Lock n’ Load : A reality TV show about a gun shop starts today

Lock n’ Load premiers today on Showtime at 8pm ET/PT today (Wednesday). The idea behind the show is hidden cameras placed around a gun store and shooting range.

It is being advertised on the Huff Post … so be warned, it could be very very bad.

Thanks to Sven for alerting me to it.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Monty

    The “Hidden Camera” part seems dubious. This very clearly looks like a entertainment program, but if it is, don’t they need releases from the filmed individuals? I’m not very familar with the rules about such things, but if its not a news program (or any type of newsish derivative) don’t they need them? So either releases were signed before or after the filming, or they are about to get sued all over the place right?

    Also, just from that little trailer, alot of the camera work doesn’t look very much like what youd expect from hidden cameras… Some of it could just be good post production, but still…

  • SpudGun

    As we all know, sane, responsible individuals make very dull television, so expect the doco makers to zoom in on the oddballs, the idiots and the down right dangerous.

    If only people’s overall intelligence were higher then their desire for fame, then ‘reality’ shows like this wouldn’t exist.

    This will not paint the majority of gun owners in a positive light.

  • Ben Dover

    I’d rather watch this Lock ‘N Load.


  • Matt Groom

    I think Showtime is trying to find there niche as a more Libertarian network. They have a show about a suburbanite who sells weed (which I’ve never seen, so I don’t know what the slant is), and Penn and Teller’s Bullshit, which is anything but left of center. The previews I’ve seen for this show look like it will present both sides as fairly as possible, which is more than I would expect from any major network. I hope it isn’t a bunch of lefty propaganda, but if it is, it’s certain to fail, so I’m not worried.

  • Could you unpack this statement a little: “It is being advertised on the Huff Post … so be warned, it could be very very bad.”? I would like to know the unstated part.

  • RJB

    This has trouble written all over it. I’m with SpudGun about the crazy people being the focus, and the liberals will have a field day. This can not end well.

  • techgeek

    It’d be more fun to have a TV show like Lock ‘n Load except with TV characters as customers. Here are 10 TV gunslingers who might visit that store: http://www.tvtango.com/news/detail/id/107

  • Jeff

    This is from their web site, so we’ll have to see well they stick to their claim:

    LOCK ‘N LOAD doesn’t take sides or argue a political perspective. Instead, viewers on both sides of the gun debate will be able to watch Ryan, a born salesman, wield his patented quick-draw humor and inherent likeability in each exchange, making jokes and big-ticket deals over the blasts echoing from the firing range down below.

  • Tom

    This is a BAD idea. It like all other retail reality shows will be fake and scripted and make gun owners and sportsmen look like hot heads and morons. That’s exactly what makes good TV. Look at American Chopper, American Hot Rod, Family Business, every episode of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, Cake Boss, etc.

    The real world doesn’t work like that but they sure make it look that way on TV. Then people think, ooo Bikers are hot heads, Itallians are soooo emotional and crazy, wow the car undustry is all rage.

  • Rick

    Can’t they think of an original name for a gun related show? I mean there’s already the one with Gunny on the History channel, and there’s a web show on youtube named Lock and Load Show http://www.youtube.com/user/LockandLoadShow

    I know it’s a popular saying but come on now, it’s not that hard to think of an original name 😛

  • Simon

    I wouldn’t despair yet-Newsday gives it a terrible review:

    BOTTOM LINE: Yeah, the first thought that comes to mind is “Bowling for Columbine.” Right state, same general idea – a sort of candid look into the heart and mind of people who like the feel of hard, cold steel in their hands. Michael Moore, of course, wanted to expose the horrors of gun ownership. Ryan apparently wants to expose the bores. And dull these heat-packers are – rattling on about their favorite Glock, or piece with the best kick, or weaponry that might scare off intruders by sight or sound alone. Oh, for just one wild-eyed, heavily inked, badly scarred, deeply disturbed maniac to wander in off the street, and thereby instantly confirm all our worst fears. Instead, we get some slightly bent soccer moms and dads debriefed by an impossibly cheery, cheesy, chummy game-show host. Showtime must have thought there would be great humor and irony in the mundane exchanges recorded here. But it miscalculated. Badly.

  • I have a feeling they will only show the idiots that come in. People that don’t know what they are doing or are dangerous or act stupid.

    I bet it’ll portray gun-culture negatively somehow.

    Basically what SpudGun said.

  • jdun1911

    I would love to see this show. Unfortunately I do not have cable TV only cable modem. In fact I don’t watch TV. The only time I do is when my friends and their kids come over. That’s when I pop in a kid DVD movie to keep their attention. And like kids they asks a lot of “why” questions.

    Anyway, I love to do a summery of each show to correct any mistake they made. From my own experience a lot of people that works in gun shops have very little knowledge of any given weapons. Their customers even less.

  • Fred

    That was actually my first thought too… “isn’t there already an awesome show called ‘Lock and Load’?”

    Hopefully the show doesn’t hurt us as gun people too much.

  • jdun1911

    If there is a way to see it on the internet let me know.

  • FWIW, keep in mind that one primary criterion for entertainment is that it be entertaining. Films of sober, sensible, middle-aged men shopping for a weapon probably would be about as entertaining as a film of watching them try on shoes at a shoe store.

    OF COURSE they will focus on the most entertaining customers. It’s not a liberal bias, it’s a show-biz bias, working to improve viewership.

    • Leisureguy, you and the other commenters are exactly right. Entertainment is not a well ordered F-class target shooting match!

      What I mean’t was that it would be unlikely that the HuffPo would advertise anything that painted shooters in a good light. 90% of thier readership would be up in arms (excuse the pun) if they did.

  • Jeff

    You might want to check Hulu.com. I’m not sure if Showtime shows are shown on there though.

  • Yeah, I imagine you’re right about the HuffPo readership—heck, even some of my own readers get sort of creeped out by any post about firearms (and, possible, weapons in general—I don’t recall that anyone shared my excitement when I got a Russian-made target air pistol).

    But then, that’s the challenge: write an article about shooters and shooting in a positive light in such a way that even the anti-gun crowd will get the point, even if they don’t agree.

  • jdun1911

    Well, how was it?

  • bp

    Just finished the first episode on Showtime. Not as negative as it could be but the sales guy is unlike any I’ve seen in any gunshop anywhere.

    Some of the usual mistakes right off, character hold two pistols and pointing at the camera in an intro sequence, gangster jokes, posing a family with AR15s for a menacing cellphone photo snap.

    Little attention paid to guns. The lead character gushed about “Kimber” briefly – heard Glock and Ruger named but most of the show focused on customers, their background, and what brought them in.

    Not very entertaining regardless – mildly interesting for the gun aspect but I can’t see this getting mass appeal or staying on air long. Probably a good thing too, no need for this guy to hunt out “interesting” people to put in the spotlight.

    • bp, thanks for the review.

  • It’s only a matter of time until R. Lee Ermey sues the sh*t out of them, and then comes over and kicks their collective grabasses.

  • Lucas

    I used to shoot there! The Shootist is about 15 min from my house. I haven’t been there in about a year, but I recognize one of the employees in the background. I’ve never seen the main guy though, do you know who he is? Is he an actor?

    I loved the range because it didn’t draw the kind of jerks/weirdo’s I’ve seen at other Denver-metro shooting ranges. It had a mom & pop vibe. I assumed it was a family business, but I don’t know that for sure. They were MUCH more professional than the young guy–always mellow and polite. I certainly never saw anyone making out or doing anything TV-worthy. No slapstick or fake tans, either.

    I won’t say that it all looks fake and staged because I don’t want to get sued by showtime. 😉

    Of course, if I knew the Shootist was so full of girls and laughs I’d probably have shot there more recently.

  • jdun1911

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the show is made up of actors.


    You should a force recon on the shop and report back to Steve. Get the load down and any dirt. It will make a great story.

    • yea, scout about and see if that guy actually works there 🙂 I can do a write up on the blog.

  • Caedis

    This seems to coenside with the Health study on owning firearms that the government just opened up. They will find ways a reasons (even when they don’t exist) to charge gun owners a tax for owning a gun because it will be decided that it is a “health risk”.

  • Matt Groom

    I’m completely with Caedis on this one. One of the main reasons for Socialized Medicine is it will give the Federal Government the authority to punish citizens for doing things they don’t approve of. Smoker? Back of the line for Heart meds. You’ll get some when we have extra. Obese? No knee surgery for you! Gun Owner? You will not be covered by the single payer system because you represent an unacceptable health risk. You will be forced to buy health insurance from the few surviving private health insurance companies, which will be very, very expensive, or get rid of your guns when your kid gets sick.

  • I see what you’re saying, Matt, but the socialized medicine we already have (Medicare, VA Hospital System, S-CHIP) is enormously well-liked by those they serve—better liked than patients of non-government hospitals, in the case of VA. And Medicare is so well liked that even Republicans do not oppose it.

  • Lucas

    I think I will stop by the Shootist again. I don’t want to end up on tv, but I’m sure I can just refuse to sign whatever paperwork their lawyers require. I’ll try next week.

    I’m not 100% sure how Health Care reform came into this, but since it did I’ll throw in my two cents.

    Caedis, our government often pays for absurd, partisan, and downright goofy research. It’s just theater. I think it’s just an obnoxious part of living in a modern democracy. Both parties promote this kind of nonsense all the time and I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. It’s just politics. The Democratic leadership hasn’t gone after guns yet because they know it’ll kill them in the midterms, never mind the fact that they couldn’t scrounge up enough votes in their own party. Anti-gun politicians know that their agenda is going to be put on the back burner indefinitely, they’re pouting, and they are going act out in all sorts of ways.

    This is the study you were talking about, right?

    Wouldn’t private insurers be more likely to raise rates/deny coverage for gun owners? If they had data showing that gun-owners pose higher risks? Does anyone know if that data exists?

    Matt, none of the proposals in the Congress suggest a socialized medical system. The (probably doomed) public-option would not deny coverage to high-risk or politically unpopular citizens. It was designed to provide insurance for people who cannot obtain it from the private sector. Since insurance companies can drop customers who get sick and refuse to sell insurance to citizens with pre-existing conditions, the public option would be for customers who had no other choices. Certainly, the best preforming health-care systems in the world are not socialized. Well regulated for-profit systems provide better results at lower costs. But I’m not aware of a socialized medical system in a developed nation that refuses health-care for gun owners, even in anti-gun countries. Do you have an example of this? Raising costs for smokers, the obese, etc. is already normal for private-sector insurance. It’s not about politics–it’s just about money.

  • Matt Groom


    As a disabled veteran who qualifies to get as much free VA medical care as my little heart desires, I would just like to say that I personally opt for GOOD medical care from the private sector, which I pay for out of my limited finances. Not because I have to, but because I don’t like to have to wait 4 months to see a doctor when I find a discolored leasion on my shoulder.

    Well liked or not, and it’s hard to complain about “free”, the fact is that Medicare, VA Hospital System, and Medicaid are all enormously underfunded and/or going broke. If only a small percentage of the people are on these programs, and they already underperform and are going broke, imagine when the ENTIRE COUNTRY qualifies for the same thing.

    All I know is when Bush was in office, every day there was a new article about how lousy the VA hospitals were, and how Bush wasn’t properly supporting the troops. Now Obama wants to put everybody, except Congress and other priviledged classes, into those same miserable squalid dumps and suddenly, it’s a great idea. Oh, except remember when Obama said that Veterans wounded overseas should be forced to pay for their own healthcare? Cause I remember that! Apparently, private health insurance is good enough for America’s service personel, but it’s not good enough for everyone else.

    @ Lucas

    I know they aren’t proposing it. They’ve been pushing for Socialized medicine since the 1930’s, and they’re achieving it through baby steps. This is just another baby step, but the baby is getting pretty big by now. Rasing costs for people who are high risk is common sense, denying coverage for people who are unfavored politically is COMMON PRACTICE in all countries that have a Socialised medical system. There aren’t enough countries that allow people to own firearms that also have a Socalized Medical system to compare, and the people in those countires who do own any kind of firearm are such a decided minority as to be statistically irrelivant. Socalist regimes do not allow gun ownership because when you have a gun, you have a voice.

    If you people want better medical care at lower prices then what you want is TORT REFORM, not government control.

    @ Steve

    Sorry! I did it again!

    • Any more political posts in this thread will be deleted!

  • dabenpb

    Lucas, very well laid out post.

    Regarding HuffPost: I read Huffpost and the Firearm Blog. I consider myself a liberal but own guns and am for gun rights.

    Let’s not dump everyone into buckets that do not fit. The most important thing is to get access to info and make your own informed decision. I think both R and D are not for the people but for themselves and Corp America.

    I will check this show out and give my review if anyone cares.

    BTW, Showtime has a few good shows: Dexter and Californication. For those who do not have cable but have high speed internet try bittorrent and http://www.mininova.org/user/eztv.

    Great Blog. Check it out every day.

  • I’d be concerned about privacy. I can just imagine the customers appearing on the show having their cars searched at work, and getting fired for breaking the company weapons policy when their carry gun is found under the seat.

    Maybe I’m just a paranoid gun freak though.

  • Komrad

    This guy looks like an actor and acts like a bad actor. Their web site says the store is family owned but that doesn’t mean it is not leased to this guy.
    @ Suburban
    most gun freaks are paranoid, that is why they own guns in the first place. It ‘s all fine by me as long as you only shoot if you’re justified. As for weapon policies being broken, they need a warrant to search your car. It’s just a simple case of don’t ask, don’t tell. If they don’t know, they won’t even think of it as a problem.

  • Steve McKee

    I’ve watched some of this “Lock ‘n Load” (Showtime version) and it is not authentic and is in fact a “fraud” in every aspect. I did some research on the “star” of the show – this Josh – and he’s a STAGE ACTOR from LA. He does not own the store and he is NOT a gun salesman (that evident from his presentations to the customers). He is NOT a shooter either – witness the way he not only handles firearms (muzzles pointing at the customers and all kinds of other taboos like off-color/anti-gun “jokes”) and note the way he way he “holds” a shotgun or rifle – he’s a fraud of the first order. The show is a thinly-veiled attempt at an ANTI-GUN platform… So very disappointing… I thought for a second that we were going to get an intellectual approach to gun-buying/shooting/personal protection/pro Second Amendment, but instead we got a poorly scripted joke laugh-track with an annoying “actor” that leaves you tearing your hair out… Poor, poor, poor!

  • I don’t watch TV at all, but from what I read I don’t think there’s much hope of any TV show providing an intellectual approach to anything.