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Old February 11, 2013, 09:01 AM   #1
gaseousclay
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gun store etiquette

I stopped by Gander Mtn yesterday to look at Leupold base/rings for my scope and while I was chatting with one of the clerks at the counter I looked to my right and noticed some guy with his wife looking at handguns. The thing that immediately made me angry was that he was looking at a handgun and pointing it in my direction. I know some of you have had this happen to you but boy it really made my blood boil.

so what do you do in situations like this, whether it's at the range or in a gun store? do you confront the person and yell at them, or do you quietly tell the sales associate that some numb nuts is pointing a gun in your direction? I think if a customer does this they should be kicked out of the store, but that's me.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:07 AM   #2
s10ryan
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i'd go over and tell them never ever point a gun at anyone...
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:10 AM   #3
buck460XVR
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I politely ask them not to point the gun at me. Unless I see it is intentional, then I duck and draw. No reason to get snotty at a fellow gun owner because they inadvertently swept you with a unloaded gun in a crowded gun store. Many times it's hard to take the gun from the salesperson, or even look at the firearm without having it pointed directly at the ceiling the whole time, without sweepin' someone, no matter how hard you try. Something one needs to expect should they decide to go to any big box store on a busy weekend.
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Old February 11, 2013, 10:10 AM   #4
gaseousclay
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Quote:
I politely ask them not to point the gun at me. Unless I see it is intentional, then I duck and draw. No reason to get snotty at a fellow gun owner because they inadvertently swept you with a unloaded gun in a crowded gun store. Many times it's hard to take the gun from the salesperson, or even look at the firearm without having it pointed directly at the ceiling the whole time, without sweepin' someone, no matter how hard you try. Something one needs to expect should they decide to go to any big box store on a busy weekend.
but we're talking about common sense here. the guy was standing at the gun counter, so he could've easily pointed the gun at the wall behind the counter. Instead, he chose to point the handgun in my direction where there were clearly other people standing around. when I was at Gander Mtn there weren't many people in the gun department, so it wasn't exactly a busy weekend. stupidity is no excuse for being careless with a gun.
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Old February 11, 2013, 10:18 AM   #5
noelf2
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Definitely would have annoyed me too. The clerk that handed him the gun should have been more observant and stopped him.
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Old February 11, 2013, 10:48 AM   #6
UtopiaTexasG19
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Can we assume that when the clerk took the gun out from the counter he cleared the chamber twice and checked before handing it to the customer?
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Old February 11, 2013, 10:51 AM   #7
Doc Intrepid
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We may certainly assume that.

Regardless, it remains disconcerting to me to look over at another individual and realize s/he is pointing a handgun at me.

I move out of the line of fire, in spite of my assumptions, and then go over and politely tell them to watch their muzzle.

I also assume they are unfamiliar with firearms, so are not giving the matter the same attention to detail that I am.

It only takes once.
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Old February 11, 2013, 11:07 AM   #8
dlb435
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It's the owner of the store that is responsible. I might have asked him to control the situation. If I got no response, I would leave and never come back.
Lost business speaks volumes.
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Old February 11, 2013, 11:24 AM   #9
twins
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Quote:
I think if a customer does this they should be kicked out of the store, but that's me.
This kind of mindset is understandable but wrong in my opinion.

Lets break it down.

1) You're in a chain outdoor/gun store, likelihood of a beginner gun owner coming in for a look is pretty high. So they're not mindful of all the safety and etiquette of gun handling.

2) You're in a chain outdoor/gun store, likelihood of the gun being loaded/unsafe is minimal. If you get upset over this incident then your outburst would only cement bad stereotypical reactions of gun owners.

3) There are a lot of newcomers to gun ownership right now and since there is no required training to purchasing a weapon, its our job as good gun owners to assist when we can. Point it out to the counter manager and let them handle it.

Take a breath and think about you're situation, surrounding, and the best way to help, not hinder.
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Old February 11, 2013, 11:30 AM   #10
Joe_Pike
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Try going into a gun shop with the hordes of people and try not having a gun pointed at you. Especially with all of the first time buyers.
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Old February 11, 2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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I was ata range recently in Warrenton, VA. (Clarks Brothers) It's an old range so there is no electronic target to bring to you. All shooting stops and you go out to fix the targets. Everyone is required to step behind a line and stay there until the green light comes on. I was standing with my son when I guy near me went back to the shooting bench and started loading mags while the customers were still setting up targets downrange. I finally asked the guy what he thought he was doing and he had that deer in the headlights look. I reminded him of the very well marked rules and the newbie put the ammo down and stepped back. My son thought I kept my cool considering the situation.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:02 PM   #12
lcpiper
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Yea, except in Arizona where peeps are carrying concealed all over, no permits required, and could be asking the clerk about "their gun they bought there last week" which could be loaded.

Only one reason to point a gun at anyone and it's never too early to politely educate the ignorant.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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I immediately move out of the way from where they are pointing. No sense wasting time.

Invariably the other person looks up and adjusts what they are doing, or the clerk adjusts them, so I can come back.

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Old February 11, 2013, 12:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Can we assume that when the clerk took the gun out from the counter he cleared the chamber twice and checked before handing it to the customer?
Sure...

Same way we can assume that all guns are loaded, always...

You never point, aim, or sweep anything that you are unwilling to destroy...

This is really pretty basic...I find it more than a bit disconcerting how many people seem to be making excuses for the irresponsible actions of someone they know nothing about...

Politely correct them, or impolitely correct them...

But IMNSHO this 'person' needed correcting then and there...
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:28 PM   #15
Skans
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Most counter guys at Gander Mountain (the one I go to) are usually very aware of where you are pointing the muzzle and will instruct you to point it at a specific point behind the counter.

Now, there is a difference between someone "sweeping" you with a muzzle, and someone using your head/body to see if they can point and use the sights. In the first scenario, I will ask the counter guy I am talking to to properly instruct the guy who's improperly pointing his gun at people. In the second scenario, I will bark "hey, would you mind not pointing that gun at me" directly to the individual.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:51 PM   #16
shafter
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At the most I'd ask the clerk who was helping me to ask the other guy to please point the gun in any other direction than at myself.

I do realize that 99.9999999% of the time the gun the other guy is examining has been cleared by the clerk and is unloaded. Unloaded guns do not bother me anymore than walking in front of a stopped car in a crosswalk freaks me out. It would be a different story entirely if this happened at a range.

However, every now and then the clerk is lazy and doesn't clear the gun. That happened to me the other day. I asked to examine a used (even worse) Glock behind the counter. The clerk just handed it to me. I took it, dropped the mag, and checked the chamber.

My personal rules for gun handling at a gunshop is 1) Clear the gun, 2) Do my best to point the gun at the floor or wall behind the counter, 3) Always ask before dry firing.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:53 PM   #17
shafter
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One more thing: Was he sweeping you with the muzzle while examining the gun or was he deliberately lining you up in his sights? It would make a difference in my reaction.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:21 PM   #18
g.willikers
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How about saying something like,
"Why are you pointing your gun at me?'
Was it something I said?'
Should I take it personally?"
That usually gets the point across without embarrassing or insulting anyone.
Often a good idea when they have a gun in hand.
Of course, if that doesn't work, it's time to RUN!
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:38 PM   #19
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Say to the clerk "muzzle awareness " then motion toward the flagger. The clerk should correct the newbie. If not you have to decide how far you want this to go.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:45 PM   #20
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Story time ..active duty Marine Corps CMP range and I look down and left and there it is PFC ****bag Cruz's muzzle right at my knee . I say to him " hey man muzzle awareness " to which he replies "I don't have a sling " abd looks away very unconcerned . I then say " CEASE FIRE CEASE FIRE! " look on his face was priceless. Range saftey officer kicked his ass off the range. Always correct a safety violates. Bad habits are a result of complacency. And complacency kills !
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:47 PM   #21
Rmart30
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I havent been in a Gander Mt , but I think all the other "box stores" ive been in all have trigger locks on their firearms. I know it isnt a excuse to sweep a gun around but Im not going to panic about it.
Now out in the field or at a range, yes I probably would politely have said something.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:49 PM   #22
JD0x0
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If it seemed like he/she was doing it unintentionally and just being careless, i'd inform them they're pointing a gun directly at me, and then ask them if theyre O.K. with that, if the gun discharged.

If the buyer was just being an idiot or a jerk, I'd probably approach them in a less friendly way.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:54 PM   #23
Tom Servo
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Quote:
Try going into a gun shop with the hordes of people and try not having a gun pointed at you. Especially with all of the first time buyers.
It's not just first-time buyers. Not by a long shot.

From my experience, the worst offenders are competition shooters, who think nothing of slapping the action shut and dry-firing away a few degrees to my left without asking.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:55 PM   #24
Ralgha
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Quote:
If it seemed like he/she was doing it unintentionally and just being careless, i'd inform them they're pointing a gun directly at me, and then ask them if they're O.K. with that, if the gun discharged.
What do you do if they say yes to that question?

Couldn't resist...sorry...
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Old February 11, 2013, 02:13 PM   #25
Kimio
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It's firearms handling 101, always treat the firearm as if it's loaded and never point/aim at anything that you do not intend to destroy.

Personally I would have politely walked over and asked him/her to not do that, no need to make a scene or whatever. He may have been a new shooter or was never taught proper gun etiquette, remember you're as much of a representative of the shooting community as he/she is.

It's easier to guide someone with and open hand than with a closed fist.
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