Gas Stations - Are Vulnerable areas

Here is a great video on being aware of your environment especially at a gas station. I highly recommend that people follow Active Self Protection videos every day, they show real life experiences that we can all learn from.

This is a good place for a discussion of Gas Stations, situational awareness and what others have seen or done in situations like this.


The gas station, or as I refer to it as, “The modern day watering hole” is one of the highest statistical areas you could encounter trouble.

The procedures for safety, awareness and how to handle a dynamic critical incident along with firearms use in and around your vehicle are included in my advanced courses. Gunsite Academy teaches in their BRAVE class, almost a hole day in and around your vehicle including gas stations.


Gas stations, specially at night, are one of the places that by nature make the hair on the back of my neck get all tingly. My head is on a swivel and I pay attention to ANYTHING/EVERYTHING around me. When I lived in Florida in particular I seemed to get approached by folks all the time, many times asking for money. Florida gets flooded with homeless folks in the winter and some can be rather forceful when seeking handouts.

I would never wait for them to get close to me, if you’re walking in my direction looking at me you will get a loud “Can I help you?” before you break 30 feet just to make sure you KNOW that I KNOW you’re headed in my direction and I’m watching you. If there is a continued advance after that without speaking we are now ready for an encounter by default and the second statement is a CLEAR and LOUD order to stop, do NOT get any closer to me. No one has gone past that one, and I have never had to apologize to anyone.


Hi Everyone, I posted this under another topic not too long ago so I thought I’d share it here since we’re on the subject of Gas Stations. - I live in Nevada, (Open Carry State), and I open carry everyday. Sheepdog556 gave you good advice. Choose a good holster with good retention. I position my holster where the inside of my forearm can always feel the grip of my firearm. It’s just an awareness thing for me. I too am waiting for my CCW to be issued so this way I’ll be able to carry both ways depending on my surroundings. Quick story that happened to me today… I just finished an appointment with a client and stopped to get gas and it was not the best of places. As I was filling gas in my vehicle some guy drove up behind my vehicle, got out and immediately started asking me to give him some gas after I was done filling my car. I told “No, that’s not going to happen today”. He then started asking me for money for gas as he began walking toward me. I simply turned my body to the left just enough to let him see I was armed as I was telling him “No, can’t do it, get back in your car”. I was pointing at him while I was talking to him. It didn’t take him long to figure out that I’m the wrong guy to mess with. Texas Eskimo mentions that Open Carry can be good when viewed as a deterrent. In my case today, it proved to be a positive result with no altercation. I guess what I’m trying to say is, always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to everything around you. Things happen quickly and you need to be on your toes. *I am in “Yellow” mode everywhere I go.


Years ago I had someone getting angry with me at the gas station. The young man got out of his car and approached me yelling! He got within about 3 feet of me still screaming, I took the gas nozzle out of the car, and just stood there listening to him with the pump pointing right at him.

He finally figured out this would not end well for him, I never had to deploy the gas and never said a word. He walked away and got into his car just shaking his head.

I agree gas stations are a very dangerous place. There can be a lot of people and there are usually a lot of places for them to hide behind if they have evil intent. Usually, where possible, I drive around all the pumps and have a look at what is going on. Are all the people with a car and in process of getting fuel, or are there small groups of people chatting? If the latter, I’ll grab a pump as far from the group as possible and stay tuned in on them, while still maintaining a condition yellow regarding everyone else.

I did once have another man approach me at night at a Speedway. I put both hands up and said “Stop!” He did, but kept his mouth running, giving me a sob story leading up to soliciting for money. I also informed him it is illegal to solicity in our township, and kept my eye on him as I got back in my vehicle and drove away.
I think one key thing we all need to remember is, trust no one who isn’t blood kin. I won’t allow anyone into my home who isn’t, and don’t interact with strangers except as absolutely necessary. I also attempt to be a gray man, but always in “yellow.” I pray to God I never ever have to draw …