Mall of America – Protected from Jihadist Attack by Gun Free Zone Signs

Mall of America - Protected from Jihadist Attack by Gun Free Zone Signs
Mall of America – Protected from Jihadist Attack by Gun Free Zone Signs

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( A Somali affiliate of al Qaeda has called for attacks against Western shopping malls, which they see as soft targets. The call for attacks was seen in a video celebrating the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.


“If just a handful of mujahedeen [militant jihadists] fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, just imagine what the dedicated mujahedeen could do in the West to American or Jewish shopping centers across the world,” a masked gunman says toward the end of the video. “What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street?”

England is notorious for the number of radicalized Muslim immigrants that are in the country, as is Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a large population of Somali Muslims has been imported and resettled by the American government. Edmonton, Canada, also has a significant population of Somali Muslim immigrants from which jihadis are being recruited.

The threats seem credible, but as people are banned from carrying firearms in all three locations, the “gun free zone” signs may provide some protection.

Virtually all of Canada and England are Gun Free Zones, as self defense is not considered a valid reason for citizens to carry guns in those countries.  But a crucial difference exists in the United States. The malls in Canada and England lack the protection of gun free zone signs. In comparison, the Mall of America, in Minneapolis, has particularly large and prominent gun free zone signs, as shown above.

While gun free zone signs have failed in a number of locations, it may be that they were not large enough or prominent enough.  John Lott, an academic who has studied these shootings, makes this statement.

At some time, people have to recognize that, with just two exceptions, at least since 1950, all the multiple victim public shootings in the United States have taken place where guns are banned.  And you see these individuals, they surely act as if they’re trying their best to find areas where victims can’t defend themselves.

But Lott does not examine the effect of the gun ban signs’ prominence or visibility.  Could it be that the attackers simply did not know that guns were banned in the area of their planned attack?  Wouldn’t the large, highly visible signs at the Mall of America offer more protection?   I found this documentary on YouTube:

In spite of Dr. Lott’s research, there have been only 18 documented cases where armed citizens stopped mass murders before the body count grew large.

The most prominent jihadist attack on a mall was the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya.  While guns were banned in the mall, there is no evidence that there were any signs to inform the Jihadis that guns were banned there.  It may be that some jihadis cannot read, so signs with the prominent red circle and slash are likely best.   As many jihadis like to use AK47 rifles, perhaps a sign with the AK and a red circle and slash would work better, as a jihadi might not understand that a sign showing a pistol being banned would also mean that an AK is not allowed.

After the Westgate attack, the Interpol Secretary General, Ronald Noble, said that we had a choice: either create intense levels of fortress like security for public places, or consider having an armed citizenry.

Clearly, he overlooked the potential of bigger and more visible Gun Free Zone signs.


Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

Any evaluation of Mall of America security, in the face of the clear and present danger of a jihadi attack, should take the large and prominent Gun Free Zone signs into account. What could go wrong…?

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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I realize this is an older Article, but I was trying to reply to the comment by ssgmarkcr… In respect to the Fine for 1st Offense and such, that is Similar to how it is here in Missouri. Anywhere that is NOT listed in the Statute as a Gun Free Zone, By Law, is considered up to the Business or Facility. They may post “no firearms” sighs, but they must be a Very Specific Size (which was written in the Law, intentionally), On Contrasting Colors (Letters on Glass isn’t approved, it must be like a Wite Background and Black Letters… Read more »

Politicians Suck

Every cop in the world is watching the 3 malls mentioned, they will hit somewhere else..

Capn Jack

And Nero fiddled while Rome burned.


Howdy Dean, There has been some interesting events since my last comment. “A Republican state lawmaker says the al-Shabaab threat against the Mall of America means gun holders with permits should be able to take their weapons into the mall. It currently has a “no guns allowed” policy, with mall officials claiming the entire facility is private property. State Representative Tony Cornish is the chair of the House Public Safety Committee. He said the Mall of America has interpreted the conceal-and-carry law wrong and he’s going to challenge them on it. “This is completely ridiculous. The complete opposite of what… Read more »

Jerry Edwards

A sign on the door has not, and never will stop me from packing heat in a mall, a movie theater, a Starbucks, a Bank of America branch, an airport ticketing and luggage area, on the subway…
When they spend a couple hundred million dollars to install x-ray machines and hire TSA-like drones, I’ll stop going.

Bob Stephenson

A little background for those not familiar with MOA (Mall Of America). The MOA has three anchor stores; Sears, Nordstrom, and Macy’s (there used to be a Bloomingdale’s also but it closed. The signs are posted in the doors where you enter from outside directly into the mall (i.e. not through the anchor stores). They are also posted on a stand-up sign in the hallway when you enter the mall from an anchor store. They are NOT posted in the doorway entering from outside the mall into the anchor stores. So, you can “legally” carry in the anchor stores, but… Read more »


Ssgmarkcr, In that case, I would think the permit holder would have a pretty strong argument that, since the ‘anchor store’ wasn’t posted, there was no way he could reasonably expect the mall itself to be.


Very nice, Dean. Maybe after this fails they’ll have the sign as big as the entire door. With lots of exclamation points. Woo!


Howdy Dean, there is actually some argument as to whether the MOA can legally post. State law doesn’t allow landlords to post, which is what the mall is, however individual stores can. But the mall runs the security guards and there is a police substation in the mall, and they back up security.
Worst case, you can get a $25 ticket for trespassing for a first offence and they cant take your firearm. And to be charged, you have to refuse to leave after being asked to.

Mike Smith

The signs should read: “Law Abiding Concealed Carry Citizens Welcome”, with a red circle and firearm with NO red slash. Under this large font sign would be: “Islamic terrorists starting sh*t here will be capped. Allahu Akbar”


Soft Target by Author Steven Hunter : read it :