Auckland dairy owners may need to arm themselves with firearms to deter robberies, even though there's a risk of the gun will be turned back on the user, says a south Auckland representative.
Hillside Superette in Papatoetoe is the latest local dairy to be targeted by robbers, with a group of young men bursting into the store on Monday morning, pinning a worker to the ground and taking off with $7000 worth of cigarettes.
The Manukau Indian Association, which represents hundreds of business owners, said they needed some form of protection, such as the right to arm themselves with guns.
Vice president Suresh Ramji told Morning Report the owners had had enough, and having firearms behind the counter could be the next step.
"It'll form some kind of deterrent. We're not saying that guns should be actually used, but dairy owners are sick and tired and fed up."
He said robbers faced with a firearm would have to stop and wonder if the trigger was going to be pulled.
Mr Ramji said the danger of weapons being taken off the owners and used against them was a risk, but there were few other options.
"We looked at that, but what else can we do?
"They could be used in a reverse direction, but it's come to a point where I think it's a crisis at the moment. Repeatedly dairies are getting raided and people are getting bashed up, in some cases it's fatal."