You might expect gun store owners — especially those who run their stores by themselves — to keep a pistol on their hip. That just seems to be a good security practice. A Richardson, Texas gun store owner didn’t do that, but given his recent brush with three armed robbers, he may change that practice.


Mike Brown runs Mike’s Gun Room by himself. The 77-year-old says the group of masked men first acted like shoppers and then made it clear they came to rob the place.

Brown pretended he was having heart trouble. It bought him enough time to grab a gun and shoot one of the suspects.

It’s a scenario Brown has played out inside his mind for the 26 years he’s owned a gun store, but Wednesday was the first time he says it happened.

As the thieves were gathering up a load of about 50 guns — we didn’t know there was a gun store in Texas with that many firearms in their inventory these days — Brown, a Marine and Vietnam veteran, claimed he needed to get to some medication for a heart condition. That gave him a chance to get a gun.

Brown says the men started to leave by the time he grabbed his gun, so he pointed it at the only person still inside.

“I told him to stop,” he said. “He turned around and I saw he had one handgun in his hand when he turned around.”

Brown shot the man in the shoulder. He fell to the ground outside while his accomplices drove off. Police arrived, and he’s now in custody at a hospital.

There really is no honor among thieves. Some will ask why Brown didn’t just let the robbers continue on their way. But the impulse to protect your store and your property is strong. The fact that the thief he shot had a handgun when he turned around should protect brown from any potential legal jeopardy.

After this experience, the chances are probably good that Mr. Brown will pull a holster and a pistol from inventory and begin carrying it on a regular basis, at least during store hours. And from the looks of the number of guns he still has in stock, Dallas area gun buyers in search of scarce firearms may be beating a path to his door.

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