Etiquette question


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Alex23
August 6, 2011, 07:14 PM
A friend of mine was in the market for a new concealed carry pistol. He went to a LGS and had a good look at the model he was interested in. He was mostly focused on how it compared to his Glock 36 in terms of size.

He then said 'Don't freak out, I want to do a comparison' and pulled his Glock from an IWB holster, slowly, pointed it away from people and unloaded it. The chambered round went on the counter, he took the mag out and the pistol was left locked open and handed to the salesperson.

Was that bad form?

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MJ_ATL
August 6, 2011, 07:21 PM
Depends, does the LGS have a "no loaded weapons" sign? I know I can get away with carrying hot at my LGS/Gun Club but its generally frowned upon for the majority of members and customers.

Sounds like he handled the weapon properly and safely, all depends on the LGS and their policies.

Mike1234567
August 6, 2011, 07:31 PM
He should have asked if he could unholster/unload his firearm and receive permission BEFORE he even began to reach for it. Also, "Don't freak out...", isn't the best statement to make if you don't want people to freak out. It's like your dentist telling you, "Don't tense up or this might hurt".

BFC
August 6, 2011, 08:13 PM
There was no Sub-c Glock in the counter? Not much of LGS if they didn't!! Depends on the LGS policy but I generally try not to pull out a gun in a in a room where I know the guy behind the counter is packing.....regardless, maybe not bad per say but I would consider his conduct not very thoughtful. Just my opinion.

tipoc
August 6, 2011, 11:49 PM
He should have asked if he could unholster/unload his firearm and receive permission BEFORE he even began to reach for it. Also, "Don't freak out...", isn't the best statement to make if you don't want people to freak out. It's like your dentist telling you, "Don't tense up or this might hurt".

The above is the way to proceed in my experience.

The "Don't freak out..." bit could also be seen as a tad insulting.

tipoc

TennJed
August 7, 2011, 01:11 AM
There was no Sub-c Glock in the counter?.

My first thought exactly. Ask to see the stores glock and compare....if they do not have one you should absolutely ask if it is ok....first you are dealing with a gun...the man behind the counter has no idea what kind of safety knowledge this person has....my first impression is that it sounds like someone trying to show off they know how to operate a gun....may not be the case but that is my first impression

Zach S
August 7, 2011, 05:42 AM
Not something I'd like to see if I was behind the counter. I feel your friend should have told the LGS owner exactly what was on his mind and asked before proceeding. In my time behind the counter, I have been in somewhat similar situations, and did say something about it.

If I'm going into a LGS where I'm not greeted by name, I walk in empty handed, and whatever is holstered stays there. If I have to handle one of my firearms, uncased, the person is informed of my intentions and a I get their approval beforehand. Even if that means going back out to the car to get it.

For the record, I'm only greeted by name at one gun store. And I have been behind the counter there.

Plan2Live
August 7, 2011, 07:58 AM
"Don't freak out" could just as easily been followed up with "this is a robbery". I'm in the camp of ask first, especially when others around me are also armed. In fact, I would feel best in a situation like this if the store employees, knowing what was about to happen, had their hands on their weapons just in case this guy was a nut job. And as the dude out in Fort Hood last week proved, there are still lots of those running around.

Lawdawg45
August 7, 2011, 11:09 AM
"He should have asked if he could unholster/unload his firearm and receive permission BEFORE he even began to reach for it. Also, "Don't freak out...", isn't the best statement to make if you don't want people to freak out. It's like your dentist telling you, "Don't tense up or this might hurt". "

Mike has given the best advice.

LD45

BlkHawk73
August 7, 2011, 11:18 AM
Always ask first regardless! Consider how you'd feel if you were on the other side of the coin.

Loyalist Dave
August 7, 2011, 03:57 PM
I used to work in the LGS..., We didn't have a sign posted that said "no loaded weapons". I doubt it would've done any good if we had.

Lots of folks walked in with handguns and long guns, to sell them. The problem with Maryland's Anti-Gun social norm, is that many folks walked in with little or no handgun experience. Dad's or Grandad's or the Ex-Husband's gun with total newbie often came in, not even knowing how to check of it was loaded. The lack of a large portion of the population being shooters means many gun owners in the state have no real standard of safe behavior to base their own actions upon.

The normal custom was either to come in with it in plain sight, or bring it in cased or covered, either way it was supposed to be unloaded and open before coming into the store (unless you had the rare CC permit for Maryland). We frowned upon folks with CC permits drawing the sidearm.

On several occasions we had customers come in with pistols, to offer for sale or discuss accessories, and etc. and we asked them to make the weapon safe by dropping the magazine and opening the slide..., and a live round ejected from the chamber. Illegal and unsafe, and one schmuck didn't tell us he had the handgun in his briefcase, pulls it out and in doing so pointed at one of the employees, who then quickly stepped to the side, and as the guy said "I don't keep one in the chamber" he promptly ejected a round onto the counter.

So "don't freak out" and doing what he did would've simply gotten him a polite request to take his business elsewhere. Not out of anger, but because we couldn't risk encouraging our local goofs from doing the same in the future. They see one guy do it...., they think it's cool for everybody to do it.

LD

MedWheeler
August 7, 2011, 04:02 PM
I was in a LGS recently, and wanted to compare the Diamondback DB9 to my Kel-Tec PF9. I asked the owner to also show me his PF9 from the case, calmly explaining "so I won't have to unholster and clear my own." That at once informed him that safety was first on my mind, and that I was carrying a loaded weapon.

Navin R. Johnson
August 7, 2011, 04:25 PM
He should have asked if he could unholster/unload his firearm and receive permission BEFORE he even began to reach for it. Also, "Don't freak out...", isn't the best statement to make if you don't want people to freak out. It's like your dentist telling you, "Don't tense up or this might hurt".

^^THIS^^

Remllez
August 8, 2011, 10:48 AM
I find it bad form, it's just as easy to make that gun safe at home put it in a handgun case and carry it into the gunstore. That way you can proceed after you ask permission and make your intentions known to the staff.

I'm not being judgmental just expressing my opinion. This is the way my father taught me so I guess it's just force of habit. There may be a better way to do this but most people find it acceptable and less threatening.

kingpin008
August 8, 2011, 11:26 AM
Yeah, he should have asked. Some stores don't appreciate customers carrying on the premises, and they usually appreciate it even less when the customers decide to start handling them without permission.

Not a major foul, but IMHO, he could have acted more appropriately.

Sam1911
August 8, 2011, 11:42 AM
He then said 'Don't freak out, I want to do a comparison' and pulled his Glock from an IWB holster, slowly, pointed it away from people and unloaded it. The chambered round went on the counter, he took the mag out and the pistol was left locked open and handed to the salesperson.


Three big problems:

1) If you are going to go comparison shopping, try out holsters, look for grips, etc -- bring the gun in UNLOADED and in a case. Gun shops don't (usually) have clearing barrels/traps and you simply don't hande a loaded gun in a public place. (Other than a range, of course.)

2) If you forget No.1, or are struck by a sudden opportunity/need to handle the weapon, ASK the sales person how THEY want you to proceed. Maybe they're just "cool" with you doing it your way. Maybe they have a spot at the back of the store facing a safe wall where they'll take you to unload. ASK THEM. It shows respect, and shows that you are responsible and something more than a rank amateur.

3) He got the order wrong: Drop the mag, THEN rack the slide.

iblong
August 9, 2011, 09:14 AM
To me it was bad form,In a store with customers Theres no risk of a ad/nd
if you dont clear your pistol.
Better to clear the weapon,bag it before you enter and put your mag in your pocket.One store I use he may have had a couple pointed at him,as they do post signs saying we dont know you do not remove you fire arm from your holster while in the store.Its a large store and every worker is required to carry.(open carry).Its also a trainning facility.

turkdc
August 9, 2011, 11:09 AM
I would be concerned about getting myself shot. I have been in gun shops where I am not comfortable with people handling guns that came out from behind the counter. I don't <deleted> care if it isn't loaded, DON'T point it at me! If I was a shopper (carrying concealed) I would probably be a little on edge if someone drew their weapon without warning. If there was any hesitation in unloading and clearing the pistol, I think there is a possibility of a hot head drawing his own weapon on the customer.

If you want to try on holsters, bring the gun in unloaded.

content
August 9, 2011, 11:48 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // The last time I saw someone do this it was with a .45.

Fellow walked in said something about "anybody like .45s" and started to sweep his shirt.
The three of us went into action immediately.

Shop owner dropped to one knee (ankle carry) behind the counter, I flanked right ,the other well known customer flanked left.

He decided not to draw and before he could say another word the shop keeper told him "we are not buying any right now."

I don't know what he thought cause I've never seen him again and he left right away, hopefully wiser.
I do know he got our undivided attention quickly and in a bad way.

A GS owner was killed like that, not long ago, not far away so folks here are a little edgy about guns being drawn suddenly.
The murderer/ robber was caught but a good man died.

"Don't freak out" tells me your friend knew he was in the wrong but did not care just pushed forward.
Maybe showing off like the fellow with the .45.

*************Aways Carry, Never Tell/Brandish**************

Cop Bob
August 9, 2011, 08:39 PM
Was this bad form?

Short answer... YES...

next...

JustSomeDude
August 9, 2011, 09:52 PM
There was no Sub-c Glock in the counter? Not much of LGS if they didn't!! Depends on the LGS policy but I generally try not to pull out a gun in a in a room where I know the guy behind the counter is packing.....regardless, maybe not bad per say but I would consider his conduct not very thoughtful. Just my opinion.

This was my response. It's not like he was carrying something out of the ordinary that the shop didn't already have (unloaded) in the case

harvester
August 10, 2011, 08:37 PM
Yep, bad form.

Nushif
August 10, 2011, 09:30 PM
While I agree that the "Don't freak out" line was a bit ... offputting, I do have to point out something rather entertaining here.

In a gun shop, the place where we pursue our second amendment we're not allowed to handle our own weapons? As a matter off act, while carrying, we're not allowed to handle our weapons.
Now, I'm not saying we should you know .... break out our guns in the mall and lovingly fondle them, but I have to question the comfort level of a gun seller with his own wares if he trusts only himself with guns.
I once or twice have pulled out my own gun at the LGS to test a holster or mag, once at the request of the owner! and the other time after saying "Hey, lemme try my own gun with this ... lemme just clear it right now and ..."
If someone is truly so scared that people around them may be handling guns ... as I said before, I don't see how they can support the 2nd Amendment in a realistic sense.

Sam1911
August 10, 2011, 10:04 PM
If someone is truly so scared that people around them may be handling guns ... as I said before, I don't see how they can support the 2nd Amendment in a realistic sense. Loaded firearms in holsters are safe. Loaded firearms in HANDS are decidedly UN-safe. And they're so widely understood to be a safety risk, when handled, that we have nearly universally understood rules for how we proceed when drawing and manipulating one.

Telling a gun shop owner or match director, safety officer, or anyone else who deals with armed people that they must set aside the safety rules that let them go home without extra holes each day, or they don't really support the 2nd Amendment is going to be good for a laugh.

The right to keep and bear arms does not -- and shouldn't -- include the "right" to handle a loaded firearm in a public place. As they say, your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose. Your right to do with your weapon whatever you please ends at the point that it causes me risk of grievous harm. And when it's in your hands, loaded, absent a safe backstop and strict muzzle discipline, the risk to other people is simply too high.

Now, in your example, you seem to be checking with the shop staff, or at least giving them an opportunity to comment, before you whip out your sidearm. As I said before, getting confirmation from the owner's representative of how they want you to proceed -- what way they feel comfortable that you're mitigating the extremely real, extremely serious risks that your handling of that firearm introduces -- is perfectly reasonable.

But gun shop owners have seen down the barrels of WAAAAY too many guns -- and many, if not most, of them can point to craters in floors or holes in walls, ceilings, display cases, etc from the guys who proved my point. The smart ones establish standard safety practices to mitigate the risks inherent in their course of business, because -- while you're a safe and responsible guy, lots of others have proven not to be as much so, and the dealer and his staff would like to go home to their families each night.

Rights come with responsibilities, and the RKBA comes with the responsibility that you do not risk great harm to your fellow man. Ask before you draw, be polite, safety conscious, and responsible, and you've not crossed the line of unacceptable risk. But give those around you reason to believe that you are, or will, risk their lives stupidly and you'll probably be dis-invited from their establishment. And that doesn't violate your RKBA one little tiny bit.

Nushif
August 10, 2011, 10:09 PM
I am not saying it is some sort of violation of my rights. As you yourself put it, I am checking whether it is kosher, but I am regularly amused at the sheer panic of supposedly rational people's inability to assume rationality in others. 8)

Sam1911
August 10, 2011, 10:24 PM
but I am regularly amused at the sheer panic of supposedly rational people's inability to assume rationality in others.That probably comes from most of us having been around the shooting public long enough to realize how disastrously misplaced any assumptions of gun-handling "rationality" would be.

Sheer panic? That would be unreasonable. But it isn't unreasonable to be unwilling to allow every potential customer who walks in off the street to behave with a firearm in your store in whatever way their own "rationality" leads them. When people have guns in holsters, that's rational. When those guns are out in their hands "rationality" (safety) is a heavily unfavorable roll of the dice.

The biggest problem is that once guns are in hands, not holsters, the mistakes that end lives, end in lawsuits, end careers and businesses can happen in an instant. Maybe the guy who draws his weapon unexpectedly will point it at a concrete wall/floor, clear it, and ground it on the counter in a perfect display of safe gun-handling. Maybe he'll sweep you, two other salesmen, a customer, and himself -- all with his finger on the trigger. Maybe he'll just have an "ND" right into you or the wall, or out the storefront window into traffic. These aren't hypothetical, wild, crazy one-in-a-billion chance happenings. These are things that gun shops see -- some of them near daily. There isn't time for the attending salesman (if there is one) to calmly evaluate the developing situation and advise the customer that the motion of his muzzle appears to be heading in a path that will shortly be endangering another person and could he please halt that motion and correct to a more appropriate course...

I don't see how taking steps to reduce these risks, through measures which many of us consider basic etiquette anyway, is "sheer panic."

Nushif
August 10, 2011, 10:37 PM
I guess it's my limited socialization to the shooting public then, but I have yet yo even see an ND in person, and while occasionally I have seen some very limited sweeping mostly with guns I have seen cleared I don't see these crass violations with any kind of frequency, much less regularity.
I see people being unsafe because they are so scared of guns more often than someone being too casual. One of our friends, for instance is someone I don't like to go shooting with entirely too often, because quite literally she will handle any gun like a poisonous snake. This means she is utterly unaware of her surroundings, and oftentimes trips and almost falls with them, or once was too scared to engage the decocker safety because she thought it would go off if her finger lingered on the safety too long. All because all her attention is transfixed on this object she is awkwardly handling with three fingers, waiting for it to explode.
So for all the casual gun handling errors you see, I guess I see way more of the panic induced ones.

Sam1911
August 10, 2011, 10:45 PM
Well, that certainly makes sense.

For my part, the stuff I commonly see when observing casual shooters at our range (which has very strong safety standards, but many shooting bays and no official safety officers except in matches or match practice) are things like casually turning from the line with a firearm (muzzle sweep) or manipulating/handling guns off the firing lines (standing in the parking lot racking a shotgun or the slide of an autopistol).

But we get reports here at THR every month of just CRAZY stuff folks see done in gun shops or at gun shows (folks bringing in and handling guns they think are unloaded ... which aren't, dryfiring a weapon AT a clerk or another customer, etc.). And every few months there's another story of an ND at a gun show or other public place.

If you don't see that happening around you, that's good. Be grateful, but stay vigalent.

subierex
August 10, 2011, 10:50 PM
Most of the local stores near me have a sign that says something like: "we don't mind if you carry, we just don't need to see it".

Recently got pulled over for speeding and the cop said the same thing when I informed him I was carrying. :D

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