Him giving the gun made sense. If Floyd didn't steal the gun during one of his crimes he bought it with stolen money. So not much to lose there. Look at the arsenal of stolen guns Bonnie & Clyde had on them when killed. But poor farmers hid him when he escaped into the hills and gained their trust because like Butch Cassidy he spread stolen money around generously to maintain that trust. Not intimidating a store owner but giving the gun instead would be a good investment. If I recall the book I have on him, he was hard to find once he got into I think the "Cook" or "Cookson" hills where he was relatively safe.