Why don't "convenience" stores have armed guards?

I’m sitting here watching a show on Court TV, said show discussing how dangerous the job of being a convenience store worker late at night in a bad neighbourhood is. So, the thought comes to mind: “Why don’t the store owners have an armed guard then?”

I’ve really no idea how prohibitive the cost is for such protective service. Does anyone have any data or hard answers to this query?

I have no hard facts, but I’m almost positive that the cost of having an armed guard would just about negate any profits gained from an average convenience store night shift, and then some.

Although, if the clerk is trained and responsible (and okay with it, of course!), I think arming him is just as good. As an addition to the OP, I want to ask if anyone has any figures as to exactly how many night clerks have a firearm under the counter? More than a few, if you believe TV and movies…

I’ve always wondered why the major chains don’t make a point of simply putting the clerk in a bulletproof box of some sort. I mean, they already tell him NOT to interfere with robbers or shoplifters. Why NOT put him in a bulletproof box? Quite a few gas stations do just that…

Why is America’s answer to every problem more waepons?? :wink:

I would assume that in the case of the chain stores, it would be the same logic as policies mandating total cooperation with robbers: the fear of huge firefights, and subsequent lawsuits, not to mention (in the callous mode of thinking) the costs of cleaning up and rehiring/retraining after huge firefights, not to mention the rep that particular store would get (and all the other reasons I’m forgetting).

Still, I’m sure the mom and pop type places arm quite well-armed already.

As far as armed guards, yes, an individual who’s sole purpose is to be a guard will make (in SC) usually about $10 an hour, or $80-100 a night, gross obviously. My ma, who runs a BP, says that their nightly take (11p to 7a) is usually about $200, again, gross. It’s a bit much to spend roughly half your nightly draw on a ‘guard.’ Now, what she did was actually hire three city police officers as clerks and gave 'em 2 nights a week each where they ran the register in their city uniform.

The whole ‘body in a box’ concept, using 2/5" lexan to create a bulletproof box is being done by a lot of chain stores. They don’t do it everywhere because some stores aren’t profitable enough to deserve it, even if it gets robbed every other day.

Finally, YES, the answer to criminal problems in the US is more guns. I have a cite (not on hand) but the FBI’s stats show a correlation between the enactment of concealed carry laws in 31 states and a higher than average drop in ‘random violent crimes’ including assault, robbery, armed robbery, rape and homicide.

When I was going through my training period to be a clerk at a Circle K (yes, there’s actually training involved), we were told what to do in case of a robbery (hand over the money, don’t touch any evidence, etc.). The question always came up about why Circle K didn’t install video cameras, hire security guards, put the clerk in a bullet-proof booth, etc. The company representative gave some obviously rehearsed spiel about how more security actually made it more dangerous for the clerk because the perpetrator would use more force than if the clerk merely handed over the money.

Pure crap, of course. The bottom line is that it’s cheaper to lose a certain amount of money to robbery than paying for security.

Frankly, these companies don’t care about the welfare of their workers. As long as they can still get people to staff their stores (which is pretty likely when you have ununionized labor in this economy) they arn’t going to spring anymore than they have to. I mean their clerks are already going to be financially ruined if they require medical care due to a lack of insurance. And they are most likely not making a living wage of any sort, so they are living in substandard, inpoverished conditions. How much worse it to let them run the risk of getting robbed, too?

Um, you are aware that the robbers are robbing the store, not the clerk, right?

In my opinion, most private guards are inadequately trained on the proper use of firearms in areas where there might be other people such as customers in a convenience store.

Likewise with members of the Army Reserve and National Guard. I wasn’t nearly as afraid of terrorists at airports as I was of some young and not well schooled guy standing in the concourse with a high powered semi-automatic rifle.

Where I live, the Police Department has a program where off-duty officers sometimes moonlight as convenience store clerks. There’s a nice big poster in the window warning potential perps.


Are you folks daft? I would not frequent a convenience store that had armed guards. How many of you would like to be in the middle of a gun fight between a scared (and possibly high) robber, and a possibly under-trained guard? Is gunplay really a good idea for the sake of a hundred bucks or so? Would you really like to end up as the hostage on the 5 o’clock news? Most robberies do not end up with a dead clerk on the floor, but I can just about guarantee a rise in dead and wounded bystanders if you start a gun battle in a confined area.

During the wave of bank robberies (John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, et al) in the 1930’s banks installed bullet proof glass.

It wasn’t all that effective because the robbers threatened to shoot a customer which left the tellers in the position of refusing to save a customer’s life to save the bank’s money. Bad public image and bankers weren’t too well thought of in the 1930’s to start with.

I’d dearly love to see something akin to proof of this particular assertion. I got just as much training time with the M16 in the Reserves as I did when on Active Duty.

Well, if you can’t show me the proof I mentioned above, I’ll probably have to say it was a self-generated fear.

Yes, but that coupled with the policy of handing over the money that is being demanded would save lives, which is what I believe the OP is asking.

I used to work in a conveinence store for about eight months and luckily, I was never robbed or even threatened much. I still had a few instances where I had wished I was behind a bulletproof glass window.

Well, Monty, if you will read my post a little more carefully you will notice that I said training in the use of weapons when there are people around.

Training for war is one thing. Shoot anything and everything. In fact, lay down a volume of fire to keep their heads down while some of your guys try to advance or encircle. That’s a far cry from the proper method of using firearms on a retail store.

First, a convenience store at midnight is not LIKELY to be a crowded area full of bystanders. In fact, robbers (at least the relatively intelligent ones) probably wait for the store to be empty before moving in, in order to avoid more witnesses than necessary.

Second, simply the presence of an armed guard should be enough to avert most casual crooks, though if someone is serious about it, then the first thing you’ll see is a guard with a gun to his head before any demand of cash is made, thus negating his use.

And finally, the proper way for a clerk to use a concealed weapon is to give the crook the money, and then shoot him in the back as soon as he turns for the door and lowers his weapon

Guards are too expensive. A few clerks get offed? Just hire some more. There are plenty of unemployed. Guards would cost money.

I did read it, Simmons. I am also aware that there are people other than the purported enemy around in a battle. In case you weren’t aware of it, the military does kind of frown on people shooting the “good guys.” And yes, there is that whole concept of pulling guard duty and getting trained in the whys & wherefores & whens of deadly force.