[his town in West Tennessee]
22 April 2008
Old Hickory Mall
2021 North Highland Avenue
Jackson, TN 38305
For the attention of the general manager
Dear Sir or Madam:
On the afternoon of Tuesday 15 April I visited Old Hickory Mall and was inside the mall for approximately one hour. I picked out an expensive pair of sunglasses and intended to leave and return immediately with the funds to purchase them. In the parking lot I spoke to a friend on the phone as I prepared to leave on my motorcycle. While I was on the phone, a security guard in his vehicle stopped and asked if I were a police officer. I politely told him that I am not a police officer and continued my conversation. He then got out of the vehicle and told me that it is illegal for me to carry my handgun on the property. I let him know that he was incorrect per Tennessee law and hung up on my friend when he pressed the issue.
Moments later, a lady wearing an alternate uniform, presumably head of security, came out and again I was incorrectly told that I was breaking the law. Very shortly, three more security guards approached. The lady then instructed me to lay my sidearm on the walk and I told her that I was not going to do that. The group attempted to encircle me while I put my helmet on and said that I wanted to leave. I evaded the circle and they moved to stand around my motorcycle. Then she informed me that the police were on the way and said that she had the authority to arrest me. She also said that she wanted to see my handgun carry permit and I declined.
A man in plain clothes then approached and presented his badge to let me know that he is a deputy sheriff. I complied with his instructions to remove my sidearm and show my permit as three Jackson officers arrived at the scene. As the deputy and the head of security collaborated, one of the officers told me that I was not doing anything unlawful.
The deputy returned my permit card and my sidearm and said, “Since you didn’t leave when they asked you...” and I interrupted and told him that (i) security asked me to leave, (ii) I said I wanted to leave, (iii) I tried to leave, (iv) and they wouldn’t let me leave. He then told me to not return on that day and to not bring my gun when I did return. The gathering then dispersed and I left.
I review the website > the security polices of the mall. I find it ironic that the list of “suggested safety tips for shopping” is right before the code of conduct which contains “we ask all visitors to refrain from the following…” rule #20 “Carrying or displaying weapons of any kind except those carried by certified law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties.” It then goes on to say “this “Behavioral Code of Conduct” is not intended to deprive any person of their applicable civil rights or liberties under the law.” Frankly, your policy against my handgun does not help ensure safety and does violate civil liberties and a fundamental right for one to defend himself. As a rule, I do not go to places where I am not allowed to defend myself. The Old Hickory Mall is now on that list.
cc: Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Belk, F.Y.E, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Hat World, JC Penny, Sears, Sears Auto Center, Sunglass Hut, George B. -WNWS News/Talk 101.5 FM