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Here’s How Many Jewelers Keep a Gun in Their Store

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The trend is worrisome, says one expert.

2017
 

50%

 
2007
 

37%

 

One of the more surprising finds in our recent Big Survey was the rise in gun ownership by jewelry-store owners in the last 10 years.

In 2007, when we conducted our first such survey, one in three jewelers kept a firearm in the store. This year, the rate had risen to 50 percent. Jewelers in the South were the most likely to be armed, with the ownership rate there topping 65 percent. Leaving aside our Canadian cousins (zero ownership), the jewelers least likely to be armed were in the Northeast (39 percent).

John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, viewed the rise in gun ownership with concern, noting that since 1996 there have been 118 jewelers killed during robberies, and almost every one of them tried to pull a gun or resist in some way.

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“It almost never happens that a jeweler who doesn’t resist suffers a fatal injury, while jewelers who resist with a gun or by other means almost always lose the struggle,” he said.

“Armed robbers go into stores ready to use their weapons if they have to, while jewelers can only be in a defensive position, having to react second. Unfortunately, the jeweler almost always loses, or causes an innocent person to be shot or hurt, either an employee, customer, passer-by or police responder. Don’t resist, rely on your insurance coverage, and stay alive.”

Gun-ownership was among a number of security-related issues we touched on during the Big Survey. Others included the threats perceived as most likely to hurt a jewelry business, the “tells” that get alarm bells ringing in jewelers’ heads, and a call-out for jewelers to recount certain experiences with criminals. The results showed the bad guys can be hopelessly inept, but also ruthless. They were also another reminder for jewelers to take care.

For all the results of the Big Survey 2017, keep an eye out for the October issue of INSTORE.

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