I've been meaning to post this for quite some time. Today, I have finally finished writing the incident in a way which I think is fitting for here. This is purely a personal experience, so there is no source material today. I hope this anecdote is useful to you, and you are able to benefit from my experience.
As you know, I possess a CCW in my state, and carry constantly. One evening, I was doing so in a local mall. Being in one of the more upper-class neighborhoods in the area, I rarely visited it. As such, (and as is my habit) I checked the doors as I entered. No signage. In PA, if there's a sign indicating firearms are not allowed, you leave. If you don't, they are required to ask you to leave. If you don't leave at that point, they can charge you with civil trespassing. So, no huge risk even if there is a sign posted.
My fiance (then girlfriend) and I were in one of the kitchen stores when I reached to a high shelf to retrieve an item for her. My shirt lifted, and one of the employees saw my weapon in my belt. She just happened to be looking at just the right place she'd need to look to see it.
As we continued perusing their goods, we were in a corner, to the side and fairly far back in the store. I was in the midst of a conversation with my girlfriend regarding some item in her hands, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye mall security (unarmed, older gentleman, who I'm pretty sure couldn't fight his way out of a burlap sack, no offense intended toward him, but not the kind of guy who could be effective in stopping any sort of determined criminal), but didn't realize they knew I was armed. I had in no way been acting suspiciously, so I just assumed he was making his rounds, or coming to socialize. Next thing I know, he's standing immediately behind me, tense as one could be. He was polite enough to wait until my girlfriend and I ended the current conversation thread in which we were engaged prior to interrupting.
Now, I'm not a small person, by any stretch of the imagination. When he said 'Excuse me, sir,' and I turned to face him, he lost most of the color in his cheeks. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. He then said 'I would like to talk with you, would you care to come with me?'
Not knowing what was going on, and not about to comply with someone who had as yet not identified himself, I opted to go the public route, and said 'We can chat here as well as anywhere.'
Long story short, he proceeded to tell me that the employee saw my weapon, and he asked why I felt I needed to carry in a peaceful mall. I responded that it was to keep my girlfriend safe and in one piece, not that it was any of his business thankyouverymuch. He then said weapons are prohibited, and I asked where the signage is, he said it is in the office, on the top floor, behind the counter. So, in short, there wasn't a visible public sign, but he attempted to enforce it. He suggested a compromise that I return my weapon to my car, and continue my shopping. My answer was that I was not about to do business with any organization which has a complete disregard for the rights and safety of their clients. I also was not foolish to leave a weapon unattended anywhere, as that is an enormous liability to me. I looked at my girlfriend, and told her to come out to the car whenever she was ready to leave, and that I'd be waiting for her there.
The looks she got from all the women in that store were priceless. The snobish folks who frequent that particular establishment were expecting to see her pull some heat out of her purse, especially as she tends to carry a large purse.
I eventually wrote them a letter, indicating that I'd be informing all my friends about how poorly I was treated, and how unsafe I would feel shopping in a place like that, and how their policies restrict the freedoms and rights of theirs customers, and that I'd not be doing business with them until they changed their policies. I also sent a copy of that same letter to the stores in the mall, and the corporate offices of those stores.
It may not be much, but it's a little chip in their customer base. Out of curiosity I stopped by while I was in the neighborhood several months later. The proper signage was added to both sets of doors past which I drove. Rather than understanding a customer's perspective, they stuck to their ideology of fear. Now, rather than having an armed, concerned, engaged, aware and alert citizen in their building, willing to step up if the need arises, they are more likely to have the people who ignore such things enter, and act without any others willing to protect the innocent lives and property there.
Complete and utter disregard for common sense, simple logic, and most importantly, the rights of the American Citizen.