Dear Autozone

Well, I used to be a faithful Autozone customer. No longer.

Why? Because you fired an employee for the egregious crime of saving your store from a robbery and possibly saving himself and the others in the store from death or serious bodily injury:

Autozone Employee Fired after taking action against fake beard bandit

I don’t recall ever seeing armed security…or even unarmed security…at the stores that I have frequented many times over the years.

So, basically, your policy is to trust the safety and very lives of your employees and customers to the good will and impulses of a violent criminal who has already, by the act of committing armed robbery, demonstrated a disregard for the mores of a civil society.

Now that I know that if a dangerous criminal enters a store while I’m there, your store employees are prohibited, by company policy, from using the most effective tool available to defend me and my family against violent attackers, I no longer feel safe in your stores.

Your negligent disregard for the safety and well being of your employees and customers is disgusting and frightening.

I’ll also be advising my children, friends, co-workers and the hundreds of people who read my blog to avoid your unsafe stores as well.

Fortunately, there are both Advance and NAPA stores right up the street from yours. I’m sure I’ll have no problem finding the parts I need from your competitors.

If you ever reverse this negligent and dangerous corporate policy, please feel free to let me know and I’ll take that decision into consideration in my future purchasing decisions.

Comment posted here.

I’ll let you know if they favor me with a response.

NOTE: Their comment system doesn’t allow urls…you get a javascript error. To submit a url you have to remove the “http://” from the beginning…then it will work.

4 thoughts on “Dear Autozone

  1. I had the same thoughts. Then I wondered about the NAPA, CarQuest, and Advance’s policies. I like the older, knowledgeable, helpful men at our CarQuest. I’ll ask them about it next time I’m there.

    At some point our overabundance of lawyers and laws will approach resolving this issue. While adding gloriously unintended consequences and complications at the same time.

    “JANESVILLE — Wisconsin’s new concealed carry law may be a simple concept, yet it’s anything but for businesses trying to decide whether they will permit or prohibit the concealed carrying of weapons on or in their properties.

    Permit it, and the business is granted immunity if someone is injured or killed.

    Put up signs and prohibit it, and the business loses that immunity.

    Either way, there are a variety of liability issues that must be considered.”
    http://gazettextra.com/news/2011/nov/03/businesses-liability-issue-when-considering-whethe/

  2. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the other chain auto parts stores have the same policy, but they, to date and to my knowledge, haven’t proven it yet.

    If they do…we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

    My have to rely on shopping for auto parts online from mom and pop operations in the future. In the meantime…

    And I really was a faithful Autozone customer. I only buy used vehicles and I do most of my own maintenance. I’ve spent several thousands of dollars in their store in the past couple of years alone.

    I use synthetic motor oil in all of my vehicles (four of them) so they lose probably close to $400 a year in sales to me just in oil changes.

    Granted, that’s a drop in the bucket when considering the corporate sales of a big chain like that, but it’s not nothing. Hopefully this will turn into a teachable moment. If not, well, my decision as to where to buy auto parts just got a little easier to make.

  3. Regarding the article you linked:

    The example that the lawyer cited as potential negligence in the case of the company who permits concealed carry is ridiculous. The store has no obligation to treat any customer different than any other. If a concealed carry permit holder gets annoyed with the store and injures someone, that’s solely on the perpetrator, not on the store. Any contention that it could be construed as negligence on the store’s part is pure poppycock. And the law makes clear that the store would be immune from civil liability so a “test case” to try to claim it as negligence could never even be adjudicated.

    The idea that a store that prohibits concealed carry could be sued for negligence by a customer injured by a criminal is, however, very foreseeable. If a company refuses to permit employees or customers to defend themselves, then they are, de-facto, accepting responsibility for the security and safety of those employees and customers. If they fail to adequately ensure that security and safety and an employee or customer is injured as a result of a crime, the store is imminently responsible for that injury.

    Virginia, on the other hand, has no immunity from liability in the law for stores that expressly permit customers or employees the right to defend themselves…and there has still, to my knowledge, never been a case where a business that allows concealed carry was held liable for injury as a result of that policy. It simply doesn’t happen, even when the law does not provide for immunity.

    It’s very clear cut in my mind. Any store that, under Wisconsin’s provision, refuses to permit concealed carry is not doing so from a purely “business” consideration, they are doing so based on irrational fear of an inanimate object. The article you linked, in my mind, was just a rationalization and defense of stores who make a poor business decision as a result of the same prejudice and bias that, I presume, the author of the piece shares.

    It is my fervent hope that, in the future, employees and customers of companies that deny self defense rights, sue the pants off of those companies if they are victimized while patronizing the businesses. The obvious premise being that if you deny me the right to defend myself, then you are tacitly accepting responsibility to provide for my defense against violent criminals. If you fail to do so, you are negligent.

    Losing a lawsuit like that would get their attention much more than losing a few customers over their policy.

  4. “Losing a lawsuit like that would get their attention much more than losing a few customers over their policy.”

    Exactly. I remember the issue being discussed ended up focusing on the insurance company policies. The insurance companies from whom the stores bought coverage for liability made it clear that they’d not cover the client businesses if the businesses exposed themselves by hindering customers from legally defending themselves. faced with that, the “no guns allowed” signs came down. An upheld lawsuit would reverberate nation wide over night.

    I was in Ft. Worth, Texas recently and was surprised by the number of stores prohibiting carry. Texas is less Texan these days. Those would come down like the ones in Wisconsin. I’m only surprised the Wisconsin stores reacted so quickly and preemptively. I guess in Texas it’ll take someone losing a few million to get the point through. Ft. Worth, Texas? Austin must be like New Jersey then?

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