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

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; My partner and I had a quite heated disagreement at the gun shop today. I was looking at the holsters and came up to the ...

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

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

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

    My partner and I had a quite heated disagreement at the gun shop today.

    I was looking at the holsters and came up to the counter where she was looking at a semi-auto and had been in discussion with the clerk about it, he had double checked it, taken off the trigger guard, she checked it, took the mag out and had been going over features.

    Now, we've all done this at the range a time or two and (horrors!) stopped ourselves and corrected it - here's the scene.

    You have shot your clip, the slide is locked back, then from 'muzzle down range', you momentarily turn the gun 90 degrees, essentially pointing it at everyone to your left, depressed the mag disengage then realized you were violating the 'muzzle down range all the time no exceptions' rule. The one or two times I came close to doing this, I didn't get 90 degrees and stopped myself and repointed down range. The gun was empty, but you NEVER point the muzzle at anyone, anytime, no exceptions.

    Well, she was facing perpendicularly to the clerk, trying to find a safe direction to dry-fire - again, double/double checked, and then to my surprise, she turned the gun 90 degrees so the muzzle was pointing directly at the clerk.

    I stepped forward and (I thought) gently redirected the muzzle off the clerk's abdomen, and said softly 'oh - don't point the gun at him' and gently took it and showed her how to get the slide locked back (requires the mag to be in), and then slide disengaged (had to drop the mag).

    She was struggling and (potentially) not aware of the muzzle orientation.

    Now SHE said 'hey, he cleared it, I cleared it what right do you have to swoop in and grab the gun out of my hand and tell ME not to point the muzzle at the clerk. Both HE and I knew it was empty'.

    My contention was "I don't care, you NEVER, never do that no matter what".

    She said (later) "well, if that's forbidden how do you examine a gun at a gun show. There's literally people everywhere and pretty much no place to point it."

    I said "Well, first the gun has a tag-tie through the receiver, so it's one step beyond empty."

    She said "If you ask, the merchant will remove the tag-tie and then you can look and work the slide and eject the mag and soforth is it OK THEN to point the muzzle where you like?"

    I said 'OK that's a good point, but since the gun was in a level above cleared and empty with the tag tie, it's a little less important but I still try to handle it pointing at the floor'.

    THEN she said 'ok (smartass) what if I took the just untagtied gun and put in the empty mag and pointed it at my own head and pulled the trigger'.

    I was flabbergasted and said 'you'd be ejected from the gunshow and banned for life, probably'.

    I just don't know how to get across to her that you never point the muzzle intentionally at anyone no matter what discussion took place before hand, no matter how many times cleared and if you do and someone helps you to redirect at a safe angle you should thank them not get mad and fume at them for an hour afterward. She said 'you made me feel infantilized and I've been handling guns, rifles, shotguns my whole life - a lot longer than you have (me)'.

    I said 'ok, I do not want to dis your feeling confident handling the gun, but can you just take my word for it you must exercise proper muzzle control at all time'.

    She said 'you're ******* me off, the clerk was OK with it'.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Tyler11B's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Yeah leave her in the kitchen while you go shoot.....j/k. On a serious note if she can't follow simple rules like not pointing a weapon at someone then clearly she doesn't need to be handling firearms. If you point a unloaded weapon at someone whether you realize it or not then your eventually gonna point a loaded one, and you may pull the trigger, and well we all know what happens next. P.S I've met many of people who have handled firearms for a long time and still are idiots.

    Also before someone else says it. It's a magazine not a clip.
    KY Concealed Carry Instructor
    Taser X2/X26 Instructor
    "It is the tradition that a Kentuckian never runs. He does not have to…[he] is entitled to stand his ground, and meet any (life-threatening) attack made upon him with a deadly weapon…." Gibson v. KY, 34SW936(Ky.1931)

  3. #3
    Lead Moderator
    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    You were absolutely correct - there is never a circumstance where it is acceptable to point a firearm at someone you do not intend to shoot.

    She was wrong, and lacked the maturity to admit it and accept the correction she clearly needed.

    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.

    Learning to shoot again : Starting Over

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    I'll say it first,It's a magazine not a "CLIP",I am right there with you,I don't like getting swept with a muzzle and I don't care if it's supposedly cleared or not.In response to her smartass remark about inserting an unloaded mag and pointing it at her head and pulling the trigger to me would show a level of maturity that isn't high enough to let her handle a firearm in my presence and had I been the clerk would have reacquired the gun and asked her to leave the store.
    SIGguy229 and 357and40 like this.
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    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Agreed. As some one who has handled firearms all her life she should know better. She was clearly in the wrong and the fact that she let her emotions rule her and argued the point indicates that she is not to be trusted with a firearm.

    I have seen quite a few gun store clerks exhibit this cavalier attitude toward customer gun handling. I suppose they don't want to lose a potential customer.

  7. #6
    Member Array macg19's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Southern CA
    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    THEN she said 'ok (smartass) what if I took the just untagtied gun and put in the empty mag and pointed it at my own head and pulled the trigger'.
    There was a news article posted here last week about a 23 year old guy who was demonstrating how the safety works to his friends by pointing the gun at his own head...guess how that turned out.

    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.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Tzadik's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Suffolk, Virginia
    Explain to her that yes the clerk knows it's unloaded, and that she knows it's unloaded, but the other employees
    that see her pointing a gun at their coworker don't know that it's unloaded and their weapons are.

    Not pointing a gun at someone is not just for the target's safety.
    EdC likes this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Fort Worth, TX
    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.
    swiftyjuan and Tzadik like this.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    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.
    Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King And keep a .45 handy Kimber Custom TLE II

  11. #10
    Lead Moderator
    Array limatunes's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Remind her of these few points...

    1. It breaks one of the fundamental rules of gun handling which is "Never point the firearm at anything you do not wish to destroy."
    Even if she "knows" it's unloaded it's just a bad habit to get into.

    2. Pointing a firearm as someone else is one of the most aggressive gestures one person can make to another person.
    Sure, the clerk may have been fine with it, THAT TIME, but there are people out there who, even in a gun store or at a gun show, if they see a gun pointing at them they will (and rightfully) EXPLODE!! A former instructor of mine had nearly been shot twice by negligent discharges and vowed that after years of combat he was going to be damned if he was going to be shot teaching a class because someone couldn't follow the rules. I watched him nearly tackle a guy and ream him out for five minutes for ALMOST breaking the 180-degree firing line. I'd love to see the look on her face if she came across someone like him at a show or store.

    3. The clerk MAY NOT! have been okay with it.
    I've been a gun store clerk in two different stores and a range safety officer. I have had more guns pointed at me than I care to count in a lifetime and I got REALLY sick of it and started correcting people. At first I did not and I thought I was just being polite by not saying anything. Then it dawned on me that it isn't about being polite or not polite, it's about safety. I went off on a customer for taking a Glock (that I had cleared) and pointing it at a fellow employee and pulling the trigger and laughing. That kind of thing is NOT funny, it's juvenile and it's dangerous. Just because this particular clerk did not stop her or say anything to her doesn't mean he wasn't squirming inside and just being quiet so he didn't scare off a potential sale.

    4. It isn't an arguing matter.
    It isn't about being a smartass or about "Well, I cleared it," it's about what's right. There ARE places that would kick her out for that.. so she might as well get in the habit of doing it the right/safe way. Sometimes, sure, it's inevitable that even though you are trying your hardest not to sweep anyone, especially at a packed gun show, someone ends up stepping infront of the muzzle or putting their foot in front of the muzzle while pointing at the floor. Your reaction should IMMEDIATELY be on the side of safety and you should move it to be pointing in a safe direction again. Err on the side of caution and you'll never have to have an instance where you are saying, "Oh, I thought it was unloaded," or "I thought I checked it," or "I thought it was safe."

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    Tampa Fl
    No one should permit or "put up with" anyone in their presence disregarding any firearm safety rules...especially pointing/sweeping someone.
    If it happens around me, I immediately address it, sternly but politely. If it happens again, I'm not so nice. It's kind of like poking a bear in a cage with a sharp stick.

    "BadgerJ" I don't envy your position. I just don't think I would want to be around her when guns are present, if she can't abide by the most basic rule.
    I'm sure it embarrased her when you corrected her in the store in front of the clerk, but some things just have to be addressed.
    You're right, stick to your guns on this one.
    JDE101 likes this.
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    Thomas Jefferson


  13. #12
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    You were right of course. Not much to discuss about that. The same thing happened to me recently in a gun shop when a rookie clerk pointed one directly at me. The manager who was standing there too immediately took the gun and pointed it away from my breadbasket. No one said a word. The clerk couldn't have missed the message and he probably got some additional instruction after I left. I had looked at the gun and had personally made sure it was clear before the clerk took it back but still felt uncomfortable having it pointed at me.

  14. #13
    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Its a gun shop, the sales man checked it and she checked it. I am not saying she should have pointed it at him and pulled the trigger, I find that the best place to point to dry fire is the upper wall area assuming a single story building. Sounds like you probably embarrassed your partner with your let me show you I am the man kind of deal. You have to get use to looking down the barrel of a weapon if you work in a gun shop, every time I am in one I see someone pointing a weapon at someone else. She is right about a gun show, you can not even pick a weapon up off a table without it pointing at someone.

  15. #14
    Member Array protek's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    I still remember very clearly the day that, when I was first learning to shoot a BB gun, that I inadvertently pointed it for a moment at my mom. It was unloaded and in safe. I was just a little kid. No matter. I learned that lesson well. I don't let my children point even toy guns at other people.

    Sounds to me like your partner was totally out of line, and if that incident had happened in my presence, I might have spoken up. I get kind of nervous and irritated at the range sometimes because newbies (and sometimes seasoned users who should know better) get careless.

  16. #15
    Member Array BubbaDX's Avatar
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    St. Louis, MO
    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. It doesn't get any clearer than this.
    rmworkman likes this.

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