A local security expert says there's an alarming trend on the rise. Emmanuel Thomas, with a local security company, says the number of people bringing weapons to clubs, bars, and restaurants you may frequent is rapidly increasing. Protection or self-defense is a common excuse for why people are attempting to bring knives, guns, and other weapons.
"I disarm probably four people a night at my door," Thomas said. "On a busy night it's probably like ten."
Thomas' company services clubs and bars across southwest Florida. He says most of the weapons he recovers are at the places you'd least expect.
"It's not a poor club where you just get what people normally think of like inner city people going in and wanting to destroy stuff. It's clubs where there's a lot of money."
Thomas says most bouncers or security members are not properly trained because clubs are hiring bouncers who may look the part but really don't know what they're doing.
"Club owners don't really know security, they know how to make money," Thomas said. "Most of the time I see them hire big guys who have a ton of muscle and think they could do something. Neither one of them have been in the military or know how to use what they have on."
Christian Lepe is a trained bouncer who works with Thomas. He says past violent incidents in southwest Florida could have been prevented if more people were properly trained.
"I've secured pocket knives and weapons of other sorts because of people trying to sneak it in thinking that we won't look."
Thomas says every bouncer needs to know how to read body gestures, pat people down correctly and more importantly disarm a person to make sure popular night spots are equipped to keep people safe.