While the NO HANDGUNS sign is cut off in this photograph, it clearly shows that the Crossroads Center, where the Islamic mass stabbing terror attack took place, was and is posted as a Gun Free Zone.
In Minnesota, the sign has no legal weight. Minnesota law prevents malls from banning guns from the common areas, but malls are not prevented from asking that visitors not carry guns. The sign reads “please while shopping”. That makes it a request, not a command.
The difference can easily be lost on a someone who is not well schooled in the niceties of the law. The 22 year old Jihadist likely believed that he was in a gun free zone. It is the perception of the attacker that leads to the selection of the attack location, not the actual legally defined situation.
It is almost certain that Jason Falconer, as firearms instructor, competitor, and concealed carry advocate, knew that the signs were only a request, and did not have the force of law. It is a fact that is widely circulated among Second Amendment supporters in Minnesota. From mngopac.org:
The Mall of America has long had a policy to prohibit lawful carry of firearms by Minnesotans, including posting signs throughout the mall and removing permit holders seen to be carrying firearms.
Minnesota law, however, prohibits a landlord from interfering with the carrying of firearms under MN statute 624.714 by tenants or their guests.
The Mall of America is well aware that as landlords they cannot ban lawful carry. Carrying at the Mall of America does not violate the law, only the mall's wishes.
The current threat environment makes it unconscionable to seek to prohibit self-defense by the mall's customers.
- Bryan Strawser, Executive Director, Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee