I was conceal carrying a few weeks ago when I was driving by the mall and remembered I needed to pick something up. I wasn’t sure if it was legal to conceal carry in the mall. But I didn’t want to leave my weapon in my car in the case that someone broke into my car. I ended up driving home and coming back to the mall. But this prompted me to do some research.
By federal law concealed carry in malls is allowed. Although states have the authority to pass laws from a state-level to not allow concealed carry in malls. In addition malls are private property, which gives Malls the authority to disavow concealed carry on their property.
After doing more research I found there are key areas that you can look for to ensure that your Mall allows you to conceal carry.
What To Look For to Ensure You Can Conceal Carry In Your Mall
- Mall Rules
- Banned Locations
- Conceal Carry Permit
- State Laws
Few States disavow concealed carry in malls by law, but it’s important to be aware of other factors that may prevent you from concealed carrying in a mall. Federal law may not prohibit concealed carry in malls although other factors May. By being aware of these laws or rules you can ensure your abiding by the law and avoiding legal trouble.
What to Look For to Ensure You Can Conceal Carry in a Mall
Criminals don’t abide by concealed carry laws when looking to enter malls. But for law-abiding citizens like ourselves, there are key things to look out for to ensure you can conceal carry in the mall.
Laws in 49 states allow specific citizens to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Although Illinois does not, according to USA carry. Shopping Malls are often private property. What this means is Malls can make their own rules as to whether or not a person can conceal carry on the mall property.
If malls do not allow citizens to conceal carry on the property, this is often communicated to people through signs in the parking lot or signs posted around the property.
When going to your local mall, be sure to keep an eye out for signs in the mall parking lot that state carrying guns are not allowed. Sometimes if I don’t see any signs saying concealed guns are not allowed I will call the mall to double-check to ensure a concealed handgun is allowed.
But I find malls are often pretty good at posting signs in areas that are often seen by customers.
There are laws that ban concealed carry from a federal level. This means that the federal government has a list of areas that people are banned from concealed carrying across all United States.
Federally designated areas where weapons are banned are often places such as military bases, churches, National Forest, post offices, schools, government buildings and more. Here is a full list of banned locations. Conceal carrying in a bank can have some restrictions.
Conceal Carry Permit
Some states require a concealed carry permit to be able to carry a weapon. Although some states do not require a concealed carry permit. Abiding by your State’s concealed carry laws is important to ensure your legally concealed carry in a mall.
For example, if my state requires a permit to conceal carry and I don’t have a concealed carry permit and I enter a mall with a weapon, this would not be legal. If you are moving and already have a permit see if you can transfer your conceal carry permit.
Be aware if your state requires a concealed carry permit or not. Below are states that do not require a concealed carry permit:
- Kentucky (as of June 2019)
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
Some of these states have unique rules. For example, New Mexico only allows a person to concealed carry if the weapon is unloaded.
Sometimes state laws change, or people move to different states. For example I used to live in Idaho, then I moved to Utah. After moving I wasn’t sure what the concealed carry laws were in the state of Utah. Or if I can conceal carry across state lines. After some research I found useful tools to help me better understand my new state laws. USA Carry has a tool that helps me better understand my state laws and whether or not I am allowed to conceal carry in a mall. In addition be aware of open carry laws.
I forget state laws at times. I found it really helpful to somewhat frequently check up on state laws to ensure there was not a new law passed or one that no longer exists.
Risk of Conceal Carrying In a Mall
Once you know you’re allowed to conceal carry in a mall, it’s important to know how to conceal carry. Some people argue that concealed carry in a mall does more harm than good. Having a firearm in a mall can be risky as there are a lot of people around.
The chances of a mall shooting or a robbery in a mall when you’re in it is probably small. But Others May argue that it’s better safe than sorry. if the laws allow carrying firearms on the premise, sometimes it’s better safe than sorry.
Concealed Carry In a Mall
Concealed carrying in a mall should not be taken lightly and can affect the lives of other people. Regularly armed citizens wonder what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to concealed carry in malls. It helps to be aware of state laws, local mall rules/regulations, Federally banned locations and your states concealed carry permit laws. When in doubt, check with local law enforcement.