Some small businesses arming, training themselves in preparation for robberies

March 11, 2013 8:28:51 PM PDT
Some small businesses are going to extra lengths to protect themselves and their employees.

As detectives worked the scene of a smoke shop robbery on the Eastex Freeway on Sunday night, the ending was one that's becoming more familiar. Police say the shop clerk shot and killed a man attempting to rob them.

"There are people who are defending themselves more nowadays than in the past," Houston Police Department Sgt. Felipe Rivera said.

At The Arms Room in League City, enrollment in conceal and carry handgun classes have almost tripled since the beginning of the year. Many students go on to practice in drills at the range.

Instructor Brian Mobley says there is no typical student. Women and business owners are a growing part of it.

"That four- or five-minute wait for the cops to get there can be a long time while you are by yourself, and having a gun and knowing how to use that gun can be awful comforting in the time you are waiting for the cops to show up," Mobley said.

Mobley says Monday's class was a small one compared to what they've been seeing.

Santa Fe business owner David Leining was among the students.

"You have to be prepared. You have to watch. Just like this place right here, they have to watch everybody that comes through that door," Leining said. "It's the same thing we do. We have video cameras on the outside of the building so we get a preview of who is rolling up."

Leining was well aware of the situation Sunday night on the Eastex Freeway, and while he hopes he never find himself in that position, passing his test today prepares him in case he does.

"I would hate to think I'd have to do that," Leining said. "But if it came down to me or my employees or family, then that's a choice I'm just going to have to make."

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