Don't touch it unless i say so!


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walking arsenal
April 4, 2005, 07:13 PM
(The events in this story are true, only the names have been left out to protect the idiots)

Saturday 11:00am

i venture to the only decent gun shop within driving distance of my home with the intent on maybe making a trade. My house is in MN a wonderfully fridgid ice box that thankfully allows CCW which ive had since i was 18, im now 22. The shop i'm headed to is in the odd state of wisconsin a state were the majority of it's residence have a cheeze fetish and a love for the color green and, of course, NO CCW.

While crossing the bridge from MN to WI i remember no ccw so i pull out my 1911 and drop the mag after doing so i realize i cant drive and dump the round out of my gun safely. So i leave the round in the barrel and place it in my range bag next to me on the seat. It wasnt going to be out of the bag anyways and i would just empty it when i parked. After all the shop is two blocks inside wisconsin what are the chances of me getting pulled over in two blocks. Usually i do i empty my gun before i go over the bridge but i was preocupied with the trade and forgot.

I had been into the store earlier in the week with my 1911 and had gotten a quote on trade to find its value. I had brought another pistol with for trading purposes, this pistol was on the bottom of the bag, my 1911 on top. when i got to the shop my mind got more preoccupied with making the trade and i forgot to dump the round out of my 1911, not a big deal it wasnt going to be out of the bag anyways and the bag wasnt going to be out of my sight while i was in the shop.

As i walk in the store i get a friendly greeting and proceed to talk trades with one of the guys at the counter while browsing the rack of pistols in front of me. As i was looking things over the guy asked me "is your trade in here?" smitten by a gorgeous kimber i simply nodded my head and kept staring.

The range bag is directly above my head, im leaning over looking through the glass, i hear a rustling sound.

I stand up just in time to see the clerk back up from the counter with my 1911 in hand hammer back safety on!!!!


For me, time slows.

Questions race through my mind.

Will he check it? will he just pull the trigger?! can i get him to put it down before he does either? Where's it pointing? down? ok, good. #&%! Concrete flooring! Does gold dot ricochet? I cant remember! What will the THR's think when they read about this in the paper?!!! #$&!!!! whats he doing?!

Click!!! (the safety)

SCHLIIIICCCCKKK!!! (goes the slide) (round jumps out, slow motion spinning effect) (round thuds to the floor)

Time speeds back up and im starring into the face of a slightly anoyed gun shop clerk. For a second we just stare at each other and then he says "hmm, thats bad, so what is it you wanted to trade this on"?

At first i apalogized, a lot, then i was a little pissed, then a little confused. I never did make the trade and instead went home and took a nap.

It could have turned out worse. i made a few mistakes that led up to the incident, but the guy at the counter in my opinion made the ultimate one when stuck his hands into somthing he had no idea what was in there, for all he knew i had a pet spider in there for a security system.

I guess that proves that unless it's yours leave it alone AND dont get complacent.

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whm1974
April 4, 2005, 07:24 PM
A good rule to follow is you hand the gun with the action open to another person instead of haing him pick it up himself.

-Bill

walking arsenal
April 4, 2005, 07:37 PM
And thus lies the problem, i didnt have him DO anything. He reached in on his own. From the way he asked the question i figured he wanted to know what was in the bag.

Stickjockey
April 4, 2005, 07:42 PM
Corollary: if you're curious, ASK FIRST!!!

I'm sure that needn't be said here, but I've seen and heard too much in both the firearms and military vehicles crowds to think it doesn't bear repeating in general.

buy guns
April 4, 2005, 08:13 PM
you should have just emptied it completely. if you can take the mag out while driving you can spend an extra second to rack the slide and remove the chambered round.

eagle45
April 4, 2005, 08:32 PM
not a big deal it wasnt going to be out of the bag anyways and the bag wasnt going to be out of my sight while i was in the shop.

Unlocked bag, not under your complete control, taken into a shop with the intent of trading. That means you could reasonably expect someone to be looking at it. Sorry, but I would consider that a big deal. Just my $0.02

Bear Gulch
April 4, 2005, 08:32 PM
Be it guns or dating ask before you touch! :D

walking arsenal
April 4, 2005, 09:06 PM
Buy guns

I would have. But i was driving across a 3/4 mile long bridge at 65 mph.........i was a little involved. :uhoh:

Topgun
April 4, 2005, 09:16 PM
Being "a little involved" could get real tricky if a CUSTOMER had picked it up.

OH MY....do customers just reach in and pick things up?

Oh golly YES when the chiselers overhear any hint of whatever is in the bag being "up for grabs." Customers REGULARLY violate every shred of decency in businesses every day if they think they can get "one up" on the shop by making a higher offer.

Coins, guns, pawn items....you name it.

I assume you were going less than 65 when you exited your car to go in the shop. At that time, reaching in and ejecting the round would have been the thing to do.

Before......entering the shop.

You are lucky to have CCW. I do too. You would have lost it in ANY accident that could have happened. Not to mention several hundred thousand dollars in liability lawsuits that could have involved you AND the shop.

Ya just can't be inattentive with a gun.....ever.

MoeMentum
April 4, 2005, 09:17 PM
Well, at least the guy behind the counter pulled the slide back, and ejected the round, I'd say, he just saved you a lot of liability.

Jim PHL
April 4, 2005, 09:17 PM
I'm happy that you had no problem. I agree that the counter-dude was in the (VERY) wrong for reaching into your bag. (It sounds like he doesn't really know you -- I've been married for almost twenty years and I don't even reach into my wife's purse!)
That said, safe handling of your guns is always your responsibility. I'm not trying to sound preachy, but I'm amazed sometimes. My most recently acquired gun is one my sister gave me because her ex (a cop!) left it laying around, not loaded, but in an old duty style holster with the bullets in leather loops. I told her I was a little freaked out because she has an eight year old and an almost three year old. Even she surprised me by saying "yeah, but they know they're not aloud to play in there" :eek: (Laundry room/work area in front portion of their basement.)

The most famous of the "Famous Last Words": "It ain't loaded, see?"

Standing Wolf
April 4, 2005, 09:38 PM
Personally, I stay the heck out of states that don't respect my Second Amendment civil rights, and that includes Wisconsin.

whm1974
April 4, 2005, 11:17 PM
My most recently acquired gun is one my sister gave me because her ex (a cop!) left it laying around, not loaded, but in an old duty style holster with the bullets in leather loops. I told her I was a little freaked out because she has an eight year old and an almost three year old. Even she surprised me by saying "yeah, but they know they're not aloud to play in there" (Laundry room/work area in front portion of their basement.)

Since when did 8 year old kids stayed out of areas they weren't suppose to be in? A good thing she give it to you.

-Bill

cobb
April 4, 2005, 11:37 PM
Did I miss something?????????

How was a Minnesota resident going to buy a handgun over the counter in Wisconsin???????????

yorec
April 5, 2005, 12:17 AM
It could have turned out worse. i made a few mistakes that led up to the incident, but the guy at the counter in my opinion made the ultimate one when stuck his hands into somthing he had no idea what was in there, for all he knew i had a pet spider in there for a security system.

I guess that proves that unless it's yours leave it alone AND dont get complacent.

About sums it up...

But whether the clerk's assumption he could examine the prospective trade at that moment or not being the ultimate mistake is highly debatable. Lesson learned.

(Good question, cobb)

walking arsenal
April 5, 2005, 12:20 AM
I can field this one.

The Wis shop has an FFl on the MN side of the bridge.

Once a day they take the handguns over the boarder to that FFL.

once you pick it up there you pay a 15 dollar handling fee fill out some more paper work and your all set.

GRB
April 5, 2005, 01:10 AM
Here is the way I look at it. You made some mistakes and the guy at the shop made one mistake. The mistakes you made are pretty obvious, not unloading the pistol in a safe manner before crossing the state line, forgetting to unload it once you crossed the state line, bringing a loaded pistol into the store in a concealed carry while not having a permit to even have it in that state (concealed carry can be on your person or in your handbag), but the biggest mistake of all, the sacrilege you committed was to leave your gun there where someone else could get, while you were paying attention to other things, and it and it was loaded.

The guy behind the counter made one big mistake, he should never have gone into your bag without expressly asking for permission. Once he had the pistol out of the bag, it sounds (if I remember what you said correctly) that he did right by checking it to see if it was loaded and keeping it pointed in a safe direction while doing so. Still, he should never have touched it.

The thing about this is, no matter how you feel about it or want to look at it, the store owner's mistake of taking it out (which was a pretty bad one) in no way makes your mistakes any less than the mistakes they were. That firearm should not have left your control in a public area like that while loaded - that I think, was the ultimate mistake made that day. Had you controlled your firearm none of it could have happened. This is why I stress that females never, ever carry in a purse (also goes for guys who carry purses), briefcases or anything you regularly or even sometimes put down.

Yet, you can be very happy. You should be happy it wasn't some kid or moron who took a look at it and then pointed it in your general direction and then it went bang? Be happiest of all if you learned a lesson from the experience. On some other day, at another moment, with another person involved - who knows if you would have been able to tell us this story! Thank goodness all is ok. You were lucky that time.

best reagrds,
Glenn B

walking arsenal
April 5, 2005, 11:07 AM
Thanks Glenn

My point exactly.

And that is why i posted this story in the first place.

I could have saved myself the embarrassment but then who would have learned from my mistake? This is part of what THR is about.

Or as Voltaire says

-Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others? -
Voltaire

I'm not saying i didnt make a mistake, i made several i just wanted to give some folks the oprutunity to learn from it.

kfranz
April 5, 2005, 11:47 AM
I'd say in this case there isn't much to learn. With my softest voice on so as not to come across as harsh, you screwed up in a way I like to think we all know to avoid. Your assessment
It could have turned out worse. i made a few mistakes that led up to the incident, but the guy at the counter in my opinion made the ultimate one when stuck his hands into somthing he had no idea what was in there, for all he knew i had a pet spider in there for a security system

is flawed, in that you made the ultimate mistake of leaving a loaded firearm in a public place, out of your control.

TechBrute
April 5, 2005, 12:49 PM
It's a good thing that the clerk was in the habit of checking/clearing the action prior to doing anything else with the gun.

The Rabbi
April 5, 2005, 01:44 PM
I must have missed something. The bag was on the counter. The clerk asked him "is your trade in here?" Walking Arsenal nodded and then stopped paying attention. He effectively relinquished control of the bag to the clerk. I would have taken that as an invitation to open the case and look at the proposed trade. The clerk obviously did.
I have seen people bring trades in that were loaded and I always thought, what a moron. Whenever I bring something in I make sure it is cleared and cleaned before I get into the car much less walk into the store.
Anyone can screw up every now and then. I would worry about someone who made a habit of it. I would worry about someone who blamed others for his negligence as well.

GRB
April 5, 2005, 05:26 PM
I don't think you missed anything but, I do think the owner of the store forgot to ask: "Do you mind if I go ahead and take a look at it:". Instead, he assumed it was ok to do so and, that was his mistake. Not the biggest one that was made for sure but, a mistake on his part nonetheless.

I am kind of happy to see others share their goof-ups, it is a good way for others to learn.
aLL THE BEST, gb

The Rabbi
April 5, 2005, 05:28 PM
Glenn Bartley, I would take his assent that the trade gun was in the bag, which was on the counter, in front of the clerk, as assent that the clerk could go into it. The clerk took it that way too.

Bear Gulch
April 5, 2005, 06:12 PM
I think WA's point was that we all get preoccupied at times; and that it can be a luxury that we can ill afford when we're armed.

Thanks for sharing WA, that took guts! I think that we have all had close calls but he was willing to own his.

Waitone
April 5, 2005, 07:10 PM
I'd get pretty honked if ANYONE when through my range bag. period. My bag is my bag. If I want you to have something in the bag, I'll provide it.

Don't mess with my range bag. :fire:

Bear Gulch
April 6, 2005, 12:12 AM
I can see where the miss communication happened. One more reason that I have a clearing barrel outside my front door. Redundant measures insure safety.

DelayedReaction
April 6, 2005, 04:00 AM
Your firearm, your responsibility. The clerk shouldn't have reached into the bag, but you should have cleared it after you parked your car.

Fred Fuller
April 6, 2005, 07:15 AM
WA,

One more example of Murphy riding shotgun. Glad it was no worse, sorry you got an embarassing lesson out of it.

I always tell my wife (easily distracted) that, when you are driving, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING to do is _drive_. Not talk, or look at horses or houses, drive.

Same thing with guns. We MUST stay focused on our primary responsibility when carrying/handling/in any way dealing with guns. It is imperative, simply because ol' Murph is always waiting in the wings. There is no substitute for full attention to what we are doing when guns are involved.

kpk/nc (who has had a shortcoming or two in that department also)

BlkHawk73
April 6, 2005, 07:27 AM
Sorry but being "was a little involved" wouldn't do you a darn bit of good when talking to a police officer, jury or judge. You, and youalone are responsible for the condition of your guns in your possession. @ blocks or not, you wilingly and knowingly broke state law and further negligance could've put you in REAL hot water. No excuses when it comes to safety! Don't try to down-play your part and put al blame on the other guy. Especially in a gun shop, one should expect a gun to be handled (watch people at gun shows). :cuss: :banghead:

sturmruger
April 6, 2005, 11:30 AM
Ya WI sucks! Too bad we have so many good gun shops!!

entropy
April 6, 2005, 07:16 PM
:what: I sure hope it wasn't the shop I work at. (they have mentioned several guns brought in loaded lately. I hope yours wasn't one of them.)
Bear Gulch has a good idea, although we have a lot of LE in here, (most of the gunshop guys are. I'm ex-military.) I'm not sure they'd use it. Talk to sturmruger about the proper procedure for crossing the river and CCW, he lives here, but works in MN, where he has a permit.
The gunshop guys error was one of rudeness, but understandable in the situation, with your omission of any further communication [ is your trade in here? Yes.] It is harder to proceed futher with trading if one cannot see the trade. You made a mistake in not adding something to the effect of ," and we'll look at it in a minute. Can I see that [drool ;) ] Kimber?"
At least you realize your mistake in not clearing the pistol before getting inside. That was the starting point for the whole episode. Glad his training once he had it in hand was working, and no tragedy happened.

walking arsenal
April 6, 2005, 07:36 PM
entropy

you and me both.

Like i said, i screwed up a lot more more than the shop guy did and the whole thing could have been avoided if id had my head were it belonged instead of off in space.

but again i posted the story so othes could learn from it, m sure there are other people on the board who have made similar mistakes but havent come forward about it, cant say i blame them, it was a highly embarassing mistake from a typically careful gun owner.

whats your shop BTW, maybe ill swing in.

twency
April 7, 2005, 02:08 AM
I'd get pretty honked if ANYONE when through my range bag. period. My bag is my bag. If I want you to have something in the bag, I'll provide it.

Don't mess with my range bag.Then don't:
•plunk it down on the counter in front of the clerk after indicating that you want to do a trade-in
•stop paying attention to it
•and when asked "is your trade-in in here?", nod your head, say yes, and continue to ignore the bag, which is no longer in your possession.

As Walking Arsenal indicated, he did some less-than-thoughtful things. Obviously he and the clerk had different interpretations of his actions. Generally speaking, where the handling of firearms are involved, ambiguity is a bad thing. Clerk woulda been well-advised to have explicitly asked "may I look at it?", but he obviously though that Walking Arsenal intended for him to look at it, since WA had relinquished control of the bag, and had indicated he had a trade-in in the bag.

If you don't wan't someone pawing through your range bag, don't let it out of your control/observation.

-twency
_____________________
No one is paying attention until you make a mistake.

medmo
April 7, 2005, 02:29 AM
Everybody made mistakes but.... in the end, safe gun handling practices saved the day. Hooray! to the guy behind the counter for assuming "all guns are loaded all the time" and cleared/empty the chamber before proceeding. If you see an unsafe situation transpiring or the possibility of something happening... call it out even if it has to be at the top of your lungs. Don't be concerned with being embarrassed or hurting someone's feelings.

1st most important thing learned: Safe gun handling practices work

2nd most important thing learned: You can't control your loaded gun when it isn't under your control.

Just my thoughts....

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