Gun stores in Seattle area that hire minors?


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The_Next_Generation
May 4, 2012, 08:36 PM
Hey all,

I've been passing my resume around some local gun shops, but none of them will hire me because I'm 17, not 18. As far as I know, the feds do not care if I am 17 and in a gun store. What is it stopping them? Store policy? Insurance?

I have a lot of experience in retail sales, and a significant amount of knowledge about firearms. Its frustrating that the only thing holding me back is a few months before I go to college.

Do any of you know of any shops that hire minors? (will be 18 in July)

Thanks, any other thoughts are welcome.

- TNG

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TurtlePhish
May 4, 2012, 08:44 PM
I don't think you're allowed to sell firearms as a minor, even working for a shop. I don't see why they won't hire you for other stuff, though.

Happypuppy
May 4, 2012, 10:26 PM
Maybe try a sporting goods store and work into it ? sports Authority, Big 5 etc.


Sent from my 300 baud modem

firesky101
May 4, 2012, 10:35 PM
Don't know about the laws in Washington, but here the rules for when and how much a minor can work are really crippling in certain stores. I would think a gun store with standard hours would not be much of an issue, but where I work our hours are all over the place and minors cannot work most of them (ie. after 10pm, or more than 20hrs/wk)

The_Next_Generation
May 5, 2012, 01:18 AM
TurtlePhish - Actually, the state of WA specifically allows the possession of firearms for employment purposes. Therefore, I don't see how that would make selling firearms any different from selling a can of paint..

Happypuppy - Yeah, it would be great to work in a sporting goods store, if they hired minors :/ I went to Dick's and Sports Authority, and they both turned me away as a minor.

I'll keep looking and calling, there's gotta be someplace!

- TNG

NavyLCDR
May 5, 2012, 12:21 PM
According to 18 USC 922 (x) the OP would have to have written permission from a parent or guardian in their possession while handling handguns in the store.

The Lone Haranguer
May 5, 2012, 01:10 PM
Do any of you know of any shops that hire minors? (will be 18 in July)

I am sure the minor labor regulations don't help. Hit them up again in July. It is always hard to get that initial "foot in the door."

I wonder, though - and I mean this with all due respect, no insult intended - if they think your youthfulness might be off-putting to customers, i.e., there is a belief or perception that they wouldn't take you seriously . This is particularly true of the stereotypical gun shop with the crusty old farts sitting around drinking coffee, filling the room with tobacco smoke and greeting people with "Whuddaya want?"

Maybe try a sporting goods store and work into it ? sports Authority, Big 5 etc.
A more "general interest" sporting goods retailer (and it doesn't have to be a big chain), where everyone is more expected to be "youthful," could be a better fit. Don't be surprised, however, if the first thing they hand you is a mop. That is the way of things when starting out in the workplace.

Agsalaska
May 5, 2012, 01:39 PM
I can think of a lot of reasons not to hire a 17 year old. Lack of maturity, lack of employee maturity, lack of experience, never shown that they can accomplish anything(no high school diploma, college diploma, military experience, etc., No long term commitment, and so on. And none of that has anything to do with a gun store. But some of them are exaggerated even more because it is a gun store.

beatledog7
May 5, 2012, 04:36 PM
In retail, it's critical to have a cadre of reliable and flexible sales floor employees. Most managers have figured out that having anyone on the floor who cannot do any part of what must be done means that someone else is pressed to make up the difference. That costs the store time; therefore, it costs the store money.

Ever been in a supermarket where the underage cashier has to call someone over to ring up beer or wine? That's the sort of thing I'm talking about.

wannabeagunsmith
May 5, 2012, 07:11 PM
I live in spokane and have had similar luck. I will stay tuned though.

buck460XVR
May 5, 2012, 07:27 PM
Hey all,



I have a lot of experience in retail sales, and a significant amount of knowledge about firearms. Its frustrating that the only thing holding me back is a few months before I go to college.



Thanks, any other thoughts are welcome.

- TNG


TNG......@ 17 years of age YOU may think you have considerable experience and knowledge, but maybe those you'd like to hire you don't agree. There may be others not just 17 years old, but with 17 years of gun store experience that are competing against you for the same job. It may be that you are only looking for a temporary job before you go to college, or it could be the owners don't think a 17 year old will get the respect from potential customers that an older person might get within a gun store environment . Could be a myriad of reasons. Agsalaska said it well in his post. If you have the wealth of experience in retail you claim, why not go back there till you leave for college? It may not be your dream job, but it at least might help pay the bills. You can still keep applying at LGSs, but in the meantime you are making money and getting a good reference for future employment. Competition for jobs is fierce right now and the desire to work in a gun store is held by many. I'm not telling you to give up on working in a gun store, I'm just saying sometimes we need to do what needs to be done instead of what we want to do.

Redlg155
May 5, 2012, 08:03 PM
Try a different pitch. Ask for a job doing inventory or just plain keeping the store tidy. If you really want a job then ask to work as a non paid intern or trainee for a few hours a week. It gets your foot in the door.

drsfmd
May 6, 2012, 08:40 PM
Try a different pitch. Ask for a job doing inventory or just plain keeping the store tidy. If you really want a job then ask to work as a non paid intern or trainee for a few hours a week. It gets your foot in the door.

This is good advice. Even if you only work a few hours a week sweeping, mopping, arranging ammo and the like you can show them that you are mature and reliable.

mgmorden
May 7, 2012, 11:06 AM
Plenty of good responses so far. At 17 you're a liability for the store. Remember that nobody owes anyone a job - employment is a mutually beneficial contract between two parties where the employer gives you money (a salary) and you provide them with sufficient services to warrant that. There's more to working something than just knowing about guns. Heck often times (as evidenced by the average knowledge base of gun store clerks) that's not even a primary concern. Your impact on their day to day flow could be significant. As stated, if you have to get someone else to do certain things that becomes inconvenient for them, and especially for a waiting customer. The potential PR backlash they might receive from hiring a 17 year old to sell guns is also fairly steep. Not only from anti's who see it as a travesty, but also from pro-gun folks who simply don't want to deal with younger folks (no matter how well mannered they are, all kids in your age bracket are going to seem immature to people 10+ years older than you).

Basically, I'd say to just suck it up and get a job where you CAN get a job. Until you have a truly marketable skill (which by your reference of upcoming college it sounds like you're working on), employment is a buyer's market. Like it or not, teenagers wanting work are a dime a dozen, and you have to take what you can get.

At least you'll be turning 18 before you get to college. With an October birthday I was 17 for the first 2 months of my freshman year in college. As a high school graduate living a 4 hour drive from my parents, I had to get a parental consent form signed to join the campus fencing club ;).

The_Next_Generation
May 8, 2012, 02:17 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, I like the idea of working as a clerk/doing inventory etc. I'll definitely look elsewhere as well for a job, but I thought a gun store would be a good fit. A few months ago a shop offered me a job when they overheard me helping my mom with her first handgun purchase. They said they could find something for me to do if I was 18, but if I was a minor it was a no-go because of the suppressors and SBRs they sell.

Also, I feel some of you guys misunderstood me when I said I have a lot of experience. I didn't mean compared to other adults, but compared to my peers who have never had a job in retail (I have been working at trade shows for my family's wedding photography company for the past 4 years, and have had a lot of practice talking with customers about expensive products).

However, I totally understand that a 17 year-old behind the counter may not be the image a gun shop wants. I get that many people want someone who not only is knowledgeable, but looks credible as well (myself included). Still, I'm not going to stop trying until I've heard "no" from every local shop..

That's the worst they can do anyways ;)

- TNG

St8LineGunsmith
May 8, 2012, 04:47 AM
TNG
sounds like you would make a great candidate for an on line gun smith course, by the time you are licensed you will be 18 and have a couple of guns you built during your course to show off to prospective employers, I even think you can take one of these on line courses even if you are still in High School. and something you can squeeze in between school and a part time job.
if you want to impress the hell out of local gun shop owners find an old pawn shop Ruger 1022 rework it paint it up flat black and dress it up with a Pro Mag ArchAngel conversion and show it off to the store manager when you go to apply for the job
( not to mention a easy $200.00 profit margin if the rifle is done right) you could do an SKS Tapco conversion...
cheap Norincos are hard to find any more tho but where to look is the local pawn brokers, pawn shops are great resources for finding project guns not to mention there is some profit to be made in refurbishing guns to like new condition and or doing tactical conversions. just make sure any conversions are in compliance with Fed and State Law.
these style of guns are very popular especially with preppers
who knows you may even be able to have your own business in a short time.
just some food for thought.:cool:

BBDartCA
May 8, 2012, 10:47 AM
The Marksman down in Puyallup I think is still hiring.

TurtlePhish
May 8, 2012, 06:17 PM
sounds like you would make a great candidate for an on line gun smith course, by the time you are licensed you will be 18 and have a couple of guns you built during your course to show off to prospective employers, I even think you can take one of these on line courses even if you are still in High School. and something you can squeeze in between school and a part time job.

I don't mean to be rude, but online gunsmith courses (and licenses from them) aren't really very highly regarded by many people. Taking a REAL class at PGS or Trinidad is probably the best way to get really good and improve your shot at a good job, but also most likely WAY out of the OP's ability to pay for and attend.

"Converting" 10/22s and SKSs also isn't really doing much but taking out a couple screws and putting them back in. The stocks are pretty much drop-in fits.

kb58
May 8, 2012, 06:39 PM
Try a different pitch. Ask for a job doing inventory or just plain keeping the store tidy. If you really want a job then ask to work as a non paid intern or trainee for a few hours a week. It gets your foot in the door.
Excellent advice - that's what I did when I wanted to work at an engineering company while I was still in high school. It worked.

CWL
May 8, 2012, 07:03 PM
I walk into a gun store and ask a couple questions to the clerk.

Clerk: Well, I've never owned a pistol because I'm not old enough yet...

I turn around and walk out of the store.

The_Next_Generation
May 8, 2012, 08:55 PM
I walk into a gun store and ask a couple questions to the clerk.
Clerk: Well, I've never owned a pistol because I'm not old enough yet...
I turn around and walk out of the store.

Just because I can't legally purchase means I have no useful knowledge or experience? That's some unusual logic for The High Road.

I don't claim to be an expert, but I can certainly hold my own with other enthusiasts, even if I am "only 17".

- TNG

WilleRupert
May 8, 2012, 09:15 PM
There is NO chance you will get a job at a gun store as a minor. NONE. There is very, very little chance that if, at 18, you get a job at a gun store you will be allowed to interact with customers in any sales role. Someone suggested a sporting goods store. It's a good a start. Check gun ranges and gun clubs, too. I'm sure they're always looking for someone to haul and sweep buckets of brass and do general custodial tasks.

TimboKhan
May 8, 2012, 09:18 PM
Just because I can't legally purchase means I have no useful knowledge or experience? That's some unusual logic for The High Road

Hmm... On the one hand, I see your point.

On the other hand, being an enthusiast and being someone whom people will respect as an expert are two entirely different things. I have no doubt about your knowledge, but I will say, unfairly or not, that I would have serious doubts about your experience.

Basically, it boils down to a saying I learned in college: The map is not the territory.

I have no doubts that you know a lot about firearms. However, when someone asks you "whats better for my wife to carry" are you going to reply with a bunch of stuff you have read, or are you going to have a knowledgable response based on experience and talking with female clientele in addition to having the ability to listen to your customer and provide recommendations tailored to the feedback you recieve from her? What if someone comes in and wants to know what the best red-dot sight on the market is? Are you going to point at the most expensive sight, or say "you know, I actually run this sight, and I like it because of X, Y, and Z".

Even if you could answer those questions from the standpoint of experience, what are you going to do about outward appearances? Look, there are customers that won't deal with a female. That's a sad truth, but it is a truth. Do you really think they are going to listen to a kid? And, if being called a kid offends you, sorry, but thats exactly what the majority of your customers are going to think, so get used to it.

And, lets not forget the professional clientele that comes in to the shop. Cops, soldiers, Marines, "operators" or what have you are not going to listen to you. Period. Get used to that idea. Until you yourself are a cop, soldier, Marine or "operator", those guys aren't going to care one bit about whatever experience you have, real or assumed.

With all that said, if you read this and think "Screw you Timbo, I DO have all those things, and I can hang with the best of them!", then friend, whats really happening is that you aren't doing a good job of selling yourself. Get letters of recommendation, dress professionally (not like a wanna be cop or Marine), and be willing to start from the very bottom. Good luck!

The_Next_Generation
May 8, 2012, 09:18 PM
I like the Gun Club idea, I'll have to ask around and see what opportunity is out there for that.

Timbo - Good point, you are right. While I may "have those things" I completely understand that an experienced cop/soldier/etc won't care much about some kid's .02. Of course, these shops always have several people at the counter, maybe they could handle those types of customers. What about women that are new to shooting, or just new shooters in general? I've talked to several women about this, and they agreed that a younger, less intimidating clerk is a big plus. Not everyone buying a gun feels as comfortable with the big ex-soldier/cop behind the counter (nothing against those who serve). It seems that most shops have a variety of salespeople for a variety of customers.

Still, I totally get that my age will most likely make employment in a gun store next to impossible. Like I said before though, the worst they can say is no.

Thanks,
- TNG

St8LineGunsmith
May 9, 2012, 12:25 AM
I don't mean to be rude, but online gunsmith courses (and licenses from them) aren't really very highly regarded by many people. Taking a REAL class at PGS or Trinidad is probably the best way to get really good and improve your shot at a good job, but also most likely WAY out of the OP's ability to pay for and attend.

"Converting" 10/22s and SKSs also isn't really doing much but taking out a couple screws and putting them back in. The stocks are pretty much drop-in fits.

I call total BS on this (Not to be rude) but most every gunsmith I know got or is getting their certificate on line including my self and a certificate is the first step for any gunsmith to acquire their FFL and a federal fire arms license is a federal firearms license dispite where you received your gun smith cert.
ya sure there are certan things you cannot learn on line like operating a lathe or mill either Manual or CNC
but learning how many times to crank the handle on a lathe or mill before putting it in drive or learning G code and blocking down a billet then pressing enter is far from rocket science that anyone can learn at any community college, I did:)

there is no certificate any better than hands on experience but everyone has to start somewhere and on line courses are better than nothing.

you are right about doing conversions is a drop in process pretty much but there are a lot of people who will not attempt this simple procedure so they pay a gun smith to do it for them. at least if someone has done it a couple of times they have experience doing it.There is NO chance you will get a job at a gun store as a minor. NONE. There is very, very little chance that if, at 18, you get a job at a gun store you will be allowed to interact with customers in any sales role. Someone suggested a sporting goods store. It's a good a start. Check gun ranges and gun clubs, too. I'm sure they're always looking for someone to haul and sweep buckets of brass and do general custodial tasks.

I call BS on this too because I know a couple of 18 year old gun smiths who are darn good ones too.
there are a couple of kids who work for their dads gun shop here in town that know more about guns tham most customers who walk through the door.

and what about that 17 year old girl who works for her dad in his gun shop on that Reality show gun smoke or something like that and I think his boy is only 21 and is a master ingraver( something I would not even attempt do do on even my own fire arms).
that is just acouple for example.

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