Odd or frustrating gun shop policies?

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Trey Veston

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Idaho/Washington border
Never really had many issues with employees of area gun shops, but have had a couple of gripes about policies that make no sense.

Couple of weeks ago, I decided to sell a pistol at the LGS. They are a store that sells everything from lawn and garden equipment, tools, guns, shoes, to Thule rooftop tents. Their gun section is in the back of the store and is pretty big. Probably 10% of floor space.

So I go walking in the front door past the checkout counters and have my pistol in the factory blue S&W hard case, when I hear a panicked, "Sir! Excuse me sir, what do you have in your hand?"

I reply to the college-aged female that it is an unloaded pistol in a locked case that is going back to the gun counter to be sold.

She tells me that it is store policy that they have to call someone from the gun counter to come up front and take possession of the pistol to take back to the gun counter.

I get a puzzled look on my face and ask her what about the loaded pistol on my hip? Can I still walk around the store with that? She declined to answer.

I have no idea why a store that sells guns in Idaho, with most customers having firearms on them, would make customers hand over their firearms to employees to walk back to the gun counter.

That same store charges 15% commission on selling guns, and also a $10 "shelving fee". Never heard of that one, either.

Anyone else have a gun shop that has some weird or ridiculous policies?
 
It seems like almost every LGS I've been to in the last 40 years or so has at least one weird rule or a whacko employee. Mostly whacko employees.

The most annoying one was when I was in a hurry, I didn't have time to shoot slowly. I had a bunch of guns to test, all I wanted to do was to test for function, but he harassed me so badly I finally went to his boss after I explained why I was shooting. "too quick" in his mind. I had one day off in two weeks and I had two hours to test fire, get home, put the guns away, and go to work.
 
The most ridiculous I've heard of are gun stores and pawn that will still run 4473s on black powder guns.

The worse i've ran into was at bass pro a few weeks ago, a guy wanted to look at a gun and they asked for his ID. Not bad, right? But then holding his ID, they made him say his address to them so they can confirm he lives where the ID says he does. So they won't let you look at a gun if you are "unable to purchase" it in their eyes. The guy said his address wrong and then they got hard on him, telling him he can't buy one. (to be fair the guy did look a little crazy and off anyway, and wanted to look at the gun they happened to be holding when they walked up to him).
I don't thinking holding unto ID as a customer handles merchandize is bad (anti-theft policy) but the reason they were doing it is kinda frustrating.
 
Three weeks ago at Bass Pro Shop I stopped in to see if they had primers. There was a line of guys in front of sign with a code on it you had to scan with your phone. When someone from the gun counter was available they would ring or text you. I wasn't going to wait on the off chance they had primers so I left.
 
I have no idea why a store that sells guns in Idaho, with most customers having firearms on them, would make customers hand over their firearms to employees to walk back to the gun counter.
Because Idiot-It's-Unloaded-What's-That-Noise-Al lives in Idaho too. You would be surprised how many morons show up with loaded firearms, and then fumble the show clear.
 
Because Idiot-It's-Unloaded-What's-That-Noise-Al lives in Idaho too. You would be surprised how many morons show up with loaded firearms, and then fumble the show clear.

Still makes no sense. Why should an employee carry a cased rifle or pistol to the gun counter instead of the owner? Do you really think the owner, who just walked 200' from his pickup to the front checkout counter, somehow is going to remove a firearm from the case and start pulling the trigger in the 60' from the checkout counter to the gun counter? Perhaps a better policy would be that all firearms presented to the gun counter by owners must be cleared by an employee first, most of which I have primers older than they are.
 
Do you really think the owner, who just walked 200' from his pickup to the front checkout counter, somehow is going to remove a firearm from the case and start pulling the trigger in the 60' from the checkout counter to the gun counter?
Yes. Been there, seen it. The manager who wrote the policy at your LGS has too.

The saying goes that the most dangerous gun is an unloaded one. . . because the idiot holding it treats it like it's unloaded.
 
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Looking at the OP experience objectively , it was a predictable product of our times and the situation in that particular store.
- We live in an era of unprecedented gun phobia and anti-gun activism and pressure. Retailer are - understandably - reacting by putting cautionary procedures in place.
- The store in this case was one of wide variety :
They are a store that sells everything from lawn and garden equipment, tools, guns, shoes,
In such a store you will have a lot of staff members who do not have a deep background in firearms. It is sometimes challenging for "guys like us" to be patient with such staffers , but that's the way it is.

If one chooses to patronize a firearm specialty business the experience will be different form that described above , but even those outfits are being more cautious. Retail stores commonly have valuable items that are targeted by shoplifters under lock and key. We are accustomed to that. It's all a sign of the times - whether we like it or not.

Then there is this :
I get a puzzled look on my face and ask her what about the loaded pistol on my hip?
A) That one is your property. The merchandise in your hand is store property.
B) Making reference to your "loaded pistol" in such a conversation is not a good idea. Not relevant , not helpful , too much room for misinterpretation , sounds real bad when repeated by staffer to other people later on ... no redeeming value. Bad tactic , period.
 
Not quite a dumb policy, but I was visiting family in Fresno, CA and walked in to the gun store that also has a range where I have shot at many times, looking for a holster. I had a semi-auto pistol, unloaded, slide locked back and no magazine, holding it in the trigger guard by my little finger and turned sideways so anyone could see it was safed.

One of the guys behind the counter almost s**t a brick. WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! SIR, YOU CAN’T WALK IN HERE WITH AN UNCASED WEAPON!!! Literally YELLING at me from maybe 10 feet away. I just stopped and looked at him while I slowly rotated the pistol, again, hanging upside down, slide locked open, from my little finger. Now, not quite yelling but not speaking in a conversational tone either, he says “Well, I’ll give you credit for that but you shouldn’t walk in with an exposed weapon.” Tells me “Next time, put it in a paper bag or a rag, or even wrap it in a pair of underpants (he seriously said that), anything but carrying it in exposed.” I just replied something like, “Well, I’m from Idaho and I guess we just don’t panic when we see a gun.”

I walked in to 2 other stores, in the same manner; both simply asked me quite reasonably, if they could double-check the pistol first.

Sam
 
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Store/range here has a sign by the door, "Guns must be cased or holstered. If you do not have a case, we will lend you one." And they still have to send people back out. I can understand it, considering the median and lower clientele.
Store layout is poor, I have frequently been swept by customers and staff as I ready my stuff for the range side.
 
While there are many store policies(not just gun shops) that irk me, I have always believed, "their house, their rules". Over the years, there have been so many threads on this and other gun forums about "Stoopid gun policies" that nothing surprises me anymore. Folks walking in the front door with a gun is not just a safety issue, but a fear factor for too. That little old lady buying flower seeds in the lawn and garden section might just have a heart attack.
 
Yeah, I have some I don’t like. They own their business, so they make the rules the way they want them. I possess the portion of the money Ihave made the .gov will let me spend the way I want to, so I don’t spend it on items or services they make money on.

I like to keep it simple and Lord knows (my wife too), I have enough other stuff to complain about that are not under my control.

I treat it like a restaurant where I don’t like their food. Instead of trying to teach them how to cook, I just don’t go there.
 
I don't get upset at the workers who aren't involved in gun sales. They don't have the training or responsibility other than "store policy". And that's fine with me.

However, for the people who ARE trained and work in gun sales, I have zero tolerance for many things, most of which revolve around safety, honesty, and manners.

When safety requires, manners can go out the window as far as I'm concerned. Hurt feelings for being yelled at are nothing compared to perhaps being shot by someone with an uncleared weapon.

But if I'm mistreated? You lost any potential business.

If I'm lied to? You lost any potential business.

If I see unsafe practices by sales personnel or see them not properly handling unsafe practices by other people? You lost any potential business.

"Silly rules"? Well...not knowing the background behind them, maybe they aren't so silly as they seem on the surface. And if they bother me that much...I'll just take my potential business elsewhere. No since in debating/arguing the issue. Especially when it comes to the subject of firearms. As someone else above said, too much room for misinterpretation.
 
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