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Evidence that Trolley Square Mall in Utah occurred in a "gun free zone"

A photo of one of the signs at Trolley Square is available courtesy of W. Clark Aposhian of the Utah Shooting Sports Council. Click on the picture to get a larger copy of it and see point 10 for the mention that weapons are banned.

N.W. Clayton fills us in on additional information about this shooting. Off-duty police officer Hammond, who stopped the attack, "was at the opposite end and on a different floor of the convoluted Trolley Square complex when the shooting began. By the time he became aware of the shooting and managed to track down and confront Talovic, three minutes had elapsed." It is fortunate that the off-duty officer ignored the posted signs, but the point is that the killer was not stopped from taking his guns into the Mall just because guns were banned there. One wonders how many more lives could have been saved if law-abiding Utah citizens had been able to carry a gun into the Mall and gotten on the scene in less than 3 minutes. I understand that theoretically under state law permit holders could still carry their guns into the Mall despite the posted signs, but there appears to be some confusion and debate about this issue and courts have upheld gun bans in company parking lots.

I got a note from Janlee Tobias noting to me that: "You may also be interested to know that on Monday night's Channel 2 (KUTV) broadcast, a witness said words to the effect, 'I saw the shooter. I looked for something to throw at him, but all I could find was a stool.' Then the witness saw the off-duty Ogden police officer and directed him to the shooter."

Utah has 79,353 permit holders, 4.6 percent of the adult population. (I don't know the breakdown for permit holders by whether they are in-state and out-of-state residents.

A detailed timeline of events is provided here. My earlier post is here.

Thanks to N.W. Clayton for sending me this.

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Anonymous Ken said...

Contrary to what many people might think, law-abiding Utah citizens were able to carry their guns into the Mall, as demonstrated by the off-duty police officer. Unfortunately, none of them managed to respond more quickly. Unlike in some other state, such signs carry no legal weight in Utah, except for churches and private homes.

2/15/2007 3:01 PM  
Blogger Crimefile said...

I can guess that like nearly every mall in America they have poorly trained and unarmed mall security guards.

Unarmed mall guards are 100% useless and only provade additional victims and hostages.

2/15/2007 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a "standard" letter/email for any company or property holder who posts such a sign: "If I should be unable to defend myself on your property and am injured or killed, to whom should my family's attorney address the lawsuit which will follow. My wife and son have been instructed to start the lawsuit at $10 million. Best regards,..." Sent it once already and had an immediate apology, telling me they weren't restricting concealed carry permit holders, just their own employees. Think about that one for a moment. OldeForce

2/16/2007 2:02 AM  
Blogger Yuri Orlov said...

So does this mean that the injured and families of the dead can sue the mall now because they failed to protect them?

2/16/2007 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The percentage of CCW holders throughout the states is too low. Given the crime reducing effect of CCW, states should do more to encourage it. The minimum should be elimination of all fees, since those who go to the trouble of carrying are performing a public service. In fairness, they should actually be paid for their trouble.

2/16/2007 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One wonders how many more lives could have been saved if law-abiding Utah citizens had been able to carry a gun into the Mall and gotten on the scene in less than 3 minutes.

Has any CCW holder who was there at the time come forward and say that he was deterred from carrying the mall that day because of the sign?

If not, then the number is probably zero.

2/18/2007 9:07 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Has any CCW holder who was there at the time come forward and say that he was deterred from carrying the mall that day because of the sign?

Dear Anonymous:

I don't know if you have read my books, bu tit is hard enough to hear about the people who acutally used guns to stop crime let alone assuming that the media is going to think it is newsworthy for someone who did not even have a gun with them but might have been able to stop an attack. You can read through many hundres or even thousands of news stories about an attack and only come across a couple of stories that have details about an armed citizen who actually stopped it.

2/18/2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may vary by state statute.
During my course to qualify for CCP in Louisiana, I was told that there were places where concealed weapons were prohibited (schools, bars, certain sporting events) except for off dury LEO's.
The sign in the mall only allows them to ask you to leave their premises, if they find you with a legal, concealed weapon.

2/18/2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know some of the security guards that work at Trolley Square mall and that were there that night. No one ever expected what occured. The mall still has unarmed security because security guards, wether armed or otherwise, do not have the same powers as a police officer and could get in to serious trouble for using deadly force if it was found to be uncalled for. Yes, the shooting would have constituted it, but there are a lot of other things that come up every day that may provoke an officer to believe that they or others are in danger or may be in danger. THAT is why malls do not have armed securitu guards. And the security company that has the guards at Trolley Square Mall are constantly training there employees. I used to work for them and education on all aspects and all things that they could come in to contact with on the job are a huge deal with the company.

2/14/2008 12:48 PM  

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