Small Gun Shops: Some words (Part 2)

Back to my personal peeves about Mom & Pop Gun Stores.

Some stores looks like the reenactment of a Turkish Military bazaar. I have been to places that are so cluttered with aging stuff, I was expecting to see a coolie smoking opium hidden behind a stack of empty mortar crates. Although I am one of those weirdos that enjoy rummaging stacks of retired military paraphernalia searching for things that “I cannot absolutely live without” like an authentic G.I. stapler remover (the forefather of the Tactical 5.11 staple remover,) most people are not into shopping in the set of Hoarders. The new Gun Generation is used to have a clear view and not feel like they are in a maze extracted from a horror movie; so having a well designed and well-lit store is a good idea. If your shoppers can easily identify where the holsters-cleaning kits-range bags-etc are, the less questions & distraction you’ll get and more money gets into your pocket. Sometimes people simply do not have the time to subject a gun shop owner or employee to a game of 20 questions for the location of a bottle of Hoppe’s 9.

Another thing: please look professional. Those ripstop BDUs that you have been wearing since the Clinton administration? Toss them. The “Kill ’em all let God sort them out” T-Shirt? funeral pyre time. I kid you not, I went to a gun store where the top honcho was wearing a wife-beater and flexing muscles after every sentence. I am not demanding ties, shirts & suits but a business casual, polo shirts or even T-shirts with the company logo project an aura of professionalism that injects confidence in the new buyer or even a seasoned one. Stop looking like Hollywood’s version of a gun shop.

Cut the bullshit. Nothing makes me leave a store faster than hearing a sales person say “Well this gun here is what the Blue Ninjas in the Spec Ops community use and you should buy it too.” Welcome to the era of the Internet: the information is out there and people will find it the truth and some will even go prepared even if they never bought a weapon before. Your aim is repeat business not an expensive sell for that month’s commission. Make recommendations based on what the buyer needs and can afford and you will get him/her back and very possibly send business your way. Oh, and do not try to sell a pink .38 Special to a woman just because it is a woman and you think they are too dumb/weak to operate something heavier & bigger.  I have seen way too many ladies handing their better-halves’ asses over with a full size 1911 to take them for granted.

And to close this rant, WHAT THE (BLEEP) IS A “NO LOADED GUNS ALLOWED INSIDE” DOING IN YOUR DOOR? Seriously, a gun free zone in a gun store? Should I even go into how big a fail we are talking about?

OK. I am done.

 

7 Replies to “Small Gun Shops: Some words (Part 2)”

  1. Totally with you on the “no loaded guns” bit. Seriously — WTF?! You gotta be shippin’ me. I don’t buy from stores like that anymore. Plain & simple.

    I must say: all of the above (incl. Part 1) applies just as much, if not more, to the big box stores. I find that, while they may be clean cut and professional-looking, they’re clueless about their products, and about people and delivering customer service to them. In fact, that’s why I’m in the business.




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    1. And I forgot one more point: SMILE.
      Is there a reason you have to have the facial expression of a hungover Dirty Harry in a gun store?
      If anybody thinks looking like you are sucking on a fresh new marine battery gives you some tactical advantage, I refer them to Jelly Bryce’s quote:
      “Meet everybody with a smile on your face and homicide in your heart.”




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  2. I am with you for the most part. However, an old Army buddy of mine started a gun store and it was less than a month before he had a negligent discharge in his store by some knuckledragger that didn’t understand booger hook/bang switch interactions. His sign now states: “All firearms must be cleared or concealed in accordance with NC statute____ prior to entering the store. If you don’t know if your firearm is clear, please knock and someone will assist you.” In my opinion, he has covered his bases; offer help to those that don’t understand while ensuring there is a means of self-defense if needed.




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  3. We have a store (w/indoor range) called Shoot Straight here in Orlando. Apopka, actually, and another in Casselberry. There is also one in Tampa. There may be more but the first one started in Apopka in the 90’s.

    It started out kinda like you describe but the surplus maze was kept to one side of the store that used to be another business but was annexed by Shoot Straight.

    Now they have large stores with welcoming interiors. The plethora of sales folks are dressed in 5.11’s and store logo shirts. Very professional over all and helpful.

    HOWEVER!! They have one of those “NO LOADED GUNS ALLOWED” signs on the front door!

    Oh yeah, here is another gun store/range beef. Do NOT insult me by telling me that your insurance company REQUIRES that I buy YOUR over priced factory ammo otherwise I can’t shoot on your range!!!




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    1. That requirement is in place because steel core ammo will go right through a bullet trap. While you and I are both smart enough to not use steel core on an indoor range you know there are smack-tards out there who will and end up shooting right out the back of the range.




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  4. I’m going to offer a slightly different opinion. Whenever I see a slightly dilapidated maze-O-milsurps type of shop, my mind starts screaming “BARGAINS!!!” I can almost see that nicely used Colt 1908 or S&W M 19 for just under $400, if I negotiate just right.
    However, if the shop is too spic & span, I tend to think “meh, new stuff and overpriced at that” as soon as I walk in the door. That isn’t always the case, of course- my regular shop is very professional and well organized- but is how my brain reacts.




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  5. I have no problem with (and in fact prefer) clear signage about keeping your loaded weapons holstered; let’s not let our enthusiasm for the subject matter cause us to make poor decisions.

    But I won’t voluntarily disarm just because it happens to be a gun store; my gun is not magically more dangerous when it is near other guns. Gun free zones do not get my business.




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