My local dealer


September 23, 2003, 04:22 PM
So I want to purchase my first handgun and I call the local gun shop here and ask if they offer lessons. I asked if they rent out fire-arms so that my wife and I can become familiar before we make a purchase. They said that yes they have a range, and they will teach me. No real reply to my asking about renting guns other than “We’ll work with ya”. So not being stupid and understanding that this guy wants to sell me a gun I tell him my situation, that I have a place that I can get firearms at a great deal but I still need to buy ammunition and have a range to go to, and I will pay for these as well as lessons and hope to find a local place that I can get this done at. He starts going off “Well get your training from them then, you scratch my back I scratch yours, You sh#t on me I sh#t on you!!! That is just the way it is! Cant give ya stuff for free” I have been talking with this guy for less than 60 seconds, the owner of the shop, I never asked for free stuff. So I say okay, do you have a certified instructor and offer lessons, I will pay for lessons. “Been certified since I was born….” was the reply. So I ask again, no real answer to my question. I restated my intention to pay. Is this someone you would work with? Is this what I should expect from gun dealers, fulfillment of what every anti-gun person in this country wants America to see the gun owner as, a hot head, cursing, don’t mess with me mentality?

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September 23, 2003, 07:33 PM
Hate to have to tell you this giese but there are @$$holes everywhere.
Nothing in the world that I want bad enough to do business with someone like that


September 23, 2003, 08:46 PM
Sounds like the asshats I used to deal with when I was first started going to gunshops.

These guys knew it all, seen it all, and done it all and didn't have time for the folks who hadn't.

Every legitimate questionwas answered with a snide condescending remark.

When I went to buy my first box of 30-30 ammo the guys were sitting around drinking coffee and acted really annoyed that a customer was
interrupting their day-long BS session.

The owner sold me box of 30-30 spitzer point ammunition.

At the time I wondered why they were snickering as I left.

Standing Wolf
September 24, 2003, 11:39 PM
Is this someone you would work with?

It'll snow on Independence Day in Phoenix before I'll do business with someone of his type. People who don't give me straight answers to simple questions don't get my dollars.

September 25, 2003, 12:00 AM
I am embarassed to say that I have put up with lots of guys like this in order to buy or sell a gun. Sometimes it is just too much and I walk but other times, I let them spout their nonsense and have their egos enlarged in order to make a deal.

Lately, I can put up with more B.S. because I know the situation and I know when I am getting a deal or a snowjob. If I am making out big time on the deal, I will bite my lip until the deal is made. They can have their moment of feeling superior as long as I am getting the best of them. If they have nothing I want or aren't willing to pay realistic prices for a gun I am wanting to sell, they will not only not get my business but I try to let them know that with attitudes like what you describe, they will not get much business at all.

Sadly, people like this are all too common in the gun business. The good news is, there are some really good people in the gun business also. I know two dealers that are honest and fair with prices. A good gun dealer is like a good mechanic, once you find one, you stick with them.

September 25, 2003, 12:34 AM
This is faintly related, so bear with me... A few years after I moved to Chicago and was informed by a new friend of the city's shocking anti-gun laws -- What? You mean I can't even legally own a handgun in my own home?! -- I called the watch commander of my local police precinct to inquire about the exact nature of Chicago's gun laws. He asked for my name and address before he started drilling me with such questions as: "Why do you need a handgun?" and "Do you own a hangun?" before he referred me to another department, which confirmed the sad fact that private handgun ownership in Chicago is indeed illegal.

Apparently, permits to own -- not just permits to carry, mind you -- are exclusively reserved for cops and ex-cops in a system of cronyism that effectively assures criminal elements that they will be the only ones armed. This upset me to no end. Gang members can have a strawman make the short 15-minute drive from the South Side to Gary, Indiana to legally purchase handguns, but law-abiding Chicago residents are not allowed to own them! I can't believe this municipal law hasn't been challenged (to my knowledge) on 2nd Am grounds. #$%& Mayor Daley!

Later, I contacted a shooting range outside of Chicago's city limits and encountered problems similar, though not identical, to those described by Giese (who I know from college... full disclosure and all that). I could be wrong, but I was left wondering if my spurned interest in joining the shooting club wasn't somehow related to my being a non-cop, as the online application specifically asked that question (I have no criminal record, by the way). Is anyone on this board familiar with gun clubs in my area? Any help would be much appreciated.

AJ Dual
September 25, 2003, 11:15 AM
It's a problem discussed on this board and others ad-nauseum.

I think that it's ultimately fallout from the FFL system of GCA '68, and the great kitchen-table FFL washout under Clinton. The financial and legal difficulties of running a gunstore are getting so great that a certian level of pig-headdedness is required to be willing to be in the business.

I also think that many FFL's get into it because they love guns, not business, and think it's an easy way to make a living and indulge their hobby, but all the difficulties they didn't anticipate wear them down, and they get bitter. It's a rare individual who can deal with all the fiscal and regulatory stress and still wear his "game face" for the customer.

I would love to run a gun-store where new shooters and women are treated with kid-gloves, "I don't know, but I'll find out" is an acceptable answer to the salesperson's ego, and the simple realization that mail-order and transfers from SGN and the Internet are not 'stealing' from my business, if I'm friendly enough, it will mean ammo and accessory sales that are higher margin anyway.

I also realize to set up such a shop, and pay quality salespeople who can be unfailingly knoledgable, egoless, polite, and responsive, would mean that I won the lottery.

September 25, 2003, 01:10 PM
I am upset as this also because this would be a dealer that I would be able to use to order firearms from the internet or mail, to me that is a pretty easy 20-30 bucks for a dealer to get. Also I dont htink I could take this guy teaching me the sport, I feel his teaching style has much to be desired.

I am very happy that others have the same feelings I do, I was afraid that maybe this guy was the typical gun guru and I would be slammed by the members here for trying to buy a gun from a non-local dealer. I try to stay local for purchases but in this day and with my income I have to get the best deal possiable or just not get anything!

I prefer the fella I met at work who when I just mentioned that I shot a little trap he was all excited telling me I should join his gun club and then talked my ear off about fire arms I had never heard. He loved his sport, not the fact that he had something that I did not, pride takes a back seat at times in this world. Needless to say if I can collect enough cans each year to pay the dues, and find the time to be a contributing member, I will join that club.

There is hope, the club also offers intro handgun lessons and there are 2 other local shops for me to look into, they just dont have ranges. So all is not lost and I may become a responsible handgun owner and marksmen yet, with a little help from the posts on this forum of course.

PS: Hawspipe, check out the other forums, mucho politics to discuss with like minded folks. Try posting your ?'s on a different thread and you will get answers

September 25, 2003, 01:26 PM
First off, my condolences for having to deal with such a customer-unfriendly owner. I hope to be going into this business when I retire from my present job and I intend to be the complete opposite of what you experienced.

Now, as far as where to go. Let me suggest that you contact your state organization, the Iowa State Rifle and Pistol Association and ask them for recommendations for training and other aspects of legal and safe gun ownership.

An added benefit is that by supporting your state organization you should be supporting your continued freedoms. I hope this helps a bit.

September 25, 2003, 02:03 PM
Is this someone you would work with?


Why would you even ask that question? Would you work with someone in any other business who treated you that way?

I'd hang up and let my fingers do the walking.

September 25, 2003, 02:13 PM
There are yahoo's like that everywhere! :rolleyes: Thankfully there are also helpful, knowledgable people out there too. Ask around, call diff't shops, I'll bet you'll find someone that can really help you out. Maybe even a thread like this one will help you get in touch w/ the right people ;)
Good luck!

September 25, 2003, 03:33 PM
My local dealer is the best, and he definately knows his stuff. He's also very knoledgable on the laws so he doesn't give me crap about being 18 and going to his range to shoot my handguns.

I was in his shop last month and a guy came in looking for .38 super CorBon pow'rball which was not yet being manufacturered, the customer swore up and down that it was, he saw it in the Blue Press and everything. So, the owner doesn't give him crap, he just pulls out his cell phone, gets Peter Pi on speed dial (he's on a first name basis with him and a lot of other industry pro's) explains the situation, hands over the cell phone and has Peter Pi, the owner of CorBon, explain to this customer that it's not yet in production. That was pretty freakin' slick.

Highly recommended for anyone in southeast PA. I got my bersa from him.

September 25, 2003, 03:39 PM
No I could'nt work with a guy like that......would'nt be long until I was workin him over, I'm afraid.

September 25, 2003, 04:42 PM
Customer service! People never tell the positive about places okay they may in passing tell 6 people at most, but they relate the negative at least nine times. This owner does not realize the ill will he created.

Then again, what has happened is shooters are a cheap lot. People want something for nothing! They will nickel and dime profits away. They want stuff yesterday. And, of course at less then cost! I have seen some real asses for sure.

And, well I expect to pay for service. But many other people still want something for nothing! I live in a metro area that had many firearms dealers. One place has very little mark up on new guns, but they do not trade or deal in used fireams. There are 4 national chains in the area. But, few privately held gun shops. It costs money to carry inventory. High volume stores get deals. But, as a guy I know with a gunshop says he makes more $ on a used gun then a new one! But, then it is sort of like the car business.

I know a guy who will go to high end places to get all the details on a product, then leave saying he will think about it. Then he buys by catalog or at a discount house. I know that stores expect "tire kickers", but to me that is theft.

September 25, 2003, 05:02 PM
Do you like humiliation? Why would anyone conduct business with a jerk like you describe? I don't care if its guns or bread. If there is no respect then there is no business.

September 25, 2003, 05:49 PM
I agree with P0832177 in a few things. Negative always gets the attention and positive feedback seldom wins the day. For example when buying a car you go to the edmunds sight and look at reviews the negative outway the positive 7 to 1, you know why? Because we expect quality, may that be a product or a service. Maybe the lesson here is recognize good service, while I am guilty of it too I have also called up McDonalds regional office before because I had a "good" hamburger, or the bus station because my driver got me home in record time. Buisnesses are so used to hearing complaints the positive comments seldom make much impact because they are so surprising and we dont know how to take them or we expect them because we are doing are best.

But....Theft is stealing, comparative shopping is just common sense, showing you are a good steward of what you have been provided with or earned, the internet just makes it easier and less personal. If a guy doesnt buy from a high end shop he should expect to have to pay that same shop high end dollar to fix his broken item. In my case I was willing to pay what ever the going rate was for ammo, lessons and probably future smith work. I still pay the ford dealer top buck when my car bonks but I am not affraid to call him up and ask a question even though I got my car from a private owner or a secondary market.

What Clubsoda describes is great, dedication to getting the customer what he wants or in this case letting the customer know all the information he has avaliable, with out "I told you so" or "Just trust me".

AndrewWalkowiak, if you open your store with that mentallity you can get the right people to work there, the owner operator sets the tone for their employees. If you open and act the way you describe I believe you will be HIGHLY succesfull. Guns and the learning curve I have found are intimidating, first time I went to a gun shop to ask questions I stood around looking at stuff and turned down help for about 10 minutes before I worked up the courage to ask my what I thought were dumb questions. Only problem is I cant pick up my mail order firearms in Wis!

BTW this is my first post and it is neat to see Senior Members, (i guess that is something good) and all others giving their 2 pennies.

September 25, 2003, 07:17 PM
I know a guy who will go to high end places to get all the details on a product, then leave saying he will think about it. Then he buys by catalog or at a discount house. I know that stores expect "tire kickers", but to me that is theft.

got two shops near me that the above mention activity is the ONLY thing they are good for!! they're good for getting a little "looking" done in but i would not buy from them EVER. and in both cases it's more of a situation of, "if you buy from them THEY are robbing YOU blind".

one is in a way even worse than the "canial-rectal inversion sufferer" Giese has detailed. The guy has admitted that he only maintains his storefront b/c it makes it easier on him for certain aspects of the business. that "the show and internet sales are thr only thing worth a crap" to him, that he does NOT give a royal rat's rear about his local customer base, that since he has to maintain the storefront he may as well "milk (Bilk) the locals for every dime", his prices EXCEED MSRP in many cases, in an area where if you drive a little you can make MSRP look like highway robbery.
the only reason this man has any local sales at all is that there are just enough people in the community that don't have the time and/or inclination to look around for a GOOD shop! some folks don't even realize that they ARE being robbed. you can drive 10-15 mins away and order anything you want for 1/2 -3/4 the price from a mom and pop type shop in the next town, but since their shop (located in the front of their machine shop/wrecker service/junk yard) is NOT located on the main highway between here and Houston, many folks, who've lived here their whole lives, haven't even taken the time to look for it!!

the other is "Collector's Firearms" in houston, a store that seems to take it's name as gospel, as in "anything WE have shall be priced as if it's a collectable" tons of guns of all sorts and shapes, but again many of the prices on new guns are close to if not MSRP. nice place to look around, find information, etc. but i simply refuse to buy from a place that preys upon the ignorance of the "uninformed yuppie" types.
this is the ONLY gunshop i've ever laughed when i heard it got broken into! had the thought of "good some one returned the favor!!!"

Black Majik
September 25, 2003, 10:21 PM
Dont give rude dealers like that business.

I'd search around for a few other stores, you should be able to find a store that you liked.

I found a store near my school that I like, small gunshop w/ a good gunsmith. I realized that larger gun stores usually have cocky salesman or dont know much about what they're selling.

Look around, you'll feel a lot better purchasing from someone that wont insult you. I personally would never put up w/ someone like that, then feel guilty for giving him business after being rude to me.

Some people... sheesh... :rolleyes: :uhoh:

Brian Dale
September 26, 2003, 03:55 AM
This past evening, I drove 35 miles each way to Ed's Gun Shop, near Southern Pines, NC. For a cleaning rod. And to hang out and fondle stuff. And just to enjoy that the place exists.

When I walked in the door, the guy behind the counter (young guy; not the owner) smiled and asked, "What can I help you with?" His tone of voice was so different from the usual retail-store clerk's supercilious "may I help you?" that it might as well have been a different language. I said, "Oh, first I'd just like to stand here and soak up the atmosphere for a while." Big grin from the guy: "Well, go right ahead."

Everyone I've seen working there is that way. I wandered around, chatted with the guy about killing rust spots (yes, it gets humid here), and had other conversations with gunsmiths and other staff there. I fondled some rifles, asked for comparisons, got some advice on this and that. They're willing to say, "I don't know the answer to that," and then find out. And they offer, or can hook people up with, all kinds of instruction.

They'll also do transfers, and they'll order new guns that they don't have in stock. They don't try to gouge; they seem to do a good (possibly huge) volume instead. They know that people DO come to them when they're ready to buy. Over and over. And that they send their friends.

The reason I first stopped in at Ed's a few years ago was their reputation among my friends for good prices. I keep going back because of the way they treat people. Keep looking around; you might find an "Ed's" of your own.

September 26, 2003, 09:18 AM
A lot of businesses, not just gun shops, forget 1 simple rule of business..

A happy customer may tell 4 or 5 others. A P.O'ed customer WILL tell 200 others.

September 26, 2003, 11:49 AM
I can't stand people like that.

Eariler this summer, I stopped by a small local dealer that I'd heard had some interesting older guns. The guy seemed a little terse, but perked up a bit when I started asking about milsurp rifles.

He had a very nice Enfield, which I asked to see. Upon handing it to me, he mentioned that it was unfired and made in the '50s. As I do with any potential puchase, I began carefully inspecting it, eventually using a flashlight to check the bore.

At this point, he got downright hostile because I hadn't taken his word that it was unfired (or that 50 years of storage might have caused some damage). I listened to about 5 seconds of this, handed the rifle back to him and walked out.

With about 10 minutes of him either (A) not saying a thing or (B) being helpful, chances are very high he would have had a cash sale then and there.

September 26, 2003, 12:39 PM

personally i'd have done what you did along with the statement, "I wouldn't buy a gun from GOD without first taking a close look for myself, too bad you consider yourself better than the almighty!"

THEN i'd have walked out.

local shop i frequent (mom&pop place i referenced above) is used to me taking a close look at anything "new" (ie, t'weren't there, last time), that i'm interested in. he DID once ask me "you just gotta see for yourself don't you? (mild laugh)" my reply was "Yep, my daddy taught me never to take the word of a salesman, on the condition of anything. even if and sometimes especially if, he's well known to you". his response to that was "ain't that the truth!". as a matter of fact this exchange happened while i was taking a look at one of those unissued Irish enfields, and if not for getting laid off two days later (and therefore haivng to save instead of spend that paycheck), i'd have been back on payday to get the thing.

September 26, 2003, 01:53 PM
Is this someone you would work with?

Not just no, but hell no! Gun shops aren't exactly as common as McDonalds but I still wouldn't give someone like that a dime even if it ment paying more somewhere else.

Is this what I should expect from gun dealers, fulfillment of what every anti-gun person in this country wants America to see the gun owner as, a hot head, cursing, don’t mess with me mentality?

You shouldn't expect it, but it's not uncommon (unfortunately). There are good people in the industry, the bad ones just stick out more than the good ones.

As others have said it seems a lot of gunshop owners got into the business because they like guns and THINK they know everything about them and don't have a clue about how to deal with customers.

September 28, 2003, 08:57 AM
:uhoh: Perhaps theft is a poor choice of words. I look at things from a different perspective them most. I just hate the cheap people who waste the time of store staff.

A person that is truely a novice needs the full service store to get information from and perhaps most of all to lay hands on products. That is what a person pays for. With the exception of reloading mfg's (Dillon and Sierra come to mind) it seems that allot of shooting industry does not provide that good of customer support. And, it is hard over the phone to deal with many concerns. Hence, the need for the local dealer to be a resource. And, the only way that resource stays available is to make money.

But, the law of the land precludes the direct delivery via a common carrier of modern firearms to the individual. You have to navigate the federal, state, and local laws. :cuss: That is the way it is. Here is where it really gripes me. How many of the largest whiners and tire kickers are NRA and state association members? From the numbers, not that many are NRA or GOA members, let alone members of their state associations! This is what frightens me the most.

I really like the people that post about they seem to slighted by vendors. I do lay hands on stuff I do not have a strong interest in. But, some people have to fondle just about every thing. My god that makes for a fun time of demonstrating poor firearms handling. When I look at a gun, not matter what or who I check the gun to see if it is loaded! I do not aim guns at people! And, just go to a gun show and watch! :banghead: All the "yahoo" types are doing exactly that! One could rant and rave all day and it will not change people! Till they become front page news! And, they will.

Brian Dale
September 28, 2003, 02:34 PM
I agree with you in part; I've worked retail as a clerk and as a store manger (but never in a gun shop). I was sometimes annoyed by the people who look and fondle all of the merchandise, then leave without buying anything. They're familiar faces, asking all sorts of questions, but they don't pay the rent or the wages. That's part of retail, though. It's inherent , it's always been that way whenever there was more than one merchant within reach (so for several thousand years in some places).

You make an excellent point when you write that the law of the land precludes the direct delivery via a common carrier of modern firearms to the individual. You have to navigate the federal, state, and local laws. That is the way it is. It is, indeed. Those laws have had the effect of making a few dealers in each area the only legal sources for some legal products that we want. That's why I like sticking with the friendly shops a lot more strictly than I do, for example, with grocery stores.

There are some other good thoughts at:

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