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Yesterday there was an active shooter at a mall in albany ny, it made the national news. It looks like it was 2 guys in an altercation. I live just north of that mall and frequent it often. My question is, if you're there with your family shopping and you hear shots, how do you react with your firearm? Do you pull it, gather your family and find the safest way out? Do you keep it concealed but ready in your hand in case you need to pull it? Do you leave it until the need arises to pull it? In my mind, you keep it ready but concealed as not to draw attention to yourself since people will be specifically looking for a gun, and pull if the threat presents itself...I've never taken any defensive classes, not yet at least and was wondering what you would do? Thanks Anthony

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Seems like your plan is the wisest of the options you present. Last thing you want to do is confuse LEOs who might mistake you for an active shooter. I'd also include in your plan an exit strategy.
 

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Yesterday there was an active shooter at a mall in albany ny, it made the national news. It looks like it was 2 guys in an altercation. I live just north of that mall and frequent it often. My question is, if you're there with your family shopping and you hear shots, how do you react with your firearm? Do you pull it, gather your family and find the safest way out? Do you keep it concealed but ready in your hand in case you need to pull it? Do you leave it until the need arises to pull it? In my mind, you keep it ready but concealed as not to draw attention to yourself since people will be specifically looking for a gun, and pull if the threat presents itself...I've never taken any defensive classes, not yet at least and was wondering what you would do? Thanks Anthony

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There are tons of back exits through stockrooms, etc in any shopping mall. Worst case if it turns out to not be an exit, is it should be a pretty defensible position. It's a good idea to just casually keep track of where you see those. Unless you're right in the middle of it when it starts, you should reasonably be able to evacuate your family without using your firearm. These are, of course, areas where staff of retail stores do not ordinarily permit the public to go, so you won't know exactly what's in those places unless something happens. An illuminated exit sign above the doorway is ideal, but any area out of the wide open common space is preferable.

I always take note of where the doors are inside any establishment and am prepared to corral the family and shove them to it in the event of an emergency.

When you're the Dad, husband, Mom, person whom they rely upon for security, the best possible course of action is, of course, to get them away from the threat, fast. Unless you've misjudged the situation or it's a very coordinated attack with bad guys covering exits, a firearm won't be much help, and could actually multiply the threat to you.
 

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I think it's a very bad idea to 'pull' your handgun. At most, you could go to a jacket pocket carry. Your main emphasis is to get your group to safety. Oh, and probably a good idea to stay out of Malls as much as possible these days.
 

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I’m single so I usually don’t have anyone with me but in a shooter situation the first thing I will try is to locate the shooter then find some form of cover/concealment to protect myself while calling 911 and try to give them as much information as I can. I am not LEO and will not engage the shooter unless there are no other options available.
 

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Why is active shooter use so loosely these days. It used to refer to a going from place to place shooting people. Now it is use to describe almost any shooting.
News media anti-gunner hype term.....used primarily to get clicks and ratings......."ACTIVE SHOOTER at local gun range" :icon_neutral:
 
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I would get the family going in the opposite way from where the shots are coming from finding my exit. Would not pulled my gun just incase you have LEO coming in the mall and seeing you with a gun in your hand. Might not be a good idea
 

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With your family? Get them (and you) out the nearest exit as fast as possible.Never have a gun in your hand in a public environment. You know you are a good guy, but every body else will just assume you are a bad guy or will question your intentions. If you live in a gun friendly state, dont assume you are the only guy with a gun. There could be 5, 10, 40 people in the mall with conceal carry permits. Could be 2 police officers on duty, and 3-10 off duty cops, depending on the size of the mall. So just assume that there are a lot of guns in play and you dont want someone else to mistakenly identify you as a threat.

You said you have limited/zero training. That tells me you may or may not be a liability in this scenario. You COULD get off some good shots, or you could get off some bad shots and shoot innocents. Only you know your training/skills/ability, but if you have zero training, I'm going to guess that you trying to take out an active shooter could go very bad for you.

If a shooter is coming your way or shooting at you, by all means, try to defend yourself to the best of your abilities. If the shooter seems to be a ways off, make for an exit and get out of there!

Now if you are alone, you are former Delta, PJ, Green Beret, Navy Seal, or some other person with a decent level of training etc, and have the skills/ability/mindset and equipment to take out an active shooter, then do your best. Head on a swivel, watch for threats, watch for good guys, get after it.
 

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Yes, at that point your job is to gather your family and get them to safety. If that is an exit outside, great. If the shooting is close or coming your way safety might be behind a counter in a fitting room or storeroom; anyplace out of sight. I would not pull my weapon unless I felt my family was in imminent danger.
 

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Great thread topic, glad you brought it up. Also be aware there are many great answers to many questions through searching topics here at D.C. SO if you find little help it may be right after a topic has run on the almost exact same subject. Also, you will find great viewpoints that may not be brought up in your thread that is really informational on your subject. Worth taking a look.

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/search.php?searchid=6850281

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum...-how-aware-you-when-public-crowded-areas.html
 

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I stay out of malls as much as possible. Only been in one once in 2016.
 

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My first thoughts would be to make for the nearest exit. Unless you have absolutely no other option I would not draw my gun. If you have no means of exit and you or your family is at risk, then you must do what you deem necessary to protect them and yourself. There are just way to many variables in a mall full of people to get involved. As already stated you may not be the only legally armed citizen. In a crowded place 5 or 10 people drawing guns could be chaotic and deadly and that's not counting responding police.
 

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I'm going to try to gather my clan and herd them toward the nearest/ safest exit. I'm not drawing my firearm unless it looks likely that I'll need it. When the police come, I don't want to be the first one they see with a gun in his hand. However, if for some reason, we can't make it to an exit & can only take cover somewhere & wait. I'm more likely to have my gun drawn while we are in a defensive position (say, ducked behind a planter, etc). Like Doogie said, I stay out of malls as much as I can, but it's the same approach that I'll take wherever we are.
 

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I agree with what the others have said and will add that in addition to noticing alternate exits, you should start noticing what cover is available in the areas you frequent. Classify it all as either cover or concealment, and be sure you know the difference.

BTW, welcome to the forum.
 
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I stay out of malls as much as possible. Only been in one once in 2016.
Malls used to be wonderful places to go at one time, before the internet took off and before the malls were given over to thugs and various other cretins. I have many fond memories of our mall here while growing up. Our mall is still open, but is a mere shell of it's former self, nearly unrecognizable as the mall I once knew. Hardly anyone goes their anymore, and most of the great shops that used to be there are long gone. Business go where decent people with money are, not where wanna-be gangbangers like to loitering about.
 

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I'll be hiding in the camo section of the sporting goods store.
 
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Malls used to be wonderful places to go at one time, before the internet took off and before the malls were given over to thugs and various other cretins. I have many fond memories of our mall here while growing up. Our mall is still open, but is a mere shell of it's former self, nearly unrecognizable as the mall I once knew. Hardly anyone goes their anymore, and most of the great shops that used to be there are long gone. Business go where decent people with money are, not where wanna-be gangbangers like to loitering about.
yeah, my first job as a high school teenager was at a mall. Today it is being razed. Too dangerous...it's an auto theft magnet.
 
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