Sportsmans Warhouse--Anti CCW instructor


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phorvick
March 31, 2006, 02:15 PM
I today (March 31st) received an e-mail from Sportmans Warehouse in Fargo that the chain has made a corporate decsion that they no longer will allow CCW instructors to conduct classes in their stores.

Sportsmans Warehouse is a national chain that has a tremendous selection of handguns in inventory and now have taken the official position that CCW instructors apparently are too dangerous and they do not want them in their stores.

Here is the exact e-mail text:

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There has been a change to our corporate policy regarding Concealed Carry Classes. I was informed that we are no longer able to do Concealed Carry Classes here at Sportsmans Warehouse. Feel free to call so that we can discuss this further.

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StopTheGrays
March 31, 2006, 02:59 PM
It might be that it added too much to their insurance to make it worth while anymore. If they added "and we are happy about this decision because CCW is unsafe for civilians" then I would say it was anti-CCW instructor.

auschip
March 31, 2006, 03:02 PM
Sportsmans Warehouse is a national chain that has a tremendous selection of handguns in inventory and now have taken the official position that CCW instructors apparently are too dangerous and they do not want them in their stores.


Can you point out where it said that in the email you included? Anywhere at all where it might have even come close to saying that, because all I saw was that they no longer were going to allow CCW classes in their stores. :scrutiny:

phorvick
March 31, 2006, 03:23 PM
Well, of course that was some hyperbole on my part.

I left out part of the prior conversations with the store. I had a class there on March 25th...very well attended. Local store is thrilled to get that many into the store. I was told then that "due to liability concerns" the corporate management was reconsidering allowing such classes to be held.

I had discussed the liability concern and essentially is was that if a person got a permit as a result of doing the classwork at SW, and later "something happened", that the store could be sued.

I suggested that if that were a real concern that it could be obviated by hiring the instructor as a part time employee thereby getting covered under the general liability policy the store carries; and/or have the participants sign a waiver that they were aware that the instructor was NOT an employee of the store and that the store was not taking any responsibility for content etc.

It seems pretty clear to me that to be consistent, the store should also ban any cooking classes (food poisoning), archery safety classes, fly casting classes, etc etc etc.

It also seems fairly clear to me that some lawyer or insurance company has scared the management into this anti-ccw class policy.

If you believe in the slippery slope concept, it could be applied here. If we can't get CCW stopped, let's make it impossible to conduct classes anywhere by refusing to insure such activities. I feel that it is both short sighted as a business policy, and very ominous for the CCW instructor community, as the same "liability" argument can be used in any store facility...or any place that might otherwise allow such classes to be taught. (Also keep in mind here that the specific classes being taught by me and others in this store do NOT involve any shooting activitiy of any kind, nor do the participants have any firearms in the class.)

AJ Dual
March 31, 2006, 03:36 PM
Their insurance company put the squeeze on them. Unfortunately, the Insurance co. has lots of power over them. Even if Sportsman's Warehouse had the stones to tell their insurance carrier to go to hell, It caould have a severe impact on their banking, credit, and cash flow.

Just like you or I can't lease a car or get a loan without insurance, businesses can't get banking without coverage either.

And any aggressive trial lawyer will tell you that liability waivers, no matter how strongly they're worded, are ultimately just to keep potential plaintiffs from thinking to seek representation and suing in the first place.

I don't think it's a conspiracy, just a bottom line mentality, and another example of why tort reform is needed in this country.

pete f
March 31, 2006, 04:54 PM
I was just there and asked and the store manager at the Coon Rapids store said it was a legal decision they will be happy to carry free literature just like it was a guide service or hunter ed. he said they were still arguing over allowing hunter ed in the store. he said legal dept was too worried about being named as part of the suit
he said they were tlaking about making a community room and allowing that to be used by boyscouts, hunter ed and more and that by bringing more people in that might give them and out in saying we only supply a community room


For what it is worth, finding a community room to teach CCW is not hard at all juat ask around at the park adn rec board or the library.

Soybomb
March 31, 2006, 05:03 PM
I was just there and asked and the store manager at the Coon Rapids store said it was a legal decision they will be happy to carry free literature just like it was a guide service or hunter ed. he said they were still arguing over allowing hunter ed in the store. he said legal dept was too worried about being named as part of the suit
I hate to see people buckle to court fear though. I'm sorry we can't sell guns anymore, too much of a legal liability. Want to buy some whiteout? I need to see proof that you're of age, we could be sued. Dodge viper? yeah we had to put a speed limiter for 70mph in them though. You know lawyers. Want to buy some cold medicine, gotta write down your D/L number just in case.

I try to not shop with people who will give in to their legal paranoia, it gets old and its only going to get worse I'm afraid.

phorvick
March 31, 2006, 05:11 PM
It was noted (correctly of course!) that..."For what it is worth, finding a community room to teach CCW is not hard at all juat ask around at the park adn rec board or the library."

Yes, today. But, they have insurance carriers and lawyers also. Make no mistake, this is an assault on gun owners no matter how it is rationalized by the corporation.

xd9fan
March 31, 2006, 05:41 PM
I will continue to shop there, the Coon Rapids store gun staff are wonderful. The prices just cant be beat.

phorvick
March 31, 2006, 08:27 PM
I have heard back from their corporate offices. The President of the company will revisit this decision with their insurer.

I will post any updates.

Standing Wolf
March 31, 2006, 09:34 PM
Their insurance company put the squeeze on them.

I believe "our insurance company" gets blamed for a great many corporate policies. Curiously, no one ever mentions the actual name of "our insurance company."

Frankly, I think it's a lie.

Autolycus
March 31, 2006, 10:59 PM
Next time we should ask for the name of their Insurance company. And let them know how we feel. We should also inform the SW that if we will stop shopping there due to their using this insurerer.

Cuda
March 31, 2006, 11:42 PM
We should also inform the SW that if we will stop shopping there due to their using this insurerer.

I will continue to shop at SW.. Why would you want to boycott them because they don't offer ccw classes. Does that really hurt you?
If you want to hurt someone boycott the insurance company. It seems to me they are the bad guys..


C

Monkeyleg
April 1, 2006, 12:40 AM
That's right, folks. Just keep buying guns from the discount chains because you can save a few bucks.

Your local independent shop is probably already paying high premiums to offer services and merchandise that the discount stores won't.

And, when the discount stores have driven the small shops out of business, you'll be puppets on a string for whatever new corporate policies the discount chains decide to implement.

NCP24
April 1, 2006, 12:48 AM
Your local independent shop is probably already paying high premiums to offer services and merchandise that the discount stores won't.

And, when the discount stores have driven the small shops out of business, you'll be puppets on a string for whatever new corporate policies the discount chains decide to implement.Excellent advice, we should always support our local business owners.

stevelyn
April 1, 2006, 11:11 AM
I buy ammo and other stuff from the Sportsman's Warehouse, but my guns will be bought from pet dealers.

mike_bullet
April 1, 2006, 11:55 AM
I beg to differ. I have received far superior service at sportsmanís warehouse then I ever had at any specialty gun shops. And when these big box retailers can sell the same product at 10 and yes sometimes 20% discount I will buy there. After all it's my money I worked hard for it and I intend to keep as much as I can.

DunedinDragon
April 1, 2006, 12:16 PM
I beg to differ. I have received far superior service at sportsman’s warehouse then I ever had at any specialty gun shops. And when these big box retailers can sell the same product at 10 and yes sometimes 20% discount I will buy there. After all it's my money I worked hard for it and I intend to keep as much as I can.

To each their own. Personally, I'll spend a few dollars more and deal with policies that are dictated by some no stones, brain-dead beauracrat who doesn't have the slightest clue about guns and gun law. It may not be in $$$$, but you're still paying a price.

You know, there actually was a time when there were small computer shops where hobbyists hung around, shared stories, found people with considerable expertise they could draw from and helped each other with different computer problems. I guess we saw where that went, huh?????

dpesec
April 1, 2006, 01:12 PM
You know it could just be the insurance company. Remember, when suing people, you name everybody. The person, the gun maker, the ammo maker, the store that sold them, the instructors and the place where the classes were held.
You then go for the deepest pockets.
While the insurance company might not have said stop it, the cost of the insurance could have made it no longer profitable.

Robert Hairless
April 3, 2006, 12:02 AM
Soybomb:

I try to not shop with people who will give in to their legal paranoia, it gets old and its only going to get worse I'm afraid.

Have you been able to shop with many companies that don't carry insurance, consult an attorney, or comply with federal, state, and local laws? Just curious.

mrmeval
April 10, 2006, 04:13 AM
It's their right to choose to allow them or not.

Trip20
April 10, 2006, 09:55 AM
:rolleyes: Thanks, Mr. Obvious. :neener:

No one is debating whether or not the store has the right to make such a decision.

It's a crap policy for both insurer and insured. Those of you willing to shop at SW after this decision, just to save a meesly 10%, should really ask yourselves how much your gun rights are worth. You're selling them out for chump change.

Send them a message.

phorvick
April 10, 2006, 10:02 AM
I continue to have contact with the coroporate offices of SW and expect them to modify or rescind that decision. I hope for an answer in the next few weeks. (today is 4-10-06)

WayneConrad
April 10, 2006, 11:02 AM
Of the 3 gun stores closest to me, Sportsman's is the only one that does not require you to be unarmed while shopping. I don't think I'll throw that baby out with the bathwater.

CAS700850
April 10, 2006, 11:13 AM
Okay, wait a minute here. We're calling for a boycott of SW because the corporation isn't going to allow a non-employee to come in and teach CCW. Period. Do we really expect SW to undertake the liability, and yes, it is a real concern, for someone over whom they have no control. SW has no control over the content of the class, but we expect them to undertake the risk of being named in a lawsuit over what these instructors teach. It is a legit concern. CCW holder shoots someone, gets sued. Victim also sues instructor and SW for improperly teaching the CCW holder, or CCW holder interpleads the instructor and SW for incorrectly teaching him. At the least, SW undertakes the expense of getting themselves out of the suit. Sorry, I can't fault SW for this one. I cannot fault them for not wanting to assume the risk over something for which they have no control.

chorlton
April 10, 2006, 11:21 AM
FWIW, I forget the details but my local SW recently had a deal where you could get a discount for a local CCW instructor, and even now they have his business cards at the front desk.

Sistema1927
April 10, 2006, 11:29 AM
Don't blame Sportsman's Warehouse, instead blame the society that grants million dollar court awards to idiots who dump hot coffee in their laps.

phorvick
April 10, 2006, 01:59 PM
It was noted: "Okay, wait a minute here. We're calling for a boycott of SW because the corporation isn't going to allow a non-employee to come in and teach CCW. Period. Do we really expect SW to undertake the liability, and yes, it is a real concern, for someone over whom they have no control. SW has no control over the content of the class, but we expect them to undertake the risk of being named in a lawsuit over what these instructors teach. It is a legit concern. CCW holder shoots someone, gets sued. Victim also sues instructor and SW for improperly teaching the CCW holder, or CCW holder interpleads the instructor and SW for incorrectly teaching him. At the least, SW undertakes the expense of getting themselves out of the suit. Sorry, I can't fault SW for this one. I cannot fault them for not wanting to assume the risk over something for which they have no control."

First, there is no vicarious liability to SW for allowing their facility to be used by a non-employee for a class. If that were the case, there would be NO place anywhere that could be used for such classes. There is no legitimate claim for negligent supervision etc as all SW is doing is allowing use of thier space. There is more liability to their sales staff for selling guns than ever for a 3rd party use of their facility.

There are, however, things that can be done to mitigate their or their insurer's concern. (1) they can hire the instructor so that the person would fall under their general liability policy; (2) they could require participants in the classes to affirmatively sign a statement acknowledging that SW has no content approval etc over the class and that their sole involvement is allowing use of the space; (3) SW could require the instructor to have certain minimal qualifications; most States have rules that govern the certification of instructors etc.

If the concern is liability, then what about general hunter safety; food cooking; reloading; archery etc etc that they also run as classes (or gunsmith services??). All would be suspect.

I believe that the corporate offices will come up with a plan that keeps the classes possible. More details as soon as I know.

Trip20
April 10, 2006, 02:58 PM
SW has no control over the content of the class, but we expect them to undertake the risk of being named in a lawsuit over what these instructors teach. It is a legit concern.
So if NAMBLA held a convention at the local Marriot Hotel, would the Marriot be named in a lawsuit for statutory rape should one of the NAMBLA members go out lookin' for a good time?

I find it hard to believe that SW has no control over the content of the class. They're capable of reviewing the material and approving it's content. I'm sure the instructor can provide an outline of the material covered. I'm also sure waivers can be made available to lessen any liability that may exist -- however real or imagined.

Furthermore, any person involved in a SD shooting can claim their instructor told them it was OK. Does this happen often? If so, why do we hardly hear of it?

CAS700850
April 10, 2006, 03:05 PM
I would agree that there would appear to be no winnable case under a vicarious liability issue, but the question in society any more is not whether one can win such a suit, but whether one can collect on such a suit. Meaning, can we force SW to pay us any money if we sue them? The problem that has developed is that too many cases are being settled with quick cash being thrown at a problem by insurance companies and such, who fear losing a big case, and paying big money, more than they fear being wrongfully sued a hundred times over with non-existent claims, which have no legal support, but they can get rid of cheaply. They see it as being better to pay off 100 people for $5,000 than to fight one of these cases and risk losing $1,000,000. Why? Saved $500,000.

So, I can see SW bowing to this kind of concern. Why not the cooking classes and hunting classes? No victim. We talk about it here all the time. Shoot someone and get sued. Using the theory of "deepest pockets", suing the CCW holder will get you less than suing the instructor and place where the class was taught.

It's an ugly court system out there, especially with insurance companies involved.

sturmruger
April 10, 2006, 04:19 PM
I hope this turns out ok, I really like SW and would hate to have to go to Gander Mountain to buy guns.

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