PAFOA Members "Thrown Out" at Bass Pro

PAFOA Members "Thrown Out" at Bass Pro

This is a discussion on PAFOA Members "Thrown Out" at Bass Pro within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm not the best at writing stories as I often forget major details, so some of this is copied from what I wrote at PAFOA ...

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Thread: PAFOA Members "Thrown Out" at Bass Pro

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    PAFOA Members "Thrown Out" at Bass Pro

    I'm not the best at writing stories as I often forget major details, so some of this is copied from what I wrote at PAFOA and what some other members that were with us remembered and wrote.

    Anyway, as the title says, 8 of us got "thrown out" of the Bass Pro Outdoors World March 20th in Harrisburg, PA. We just had my open carry birthday lunch/meet and greet in Harrisburg at the Fuddruckers right outside of the Bass Pro Shop on Paxton St.

    Long story short, after lunch we decided as a group (around 8 of us) that we were all going to head over to Bass Pro and look around. We all drove over, met up and went in. There are no signs on the door regarding the prohibition of open carry. As a matter of fact, it was my understanding that Bass Pro was OC friendly. We walked in and the greeter was apparently not paying attention because 6 of us walked in open carrying our pistols. The two ladies in our group were not carrying.

    We walked around for a bit then made our way up to the gun department. No issue so far... we were browsing the gun cabinets and a few of us had the guy take some guns out so we could look and handle them. The gentlemen behind the counter was rather pleasant and didn't even notice we we're carrying until it was pointed out to him because of how our conversation went. I happened to notice another employee walking back and forth behind the counter eying our guns, but he wasn't saying anything. I did notice a walkie talkie or phone of some sort.

    After about 5 minutes of talking to the gentlemen behind the counter I looked back and noticed 2 men walk up behind us and a few others waiting in the wings and I automatically knew what was about to happen. I don't remember it word for word, but the conversation went something like this: (With the help of other people who were there - OCer #1 assumed the roll of our group spokesman)

    Store Employee: "Excuse me gentlemen may I talk to you for a moment"?
    Us: *All turn around*
    Store Employee: "Are you law enforcement"?
    OCer #1: "No, are you"?
    Store Employee: "Look, I don't want any trouble or anything, I just need to know if you are law enforcement. I'm not law enforcement".
    OCer #1: "No, we are not law enforcement, we are just regular people."
    Store Employee: "You can't have loaded or unlocked firearms in Bass Pro, you need to have a trigger lock put on them"
    OCer #1: "Are you telling us to leave?"
    Store Employee: "Oh no! No no no! I'm just telling you what the policy is!"
    OCer #1: "Are you going to call the police?"
    Store Employee: "No! No, I am not going to call the police! I'm just telling you what the policy is!"

    In short it went back and forth like this for a minute or two. Basically we determined we we're not being kicked out, but decided amongst ourselves we better leave before trouble found us.

    So after all that was said and done we finished up talking with the clerk behind the counter (who seemed sympathetic to our cause) then we all headed down stairs to leave. We happened to notice many employees watching us as we left.

    A few of us left a No gun = No $$$ card in the comment box. As we left OCer #1 and I went to go find the manager. A short while later
    a very nervous looking younger kid (the manager on duty) came down and basically reiterated store policy that only CC is allowed and not OC. He became a little flustered as he was going around spinning his wheels about store policy. He said something about how Bass Pro is more for "outdoorsy sportsmen type". He also said how if you have a "permit", you must conceal.

    You can imagine our reaction to that. Just because we have our LTCF's does not mean we have to conceal. We went back and forth with him about carry, store policy and private property rights etc.. He did become a little flustered when another gentlemen in our group asked about the lack of a sign on the door. After all was said and done our spokesman (OCer #1) gave him a No Gun = No $$$ card and his business card requesting a copy of the policy and stating that we will take our pistols and our business elsewhere.

    On a side note I did find this about Bass Pro policy:

    Bass Pro Inc. clarifies to OpenCarry.org that open carry is welcome at Bass pro shops across USA! - News & Political Alerts - Open Carry Brigade - OpenCarry.org - Discussion Forum

    Myself and all those there are writing letters, making calls and sending emails to Bass Pro and the General Manager. Mike Stolenworth (See the Open carry link) even called and talked to the manager on duty that we talked to and reiterated what he was told about Bass Pro policy. There has been an outpouring of support from the PAFOA community regarding this incident and I hope to hash it all out in the near future.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I am glad that it all went down without anyone making a scene. I can never understand why gun stores want to prohibit the gun culture from their stores. I mean, people that buy guns usually use them, right?
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I am glad that it all went down without anyone making a scene. I can never understand why gun stores want to prohibit the gun culture from their stores. I mean, people that buy guns usually use them, right?
    Fudd n. - Slang term for a "casual" gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports and does not truly believe in the true premise of the Second Amendment. These people also generally treat owners/users of so called "non sporting" firearms like handguns or semiautomatic rifles with unwarranted scorn or contempt.

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    That's neet how Bass Pro Shoo will sell you a handgun so you can exercises your rights to OC everywhere but their store.

    Just read the link.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro2A View Post
    Fudd n. - Slang term for a "casual" gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports and does not truly believe in the true premise of the Second Amendment. These people also generally treat owners/users of so called "non sporting" firearms like handguns or semiautomatic rifles with unwarranted scorn or contempt.
    I learn something new everyday. Hopefully, Bass Pro will make this right, you'll have to keep us posted with updates of your correspondence.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro2A View Post
    On a side note I did find this about Bass Pro policy:

    Bass Pro Inc. clarifies to OpenCarry.org that open carry is welcome at Bass pro shops across USA! - News & Political Alerts - Open Carry Brigade - OpenCarry.org - Discussion Forum

    Myself and all those there are writing letters, making calls and sending emails to Bass Pro and the General Manager. Mike Stolenworth (See the Open carry link) even called and talked to the manager on duty that we talked to and reiterated what he was told about Bass Pro policy. There has been an outpouring of support from the PAFOA community regarding this incident and I hope to hash it all out in the near future.
    Here's a great opportunity to educate your local Bass Pro Shop... give them an honest chance to understand the law and their own company policies. I'd hold off on mounting the "don't shop here" campaign until they have demonstrated that they haven't mended their ways.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

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    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Here's a great opportunity to educate your local Bass Pro Shop... give them an honest chance to understand the law and their own company policies. I'd hold off on mounting the "don't shop here" campaign until they have demonstrated that they haven't mended their ways.
    I wrote up a letter explaining the situation, stating that we will take our money elsewhere unless this is resolved and respectfully asked the manager to rectify the situation and to provide a clear understanding of Bass Pro policy.

    ---------------------------

    My name is xxxxxxx and on March 20th 2010 around 2pm a group of gentlemen and two ladies entered your store in Harrisburg. We are all members of multiple pro-gun rights groups on the state and national level with membership in the tens of thousands. Six of us in our group were open carrying our pistols. Obviously we have significant economic buying power and we do share our experiences with one another (both positive and negative) about various retail establishments we patronize, including your establishment and our negative experience on March 20th.

    We were celebrating my birthday and had just come back from lunch and decided to patronize your establishment and possibly buy some ammo and gun supplies. We made our way up to the firearms department and browsed around with no issues. The gentlemen behind the counter Jerry was very pleasant and an attentive employee who talked to us about the selection of firearms and accessories.

    Sadly our shopping trip was cut short by a gentlemen named “Butch” who approached us from behind at the gun counter along with a few other employees. He first proceeded to ask us if we were law enforcement (which we are not) and then said that Bass Pro has a policy that we cannot carry a gun openly in the store. In addition he added that no loaded or unlocked firearms are permitted in Bass Pro, and that we needed to have a trigger locks put on our firearms. My understanding of your policy is any guns being serviced by your gunsmith must be checked and locked and this does not apply to openly or concealed carried firearms.

    We decided as a group to enter your store with the understanding that open carry is allowed by corporate policy. Open carry is also allowed by Pennsylvania law without the need of a permit. A license to carry firearms is only required when one is concealing a firearm. We contacted your manager on duty Chris to discuss and possibly rectify the situation and he informed us that we must conceal when we have a license to carry firearms which is not the case. After a short discussion with him he basically told us that we can not be in the store if we choose to carry our firearms openly. At this point the eight of us left the store empty handed.

    I had planned to spend my birthday money at Bass Pro that day, but since we were basically kicked out I took my money and purchased some items at Gander Mountain instead where open carry is allowed. I respect your right as an organization and as private property owners to prohibit open carry, but on the flip side of that my friends and I will spread the word about this experience and choose to take our dollars elsewhere where we can open carry.

    I thank you for your time and look forward to a response clarifying corporate policy.


    Warm Regards,

    xxxx

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    Ex Member Array maddyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I am glad that it all went down without anyone making a scene. I can never understand why gun stores want to prohibit the gun culture from their stores. I mean, people that buy guns usually use them, right?
    That I can understand. The two places that I have seen the worst gun handling 1. The gun store-by employees and customers 2. The police weapons range

    I won't hang around either place long.

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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I had a decent experience with that at bass pro. I went to go shooting. At the front, they asked what I would be shooting. I told them "rifle, shotgun, and pistol". They installed trigger locks on my rifle and shotgun, asked for the pistol, and I said "I'm not going to lock that one, it's my carry gun, and I have a license for it". Employee said OK and let me through. Which on the other hand is kind of funny because they don't mind me walking through the store with a loaded pistol, but I still have to lock up the others?
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I'm glad that everything worked out, I'm an avid bass fisherman and purchase a lot of equipment from Bass Pro, but I could get it from Cabelas if necessary.

    I don't know what Police Range Maddyfish went to, but as a retired LEO I know the Delaware State Police range is one of the best run in the country. I could be a little bit biased on that issue.

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    Bass pro here in Sanannah, has some sort of sign on unloading your weapon and how to bring it in the store, i think its talking about returns or long guns??. But as CCer in Georgia i pay no attention to signs.
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
    You might not believe in God. That is your choice.
    However, if someone breaks into your home at 3AM the first two things you are going to do are:
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    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

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    From what I see, the problem is not Bass Pro Shop, but a manager who was uninformed. Since BPS policy (according to the OCDO link) is to honor the laws of the state they are located in, I'm sure the on duty manager will be re-educated on the policy, if he hasn't already.

    On a side note. I find it interesting how many people here do the same thing they bash the press over. Sensationalizing headlines, the OP and party were not "thrown out" of BPS. In fact they were not even asked to leave. They chose to leave on their own.
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

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    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    As a Canadian I think the Basspro gun guys (mind you I have only been to the one in Vegas) are worse than our own gunshop sales guys They assume Canadians know nothing of firearms and spout nonsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    I had a decent experience with that at bass pro. I went to go shooting. At the front, they asked what I would be shooting. I told them "rifle, shotgun, and pistol". They installed trigger locks on my rifle and shotgun, asked for the pistol, and I said "I'm not going to lock that one, it's my carry gun, and I have a license for it". Employee said OK and let me through. Which on the other hand is kind of funny because they don't mind me walking through the store with a loaded pistol, but I still have to lock up the others?
    same thing as cabelas. they have a sign stating that any rifle/shotgun/pistol being brought into the store must be unloaded and cased. on the bottom is says that this does not apply to people carrying with a permit to carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blownsvt View Post
    same thing as cabelas. they have a sign stating that any rifle/shotgun/pistol being brought into the store must be unloaded and cased. on the bottom is says that this does not apply to people carrying with a permit to carry.
    And the exception applies ONLY to the firearm being carried on one's person.

    If you buy a firearm in Cabela's, (or any other retailer, for that matter) an employe will carry the boxed firearm to the door for you, even if you are carrying.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

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