Gun Store Etiquette – A Safety Reminder

    I have worked in the firearms industry for some time now.  I have also worked retail firearms, and have immediate family that still does.  I know that it seems to always escape people, but firearms are not toys and should be treated safely and with respect. But there are some people out there that don’t understand that concept.

    During a visit this afternoon to my local store, a guy in his early 20’s walked in.  He immediately began talking loudly about a rifle on the all and that is what he does for work.  He also started flashing his military ID around to everyone that would look. He then proceeded to pull his pistol out, waving it around while asking about a holster for it.

    He then unloaded the handgun, muzzling the guy at the counter in the process.  Shoving the handgun into a few holsters he decided none would work, reloaded his handgun and happened to muzzle me behind him while re-holstering.  While I agree the employee could have said something to begin with, the blame also falls on the patron that thought his actions were OK.

    I have never been one to be silent when it comes to firearms safety.  We are all safety officers out on the range and anywhere else firearms are being handled.  I took the time to tell the guy in a firm tone that there are other people around and that he pointed a loaded handgun at me while haphazardly attempting to find his holster.

    While I know that people are sometimes excited to show something off, or think that because it’s a gun store so the rules apply less.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I once had a firearms instructor that would always politely remind shooters on the line that “If you point a gun at me, I will surmise you mean me harm and will respond accordingly and in kind.”

    So, just a friendly reminder to people out there.  If you walk into a store with a holstered handgun, leave it there.  If you must take it out for some reason, ask an employee if it is OK to remove your handgun from the holster or case and safely clear it if necessary.  One thing I always to try to think of is what my actions might look like to someone else. While your actions might have good intentions, it might not look that way to someone else.  We all are responsible for firearms safety and the future of the sport. Please help keep things safe, and if you see something unsafe, say something.