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Academy Sports--I felt like a criminal

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by John828, Dec 27, 2008.

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  1. John828

    John828 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, this may be another groaner thread.

    I finally picked a rifle and bought it this morning at Academy. I've always considered Academy a very pro gun place, but I have never bought a gun from since I prefer ftf or one of two local shops.

    Anyway, they had the Remington 798 for $399, and along with Remington's rebate, I felt $369+ tax was was fair. The gentleman behind the counter was a 4473 "nazi." He checked and double checked it line by line which is fair. He studied my DL and CCL. He held up the cards and looked at my face, held up the cards and looked at my face, with a few grunts while doing so. Then he says that I need to get a manager. Apparently only a manager is professional enough to finish the process.

    The manager comes over and repeats the process. Studies everything, makes sure I am indeed who my IDs say I am. By now (about twenty minutes later) another older gentleman had walked up to the counter. I exchanged howdies and said, "Remember when you could walk into a hardware store get a gun, grab some ammo, and go to the cash register?" He smiled, but the manager heard me and gave me a bit of a glare.

    Then he walked me up to the register. I would not have blinked an eye had he said that he would have to hold my hand as well.

    Then, and this has to be purely coincidental, as I walk to my truck, there were to squad cars in the parking lot--city police and a county sheriff. I know that was a coincidence, but it sure drove home the feeling I had while in the store that I was a criminal.

    I am thirty-five but look twenty-five and as clean cut as could be. I had on clean clothes and even took a shower this morning.

    In their defense, I know that they are probably just following some corporate SOP, but I doubt I will buy another gun from them unless it is a screaming deal.

    Oh and then I get home and read a thread about Sportsmanguide.com having some buying data online, and I remember that while at Academy, part of the process was them entering my information into a computer. I think I will only buy ftf or through one of my local shops for now on.
  2. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a couple of anti-gunners trying to give you a hard time. Or the original guy just didn't like the look of ya:)
  3. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Or, more likely, the F Troop has been giving their 4473s a hard time and they don't want to get fired for screwing it up.

    Don't blame them - blame the capricious nature of the bound book inspection process.
  4. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    This is why, whenever possible, I buy guns at a GUN SHOP, not a big box store. :)
  5. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    As an additional comment - the three 'real gun stores' that I buy from regularly always do a paper check whereby a second staffer reviews the paperwork that the first clerk and I completed, just to get a second pair of eyes on the stuff. That seems to be pretty much SOP, and I'm not surprised that the sporting goods chains have adopted this procedural model.
  6. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member


    In the last couple of months ATF has traced several straw purchases to Academy's in Houston & south Texas. The belief is that these guns wind up in Mexico.

    If I were Academy, WalMart, etc you can bet I would beat it into my employees heads not to be diligent & not jeopardize my FFL. A mistake by that Academy employee could wind up costing Academy quite a bit of $$$ in lost sales.

    They do the same thing and charge you extra for their "customer service".
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  7. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    I don't see what Academy did that you think was wrong. They are required by law to correctly fill out 4473, and verify who you say you are.

    I think you are right, you might be better off just buying from a private seller if you have a problem with the store complying with the law.
  8. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    They hold your hand while they escort you to the exit?
  9. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

    John828, given the large police presence in central Arkansas and the uselessly bureaucratic nature of its local government, I can't help but feel like a criminal whether I'm buying a gun or buying a soda.

    I've shopped at Academy in LR and NLR, and got mixed responses from staff at both. I wouldn't blame it on Academy.

  10. notorious

    notorious Well-Known Member

    Maybe the store worker just had a bad day and woke up late and had to rush to work and didn't get to shower and stepped in dog poo and parked on the wron side of the street and got a ticket and his wife called to say his brother is a better lover and she faked it with him every time.

    It happens.

    Oh, as for stores getting tough, it happens. The LAPD Academy store here used to be super friendly and easy and then one of their employees decided to dabble illegally in Class III weapon sales. ATF swooped as they should. Now they make me feel like a criminal when I am just buying some ammo... and I am in uniform!
  11. That's sounds pretty onerous and unnecessary (the getting the manager part), but not necessarily wrong.

    Academy Sports HAS IN FACT, however, proven itself anti-gun (arguably). You only have to be 18 to buy most any long gun there, including a Ruger Mini-14, per federal law and their policy, but you must be 21 to buy what they call an "assault rifle", per their policy, even thought that is more strict than federal law. So good luck getting an answer out of them as to why a Mini-14 is not an "assault rifle", but an AR is. :(

    Incidentally, I might point out that if the problem in Texas is with *straw purchases*, then what they did to you (checking, re-checking, getting the manager) would NOT have prevented any straw purchase! A straw purchase, by definition, is someone buying a gun who is perfectly able to buy a gun, and then turning around and illegally transferring it (all done knowingly at the time of purchase). Had you been a straw purchaser, nothing they did would have stopped that (unless the getting-the-manager part was a stalling tactic/ subterfuge to allow them time to scan the rest of the store and parking lot looking for illegal aliens who are loitering around with a "has he got our guns yet, homey?" look on their faces, as if a straw purchase conspiracy would be that stupid/blatant).
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    You can thank Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of NYC, for a lot of this. Couple of years ago he sent his goons to southern gunshops and they tricked some clerks into making a few honest mistakes on gun sales. They then sued the gunshops claiming it was their fault illegal guns turned up in NYC. Since then most stores have become quite "anal" about getting everything right.
  13. notorious

    notorious Well-Known Member

    Didn't Michael Bloomberg get a severe chastising about his self-funded witch hunt?
  14. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Well-Known Member

    Every time I buy a gun at Gander Mountain it takes at least an hour to get through the paper work. I really hate it, i've bought guns and left the store in like 10 to 15 minutes tops at other gun stores.
  15. notorious

    notorious Well-Known Member

    You just have to get to know the people by buying a lot of guns and junk. Heck, I got to know the local sporting goods store manager to the point he can get my stuff done in 10 minutes. He hands over the forms, I do my part, he does his part, I pay, I am gone. Then I come back in 10 days... as per Kalifornistan law because I needed to cool off.
  16. John828

    John828 Well-Known Member

    Okay, up from the nap and feel a little different. Lone gunman, you are correct. I guess I am just spoiled by a few other shops because they actually like selling guns. They, themselves, hunt and shoot and they seem to genuinely want to help others shoot guns.

    I did feel like I was a criminal while in the store though. I admit that they have to follow some set procedures due to the nature of being a chain and the requirements of federal regs, but I won't buy from them anymore unless it's a great deal--not even a good deal, but a great deal. I would rather spend a little more to help out someone else who actually enjoys what they do.
  17. Riptide

    Riptide Member

    Man, I know the feeling. I bought a Henry Golden Boy .22LR two years ago, at Dick's Sporting Goods, mainly because they had one in stock, and my nephew was coming up in a few days...

    The jerking around I got in that store ensures that not only will I never buy another gun in there, I will never make another purchase in there, ever.

    They even had the gall to call my house, and reiterate to my wife, what paperwork I needed when I came to pick the gun up ( I had put it on layaway).

    It was my only time not buying at the local GS, and I will never do that again.
  18. Guyon

    Guyon Well-Known Member

    I've bought several at Academy over the years, and their checkout procedures have become a bit more rigorous. That said, I've always been done in 15 to 30 minutes, and no one was rude about it. I've waited much longer at other vendors or at gun shows. And everyone I've every talked to behind the counters at Academy either hunted or fished, or did both.

    I'd have no problems giving my local Academy my gun business again.
  19. TxState101

    TxState101 Well-Known Member

    It's company policy. Check the 4473, double check it if you feel the need, and then have a manager come over, check it, sign and date in the appropriate places.

    Once again, the manager has to check everything, because retail ain't looking for anything but warm bodies, even though the average retail worker knows how to get things done quicker than the manager. When I was checking 4473 forms, I missed a couple of things that my manager caught. Mistakes happen.

    Might want to cut the passive-aggressive crap, while you're at it. Oh boo-hoo, you didn't get a mint at the end of the sale for being a good customer!

    Once again, company policy! If you think they're going to let somebody walk out without paying for a gun, think again, buddy. There's probably a couple of other reasons, but those can be accomplished out in the parking lot. It's mainly to walk something up to the front.

    Academy sales reps will walk up an expensive fishing reel, binoculars, knives, scopes, GPS, etc. If it's over a certain amount, they're walking it up.

    And Academy will be keeping your 4473 form for 20(25?) years in a filing cabinet, and the computer database is for their records of what was sold, when, to whom, what model, JUST SO THEY CAN GET BACK IN CONTACT WITH THE CUSTOMER IF THEY NEED TO.

    Look, I'm all for Academy hate because I worked there, but if you want to complain, don't complain because you feel that you were wronged because some poor guy is doing his job, to a level that clearly offended you.

    Nobody cares how old you are, how well dressed, whether you stink or not. Although if the sight of cop cars makes you feel like a criminal, what are you hiding, buddy?

    tl;dr, get your head out of your ass.
  20. notorious

    notorious Well-Known Member

    At Big 5, all knives and expensive optics and BB/Airguns are walked up to the counter.

    But after your 10 day wait period, when you go back to the gun section in the back of the store, you sign the paperwork and then they give you your gun there to walk through the store on your own.

    It's all about theft deterrence and policy at that point. Nothing personal.
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