2ACheck Rating: “B” – Taubman is gun-friendly.
Taubman Centers allow all forms of lawful firearm carry in their malls and have no policy specifically regarding firearms. Open carry acceptable unless it is “disruptive” to other customers (see below.)
To their credit, in addition to being the only major shopping mall chain we know of to allow responsible firearms carry, they have also been very responsive to our inquiries and taken steps to make sure their policy is clearly understood.
After getting inconsistent results from speaking with individuals at the local mall security offices, we requested and promptly received a statement regarding their Code of Conduct from their Communications Director, Karen Mac Donald:
“We welcome and respect the rights of all law-abiding citizens. However, our first priority is our commitment to provide our guests, tenants and employees with a safe environment in which to visit, shop and work. Accordingly, although we comply with all federal, state and local laws applicable to private property, including those, if any, that relate to the rights of citizens to carry concealed weapons with a permit and/or openly carry a gun on private property, we nevertheless reserve the right to enforce our Code of Conduct and ask a person to leave if they create an atmosphere of intimidation or is disruptive to customers, tenants, employees or the family atmosphere of the mall, or otherwise violates our Code of Conduct.”
We asked for a clarification of this policy that clearly spells out the Code of Conduct as it applies to firearms. In return we were invited to speak with Ms. Mac Donald and Mr. Dave Harris, Regional Vice President of Operations.
Mr. Harris explained that the code of conduct is identical across the entire portfolio of shopping malls, and is very carefully reviewed each year by Taubman corporate management. Any mall that claims to have a gun prohibition is incorrect and will be corrected by corporate. We suggested a brief memo to each location about their policy would clear up misconceptions about the Code of Conduct held by security personnel at some of their malls.
Below are the Taubman “Rules of Conduct”:
Fair Oaks Mall is a privately-owned property. We welcome all visitors who comply with these Rules of Conduct and our other policies. We have established these Rules of Conduct to insure the safety and comfort of all visitors. The following are prohibited on the Property:
1. Disorderly, intimidating, threatening, dangerous or disruptive conduct of any nature, including but not limited to: use of obscene or insulting language or gestures, loitering, running, yelling, fighting, throwing any objects, littering, playing radios or other audio devices, rollerblading, skateboarding, bicycling.
2. Standing, walking, sitting or moving in such a way as to cause inconvenience to others, or in or on a prohibited area or object.
3. Any act which could result in physical harm to persons or damage to property.
4. Any act prohibited by local, state or federal laws or ordinances.
6. Possession of an open container or consumption of alcoholic beverages other than in licensed areas.
7. Possession or consumption of illegal substances.
8. Distribution of literature or other items, offering any item for sale, solicitation, conducting surveys, videotaping or photography, without, in each instance, the prior written consent of mall management under the mall’s Access Policy or other applicable policies.
9. Visiting the center without shirt or shoes, or failing to be fully clothed. Wearing clothing that is, or in a manner that is, obscene, offensive to others, that may provoke a disturbance, or is other wise inconsistent with a first-class, family oriented shopping center.
10. Smoking in interior common areas, corridors or other prohibited areas.
11. Possession of pets or other animals, except for service animals such as Leader Dogs.
Violators of these Rules of Conduct may be subject to expulsion, banning, and/or arrest for criminal trespass or for other violation of law. Violators of banning orders may be subject to arrest and prosecution for criminal trespass. These Rules of Conduct may be amended or changed at any time and are in addition to all other rules and policies pertaining to the Property.
Mr. Harris explained in plain English that they allow all legal forms of firearms carry, up to the point that other customers become upset or complain because they feel the visible presence of a firearm is disruptive to their shopping experience. Since concealed carry is “concealed” he said it is never going to be an issue. However, in the event that shoppers complain about about a visible firearm the mall will most likely ask the armed individual to conceal or remove the firearm. Mr. Harris has said it has never been a major issue and most open carry goes unnoticed. The few times they have had to approach an individual whose open carry is “disruptive to customers,” etc. the gun owner has understood and remedied the situation.
Mr. Harris then gave an example of a man seen open carrying while waiting in line with his kids to see the Easter Bunny at a mall. Some parents and kids were upset and the man was asked by the mall to conceal since he had a permit. He gave another example of a group of about 15 open-carrying gun rights activists walking through the mall to make a statement, some with rifles. In that case, they were allowed to go about their business and no one objected. The bottom line is that it really depends on the attitudes of the people in a given location, and some states have more of an anti-gun sentiment than others. It also depends on how responsible the individual is with their firearm.
We expressed our gratitude to Mr. Harris for taking the time to discuss his policy with us and for Taubman’s well thought-out and reasonable approach to dealing with our right to bear arms, as well as the rights of other shoppers – instead of taking the easy way out like their competitors, and just banning guns. He said he was glad to help and wanted to make sure we understood his policy, and was appreciative that we had helped him identify some inconsistencies in it’s implementation at certain locations.
Mr. Harris said he also hopes everyone will understand that they do respect our rights, but that they are running a business and must therefore also respect the rights of other mall customers to feel comfortable while they shop.
We think this is a very fair and responsible management approach and are very happy to have a chain of shopping malls that recognizes the rights of gun owners. Taubman Centers are gun friendly. Beware, however, that some malls in their portfolio (listed below as found on Wikipedia) may be managed by anti-gun companies like Simon Malls. We would expect Simon to ban guns.
Here is a list of Taubman Shopping Malls:
Fair Oaks Mall – Fairfax, Virginia
Great Lakes Crossing Outlets – Auburn Hills, Michigan
Beverly Center – Los Angeles, California
City Creek Center – Salt Lake City, Utah
Northlake Mall – Charlotte, North Carolina
Cherry Creek Shopping Center – Denver, Colorado
Dolphin Mall – Sweetwater, Florida
Fairlane Town Center – Dearborn, Michigan
The Gardens on El Paseo and El Paseo Village – Palm Desert, California
International Plaza – Tampa, Florida
MacArthur Center – Norfolk, Virginia
The Mall at Green Hills – Nashville, Tennessee
The Mall at Partridge Creek – Clinton Township, Michigan
The Mall at Short Hills – Short Hills, New Jersey
The Mall at Wellington Green – Wellington, Florida
The Shops at Willow Bend – Plano, Texas
Stamford Town Center – Stamford, Connecticut
Stony Point Fashion Park – Richmond, Virginia
Twelve Oaks Mall – Novi, Michigan
Westfarms – Farmington, Connecticut
For those interested here is a piece Forbes did on Taubman in June of 2012. It describes Taubman as one of the most high-end of all the mall REITs, focusing on quality, not quantity. They also have the most sales per square foot of retail space. So let that be a lesson to their anti-gun competition on how smart management works. Allowing the responsible carry of firearms has not hurt their bottom line, that’s for sure.