CREATED Oct. 24, 2011
MILWAUKEE - While malls want your holiday business, they want you to leave your gun at home. Wisconsin's new conceal carry law takes effect next Monday. Even though it allows concealed weapons in public places, businesses have the right to say no.
Bayshore Town Center plans to post additional signs Monday that read 'no firearms or weapons allowed on this property.'
"We have always been proactive in implementing and enforcing policies that will promote a welcoming and safe environment for all of our guests," general manager Chris Jaeger said in a statement. "That will continue to be a guiding priority."
Gun rights advocate Nik Clark argues people who cause trouble at malls are usually not owners with permits.
"It's unfortunate the business owners are choosing to keep the law abiding people who have a permit to carry, have passed a background check, from carrying in their mall," Clark told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
Concealed guns are hidden, tucked in a bag or covered by clothes. So while every major Milwaukee area mall plans to ban concealed guns, finding them will be a challenge. And, consequences at some malls may not be much of a deterrent.
A shopper stopped with a gun at The Shops of Grand Avenue will just be asked to leave.
The same policy will be in place at Bayshore, meaning a gun owner can essentially carry until they get caught.
But at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, security guards will be instructed to call police if someone's caught with a gun.
"As a private business, we have the right to prohibit weapons of any kind," Mayfair senior general manager Stephen Smith said in an emailed statement. "In the event our public safety officer or a member of the management team believes that an individual is in possession of a concealed weapon, local law enforcement will be contacted to handle the situation accordingly."
Carriers who choose to ignore the law could face fines.
"If someone violates the policy and, after given notice, carries a weapon onto a premises, they are guilty of the trespass statute and can be fined by law enforcement," said attorney Frank Gumina of the Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek law firm.
Regency Mall in Racine and Brookfield Square are both operated by CBL & Associates Properties. A spokesperson said concealed guns will not be allowed at either location.
A spokesperson for Premium Outlets in Johnson Creek and Pleasant Prairie said their company would not participate in this story.