There is NO excuse for unsafe handling. Ever.
This is a discussion on I'm so sick of having guns pointed at me! within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; At the class that JD and I took about a month ago our instructor said that gun shop employees, gunsmiths, range officers and firearms instructors ...
At the class that JD and I took about a month ago our instructor said that gun shop employees, gunsmiths, range officers and firearms instructors have a unique opportunity. We all get to see more unsafe gun handling than anyone else.
He also said that he has had three Accidental Discharges in his presence and he's sick of it. If someone points a gun at him or does something unsafe with a gun, he's going to act.
His advice was sound and something that I've been trying to put into practice.
He said, "Think about it. If someone came up to you and pointed a gun at you in the street, you wouldn't just stand there and allow it. You'd do SOMETHING to defend yourself because that is the most aggressive behavior someone can demonstrate towards you. So why would you allow it in a shop, on a range or in your home?
"Your first reaction when someone points a gun at you shouldn't be, 'Oh, well, I don't want to offend him.' You should get PISSED. He is threatening your life even if he doesn't intend to do so. You have every right to get furious!"
That was pretty good advice for me as I have had COUNTLESS guns pointed at me in the last year and at least three of them have been loaded.
The last shop I worked at had a range as well as a store and even while we couldn't control the customers, we, as employees, were pretty darned tight on safety. We always checked guns again and again and again. We NEVER moved a rental from the range to the shop without the slide back, cylinder or breech open. Muzzle control was EVERYTHING because even while we couldn't control what condition customers guns were in we could at least try to control where they were pointing.
Down here, things are a little more lax. While I've maintained my discipline in clearing guns before I hand them to customers and trying to keep muzzles pointed away from myself (or anyone else, for that matter) I find myself staring down barrels all too often and eyeballing uncleared weapons being handled by fellow employees.
Yesterday was the clincher.
A guy comes into our shop open carrying a 1911 (what kind, I couldn't tell as it was nestled down in his holster and he had some kind of after market grips on the thing that wrapped around the entire grip). No problem, that's his choice.
He asks to see a Springfield Loaded Model, and while he's looking at it, he says, "Wow, these haven't changed much!"
As which point he reaches back, draws his gun, sweeps my ENTIRE chest with it and lays it on the counter next to the one he was looking at.
I jumped about three feet back and my own hand went back to where my gun SHOULD BE (were I not told I am not allowed to carry there).
I WAS LIVID. I didn't know his intentions with the gun. For all I knew he could be using his loaded Springfield to steal an unloaded one and shoot me in the process (btw, he could have taken the gun, I don't care, but shooting me in the process was more of what I was worried about).
It may seem like an over-reaction to go for my own gun when a safety UNconscious customer just sweeps me with his LOADED muzzle, but I'm so stinkin sick of having guns pointed at me. One of these days my luck is going to run out, someone is going to pull a gun and shoot me and if I continue on the path I have so far trod, I'm just going to stand there and think (oh well, it's just a customer with bad gun-handling skills). And then I'll be dead or hurting badly and he'll just be embarrassed and feel bad or it will be a real bad guy and he'll laugh his head off because I just stood there like a moron while he shot me.
I DON'T THINK SO!
I agree with my instructor on this one, someone points a gun at me my first reaction SHOULD BE to do harm before they harm me, or at least start screaming at them.
That was the last straw. No more guns pointing at me. I expect to live a long and healthy life and I certainly don't want to lose it because I allowed some idiot to point a gun at me at the place of my work.
People are going to start to see a pretty pissy gal behind the counter if they start mishandling firearms.
There is NO excuse for unsafe handling. Ever.
Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.
One of my greatest fears is to get a phone call that my beloved wife and friend has been hurt or killed by another's negligence. What a horrible thing that would be! By car, gun, falling safe...whatever!
You have every right to straighten the dimwit out! I'm impressed that you didn't lay him out, but I guess you gotta' worry about keeping the job and lawsuits and stuff. In a perfect world, the monkey would have a broken jaw. Letting fly with a few choice remarks about his chromosome counts or ancestry with some good ol' fashioned cussin' peppering the barrage is perfect. A he's still getting off easy!
Maybe you'll set a precedent and everyone else there will start throwing a fit every time it happens. Word will spread of the supremely safe gunshop and the employees who demand excellence in security, control and customer service. All will be well (people will come, Ray...people will most definitely come).
Huh...where was I. Oh, yeah...glad you're safe.
A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown
I agree the gunshops and ranges around here will ask you to leave and not come back if you sweep them with a UNloaded gun. I'vs seen it happen. I think that they should do that. I went to a gun store/Police supply store one time looking for a Kel-tec backup gun when I asked the guy behing the counter to see the p-11 he pulled it strait out of the case sweeps the gun across my chest and hands it to me without even checking it. I handed the gun back and told him that I would have to wait on it. When in my mind I was saying Wait till I get to another store with more gun disipline.
I think its becoming more and more clear why I just about refuse to work behind a gun counter anymore.
"Just blame Sixto"
There is no reason for unsafe handling.
Post a sign on the door that says;
“All firearms entering the store must be unloaded, with the slide open”.
Unless they are in an LEO’s in uniform and they enter the store with a firearm (that you can see) ask them to step back outside and unload and open the slide, of the firearm, before returning.
I have all the firearms I care for, but from time to time, I’ll trade in one. All of the gun stores in this area do not have such a sign, but before I enter the store, I follow the above and upon entering the store, I walk in and lay it down on the counter, and step back. I just see it as a common courtesy.
I bought my Sig from a place where one of the owners was absent-mindedly pulling on the trigger of a pistol, about 4 feet from where I was standing. I concluded my business and left ASAP. I won't be back.
Mind you, this wasn't a showroom type of gun store (they mostly did mail order) - but safe gun handling is safe gun handling.
Maybe your gun store should put up a sign prohibiting guns inside... Seriously though, it is extemely dangerous to pull a loaded weapon from your holster in a public venue. I would be appalled at such behaviour. A friend of mine who works for Bass Pro Shops had a customer pull his out to compare it to one he was looking at. My friend let him know just how uncomfortable that made him feel. The gall of such people shows in how they react to being corrected. They will argue and deny they did anything unsafe.
Considering the first line of this reply - at least two stores in our city does require all guns brought inside to be unloaded and the breech open. The employee will then check the weapon personally before handling it. I would never presume to think it was OK to just pull out my Ruger - at the very least I would ask the employee if it was OK. I would then follow their directions for handling it. Several employees of gun shops I know are off-duty LEOs who do carry OTJ in the store and would not appreciate someone pulling out a loaded weapon. Perhaps some written instructions at the counters in large enough letters prohibiting such action if the gun is loaded. Good luck!
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson
Lima----I've come to the conclussion that people expecially men get so offended if you call them on unsafe gun handling practices. However it still is NO excuse.
Men perceive themselves coming out of the womb knowing how to handle guns. I also work at a gun shop part time here in NOVA and I had the worst case last weekend.
We have alot of military folks in this area.
This gentlman happened to be a Marine Major. He was wearing a drop leg rig when he turned uprange pulled his gun insterted a magazine into the Sig and reholstered. I politely walked up to him and said excuse me can you do that up range or GO HOME!!!!!
He came outside asked my fellow co-worker who is a marine if he could speak to him "Marine to Marine" he also asked him for a copy of the safety rules. He asked my co-worker if I was a racist. He is of darker complexion than my white behind. He said that I constantly am on him about his gun(s). Apparently, last time I had the audocity to ask him to not point his AR at the ceiling but rather keep it pointed down range.
As a Range Safety Officer this is what I usually say afor unsafe acts.
Sir/Madam Point your guns down range or go home....
As soon as he tries and argue I say.
"Sir this was not a conversation!!!"
That usually shuts em up.
Or if they shoot out one of our carriers.
That will be $20.
I'm not paying. So you woun't mind if I slash one of your tires then?
Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!
Assistant Instructor @ http://www.green-ops.com/ Located in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area "Why should your training be any less special?"
From a customer's point of view, I would not shop at a gun store that required me to remove my CCW sidearm. I don't handle it in the store, period.
My policy is: If I see an accessory or something and want to check fit or need to compare with another weapon -- too bad. It means I have to make another trip to the store with that gun unloaded and slide locked back in a gun rug or case of some kind. Of course, I will still be CCW'ing but with a different gun.
Added: If I do bring in a gun (unloaded, slide locked back, in case) I always let the employee open the case so they can verify without me handling it first.
Frightening stuff Lima ......... makes we often wonder just how noncholant people can get with gun safety ... and I guess these are usually the folks who seem to not be concerned if a muzzle sweeps them.
That said - I'd not be surprised either if some of these folks take great exception to being swept themselves and yet consider it of no importance if they do it to others.
There is only one real safe way to handle a firearm - and that is with full attention to all the rules, all the time. I hope you can manage to educate some people along the way and spread the word.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
If that would have happened to me, after he put the gun on the counter, I would have picked it up, removed the magazine, lock the slide back, let the bullet hit the floor, put the mag in my pocket and put the gun back on the counter. I would then tell him why I did that and that he can have his mag back when he is ready to leave.
Or take the gun and put it behind the counter and don't let him have it back until you have safely secured it in his trunk for him.
Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway.
It seems the shop has an endemic problem with Macho Enhanced Attitudes, the "I know what I am doing and shut up" type. Lima, you will NOT compromise your safety! Don't fuzz, SCREAM if necessary but keep your butt safe.
Now, from the point of view of a customer, I have this pet peeve about shops that do not offer a safe area for you to aim at while trying a gun. Actually I have not been in the first shop that has an AIM HERE sand bag or bucket with sand or anything that would allow me to handle a firearm in a safe direction. And yes, I know they are "empty" and all you want but Murphy is always nearby.
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
Very scary. If I owned a gun shop the sign above the counter and on the front door would read, "If you point a gun (loaded or unloaded) at anyone in MY store your retarded butt is banned for life!"
There’s an old and true, military motto, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” - “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
Why not just put up a sign ( maybe several) " All guns must remain in holster at all times". Maybe put something on there about not taking it out to compare to other guns etc. This way people can still carry.