Speak Out: Should Store Clerks Have Guns?

Credit: Carol Robidoux
Credit: Carol Robidoux
Bear Cothran thought he was doing the right thing when he used his gun to chase off a would-be robber on Monday who tried to hold up the Shell Station. But hours later he was fired for violating the company's policy that prohibits employees from having firearms on the job.

Since Nashua Patch reported this story, Nashua area residents have flooded the site and Facebook with comments. Tell us if you think Cothran and other store clerks should be able to have guns to protect themselves and their customers in our blog.

You can also download our free Patch mobile app for the iPhone from the Apple store or the free Patch Droid app from the Google Play store that will allow you to instantly share photos, videos and your thoughts from the game all season long.

To share your thoughts, you'll need to log-in (or create an account if you're new) in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Once signed in, click on the store clerks blog and at the top, click inside the box that says "Write a new post." Then select "article" at the top and you'll be on your way to posting your thoughts. It's that simple!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Shane Thibodeau October 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I don't think "should" is the best word. Given the inherent risks, I don't think employers should prohibit their employees from arming themselves for protection. Require a background check, even at the employee's expense, require that the employee pass a firearms safety course... provide a legal and ethical option. The trouble is, once a population is known to be unarmed, they become easy prey. The very strict cash limits for employees are good deterrents, but that doesn't stop the more desperate or less moral people from perpetrating violent crimes. A store clerk is more likely to actually be attacked than a bank teller. Self defense is each person's responsibility and I don't think it "should" be hampered by across-the-board rules. Provide a responsible option and let each individual choose for themselves.
Brian Blackden October 16, 2013 at 03:02 PM
As a Federal Firearms Dealer in Concord, I feel if someone has the required federal or state background check completed and they have passed the requistes for a concealed license to carry, I have no issue with anyone being legally armed. That said, the gray comes into the scene when an employer forbids firearms on their premise for employees. The problem is they are only thinking about their assets, not employees. Surely give them their money but is the employer in a position to give up an employee's life? The only remedy is to work somewhere else if you desire to carry, or unfortunately in this incident, need to display a "contraband" item and get fired for protecting your life (or thier assets, although I would not be worried about their assets due to insurance). The other option is to talk responsibly with the owners and have them authorize a home defense size canister of pepper spray that gives off a fire extingushisher type discharge of 20-30 feet and stop the threat without a firearm. I have supplied many a store owner with such a canister since many owners are uncomfortable with employees and firearms, but they will acquiese to pepper spray, and, it is thier business. There are options, but I do feel sorry for this man, he succeded in saving his life, or protecting it from serious bodily injury, since robbers don't always just take the money and run, but got fired doing it. I hope a person in the Nashua area gives him a job as he appears to be a lawful citizen, and a long term employee of apparent good standing.


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