Department stores selling guns....


February 26, 2003, 02:43 AM
What is it with department stores and guns nowadays? They don't carry anything around here at Walmart and Kmart anymore. Kmart doesn't even sell pistol ammo either anymore. Hell Sears used to sell guns years ago, but they don't anymore, neither does Wards anymore, but they went out of business.

Department store selection is becoming so limited, I don't even bother to look at Walmart..... and Kmart??? Please! Department stores are the last place you'd think there would be a limit of choices!

Don't these retail stores realize that when they don't have anything to offer, people won't bother to look anymore? Kmart claims that they stopped selling pistol ammo, because they weren't selling much anymore. B.S., they didn't have any decent selection up until the end, why would anybody bother to look anymore?

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February 26, 2003, 02:59 AM
The country is becoming more and more urban. Fewer hunters, more gun control zealots.

February 26, 2003, 03:43 AM
Now the gun market has moved over to the larger sporting goods stores...Such as Sports Authority, and Galyans...

But now Sports Authority does not carry handguns anymore either. The Galyans in my town is connected to a mall...If you purchase a firearm...they escort you out the front doors to keep you from entering the rest of the mall with your new purchase.

February 26, 2003, 06:38 AM
It's been a few years, but the Wallmart that I go to in central MN had a pistol order book. You could order what you wanted, but they didn't carry anything on hand. The clerk said something about their liability insurance didn't cover it. Whatever that means.


El Tejon
February 26, 2003, 07:43 AM
Hmmm, you could start your own department store.

Kahr carrier
February 26, 2003, 08:57 AM
The Big 5 and Walmart in my area sells rifles but no pistols.:(

February 26, 2003, 09:19 AM
Back when you could order a handgun from Wal-Marts behind-the-desk catalogue I was looking for a Ruger P95. They could get one but it was cheaper at the gunshop.

February 26, 2003, 10:31 AM
Yeah, we've got Big 5 & Walmart. I remember years ago when a friend turned 18 he & I went to GEMCO to buy a was the coolest 30-30 lever ever. Gone is the store & gone are those days.

Gary H
February 26, 2003, 11:20 AM
Walmarts in the S.F. Bay Area have a patchwork of "rifle-sporting goods" departments. Some carry long guns and some don't. I remember when you could go down to Sears and buy a rifle. Those days are long gone.

February 26, 2003, 12:47 PM
Walmart recently has had many problems with the ffl laws. Employees will sell guns without doing background checks, checking ID, etc... I have a friend who is 20 and he has bought pistol ammo from the local walmart many times without being carded. He was once asked if he was 21, he said yes, and that was it. It has ben rumored that walmart will soon lose the rifles and possibly ammo as well. I prefer to go to a gun shop anyways, where I can ask questions and get an educated answer. Nothing against walmart employees, but when you have a minimum wage salary kid from housewares filling in at sporting goods selling rifles and ammunition nothing good can come from that situation.

February 26, 2003, 02:52 PM
The Big 5 and Walmart in my area sells rifles but no pistols. We've got the same situation here. If you want a handgun, you'd better look elsewhere, unless it's a BB gun..;)

Dave Markowitz
February 26, 2003, 04:33 PM
Oh for the days when you could go into the Woolworth's in the Plymouth Meeting Mall or King of Prussia Mall and walk out with a Lee-Enfield, Swedish Mauser, or M-1 Carbine. And that's not too long ago ... 1980s AAMOF.

February 26, 2003, 05:54 PM
I would express my disappointment to the regional manager. If that doesn't work, do what El Tejon said. If there truly is a market, and you do it right, you'll be successful.

February 26, 2003, 06:03 PM
Academy Sports in Texas has started selling handguns...

February 26, 2003, 07:07 PM
There are two reasons. First is liability. Suing gun manfacturers and dealers is one of the more popular anti-gun tactics around today.

Second is political correctness/public perception. The stores are more afraid of offending the large number sheep shopping there than the small number of people wanting to purchase firearms.

Standing Wolf
February 26, 2003, 09:27 PM
There's a Long's Drugs in my own that sells cleaning kits, rifles, ammunition, and even reloading supplies.

Brian D.
February 26, 2003, 09:33 PM
...all the department stores sold handguns, long guns, ammo, etc. right downtown here in the Midwest. Oh, thanks so much for saving us Teddy, you bloated drunken (alleged) murderer! If you go back some time before that, Abercrombie and Fitch was a premiere outfitter for African safaris and such. Just for grins, try walking into one now and asking for a .600 Nitro Express Elephant gun, as I did a few months back! Loads and loads of laughs, well for me anyhow. Can't even buy a pith helmet in that joint nowadays!

February 26, 2003, 10:14 PM
Standing Wolf: Longs Drugs Rocks!!! I lived 1 Block from them in Colorado Springs, Bought a few guns and much ammo there. Gibsons in Lawton OK was selling Handguns when I was there in 1997. Man Now I'm missing Longs Drugs :(

February 26, 2003, 10:56 PM
Hey all... long time lurker, thought I'd add this tidbit.

The Super Walmart near my home (north of Tampa, FL) is huge, as one would expect a Super Walmart to be. They have a gigantic sporting goods area and from far away, it would appear all kinds of hunting and shooting accessories. As you enter the department, you see they in fact do have all kinds of hunting and shooting accessories, but that's it, just "accessories". No guns (long or otherwise) no ammo. Tons of targets, clays, cleaning supplies, fishing rods, airguns, knives, etc. But no guns or ammo. Found this out by mistake when my friends and I were on our way to Ocala to do some pistol shooting and clay shooting. Loaded up the cart with food, drinks and other miscellany then made our way to the sporting goods area.... But alas, we only purchased a couple cases of clays.
We asked the employee working the department why this was, and his response was that because the store is next door to a high school, they would not carry firearms or ammunition due to the events of the Columbine tragedy.
Were they planning on selling to the students who may have come in on their lunch break? :rolleyes:
Didn't make much sense to me. So we drove a half an hour out of the way to go to the other (my personal favorite) average, non-super Walmart to pick up everything else. Oh well.

Take care- Steve

February 26, 2003, 11:36 PM
The Super Wal-Mart in the northern parts of Florida still sell shotguns, rifles and IIRC muzzleloaders. Ammunition and black powder still sold as well. Sorry to hear that you're area is screwy.

February 27, 2003, 12:00 AM
You guys of course dont wann know about the Fred Meyer in Anchorage selling handguns, or the Walmarts selling guns here do you??

Naw..didnt think so...



February 27, 2003, 12:43 AM
CenterMass, with their supposed track record that i posted about above, it is prolly a good thing they weren't selling firearms in the super Walmart. Some highschoolers look way over 18, and if the clerk happened to be new/careless/stupid the day one of thses older looking students came in to buy a shotgun in order to shoot up the school and it was sold to them Walmart would be in a world of sh*t. I would have been pretty frustrated if I had been in your shoes, but in hindsight I think they were fairly smart in realizing the possible incompetance of some of their employees.

February 27, 2003, 12:56 AM
What else is there to say?

Support your local gunshop :)

The small shops will have a knowledgable salesman behind the counter. That salesman might even be a gunsmith.

The real gunshops are better for information on guns, shooting, reloading, and local hunting. Best to keep 'em in business.

February 27, 2003, 02:57 AM
When I lived in Anchorage (in the 80's) the Long's Drug Store on Northern Lights had one of the best gun departments in town. Bought a ton of stuff there. Fishing dept was great too. Half my buddies bought their 44 mags there. I was always in there oogling handguns and rifles and buying ammo and fishing gear.

Now its a Barnes and Noble with a Starbux. Oh well.

February 27, 2003, 03:22 AM
Ed, Long's Drugs no longer sells handguns; I think it was the Columbine slaughter (aided along by making schools gun-free zones [except for killers]). Pity. I bought my Colt Python from them in the 1980s.

They do still sell long guns and reloading supplies, but so does my local Wal-mart, and Wal-mart's cheaper.

February 27, 2003, 03:49 AM
Around here, the Big Dogg for muntions and long guns is a variety store called Bi-Mart. They even carry reloading componants! I won't use a powder unless I can get it at Bi-Mart....$2 to $3 a pound cheaper on average. When I first moved out here, they sold pistols too. That doesn't happen anymore.

At local gun shoppes, (that I also frequent) I've seen this sign more than once....

"Bi-Mart not spoken here." ;)

February 27, 2003, 10:51 AM
I buy a lot of my ammo at my town's Super WallyWorld - unlike the gun shops in the Austin area, they have the Winchester White Box 9mm Value Pack. In fact, the only ammo I don't buy there is 7.62x39, because they don't carry it, and "carry" ammo for my 9mm.

Since I live in a small town, the three people who work in the sporting goods dept aren't particularly young or dumb. they actually know a fair amount about firearms, ammunition, etc.

Sample encounter from last week.

Me: "What kind of hollow-points do ya'll have in nine-millimeter?"

Dude: "Well, *gestures at ammo cage* we only carry Winchester hunnert'and fifteen grain JHPs"

Me: "Oh. No EFMJ one-twenty-four grain, then?"

Dude: "Nope."

Me: "What about something +P?"

Dude: "Nope. Unfortunately they won't let us carry anything +P"

Me: "Sucks."

Dude: "Yep."

I've bought two guns at Academy Sports. They recently started selling handguns as well as long, and their prices are excellent! customer service and selection is not so good, though (when I bought my Mossberg there, the guy running the gun counter didn't know how to do a NICS .:scrutiny:

February 27, 2003, 04:23 PM
In the good old days (1960's), I went into the J.C. Penny's store which is (still) 2 blocks from my house and purchased two Winchester lever action rifles from their well-stocked sporting goods section. I still shop there and get depressed when I walk by that area which is now the shoe section. So much for "progress"! :(

February 27, 2003, 04:34 PM
The Gander Mountain here in Canton told me they don't stock anything with a barrel less than 3". Might have changed though (or perhaps doesn't apply to used)..saw a 2" SP101

February 27, 2003, 04:52 PM
Nobody has mentioned them so I will---Scheel's is just awesome----pistols---rifles--shotguns---even high-grade stuff----reloading stuff---gunsafes etc.........

Good prices and long lay-a-ways.

And that's just the gun stuff----they have all kinds of sporting goods and clothing also.

They're supposed to be putting a store here in town in 2004----trembling with excitment------lol.

AZ Jeff
February 27, 2003, 06:14 PM
Lack of general retailers selling guns is a sign of the times. The combination of:
--added legal hassles to retail in firearms
--insurance liability issues
--the touchy-feely mentality that has marginalized guns and gun-ownership
all of these have conspired to make gun retail sales too much of a PITA for most retailers.

Just to show how much things have changed:

when I was a kid in the 1950's, my uncle bought a brand new S&W M27 from the Marshall Field's dept. store in Evanston, Illinois. For those of you who don't know who/what Marshall Field's is, it's a medium high end dept. store founded in the late 1800's in Chicago. It's the equivalent of Macy's. (They are now owned by Dayton-Hudson stores.)

Can anyone fathom a store like Macy's, Field's, or the like dealing in firearms today? I cannot. Although I wish they still did!!!

February 28, 2003, 01:13 AM
Bought my first shotgun at Monkey Wards. :) I would pick up shells for my dads but then I had to have parent present to buy BBs a few weeks later. Of course in small town once was enough and after that I could buy whatever I wanted.
Friend worked at Wally World and I should have bought a pistol back then. :(

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