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We had a big argument on gun handling at the gunshop - opinions?

This is a discussion on We had a big argument on gun handling at the gunshop - opinions? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; One time I was at the range, practicing my dry fire. The range master was a serious nag, and decided she needed to literally follow ...

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  1. #16
    Member Array localgirl's Avatar
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    One time I was at the range, practicing my dry fire. The range master was a serious nag, and decided she needed to literally follow me and my husband around, and point out everything we did wrong. There are no rules posted, so I guess you're supposed to figure things out the hard way.

    In order to dry fire, I had to cycle a bullet through, then drop it out. In order for it not to fall on the ground, I had to sort of lean over the bench and tip it out. Well, apparently this woman saw me sweep my muzzle, and, even though there was no one else there, this is a no-no. Frankly, I had no idea. I always keep the business end from people, no matter what, but it never occurred to me that a gun with the mag out, me pulling back on the slide, and the last round being tipped out, could be a danger to the invisible people to my right, who would have also been hanging out near some targets.

    She said something about my gun misfiring, and I explained to her that I was practicing a dry fire. It pissed me off that first, she assumed I didn't know how to handle a weapon; second, that she had already nagged about a hundred other things; and third, she embarrassed me.

    I guess my point is that everybody makes mistakes. Some are worse than others. Make sure if you point out someone's mistakes, you are doing it to help them, and not make yourself feel superior, because I can guarantee everyone here, and elsewhere, has done something really stupid at least once in their life.
    surefire7 likes this.


  2. #17
    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    You were absolutely in the right about correcting her and will need to continue to stress the importance of never "sweeping" someone with a weapon. However, if she is anything like my wife, she hates to be "corrected" in front of other people. It is pretty much always guaranteed to start an argument. Especially, when its a subject she feels very confident in.

    I'm sure that after she has had some time to think about it (cool off and shake off the embarrassment) she will come around and agree that you were right. If I were you, I would give it a little bit of time and then bring up the subject again when it is just the two of you. Then hopefully you can have a logical and reasoned discussion of why it is so important to follow ALL the laws of gun safety and what can happen when the rules aren't followed. If you can't reason with her and get her to agree that sweeping someone with a loaded/unloaded weapon is a no-no. Then you have someone that I personally wouldn't want to be near when there are guns around.
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDE101 View Post
    The rule is, NEVER point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy! Loaded or unloaded. Period. That's a rule I learned when I was 13 and a rule I have followed for 56 years so far.
    +1.... Guns don't kill people...PEOPLE kill people...And one of the categories of people killing people is identified by a person that failed to follow one of the four basic rules of firearm safety. The four basic rules have been created for a purpose and that purpose is SAFETY...Safety for yourself and others! There is NO AMOUNT of justification or excuses that will fly, when it comes to violating this particular rule of safety...I don't care if someone get's ticked off, when it's pointed out to them that they have violated this rule!!! Quite honestly, maybe it will be a learning moment for them. If not, then I promise I will always keep my distance from them. WHINE, COMPLAIN, JUSTIFY all you want, just follow the rule and everyone will be safer for it...JMO
    Hoganbeg likes this.
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  4. #19
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    ...Now, we've all done this at the range a time or two and (horrors!)...
    I have to say, BadgerJ, that I've not done that at the range...yet. Either I've been too paranoid about the direction of my barrel or I've learnt myself well.

    I do agree that there is no appropriate time to allow a weapon to cover anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by macg19 View Post
    ...Gander Mountain has small backstops to aim at behind the counter, many stores don't have anything, they should all use these to create a SOP.
    I've not noticed these at Gander Mountain before, but I agree that it should be SOP anywhere firearms are to be handled.

    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    What I tell my daughter is this.. The reason of not pointing an unloaded gun at somebody serves two purposes:\
    1. You never know when you might have forgotten to check the chamber, maybe somebody else loaded it when you weren't looking, etc. It may sound silly, but it has happened before many times and cost people their lives.
    2. The real purpose is to form good habits. If you form a habit of not pointing guns at people even when you think they are unloaded, you will still follow that habit when the gun is loaded, or especially in those times that the gun is loaded but you think it is unloaded. It is sort of like getting into you car and fastening your seat-belt. You do it out of habit, not because you think you are about to have a wreck.
    I agree, adric. It is all about ingraining good habits.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

  5. #20
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    A lot of people have been shot with unloaded weapons. At the range we frequent, behind one of the stalls is a hole in the wall that was left there as a reminder of what an unloaded gun can do.

    As others have pointed out, it is a bad habit to get into and it is an extremely aggressive and seriously rude thing to do - besides being terribly unsafe. There is no amount of sorry that can undo this mistake.
    357and40 likes this.

  6. #21
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    What Matt said...
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

  7. #22
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    It worries me when people are so blase about firearms safety.
    I've read/heard enough stories about self-proclaimed firearm safety experts negligently firing a round because some brain-fart mistaken an actual round for a snap cap or forgotten there is one in the chamber.
    The fact that they pointed the firearm in a safe direction prevented the story from going from supreme embarrassment to tragedy.

    NEVER compromise on those safety rules. She may not appreciate it now, but imagine the alternative.
    "One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
    -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

  8. #23
    Member Array hoghunter84's Avatar
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    There is a place for everything. Safety is another.

    I have a friend that is anal about safety. One day he was over to watch me make some holsters and to just hang out shooting the breeze. He was handling the only pistol out at the time and there wasn't any ammo or mags around. Plus I had checked that it was clear and he did the same when I handed it off. Anyways, I started forming the kydex around this pistol and while hand forming it around all the corners of the pistol the muzzle "swept" him. He freaked out DONT POINT THAT AT ME!!!

    Give me a break dude. If its been cleared multiple times there is no way for a round to magically jump into the chamber. If you know what is going on ie: holster making or getting the feeling of a pistol at a gun shop when the gun has been cleared dont freak out of one gets pointed briefly at you.

    Now if you're at a gun range and there are people actively shooting then thats a whole different ball game. You can politely show a person a different way of operating the firearm without endangering another person.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    My local gun store had a shooting incident about 25 years ago (shop has since closed), where the clerk was shot and died. The whole incident played out pretty much as you describe.

    Moral of the story - NEVER point muzzle at anyone, no matter what, unless you actually INTEND to shoot them.

    -
    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

  10. #25
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    In a couple of the gunstores I frequent, there're so many people moving about, on both sides of the counter, that's it's impossible to not point the firearm at someone unless pointing straight up or down. Yeah, it's that busy. It's not something I freak out about when I know the store personnel clear every firearm prior to handing it to the customer.

    If someone were to step in and start giving me "safety" lessons, I might not take it too well either. You don't know who you're dealing with, they don't know who they're dealing with, and sometimes it's best not to insert one's nose in the wrong place. If someone asks me for safety comments, I oblige; I don't "tell."
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by localgirl View Post
    One time I was at the range, practicing my dry fire. The range master was a serious nag, and decided she needed to literally follow me and my husband around, and point out everything we did wrong. There are no rules posted, so I guess you're supposed to figure things out the hard way.

    In order to dry fire, I had to cycle a bullet through, then drop it out. In order for it not to fall on the ground, I had to sort of lean over the bench and tip it out. Well, apparently this woman saw me sweep my muzzle, and, even though there was no one else there, this is a no-no. Frankly, I had no idea. I always keep the business end from people, no matter what, but it never occurred to me that a gun with the mag out, me pulling back on the slide, and the last round being tipped out, could be a danger to the invisible people to my right, who would have also been hanging out near some targets.

    She said something about my gun misfiring, and I explained to her that I was practicing a dry fire. It pissed me off that first, she assumed I didn't know how to handle a weapon; second, that she had already nagged about a hundred other things; and third, she embarrassed me.

    I guess my point is that everybody makes mistakes. Some are worse than others. Make sure if you point out someone's mistakes, you are doing it to help them, and not make yourself feel superior, because I can guarantee everyone here, and elsewhere, has done something really stupid at least once in their life.
    Sounds like the range officer who made me reassemble my Glock so the slide could be locked back and declared "safe." I'd finished shooting, was going to install my .22 conversion kit, and was cleaning up the .45 barrel between sessions.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  12. #27
    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the awesome responses.

    Each and everyone had valuable insight.

    Though one or two inched toward seeing her point wrt the 'it was a gunshop, the clerk just took the trigger lock off, he cleared it, I cleared it', the vast majority leaned toward 'never, under any circumstances'.

    The guy making a kydex holster had a pretty good point - when you're working on the HG in your shop it's pretty hard not to mold the kydex, which requires you to turn this way and that, but I seem to recall that people get interrupted by a phone call, forget they had put a mag (not a clip, which is a holder of hair-dos) in and put a round in the back of the cabinet under the sink - fort. nobody home at the time.

    Theoretically, if the whole clerk and I situation had a momentary distraction...and when they turned back to the HG something had changed, it could be a horrifying mistake. She did not have her finger on the trigger.

    On the 'we've all done this at the range a time or two', I really should have said 'found myself starting to break the 180 rule and stopped cold' - perhaps my first time at the range, I came close. So yeah, when we go shoot, I insisted that we go to the far right booth, which doesn't protect us against lefties, but...now we shoot at an outdoor range, just we two. (whew).


    Occasions when it is impossible not to 'point a muzzle at someone'.

    When I go to bed at night, I carefully point the HG in a 'safe direction' and put it above my headboard in an alcove, pointing away from me 180 degrees. BUT, we live in a duplex and it is probably pointed at somebody in the other dwelling.

    When i take a shower I try to point it towards the outside back of the house and not towards the living room even though there's a wall in between.

    When we carry in a holster, walking down a store aisle, or in a movie line, with a 15 degree cant it's probably pointed at the foot of the person behind me, BUT it's in a proper holster so cross that one off.

    Above the bed it's in a holster. But I've stopped doing that and it's in condition 1, out of the holster, safety off (if it has one), thinking I don't want any time gap if I have to grab and go. The XD is ok - the LC9 has a long trigger pull - the Revolver has no safety, but we know guns don't jump down off the wall and shoot people.

    At a gun show, it is almost impossible not to sweep someone sometime, and even if we point at the floor and dry fire, if it went off there could be a ricochet. Most people object if someone lasers them - which I've seen happen.
    ----

    My two thoughts - I was not there when the clerk and she cleared it. I walked up and said nice gun and then she did the 180 mag-release thing. I spoke very softly and did not dwell, and did not 'grab the gun out of her hand', just redirected the muzzle about 20 degrees.

    The 'grabbing the gun' was a separate action in my opinion but she conflated the two.

    She was having trouble with the slide being locked back with the mag in the HG. The clerk said you have to release the mag to drop the slide, but she was momentarily not clear (there's two springs working against you with the Kahr CM9, according to the clerk).

    Anyway, my feeling is that you want to create a 'never, ever' habit, not one with one or two EXCEPTIONS. That way lies peril. A habit is a habit, is a habit. Triple clear, hand off triple clear. When she cleans them we put a straw down the barrel and with no mag, pull the chamber to see the orange of the straw knowing there's no barrel obstruction and making it absolutely certain there's no round - bullets are not in the room during cleaning. (now we use a bore snake at the range and don't bench clean, though we bench oil)

    No HG is considered 'clear' unless we are alone, and both have checked it. She is EXTREMELY careful of muzzle control at the range, never a fault, and never a fault at home. Ever.

    So I'm cutting her some slack. We just have to disagree on this, I suppose. The clerk just stood there impassively and didn't even blink. I might ask him how he feels about the issue (privately) when we go back.

    AGAIN - thank you SO much for your input!!

  13. #28
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I was always taught muzzle control, and never point it at anything you don't plan to shoot, or don't care if it does. All guns are loaded.

    I didn't follow that rule "ONCE" .... in my entire life. I KNEW the gun was unloaded.... I had even pulled the mag out..... I KNEW I had racked the slide 3 times (but I didn't look at the chamber where the bullet didn't extract). I was looking down the barrel of this UNLOADED GUN ..... and then I pointed it at the ground and pulled the trigger. IT FIRED off a round ! ! ! Scared me to death to think I could have pulled that trigger while I was looking down that barrel.

    Since that day, if I want to look down a barrel I disassemble the friggin gun.

    and every gun I handle is treated as if it's loaded.
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    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

  14. #29
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    Ticks me off every time some idiot who does the things like your partner did tries to tell me "it's clear, I checked it." Yeah, well I have not checked it so as far as I am concerned it is loaded.

    As for gun shows, are there people above you? How about below you? Can you point it at the ceiling or floor?

    Every time I take someone to the range with me (and we bring my weapons) before we leave my home, no matter how well they claim to know how to shoot, I ask them if they know what muzzle discipline & trigger finger discipline is. I won't go to the range or let anyone handle my weapons with someone who can not get these two simple things through their heads.

    At one local gun shop the owner "cleared" a weapon and pointed the weapon directly at me. I moved quickly & he asked "What? You saw me clear it?" I said "I did not see that the chamber was empty with my own eyes, till then it is not clear." Personally, I could care less if it is clear, I still do not want the barrel of ANY weapon pointed at me.

    The OP did right in taking a weapon away from an unsafe person.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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  15. #30
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localgirl View Post
    One time I was at the range, practicing my dry fire. The range master was a serious nag, and decided she needed to literally follow me and my husband around, and point out everything we did wrong. There are no rules posted, so I guess you're supposed to figure things out the hard way.

    In order to dry fire, I had to cycle a bullet through, then drop it out. In order for it not to fall on the ground, I had to sort of lean over the bench and tip it out. Well, apparently this woman saw me sweep my muzzle, and, even though there was no one else there, this is a no-no. Frankly, I had no idea. I always keep the business end from people, no matter what, but it never occurred to me that a gun with the mag out, me pulling back on the slide, and the last round being tipped out, could be a danger to the invisible people to my right, who would have also been hanging out near some targets.

    She said something about my gun misfiring, and I explained to her that I was practicing a dry fire. It pissed me off that first, she assumed I didn't know how to handle a weapon; second, that she had already nagged about a hundred other things; and third, she embarrassed me.

    I guess my point is that everybody makes mistakes. Some are worse than others. Make sure if you point out someone's mistakes, you are doing it to help them, and not make yourself feel superior, because I can guarantee everyone here, and elsewhere, has done something really stupid at least once in their life.
    Local girl,
    You are quite right-everybody makes mistakes. I still shudder when I think of some of mine! However, the range master's job is range safety & even if she's obnoxious & enjoying her power too much she is still in charge. There is no room for a clash of egos on a gun range, & someone sweeping the muzzle where it's not supposed to be looks very much like an untrained shooter. Having said all that, the rules should ALWAYS be posted conspicuously & if they weren't that was her fault. It sounds like she needs some work on her people skills too. From my own experience every range I've ever been on required all muzzles to be pointed downrange at all times unless they were in the gun rack. As a final note, range masters who spend that much time handing out unwanted corrections (as long as they're not safety related) can actually distract a shooter which is never good. You should register your complaint with her superior. They at least need to get those rules up!
    Be well.
    localgirl likes this.

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