Mall Robbery Hot Spot, Canal Walk, Bans Legal Gun Owners

| 31 October 2014 | 3 Comments

After three robberies in two weeks, Canal Walk shopping centre has decided to ban legal firearm owners, in the process further endangering the lives of their customers.

IOL reported on October 27  that Canal Walk will eject anyone carrying a gun – even legal firearm owners – as it hikes up security measures after a series of armed heists at the mall.

Canal Walk managers met with police, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety, security consultants, Business Against Crime, and shop tenants to discuss security concerns. They decided to bring in security guards with hand-held metal detectors to conduct spot checks on shoppers.

In Canal Walk’s published “House Rules”, firearms are not on the list of items prohibited from the internal areas of the mall, but are listed under “forbidden in the common areas and external areas of the mall”.

Chief executive Gavin Wood said the no-firearms rule had always been the case, even if it wasn’t strictly enforced.

“Similar to most shopping centres in the Western Cape we have always had a no-firearm policy with appropriate signage at our entrances,” Wood said.

“While this policy has not been strictly enforced, in light of the current crime we believe it is in the best interest of our shoppers.”

While the mall has not been declared a gun-free zone in terms of the Firearms Control Act, Wood said the centre was exercising its discretion as a private entity.

“It is our understanding that as a private property, we are permitted to implement reasonable restrictions upon entry provided these are appropriately communicated to our customers.

If you would like to check out the Canal Walk house rules, you can do that here.

Firearms are in fact listed as forbidden in the common areas and external areas of the mall. Robberies, criminals and criminal behaviour, however, aren’t listed as forbidden or prohibited. Surely Mr Wood, you have missed the easiest way to protect your patrons? Surely a ban on these actions and persons is what you actually want?

Mr Wood only needs to look back to the tragic attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, in September last year. It’s well documented that the armed attackers gunned down security guards as they entered the mall. Criminals don’t care about signs or laws. It’s also well documented that armed civilians helped guide shoppers from the complex, and to safety. These same armed civilians didn’t go after the gunmen and they didn’t shoot any other civilians. They used their firearm for the intended purpose, to protect themselves, their loved ones and those that found comfort in knowing they were armed.

A shop assistant told EWN retailers were still worried about their safety, despite the presence of several security guards. “I don’t feel safe or more secure. I think anything can happen at any given time and there’s nothing to stop these people from doing it again,” he said. “I think it affected a lot of sales, especially. I have seen a drop in sales since it [the robberies] happened.”

It’s clear that people feel unsafe, so stop and think folks, before you visit a mall that has become a hot spot for criminals.

Think of this as a public service announcement. Canal Walk are admitting they have a problem, they are making it less safe for you, so maybe consider shopping else where.

Join in the discussion on GunSite Forum if you feel strongly about what Canal Walk are doing to your safety. 




Category: News

Comments (3)

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  1. Tazz says:

    Are you seriously thinking because you wrote an blog article asking people to shop elsewhere because you’re not allowed to carry your gun into the store, that people will do that? You thing a lot of yourself, mate.
    B.T.W who are you again? Do I know you? Should I feel “safe” knowing YOU are in the mall walking next to me with your gun concealed somewhere on your person.

    How does it endanger other people by not allowing you to carry your firearm? What if you go into a fit of rage and start shooting people, how do I know you’re not some criminal waiting for an opportunity to strike.

    Seriously, if this is the best you can do for a news article, consider shutting down your blog.

  2. Ludwig Churr says:

    I went there after the news break and walked in there. I must have been looking at the wrong places (I was at canal walk) and did not see any notice about guns.

    Will go there again soon when I have a bit more time as I actually would like to talk to centre security and management. I do not carry so that is not a problem for me, but want to know procedures work.

    Call me curious.

  3. Ludwig Churr says:

    Oh I forgot, I do carry a four pound sledge hammer. It is to start my car with.

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