Following Portland shooting, gun advocate wants to open carry at mall

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 12/13/2012 2:27 pm Published: 12/12/2012 3:48 pm

We now know the name of the masked man dressed in camouflage that opened fire in a shopping mall near Portland, Oregon.

Police say Jacob Tyler Roberts was armed with a stolen semi-automatic weapon when he stormed the mall on Tuesday.

FOX23 did some checking and neither Woodland Hills Mall or the Promenade allows open carry holders to bring their guns inside. Tulsa police say it’s a good thing it would allow them to pinpoint who a shooter is if this were ever to happen here. However, local gun advocates say it puts them more in danger.

Kirby Ellis is a local gun advocate and firearms instructor. He proudly open carries his weapon, but wishes that more public places like malls would allow it.

"By carrying a firearm it actually gives us a chance to protect ourselves in ways if the police are not available or they could be moments away,” says Ellis.

In light of the recent mall shooting near Portland, Kirby says not allowing him to carry his weapon inside only puts him and others more at risk.

"With the policies in place that don't allow people to carry firearms in the mall, the only thing they really could do is try to seek cover and wait for the police to get there,” he says.

We checked with Tulsa Police to find out how often they train for an active-shooter situation.

“As a department, we train on a yearly basis for situations like this that involve an active shooter, and our officers actually do their own training at individual divisions with supervisors as well,” says Tulsa Police Officer, Jillian Roberson.

Police recommend doing these things if you are ever at a mall and someone starts firing a gun. First, take cover and hide as quickly as you can. Then try and get a good description of the gunman for police. Finally, be a good witness and make note of where you are and where the shots are coming from.

"Well, currently the law allows people to go to these places and leave their firearms in their vehicles, and if there was an opportunity for them to get to their vehicle, they might be able to protect themselves on the outside,” says Ellis.

Police say in a mall shooting situation, there is no time to wait and would immediately send officers in to get the suspect rather than doing a stakeout.

Open carry advocates are holding a gathering this Saturday at Knotty Pine in Broken Arrow. It starts at noon.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Tinkersgirl - 12/14/2012 4:32 AM
0 Votes
And here I am because in the year of 1998, I was convitecd of possession of marijuana, I am banned from ever carrying a personal protection firearm for the rest of my life in the state of OK. Apparently if you are ever convicted of any drug offense, now matter how long ago your rights are terminated on carry I guess its just "shoot me, I smoked a lttle weed" I don't deserve protection...however, a theif can carry a burglar can carry...its sick..

Talbot - 12/13/2012 9:22 AM
1 Vote
Disgruntled, the mall didn't hold up their end of the bargain. They didn't allow their patrons to defend themselves, and made no attempt to defend them. Those victims were left helpless because of the mall's irresponsible policy. The man who dropped his gun was guilty of negligence, and he was held responsible for it. The management of that mall took actions that contributed to the deaths of innocent people, and they aren't being held responsible. We all have the right to choose, and we should all have to face the consequences of those choices. As for minor insults resulting in gunfights, I couldn't disagree more. You're describing gun owners as if they were unstable lunatics barely able to control some murderous instinct. If someone jostled or insulted you, would you brutally attack them? Gun owners are people, just like you. Though I think you're dead wrong, I appreciate what seems to be a fairly thoughtful comment. I hope we can discuss more!

Disgruntled - 12/13/2012 8:47 AM
1 Vote
Kacie I agree with you 100%, and Talbot, you need to rethink. The open carry law is fine, but each business owner has the right to choose whether or not to allow weapons in their business. And, I believe that owners who do not allow weapons are smart. How many people are going to bring their children to the mall, theater, etc., if they know people are openly carrying weapons? In this day and age, all it would take is someone to jostle a person or throw an insult, and a gunfight could erupt in a very crowded place. Prosecute the management of the mall? They provided the service they were supposed to: a place for people to shop. It is not their fault that some nut brought a gun in unbeknownst to them. Business owners can't control the actions of a 3rd person, but they can try to keep damage to a minimum by not allowing open carry. I mean, right here in Tulsa, a 70 year old man carried a gun into a hospital for a doctors appointment, even though the sign clearly stated that guns were not allowed. He dropped the gun, it went off and narrowly missed oxygen tanks. If he had hit the tanks, would it have been the hospitals fault for the explosion and injuries that would have followed? People always want to blame someone else for what happens as a result of their actions. People need to stand up and take responsibility for what they do and quit blaming everyone else.

Talbot - 12/13/2012 8:30 AM
1 Vote
Any business that does not allow patrons to carry guns is criminally irresponsible and should be held to account for the safety of anyone on the property. The management of the mall in Portland should be prosecuted for allowing this tragedy, and sued by the families of the victims.

KacieSP - 12/13/2012 4:19 AM
1 Vote
People can protest all they want but, these business owners do not allow guns in crowded places like malls and theaters for good reason. the average person does not have the training that law enforcement has and does not go to the range twice a year to practice. do you really want someone who has not stepped foot on the range since they got their permit and is not trained to use their weapon in crowded places getting into a shoot out with someone in a crowded mall or theater? The number of by standers that could get hit would be high. A CCW is for self protection only and not for playing police or security and stopping a shooter. Just get out of the line of fire and take cover. But, these malls need to start allow security to carry. The Muskogee mall has had two shootings in the last five years. Unarmed state trained and licensed security in malls is a big liability waiting to happen.

CRTCNichols - 12/12/2012 10:18 PM
1 Vote
"Police recommend doing these things if you are ever at a mall and someone starts firing a gun. First, take cover and hide as quickly as you can. Then try and get a good description of the gunman for police. Finally, be a good witness and make note of where you are and where the shots are coming from." The first recommendation pretty much rules out the other two.
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