A Longview business owner is betting that robbers will stay away if they know that his workers are armed. Being armed has probably already saved the life of one Longview store clerk. A surveillance video from Saturday shows a convenience store clerk in a life and death situation. With a gun pointed at her head, she grabs a gun from under the counter and fires back. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
"She is extremely lucky," said Longview Police Sergeant Shaun Pendleton.
Some Longview store owners want their employees to have the same chance to defend themselves. At several different stores in Longview owned by businessman Don Talley, windows have a shotgun prominently displayed, and Talley said it has been a very effective deterrent.
"We train our people on how to use it and tell them to shoot to kill" said Talley.
Talley also said that everyone has the right to defend themselves and property, and that includes his employees.
"Oh, they're all good shots" he said.
But police worry about a downside.
"The problem with that is a fight might start, the suspect now has become armed because he manages to get [the gung] away from the employee. Now we have another gun on the streets that we didn't have before," said Pendleton.
Talley is convinced that the gun display is keeping criminals from hitting his business.
"We have found that we've had a whole lot less problems since we got that rifle up there," said Talley.
But police believe the jury is out.
"Store owners have a right to protect their property, but there's a fine line between when you can and can't use deadly force," Pendleton said.
There is no law prohibiting store owners from keeping a gun at their store. The only restriction is a convicted felon may not have access to a gun.