SANTA MONICA, Calif. - As crime continues to rise across Southern California, many business owners are starting to take matters into their own hands and arm themselves.
Business owner Joe Green calls his pistol his peacekeeper.
"You have a right to protect your business, you have a right to protect property and individual lives."
Broadway Wine and Spirits in Santa Monica has been in Green’s family since 1986. They’ve never had serious problem, but the recent spike in crime and robberies in Southern California has Green concerned.
"When I see what’s going and you see three or more people come in, do the smash and grab and they’re coming in with weapons, you have no guarantee that you’re going to come out of that alive. You don’t know what they’re capable of," he told FOX 11.
Green believes the current laws in the state of California are favoring the criminals. That’s why he decided to arm himself... to protect his business.
"There's no consequences. It is an opportunity; they are going to keep on doing it."
He is not alone. Many Southern California residents are arming themselves with guns in the wake of all the violence. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he received more than 8,000 applications for concealed weapons.
"If you, you're going to come in and you're going to do something like that. You might be met with something that you don't want to be met with. You know so be careful," he added.
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