Youngsters in the gun store


May 21, 2003, 01:18 AM
OK, at 33 I'm far from an experienced old timer. But I've seen about half a dozen instances in local gun stores lately where groups of youngsters (early 20's, late teens) have been playing around with the firearms on the rack. They don't seem to understand it's a problem to point a firearm at customers, and I've had to yell at one about it. They also express desire for the most tricked-up semiautos they see, making all sorts of completely erroneous claims about their power to each other.

It almost seems like they handle the firearm and they think they're in an action movie. This is probably just nonsense, but what worries me is that the next generation, having been kept totally isolated from firearms at school and trained to think of them as incarnations pure evil, are going to act accordingly when they get their hands on the real thing.

When I went to high school in the '80's in the suburbs of Portland, I recall several teachers having firearms around. Nothing was said about it, but just seeing an adult civilian behaving properly with a firearm had a big impact on me. Students today have no such role models, unless they're lucky enough to live with a responsible gun-owning family.

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May 21, 2003, 01:56 AM
Excellent point, Cosmoline. One thing is for sure, TV and the movies are not the place to get one's education in responsible behavior, be it guns or about anything else.

Recon By Fire
May 21, 2003, 02:02 AM
Actually, I was one of those kids in the Gun store, but my experience was quite different. Not only would I never imagine handling the weapons that way, I don't think the owners would take to kindly to me acting in that manner. There was quite a lot of old fat guys (Sorry to all I have just offended) and I would not be surprised if they we ALL packing heat. I don't know who would in their right mind would ever consider doing that in a Gun Store, knowing full well that the again old fat dude behind the counter had his 12 gauge with your name on it.

I asked a few questions and as soon as he realized that I was a n00b at guns in general, he 'suggested' that I leave and come back when I actually wanted to have some serious conversation. He didn't like the fact that I knew nothing.

Hey, even good old fat guys had to start some where!

May 21, 2003, 02:07 AM

I can't tell you how many people in the 30+ crowd I've seen doing the same thing.

May 21, 2003, 02:49 AM
well im 16 and really close to my local gun store, i hunt with all of them, shoot with em on they're teams, shoot on there private ranges etc... and though im not allowed to legally work there, sometimes I do, nothing serious maybe show a few guns or something of the sort but im just as safety consisous as the employees so they dont think twice weather im showing a 1911 or an 870. but on to the point, I see kids my age at the "crappy gun" racks that arent behind the counter full of those Rossi shotguns and sks' etc... and they'll pick em up pretend there shooting full auto (with an O/U) point them at each other etc, as soon as one of the employees see them they kick them out but it is the most frusterating thing to see these ignorant and apathetic kids, I mean dont they have any common sense? but thats not all they'll be back next week without remorse looking at them again. Its kids like these that ruin it for respectable kids like me....

May 21, 2003, 09:12 AM
You can bet your azz I`m carrying a NY reload. However, since the young guys who posted on this thread seem to understand the proper respect for firearms, I see no problem.:)

May 21, 2003, 09:23 AM

As a teen, I was reading about firearms in military history, technical journals and trash fiction before I got to handle any of the "real" stuff. It's possible that these "youngsters" (I'm 32) do need a hands-on education. Recognizing the safety implications, we shouldn't necessarily deride possible new shooters who need some guidance to act safely.

May 21, 2003, 10:28 AM
Idiots are everywhere I see them driving down the road everyday. We can't lockem up so we have to put up with them. Keep your eyes open and be aware.

May 21, 2003, 10:32 AM
I'm 21. I've seen problems with people of every age group.

H Romberg
May 21, 2003, 10:33 AM
I'd suggest trying to help the offending youngster if possible. You might turn a wannabe gangbanger into a stand-up gun geek. After all, the interest is there already. A friendly briefing on the safety and courtesy rules should at least get them to stop being unsafe.

My .02

El Tejon
May 21, 2003, 10:45 AM
Cos, stupidity knows no race, no religion, no region, no accent, no gender and definitely no age.

These "kids" are not educated properly. Teach them!

Henry Bowman
May 21, 2003, 10:48 AM
H Romberg and SADshooter are right. They are the potential future of our gun culture. Give them at least one courtious chance. Maybe their parents are ingnorant or anti's (or both). They, probably rightly, assume that guns displayed in a store are unloaded. They don't know the 4 rules. Where would they have seen them? On the back of a cereal box? On TV between Saturday morning cartoons? If they give you crap in return, then throw 'em out!

May 21, 2003, 11:06 AM
Hmm. Sounds like an irritating and possibly dangerous situation. I've got a oddball and probably unusable suggestion on how you could solve it, if the kids are under 18 and/or living at home.

Can the storekeeper take down the names and addresses and phone numbers of these kids? If so, how about sending their parents a nice letter describing the incident and inviting the parents to send the kids (at their expense) to a basic firearms safety course? Also, explain nicely that if the kids want to have dangerous tools, they really ought to learn how to use them safely.

With luck it should solve the problem one way or another.


May 21, 2003, 11:09 AM
You're probably right, I am exaggerating it. There's something about the generation coming up now that just makes me want to smack them around. The baggy pants, the hipity-hop, the faux gangsta' nonsense, the use of words such as "cus."

We were just so much more sensible in the '80's :D

May 21, 2003, 11:31 AM
I asked a few questions and as soon as he realized that I was a n00b at guns in general, he 'suggested' that I leave and come back when I actually wanted to have some serious conversation. He didn't like the fact that I knew nothing.
I trust that after you learned something you spent your money elsewhere? ;)

Anyway, foolishness has no age limits. Way back when I was in my teens, my father and I left a pistol range early when a couple of old geezers - they must have been close to 50! - had Ruger single actions and were twirling them - loaded! - like movie cowboys.

May 21, 2003, 11:43 AM
I was treated poorly for a while in gun shops because I was young. I started huntng at about 13 or 14, but didn't really get into shooting as a hobby until age 17. After a while all the shops figured out that I wasn't a gangter wannabe and that I cared about the rules of gun safety and all that. Now all the shops know me and I finally get treated with the respect that I feel I should have gotten from the beginning! I don't really blame them though, usually teenagers don't have a whole lot of money anyway. After I bought 2 or 3 guns, they figured out that I was a serious customer.

I haven't really seen any young people in the shops around here doing anything like what you guys describe. All of the firearms are behind counters around here, so the salesperson is standing with you the whole time (unless they know you, in which case they'll hand you the gun and walk away to help someone else). I guess the fact that people aren't left unsupervised keeps them from acting up.

May 21, 2003, 11:49 AM
I've seen some kids with no concept with gun safety.
But more than once I've looked up at a gunshow staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge double being held by an elderly gentleman. Not as if he's just picking it up (you can't help but briefly cover someone in those circumstances) ... actually shouldered and being aimed at my face. The "youngsters" that I usually go with are extremely careful to point any weapons they wish to shoulder at the roof rather than at someone's left eye. YMMV

Agree with El Tejon: Anyone can be stupid - regardless of age. Kids are often more open to being "taken under one's wing" than many adults, however.

Spoken as a young'n.

SoDFW Jason
May 21, 2003, 12:18 PM
Recon bf- Since your a newbie to guns(welcome, btw:D ) An important thing to know is that MOST gunstores are a BAD place to get info. on firearms.

Whatever you wanna know, ask it here(ANY question no matter how silly you may think it is to experienced shooters). Your pool of educated and experienced shooters is exponentially greater here than just about anywhere else.

Someday(if you follow the safety rules), you can be one of us old fat guys that DO know a lot.

May 21, 2003, 12:24 PM
i'm not old, but i am fat. and i always feel like a small child in a gunstore. i fully realize when i am talking to the person at the counter just how little i know about firearms. it kind of gives me an inferiority complex.

Double Maduro
May 21, 2003, 02:51 PM
Why do you feel it necesary to run them out of the store and allienate a section of society that will be the next generation of voters, gun owners and potential customers?

Maybe instead of getting angry and running them out of the shop a better solution would be to teach them why what they are doing is wrong.

This would help them to:
1. Understand the basic rules of safety.
2. Act like responsible citizens. Not like the idiots they see in movies.
3. Not think that all of the OFG's (Old Fat Guys) in the shop are *********s who think kids are bad.
4. Respect the people in the shop, this may keep you from being robbed/vandalised by these youths in the future.
5. Become customers in the future.

An added bonus is that their parents may also appreciate the time you take to talk to their kids and become customers.

The biggest bonus of all is helping these kids to better understand the priveleges and responsibilities that come attached to guns.

When I was younger I worked in service stations, back when they did more than dispense gas. Kids would come in with flat tires on their bikes and most of the guys would tell them to come back with their parents to get them fixed.

I would tell them to leave it and when I had time I would fix it for them. No charge. People thought I was crazy, but their parents started buying their gas and getting their service from us. It became a good selling point, and good relations. We never had a problem with any of the neighborhood kids.

Just some thoughts, ymmv.

May 21, 2003, 04:10 PM
I never had problems as described above when I visited gun stores as a kid.

My father had given me a short, effective, rundown of safe gun handling when I was seven or eight. It was backed up with a Hunter Safety class at 12. By 14 I was shooting with the pistol club at the local university.

My kids had even more safety instruction from me than I got from my father. Two had had Hunter Safety courses that were longer and more detailed than mine.

They didn't have problems in gun stores either.

Education is the key.

I'd like to see Col. Coopers four gun safety rules posted in every gun store.

May 21, 2003, 04:26 PM
well I'm 28 and have been into the shooting scene for about 15 years... I'm also amazed at the number of OFG's who think they know everything about everything.. i'm also dismayed at the number of OFG's like my dad for instance that dont think the Brady Bunch and their ilk are gonna come after his duck gun after their done with the AR's etc.. and their ultimate goal is total confiscation.. at least he gives money to the NRA and GOA and votes the Repub or Libertarian ticket

Standing Wolf
May 21, 2003, 04:26 PM
In my thirty-odd years of visiting gun shops, I've seen people young, old, and in between do stupid things, including point firearms at people, drop them, pretend to ludicrous knowledge, and act like three-year-olds.

Most of us outgrow the worst of immaturity with age, but some never do.

May 21, 2003, 05:20 PM
If you want to bring some of them over to the "right side", I'd suggest a range day one weekend; post a few notices, offer to drive some of them to a local rifle range, show them what a gun can and can't do (a 12 gauge into a milk jug filled with water makes a lasting impression), and let them fire a few rounds themselves (all with parental permission, of course). At the end of the day, you might have a few future shooters, ones who save up their money for that slick new O/U or latest 1911. At the very least, they won't get all of their ideas about guns from this crap that CNN was showing on the AWB.

May 21, 2003, 06:43 PM
Not to take away from the youngsters, but I've seen guys in their 50s point guns at each other and pulling the triggers in gunshops.

It is true that many folks in all age brackets are 'less than ideally intelligent'. Is that more PC than saying nobrainstupiddumbbuttfacemoron? :p

El Tejon
May 21, 2003, 07:08 PM
Remember, if you see a person being unsafe with firearms, it is our duty to correct this behaviour, regardless of their age.

May 21, 2003, 07:10 PM
What I hate is im almost 25 and I feel like those youngsters in the gun store. I walk in and start looking, and somehow I feel like im 12 compared to the others in the store. I am by most peoples standards very mature...but I dont feel it half the time. And the workers there sometimes dont do much to help me. Not till I found a decent gun shop that is. But I try my dangedest not to show my ??? in the store. I dont try to tell anyone the benifits of one over the other....just point out the good points of said firearm being careful not to say its best or anything. Like a p-32....great LITTLE gun....but i dont compare it to say a bretta mouse gun saying its better or worse. What I hate almost the worst is when a dealer hands me a gun i want to see, he doesnt check the chamber...then hands it to me in such a way that he sweeps me or i end up sweeping him the moment i grab it. carelessness....and makes me feel stupid cause his/her carelessness

May 21, 2003, 07:15 PM
I am 21 and I own more guns than my age. I have also taught firearms rules to more people than my age. I don't see how age has anything to do with safe firearms handling. Age is just a number.

In my case, I visit many gun stores in the metro Atlanta area. Most of the customers that I see handling firearms in an unsafe manner are much older than I am. I have seen many young people handling firearms in an unsafe manner, but even more older folks doing the same thing.


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