Make a decision


So your in a crowded convenience store, 2 guys come in, they demand the money from the register, both guys have one hand in each pocket and say they have a gun. What do you do?


This should be interesting.


I would seek cover for my family, and draw my ccw piece, and call 911. At such a time as one of them actually presented a firearm, that is when I would take more direct action. Until that point, I would focus on their description, vehicle make and model, and license plate to give to the officers. And, with the 911 call, even if you call, and say nothing, they will send someone to respond to the call as they consider every call an emergency. Unless one of the robbers produces a weapon, or begins physically assaulting someone, we are on shaky legal ground as far as it being defense of life. If they rob the place, never produce a weapon, and never physically harm anyone, the money and goods can be replaced, and we should leave that to he authorities.


Find a good vantage point, observe, with my hand on my CCW and I guess wait to see what happens next and be ready to shoot if they have a gun. Though in AL, if I read my laws right, I can legally shoot someone if they’re robbing me or someone else… At least I’m about 90% positive that’s the case. So I guess it depends on the state that you live in…?

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I was trained to avoid conflict as this is not my fight unless my life or my family’s lives are in danger. In my state, I do not have the right to defend or protect anyone else. Until they threaten me or mine, we are hiding out or even trying to exit.


I say if there’s no visual on a weapon, let them have the money, have your camera out and as ready as possible, even if it’s mostly just audio, if a weapon is presented, you have to make that judgement call, are they going to use it, or do they just want the money and get out, sometimes we are not presented with the kind of opportunity for a safe defense. Sometimes it’s better to just let them go, if it’s obvious that they don’t care about harming others, then we look for that perfect moment to go to work. It’s a tough question.


I think that the answer to this will probably be different for everyone. I run scenarios like this in my head all the time. For this one, and most others, a lot depends on if I have any family members with me or not. If not I’d probably just hang tight behind cover and be a good witness. If they actually pulled guns out it might change things. However, if I had family with me then obviously the priority shifts the keeping them safe and evacuating them if possible. I’d love to know how many people that pretend to have guns in their pockets actually have them. I’d be willing to bet the answer is, very few.


A lot depends on where you are in relation to them. If I’m not in their view and can’t get out of the store and am behind cover, I’m slowly drawing my weapon and holding it by my side. If they do produce a gun, it’s probably going to result in me shooting at them if I have a clear shot. I’m not waiting to see if they’re pulling it to scare someone or pulling it to shoot someone. And I’m also not yelling “Drop it or I’ll shoot!” either. Again, a lot of factors such as if I have my kids with me come into play. I like to run scenarios like this in my head too, but I run it with the gun man being someone like me; train a lot with my gun, drawing quickly from a holster, etc. Most likely it’s someone who’s not like that and is a nervous wreck, which could be worse, but I’d rather prepare for the worst. Situations like this are another reason people should EDC carry less lethal items too, such as pepper spray.

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Crowded market, too many variables, no visible weapons, set phone on belt clip to record video and place back on belt clip (audio and some video) , take cover but at the same time keep them in view if at all possible.

If a weapon is seen, if you have a clear opening, and if you interpret said persons are an immediate threat to you or others, action that can only be determined at the time will be taken.

Most employees are instruncted to give what ever is demanded to avoid confrontation.

Your not doing anyone a favor by escalating a situation. Avoid the conflict but if needed. Only you in that moment can determine the best action.


I love the well thought out answers here!

Find safety, be a good witness, shooting is the last option - all great points I’ve read so far.


If you can see/hear them and your solo… guage them by clothes, speech, and how they are approaching he situation themselves… then make your decisions… as it was pointed out, no ones gonna do the samething… but Lord knows, id probably start laughing uncontroablly at them… yes it would make them angry, but… im sire i would need the laugh…

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Here again, it’s so important to know the laws on your state, in Massachusetts, you again, have to be in fear for your life, otherwise, you go to jail, just like that, you become the bad guy. :roll_eyes:


I agree with you 45ipac


I worked at gas station, third shift, many years ago. Wasn’t armed back then. Four guys came in with guns. One guy stuck his in my back. Demanded money. We complied. When one was having trouble pulling the bills out of the till, I pushed him out of the way, yelled “let me do it”, and made sure the till was emptied. I could see the police hanging back across the street until they left. Glad they didn’t create a hostage situation. Quit that job soon after.

Give them what they want and let them leave. Never escalate until its the only option.


Witness as best as possible. Be prepared to defend if the situation escalated. I’m horrible at figuring my phone out in fast situations but I’d try inconspicuously as possible avoiding direct eye contact (edited to say thereby avoid them seeing my piercing eyes. I look like I’m about to kill you when I don’t smile). I might pull aiming at the ground and releasing any safety, but I’d hide it. No need to worry about losing a little property. It can all be replaced. It just depends on the situation. Keep my family safe. If they pull a weapon and fire it they’re going down. That would make me fear for my life.

Good question.


Get cover with the best spot to see whats happening. See if i can get a clear shot on both men If i can take a shot at that time give both one shot then move to a different covered spot then if more shots needed shoot again…if dont have a clear shot stay covered and calm till i see the best shot and then take it…

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My two cents is this. If I’m faced with a gun or any other lethal force, at contact distances such as this, one or both of us WILL be leaving in an ambulance. Bottom line is that I my die lieing in a pool of my own blood but I’ll do my best to make sure the bad guy’s lieing right next to me.


Are you referring to @AAlan’s experience in the gas station, @AdamJ?

If they just want the money, give it to them. It’s not worth risking your life over. Aalan did the thing that got him home to his family safely that night. No need for a hospital or jail stay - and no need for funeral arrangements.


Its worth mentioning again that there were four of them, all armed, and two of us unarmed (and the other employee wasn’t a staunch defender-of-life type personality). Odds weren’t good. If it was just one of them, I would have seconds to determine what their intentions are, and how close to the edge they are mentally (or how much danger my life is in). Even with the guns, I never felt like physical violence was their intention.

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Well I’m glad you didn’t find out if they were ready to spill blood. Blood and organs are way more expensive than what’s in the till.