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The Armed Citizen® | Gun Store Employees

The Armed Citizen® | Gun Store Employees

You’d think that, on a list of places one might choose to rob, gun stores would invariably come up at the bottom of the list as far as “easy pickings” go. However, those unable to resist the lure of cases and cases filled with new guns or a register full of cash are almost always thwarted in the most predictable way possible, as the following 14 accounts prove.

When an employee at Jim’s Gun Shop in Wake County, N.C., spotted a pair of masked men approaching the store, he attempted to lock the entrance. However, before the employee could secure the door, the thieves got inside the store. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the gun store employee responded to the threat by drawing a gun and firing at the robbers, prompting them to flee. (WTVD, Raleigh, N.C., 8/2/2016) 

A gun shop employee in Alhambra, Calif., shot and killed one of four men when they attempted to rob the store. The employee was working in the office of the Euro Arms Gun Store one Friday morning when he heard a commotion, said Sheriff's Deputy Roberta Granek. When he exited the office, one of the robbers confronted him, and the employee shot him with a semi-automatic rifle. The wounded man's cohorts fled the store, but police later apprehended two of them. (Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif., 12/23/2001) 

Three to five brazen robbers used a stolen sport utility vehicle to ram their way through the front door of a gun shop in a sparsely populated area of Fontana, Calif., about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, and began scooping up armloads of firearms. But the crash woke the 15-year-old son of the owners, who lived there, and he armed himself and told the suspects to freeze. They had other ideas, so he fired, killing one suspect. The others fled in another vehicle, taking two handguns and leaving some $25,000 in damage to the building. The boy was not arrested, and the family's name and that of the dead man were not released. (Mercury News, San Jose, Calif., 11/26/1997) 

Portland, Wis., gun shop owner William Ripley was suspicious about the two youths in his store asking "silly questions." When one announced a holdup and pulled a gun, Ripley drew his own .22 pistol and fired. "We both fired at the same time," says Ripley. "I dodged, and he missed by about 6". I have powder burns on my face." Ripley's shot went through the robber's cheek and lodged in his neck. Police nabbed the wounded robber and a second suspect and later found the stolen car they were driving. (The Herald, Sparta, Wis., 9/19/1994) 

A would-be robber paid with his life when he tried the ultimate in stupid stunts—robbing a gun store at knife point. Edward Sarhan was working in the Miami, Fla., area shop when the man entered and demanded money. As employee Tony Milan wrestled with the knife-wielding assailant, Sarhan drew his .38 revolver and shot the man three times, killing him. (The Herald, Miami, Fla., 6/9/1992) 

Michael Knowles of Lake Worth, Fla., was working in his pawn and gun shop when two men walked in. While one zapped him with a stun gun to the neck, the other attempted to rob the shop. Knowles tried but failed to get a gun out of his pocket, so he picked up another from a hidden location and shot his attacker five times. The other thief found himself locked in by the automatic doors, and police took both into custody. (The Post, West Palm Beach, Fla., 4/14/1991) 

A man took a shotgun from a Woodbridge, Va., gun shop rack, loaded it and forced the store's assistant manager, Christopher Ford, to hand over cash receipts. The robber ran from the store and into a car, but Ford, an NRA Life member, shot out a tire. The robber left the disabled vehicle but was arrested and charged wtih four felonies. (The Potomac News, Woodbridge, Va., 6/16/1985) 

When a man brandishing a pistol walked into a Houston, Texas, gun shop and demanded cartridges from a clerk, he was fired upon by a second employee. A third employee opened fire, and the would-be robber was struck several times. Commenting on the thief, who was sentenced to five years in prison, the prosecutor said, "He just came in and asked for bullets, and they gave him some. Next time, he will know to ask for them in a box." (The Chronicle, Houston, Texas, 6/27/1984) 

John C. Fletcher was working in his Pewaukee, Wis., gun store when he heard a hamering on one of the building's walls. He grabbed a .357 Mag. revolver and went to investigate. He found a would-be burglar trying to pound his way into the store. (The Freeman, Waukesha, Wis., 3/1/1982) 

Charles Holcomb, 73, thought his Stanton, Calif., gun shop "was coming in around my head" when two men crashed a pickup truck through the front of the store and started loading up on pistols. Holcomb, who is partially blind and deaf, opened up with a shotgun, killing one criminal and putting his confederate to flight. (The Herald-Examiner, Los Angeles, Calif., 10/27/1981) 

Alton Altizer heard the sound of breaking glass about 3 a.m. at the gun store in the same building with his Arnoldsburg, W.V., apartment. Altizer called state police, then he went outside to investigate. When Altizer hailed a man carrying three rifles from Bartlett's Gun Store, the man spun in his direction, and Altizer fired his 12-ga. shotgun. The burglar, a recently released three-time escapee from the state penitentiary, was dead at the scene. Police said a stolen car with 18 handguns taken from the store was parked nearby. (The Inter-Mountain, Elkins, W.V., 10/1/1980) 

Neumann's Gun Shop in Detroit had already had 500 shotguns, rifles and pistols stolen. So part-time watchman and gunsmith Terukazu Miyamoto, 29, was ready with a rifle when a brick crashed through a show window barely a month later. The intruder ignored Miyamoto's warning shot and turned as if to aim a gun. Miyamoto shot him. The burglar died. (Free Press, Detroit, Ill., 12/1/1967) 

Gunsmith Joe Doutre was working at a bench in his San Jose, Calif., shop when a man walked in and held a knife to Doutre's ribs and struck him twice over the head with a ball-peen hammer. As the gun shop owner lay dazed on the floor, the man kicked him and then bound and gagged him. Doutre managed to free himself and observed his attacker shoving revolvers and pistols into a bag. As the robber ran from the shop, Doutre grabbed a loaded pistol and felled the bandit with a single shot. (Mercury, San Jose, Calif., 10/1/1964) 

Stan Baker went to the rear of his Seattle gun store to get a box for the rifle selected by his two customers. Hearing the click of his handgun display case opening, Baker hurried to the front, noticed several pistols missing, and grabbed his loaded cal. .38 pistol to hold the "customers" while he phoned for police. As Baker dialed, one of the men lunged at him, grabbing the pistol; the other struck him with the rifle butt. In the ensuing struggle Baker began firing and the pair fled the store. One, a four-time convicted felon, was found nearby, dying from two bullet wounds. His wounded accomplice was captured by police and confessed the gun theft. (Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, Wash., 1/1/1961)