As reported, a St. Petersburg, Florida man used his lawfully concealed pistol to save himself and his girlfriend from an armed robber outside an Applebee’s restaurant:
Police say that a concealed carry permit holder and his girlfriend went out to eat at the Applebee’s restaurant located on the 4700 block of 4th St North, but found the parking lot was full, forcing them to park just North of the restaurant in a dark area. Upon getting out of the vehicle, a masked and armed robber reportedly rushed towards the woman, at which point her boyfriend yelled for her to duck, according to news reports. Acing in defense of his girlfriend and himself, the concealed carry permit holder drew and fired his .380 pistol, striking the robber and ending the attack, police say. The permit holder is said to have flagged down a passing police officerwho apprehended a wounded suspect – who reportedly had a loaded .25 caliber pistol in his possession. Neither the permit holder nor his girlfriend were harmed, and the suspect faces attempted armed robbery charges, police say.
Those opposed to gun rights like to suggest that guns should be banned in restaurants, as “There is absolutely no need for a person to carry a gun into a restaurant.” The fact is that armed citizens stop criminals in and around restaurants on a regular basis. Had the law prevented this permit holder from carrying in a restaurant, he would have been forced to leave this pistol at home or in his car, which in turn would have left him unable to defend himself and his girlfriend from the armed robber. Fortunately, the laws in Florida do not ban concealed carry in restaurants, and as a result this armed robbery attempt ended with an injured suspect in custody, and his would-be victims unharmed.
I would also note that this self defense shooting, like the overwhelming majority of self defense shootings, did not result in any innocent bystanders being harmed. Anti gun people like to suggest that self defense gun uses result in wild west shootouts, leaving innocent people injured or killed. That is just not reality, plain and simple. The fact is that such cases of bystander injury are quite rare, and armed citizens have been shown to be 5.5 times less likely to shoot the wrong person than the police.