A gun-carrying man in Flagstaff, Ariz. is being credited with helping stop a bank robbery suspect — but he never even had to pull out his gun.
Dave Young was driving up to the Arizona Central Credit Union branch when he saw a friend’s son trying to stop a man jumping over a fence.
Young says he quickly confirmed a bank robbery had occurred and took off after the two in his vehicle.
The Arizona Daily Sun reports Young caught up with the pair and placed his hand on his sidearm, showing the suspect that he was armed. He didn’t pull his gun — but he was ready if he needed to.
Young called 911 and police took the suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Joshua Nesmith, into custody.
“I provided cover for him. If the suspect had tried to pull a weapon I could have stopped him,” Young said. “I told him don’t move. I looked him over for weapons and visually inspected the suspect, then called 911.”
In Arizona, gun owners can carry a concealed or exposed weapon without a permit or training. Young says he’s held a concealed carry permit since 1998. He also said carrying a firearm is the responsibility of able-bodied, law-abiding men.
“I think it’s important if you’re a male with a clean record to protect your community,” Young added. “You should be ready to do something like this if possible.”
However, he went on to say that individuals who carry concealed handguns should receive the same amount of training he has. That training, he explained, taught him how to handle a gun and provided him with the mental and emotional control needed not to draw his weapon unless it is absolutely necessary.
“I didn’t pull the weapon. Nobody got shot,” he said.
Young disagrees with anti-gun advocates calling for stricter gun control in the aftermath of last week’s tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn. He said it is important to know that responsible gun owners exist and they can have a positive impact on their communities.
“As soon as I leave work, my pistol is at my side, and it doesn’t leave my side unless I’m about to go into a place that doesn’t allow it,” he told the Daily Sun. “Would you feel better if you were shot with a 10-round magazine instead of 30?…If criminals are going to have them, responsible citizens should be able to have them.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.