Yes you always want to meet in a safe place. I always meet at my local store. It also has a gas station. People all over. I’ve never had a weapon, that’s not a good idea. If you feel you need one, then maybe you shouldn’t go. You make the time and place. All the people I’ve met so far have been very nice. But still take someone with you. You will be fine. Good luck.
An officer I was talking with said the same thing. He said he wished everyone would meet at the station to buy/sell items as it is much safer. I would think there are security cameras too.