If you own a firearms store or general outdoors store, having a good security system is one of the smartest things you can do to protect your investment.
One of my quirks is to look up when I go into a business. Grocery store, outdoors store, movie theatres, whatever. Curiosity mostly, I guess, to see what’s in the corners — like a camera keeping watch over the goods. I also look for exit doors, too, but that’s a different topic.
I’ve always thought that if I owned an outdoors store, especially if I was selling firarms and ammo, that my security system would be one of my top investments. I’m unsure what it would entail but likely would have a camera system to beat the band, inside and out. Some of the top stores I’ve been in over the years have good ones around the front, back and in the firearms area. They’re not there just for show, either. The cameras feed to a tape system for review in case of a robbery or situation outside.
DCF Guns in Castle Rock, Colorado, must have a good system because it helped them and law enforcement officials nab a goon who allegedly swiped some handguns. The shop was in the midst of one of its regular ATF audits when the incident occured.
According to Denver7:
Josh Barton, VP of Sales and Marketing at DCF Guns, told Denver7 that after last year’s metro-wide string of smash and grab break-ins, DCF Guns brought in a consultant, who suggested ways to beef up security.
He said the investment in new high-resolution cameras paid off last week, when a suspect walked into the store and started looking around.
“We were in the middle of performing an audit at the time,” Barton said. “It’s an ATF regulation that we do it annually. We do it every couple of months to be over-cautious, if you will.”
During the audit, staff placed a rack of firearms on the counter, then began attending to some customers. When they returned to tagging the firearms, they learned some were missing, so they checked security video.
“You can see him looking over his shoulder,” Barton said of the suspect. “The video did reflect that he wasn’t new to putting something in his pants, as far as grabbing something off a shelf and putting it under his sweater and trying to walk out.”
Barton said after all the robberies in 2017, area gun store owners teamed up to share information including photos if anything happens.
Couple of takeaways from this:
— DCF Guns hired a security consultant to offer ideas, which is a smart investment. Consider factoring in this expense to your budget. Outside eyes looking at your store’s weaknesses can help pay off in the future if you implement some or all of the suggestions. The National Shooting Sports Foundation can help with this; it’s part of the organization’s mission to help the industry.
— If you install a security system, don’t skimp. Obviously everyone’s financial outlay is different but hanging a cheap game camera from a coat hanger isn’t the same as having a quality, high-res system with a recording setup. Given today’s technology you probably can get a system with accompanying apps for your phone so you can keep up with things 24/7 anywhere you are.
— Don’t leave guns, bows or other gear lying around on a counter if you turn away, even for a moment. Thieves are slippery and will take advantage of a situation if given the chance. Losing a multi-tool is one thing. Having someone swipe a handgun is quite another.
— Work with your other local stores to share information about security issues. It’s not like you’re exchanging secrets or what you plan to buy for next year. Consider it like a “neighborhood watch” of sorts that can help everyone, especially if there is a rash of thievin’ going on in your area.
— Establish a good relationship with local law enforcement, too. Consider having a “Blue Night” only for law enforcment to come shop, mingle, meet and greet, and let them know you appreciate them. Good neighbors help each other.