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Chesterfield Armed Robbery Triggers Questions About Conceal and Carry

If and when is it appropriate for citizens to intervene?

The armed robbery of a Crazy Bowls and Wraps that occurred in Chesterfield Saturday triggers questions about the ability of citizens to intervene in such a scenario, given the fact that Missouri has a conceal-and-carry law. 

It was also on the mind of Facebook user Tony Spielberg, who noted on a Chesterfield Patch Facebook post about the incident that it's "another reason to have your CCW."

Missouri has had its conceal-and-carry law on the books since 2003 and there is an extensive process required to obtain a permit, so Chesterfield Patch asked Chesterfield Police Capt. Steve Lewis about when it's appropriate for armed citizens to take action. 

Lewis began by noting that citizens should do whatever they can to ensure their safety in any potentially violent encounter, but specific recommendations about the use of a firearm requires the consideration of many factors. 

"Those factors would be a sliding scale based on the citizens fear for their own safety or the safety of others, coupled with their true ability, training level and danger to others in close proximity," Lewis said. 

It's also important to keep in mind that the average citizen doesn't have the level of training that police officers do, who are more experienced in responding in such crises scenarios.  

"As such, unless they are certain they can prevent the bad guy from hurting someone else or from them accidently hurting someone, we would ask that they are good witnesses, taking in whatever detail may assist us in catching the criminal," Lewis said. 

In general, he said, citizens should take whatever action they can "skillfully do" to protect themselves and others if they are legally armed and believe a criminal is going to seriously injure or kill an innocent individual. 

Do you feel safer knowing that there is a conceal and carry law in Missouri? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Frank Johnson October 25, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Personally, I always feel a little torn about gun control issues. I imagine you could find cases where a citizen trying to stop a robbery themselves has helped and cases where it's hurt. I just think the important thing is to be stringent about who give conceal and carry licenses to.
AErin HARRIS October 25, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Isn't this amusing? When the fear level of a resident is a 10 on the 'scale' and the police do nothing to help, what do you do then?
Tony S October 26, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Frank, Tony Spielberg here. A bit dissapointed you used my name in your story however glad you are discussing relavent issues.
Mark Baumann October 27, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Carry and Conceal training stresses that the weapon is to be used in life threatening situations and/or kidnapping only, neither of which was the case here. Let law enforcement officers enforce the law but do not allow yourself to be a helpless victim regarding your life.

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