A Review-Journal reader gets it right while being wrong in calling for gun laws to be enforced. The suspect is 18 years old and is old enough to possess a handgun (but not buy one legally), so that can be thrown out. However, her mistake begs the question of exactly how this guy got the gun and when. It’s a fair shot that he obtained it illegally while he was underage.
The Fashion Show Mall is not a true “gun free zone.” By that I mean that it is not illegal to have a gun there. The mall simply does not permit firearms on its premises, by which it means if it finds out you have one, they will ask you to leave. Naturally, this would probably only apply to an open carrier who isn’t misbehaving. Security would never discover a criminal until they pulled out the gun, or if they did glimpse the gun, would call Metro to deal with the problem.
A violation of their policy would only be trespassing; the same if you brought your dog to the mall or when you bring outside food into the movies and get caught. One would have to be asked to leave or remediate the policy violation, and if they didn’t, then the crime of trespassing would apply.
Of course, hoplophobes and hoplopaths would love to ban guns on the Strip, in malls, or pretty anywhere, but at this time, there is no “gun free zone” law at the Fashion Show Mall.
She does get it right that the suspect should be charged with any applicable gun laws that he violated. One such violation might be that he is prohibited from having a gun or that it was stolen. However, these charges will likely be dropped in order to secure a guilty plea on the charges for actually shooting people. That’s how these things work. In the end, not convicting him of the gun laws he broke is immaterial.
What’s more of an issue is the absolute ignorance of gun laws that don’t go enforced. Very little to no effort is made to arrest actual felons and prohibited person who try to buy guns and have their background checks rejected. That fact is one that helps to negate the idea of the effectiveness of universal background checks.
Sadly, laws that are intended to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys are seldom enforced. A prohibited person has little to fear from the law for attempting to or actually obtaining a gun. We can’t talk frankly about the causes of youth and gang violence that leads to situations like this or high school students bringing guns to school.
Instead, politicians focus on the soft target, the law abiding gun owner. It’s easier to score political points by banning “scary” things that fudds won’t push back on. Politicians know that the people of the gun aren’t going to come after them, yet, unlike criminals who will fight the police over raids and arrests. So here we are, with nothing happening but further erosion of our rights because the underlying reason of being of gun control is disarmament and helplessness.