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A Tennessee man defended his store from would-be robbers with his gun, and may now lose his lease. The shooting incident took place recently at the Southland Mall in Memphis. Three men entered a cookie store and stole $45 from the cash register. The store owner chased the three men into the mall parking lot and fired three warning shots from his 9mm handgun.
Southland Mall’s “no guns” policy is strictly enforced and now the cookie store owner might have his lease revoked. The Memphis mall has not allowed even security guards to carry a firearm after one such staffer was killed during a 2010 shooting. A gang member was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting death. The Southland Mall security guard was attempting to break up a fight when he was killed. The mall has reportedly been working hard to create a “family friendly” image after the shooting.
The Southland Mall in Memphis employs approximately 13 security guards, and the South Precinct of the Memphis Police Department is nearby. While some support the store owner’s right to defend his property and the Second Amendment in general, not all Memphis mall patrons agree with his decision to sneak a gun into the shopping center.
“Bringing a gun and then pulling it out in front of a bunch of people that’s setting a bad example for your company,” resident Phil Ross told WREG News Channel 3. “It could have been a smarter way for it but I guess it’s just a quick reaction based on his instincts and all that. You getting away with my stuff that I worked for and you trying to take it and think I’m not fixing to do nothing about it.”
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As previously reported by Off The Grid News, firing warning shots can result in criminal charges. An Oregon homeowner feared for his life during a break-in and opted to warn the burglar that he had a gun, firing a warning shot as well. Corey Thompson, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, fired his AR-15 towards the ground and not at the wanted felon attempting to break into the home. Oregon’s Castle law does allow citizens to protect themselves and their property from imminent harm, but investigating officers felt that if the felon’s behavior was aggressive enough to warrant grabbing a gun, then the shot should have been fired at the man and not toward the ground. Thompson’s AR-15 was confiscated and he faces three charges in relation to the incident.
“This is the end result. You break into someone’s house, there’s consequences,” Thompson told a local TV station, KDRV. “When I’m dealt with a stressful situation, being a veteran from Iraq and the Afghanistan war, it’s natural. I just jump into combat mode. I told him I’m going to give you a warning shot,” said Thompson.
Police said he should not have shot the gun.
“There was nothing that the suspect was doing that was aggressive enough to justify the shooting. In fact, the suspect was walking away,” Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau told the station. “[Bullets from an AR-15] just don’t hit something and absorb. Especially if it’s something with that high velocity. It could skip off of objects and wind up going into a house, through a wall, through a window,”
Thompson was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and reckless endangering, the station said.
“I can see where they’re coming from, with those kinds of ordinances and stuff,” Thompson said. “I understand yes, I did discharge my weapon but I was careful not to fire it at any body’s residence. It was at the ground specifically.”