I have managed and worked in a retail firearms store now for 6+ years and sometimes catch myself believing that I’ve seen and heard everything. Yet my customers continue to surprise me in unique and odd ways everyday. So to ensure you don’t come across as a greenhorn the next time you stop into a gun store, here is my list of 10 Things NOT to do in a Gun Store.
#1 – Jiggle gun safe handles, and when employees ask, ”Would you want to see inside?” say, “No.” – It’s horribly misleading and we promise we’re not hiding .22 ammo inside.
#2 – Open boxes of ammo that are glued/taped shut – If a box of ammo says “.30-06 Springfield,” there is actually .30-06 ammo inside, not Tootise Rolls. Although, I personally would not be disappointed if candy was inside.
#3 – While handling a handgun, point it sideways – The moment you turn a pistol from a vertical to a horizontal position… every employee and customer in the room will lose respect for you. It’s not a “kill shot” and it will not curve the bullet around corners. You look like you play far too many video games.
#4 – Stand by the MSR/AR section of the gun counter and ask, “Can I see the black one?” – Although we appreciate the politeness and innocence in your question, we need a little more to go off of… They’re all black, throw me a bone here.
#5 – Make blanket statements like, “I know you don’t have this, but do you have…” – Let us stop you right there… If you know my inventory before you come into my store, you have super powers! What you should be doing is buying a lottery ticket.
#6 – When handling firearms, have horrible muzzle control and constantly pull the trigger – Yes, when I handed you the firearm I cleared it ensuring that it is unloaded, but the family that just walked in doesn’t know that. You’re freaking people out by sweeping the muzzle in their face with your finger on the trigger. “Keep your booger hook off the bang switch!”
#7 – Try to buy a used firearm a customer is trying to sell to the gun shop – You wouldn’t try to undercut a car salesman when he’s being traded a car so how do you think it’s socially acceptable to do it in a gun store?… Unspoken Rule of Thumb: if the customer and gun store can’t come to an agreement, ask the individual once they leave the store. It’s incredible tacky and rude to make an offer while the trade is in process.
#8 – Talk to fellow customers and employees about how you’ve spent the last 5 hours shooting firearms, but you’ve only left your couch to come to a gun store – I’m sorry to tell you, but Call of Duty® and all other video games aren’t real life. Don’t say you just shot an M1 Garand, a Kel-Tec KSG, a Tommy Gun, and a Fully-Automatic Glock a few minutes ago while you’re gaming headset is still on (this has happened before in my store and I really wish he was wearing Bluetooth, but this was not the case).
#9 – Attempt to buy a firearm when you fully know you can’t – If you have a felony for jaywalking… a misdemeanor of domestic violence for beating up a stuffed animal… or a restraining order from the neighbor’s cat because he secretly hates you… you cannot buy a firearm. Whether you believe you were guilty of a charge or not, if it happened 30 minutes ago or 30 years ago, regardless of the scenario, if you know that you cannot buy a firearm, don’t “test the water” by trying to buy one, and then get mad when you’re denied.
#10 – Try to incite fear and panic into others because an apocalypse or armagedon or zombies or sharknado is “definitely, totally gonna like happen really, totally soon” – So you’re preparing for all of the above. Like literally every horrifying, end-of-days scenario possible. Although, your Boy Scout Troop Master would be proud of your preparedness, please do not try to impress upon others in public that you’re buying bulk .308 Win. ammunition for the zombies. Just leave that little nugget of information to yourself.
Be sure to take all of these suggestions light-heartedly. All your local gun shops greatly appreciate your business and are more than willing to teach new people, and even greenhorns, everything they would like to know about firearms.