him that I understand but that I am not the guy that is trying to cause harm to anyone, I am the guy trying to prevent it. He seemed to have written me off over it. With that, I shook everyone's hand and walked around the mall parking lot to secure my weapon and leave for home.
All in all, it was a decent experience. I wasn't even really nervous at all and if I was nervous it was faaar less than the first few times I OC'd. So now, I guess I am just going to have to go with a really BIG knife or my tomahawk.
A few things I learned.
-Carry at least one brochure.
-Carry and use the tape recorder (Liberty1, it is next on my shopping list, I swear!)
-Mall security, even when ex-military, don't know a lot of laws. (Not surprised, but still...)
Questions I have to ask...
1) The cops took about 20min to get to where I was at, which was about 70' from an entrance. WTF would have happened if I were a determined criminal?
2) What is mall security going to do about someone that is armed and intent on killing people? Beg them to death?
3) Why are law-abiding citizens, such as myself, such a rampant threat to mall security? No parents were freaking out nor were kids scared, it was the security detail that was all hot and bothered over it!
Phew! Glad this writeup is over. Of course, if you guys have questions or whatever feel free to comment either here or on Calguns.net and I will respond to them!
P.S. I have the phone number of the head of security for those that care to have it.... ;)