Gun Laws & Legislation

CCW Weekend: Prepare To Be Fired Even If You Don’t Fire

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Guns and Gear Contributor

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

Some people conceal and carry on a daily basis that work in the retail sector or something like that. Their place of employment is a gas station or other convenience store, phone store, even a bank, and these are all some of the more frequently robbed types of businesses.

Gas stations/convenience stores and liquor stores more than others, of course; bank robberies have actually become less common with modern security measures and surveillance equipment. Bonnie and Clyde wouldn’t have gotten very far in today’s world.

Working at such locations increases the risk that employees will be threatened with armed robbery. Store policy is usually to rely on video and audio surveillance to nab the crook and tell employees to give up the cash and get them out of there.

After all, you’ll survive if you just hand over the money, right?

Try telling that to Kayla Chapman of Kelso, Wash., Gurpeet Singh of Downey, Calif., or Helena Stiglets of Norfolk, Va. All three were murdered this year by armed robbers at the convenience stores they worked at. Singh, according to NBC Los Angeles, and Stiglets, according to WAVY, were killed within the past three weeks of this writing. The murder of Chapman, according to The Columbian, occurred in January.

These were three recent instances I found searching Google for less than three minutes.

This is why some people who work in such places choose to legally arm themselves. After all, you can’t count on a robber not having murderous intentions regardless of whether he or she gets a payday out of it.

But saving your life might just put you out of a job.

In recent weeks, some footage went viral of a store clerk in Portland, Ore., pulling out his pistol when a robber presented a hatchet and demanded the cash in the register. The robber apologized, dropped the hatchet and fled. The clerk, one Kristofer Follis, was fired by the Plaid Pantry according to KTVB, for possessing a pistol on company grounds, which is against company policy.

Follis told reporters that he knew he was getting fired the second he drew his pistol, but feared for his life.

Such instances aren’t unheard of; other examples have emerged over the years. For instance, according to Inc., one Jeremy Hoven of Benton Township, Mich., fired at armed robbers in defense of himself in May of 2011, quite possibly saving his life and that of others. Walgreens, his employer, fired him under the “no guns” auspices. He filed a lawsuit since no policy was made apparent to him in the employee handbook or elsewhere.

Another example occurred in late 2012 when one Devin McLean retrieved a handgun from his car when an armed robber struck the AutoZone store that he worked at, according to NBC Washington. The robber dropped his weapon and ran away. The robber, known for wearing a fake beard, had hit more than 30 businesses in the area and was known as the “Fake Beard Bandit.” McLean was fired for having a weapon on company property.

The “bandit” was apprehended shortly thereafter, and in May of 2013, according to The Virginian-Pilot, pleaded guilty to 28 armed robberies.

And so on and so forth.

This isn’t to get into a debate over whether employers should universally allow concealed carry by permit-holding or otherwise legally eligible employees. (But they probably should.) Liability is a real risk to businesses; that is a huge reason why many employers forbid carrying weapons on premises. There’s also something to be said for the idea that a small amount of money that’s insured anyway is not worth risking getting into a gunfight over.

Instead, this is more to illustrate that A.) armed robbers may actually have murderous intentions regardless of whether they got what they want and B.) if you do defend yourself at your place of work, you may be rewarded with unemployment.

It’s also worth noting that every person fired for defending themselves said something to the effect that their life was worth more than their job. There’s something to be said for that too.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.