"ESCORTED" out of Pembroke Mall
Checking out the craft fair in the mall sunday afternoon and I noticed a security guard circling around the merchant we were chatting with, about 30 feet out. He met up with another security guard and began talking on his radio. He left but the other guard remained within eyesight. Wife was having palm scanned by the merchant at the essential oils table. Gave her a heads up we would probably be approached and started a voice recorder. After another 5 minutes, the guard remaining in the area had worked his way to the EMS table next to us and then approached me, extending his hand and informed me that I was not allowed to open carry in the mall. He was very polite and shared that he personally disagree with the policy (as well as the one that didn't allow him to be armed). About the same time the supervisor showed up and was very polite and professional as well. They offered to show me the small signs posted at the main public entrances but I declined - I didn't see one and that is all there was too it. Whether there was one there or not would not change anything (there was no sign at the entrance I entered by).
I said we would leave as soon as my wife was finished and they politely agreed and stood off to the side trying not to look like I was in custody. Wife wanted me to get the same analysis and the merchant said it would only take 4 minutes. I said I needed to check and walked over and asked the gentlemen if I could stay for 4 more minutes and get my reading done. The junior guard who made the initial contact kind of took my side and said to his boss, gee, it's only 4 minutes, so I was given permission to get my reading.
They walked with us (escorted) out of the main area of the mall into the anchor store that we had parked outside of. on the way we discussed that there is a reason mass shootings happen in 'gun free zones' and that if someone is open carrying, you can be pretty sure they are a good guy. Anyway, several merchants were aware of potential customers being told to leave. I got a few nods of support and did not observe anyone taking cover at any time or running for their life. The security guards were polite and professional - I was actually expecting the first guy on the radio had gone to meet a Virginia Beach Police officer at the door and escort him to me and the city cop tender the request to leave but that didn't happen (or the younger guard was pretty sure from my behavior that there would not be any trouble and resolved to handle it on his own).
I normally avoid the malls because I know their policies but we were interested in seeing the crafts and with the weather outside were going to take advantage of the trip to the mall to walk a lap inside the building for some exercise. If I know I am going to walk I will normally conceal carry to avoid any hassles but felt like showing people how idiot some of the measures for their protection are. We had a good conversation with the essential oils merchant and I know several others caught at least bits and pieces of the conversation so ....seeds planted.