Some small business owners in WF say they keep guns

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Many small business owners in Wichita Falls say they have kept a gun at their store at some point.

A survey by Womply shows they are not alone. 55-percent of small business owners in Texas say they have, too.

Womply is a technology company serving 10,000 small businesses in the Lone Star State.

In the survey, they asked 5,000 of them across the county about keeping guns at the workplace and got those results.

In Wichita Falls, about six business owners said they carry on the job, too. Many said it is to protect their livelihood.

Dawson Druesedow, the owner of 4 Wheel Performance, has been in business for about 13 years.

"This is my investment.  This is my property, and I want to protect it, and I want people who come in here to feel safe," he said.

That is why he carries a firearm on him at work along with some of his employees.

"It makes us in control of our own fate," said Druesedow.

Because he knows anything can happen.

"We've had some times it's been a little sketchy," he said.

He thinks they either saw their security cameras or maybe an imprint of their concealed firearm on them.

"And decided that we weren't going to be as easy of a target as they think we would be," he adds.

An easy target is something Shelia Hammonds, the owner of Behind the Front Door in Wichita Falls, does not want to be labeled as either.

"I think it's very smart for women to have their own protection," said Hammonds.

She said she sometimes works late hours alone.

"I leave and the streets are just blank, and even when they aren't, we've had some situations that were a little scary," she said.

She feels there is a lot of crime towards women, and it is good to have that security.  That's why she wants to get her "License to Carry" so she can feel comfortable having her gun in the store with her.

Training that WFPD Sergeant Harold McClure said is necessary.

"If you choose to carry a particular firearm, be familiar with that firearm," said Sgt. McClure.

He said train with that gun, know how to maintain it, break it down and clean it.

"Know what the firearm can do and more importantly your confidence level with that firearm," he said.

Chris Reitsma, a firearm instructor in Wichita Falls said Texans do not need a "License to Carry" to have a gun on a premise they own or one that is under their control, like their business.

He adds those who work where the owner allows them to carry do not need an LTC either, as long as those employees have permission from the business owner.

Sergeant McClure said if any small business owners need more info on their right to carry at their business they can give them a call.

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