Thursday, July 14, 2011

Overheard in Many Gun Stores:

Sales Clerk: "Please stop pointing that gun at me."

Cletus Johnson: "It ain't loaded."

Sales Clerk: "Yeah? Well the one on my hip is, and having guns pointed at me makes me very nervous."


Bubblehead Les. said...

Point Back.

Robb Allen said...

Must not be any gun stores near me. The worst offenders are the guys behind the counter.

Marty said...

The Two disciplines:

Muzzle Discipline
Trigger Discipline

Remind people.

Tam said...


You obviously need a better class of gun store nearby. You should open one; there's obviously a market niche! :)

Robb Allen said...

I tend to order my guns online. It's safer and I spend less time being swept by Cleetus showing Bubba how to properly load the shotgun while not dropping the beer.

Bram said...

I agree, but... If I hand a gun (which I have confirmed is not loaded) to a gun rookie - I immediately step to the side so I am not flashed.

I don't stand directly in front of the noob and get mad that they point a gun at me.

Anonymous said...

That gem is followed by:

YT: Is that gun unloaded?

Cleatus: Yep, I checked myself.

YT: Takes pistol and removes rounds from "unloaded" gun.

Cleatus: 1) Stunned silence
2) How those get in there?
3) Dude I checked it!
and rarely I F'ed up, I am so sorry!

This happen twice with LEO's so Cleatus wears many hats


Tam said...


"I agree, but... If I hand a gun (which I have confirmed is not loaded) to a gun rookie - I immediately step to the side so I am not flashed."

Me too.

Jay G said...

There's a reason that I won't go into the Gun Room at Kittery Trading Post.

It's a room roughly the size of a grand ballroom stuffed to the gills with all kinds of guns - pistols, rifles, shotguns, black powder, flintlocks even.

Yet EVERY SINGLE TIME I've been there, I've had at least one shotgun aimed at my head. Every time.

And it's not always by customers, either...

Sevesteen said...

Sweeping by shop staff is too frequent around here for me to raise a big fuss, but I will glare and side-step out of the bore axis. One local shop in particular is so oblivious that I look like I need a restroom.

To be fair to the staff, it can be hard to avoid muzzling someone if the customers don't cooperate, but a bit stronger attempt would be nice.

og said...

I've often wondered why more stores don't have signs.

I was in a store once where they did have a sign, which said "Please only point guns at the floor or at the test target' which was a bullseye target thumbtacked to a wall at a high spot over the counter.

They had to remove it because a customer thought it was OK to shoot at since it was a target.

NotClauswitz said...

Reporter: "Kin I please take a picture of it?"

Laughingdog said...

"Must not be any gun stores near me. The worst offenders are the guys behind the counter. "

This. Ten times over, this.

Out of all the gun stores in my area, there's only one where the staff is actually able to pull a gun off the wall without sweeping you.

Guess which one is the only one that ever sees my money.

Unknown said...

I've personally seen a gun store clerk rack buckshot out of an unloaded gun that Cletus brought in. Fortunately, the local Ganderous Mountainous has had very few safety violators; I just wish they would stock the shelves at least once a year.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Sadly, I have never seen a clerk actually check that a gun is clear before handing it to a customer. I know the ammunition isn't going to crawl into the cabinet and jump in the chamber all by itself, but it should still be a habit everyone has before handing someone a gun.

Or, as Dad and I have done with each other on occasion, stating clearly and specifically that the gun is loaded. But we only do that because we know and trust each other's ability to handle the gun safely. We would never do that with someone we don't know.

Marty said...

At my favorite gun store the clerks are very professional. I have never been handed a firearm unless the clerk checked it was clear first and then handed it to me, breach open so I cold check it.

Their obvious muzzle discipline automatically encourages the behavior on the customers.

Not that I haven't been muzzled by other customers. I have heard simple polite, "Watch that muzzle." on several occasions.

Anonymous said...

Jake, I was at a range where the clerk picked up a 1911, just racked it a couple of times, then handed it to me. I thought he had clocked my Brit accent and was testing me or some crap like that. So I asked him to drop the mag out of it and lock the slide back before I accept it. The answer was a disgusted, 'You seen it's empty OK?'.

To my regret, I was so keen on actually doing some shooting (it had been too many years since I pulled a trigger) that I just took the gat.

Today, I like to think that I would thank him for his time and just walk away.

Cheers- Rusty

PS It was a LDA (KImber??). Didn't like it.

Randy said...

I've been given grief by a clerk because I dared rack the slide on a BHP to ensure it was clear when he handed it to me.

"I already checked that"

Handed it back to him and walked out never to return.

Also got chewed out by a PD Training Sgt when I opened the cylinder of a revolver they were using on their obstacle course to check for clear. She was insulted because I didn't trust her.

Never bothered to complete my application for that department.

Nowayoutbutup said...

After being flashed 2 times in a row by Bubba handling an X frame Smith, both times asking politely to 'Please stop pointing the firearm at me.' ,I simply reached over and took the revolver from him and handed it to the clerk.
The clown started to cop attitude and the clerk who I know well just started laughing at him and asked 'How bout I point this gun at you?'
Dead silence.....

Mikael said...

Never been muzzled by anyone in a gun shop here(the one and only one in town), all they have are rifles though, and everyone I've seen handle them has pointed them in a safe direction.

On the other hand, I was interested in joining a pistol club, and went for a trial shoot, though it turned out the licence course would not mesh with my plans of an extended overseas stay(oh and these are once per year 6 month courses). At the range the rules were very strict, however in the briefing before that, everyone was muzzled by the clown(instructor) doing his "this is a pistol" routine, who when I called him on it gave us the "it's not loaded" speech...

Lergnom said...

Some years ago, a good friend passed away, a commercial artist and someone who shared the true madness for gun shows. The lawyer handling the estate asked my GF to help him go through things, since they were both artists. She called me to ask if I'd come over and deal with the firearms. OK, I said, but don't touch anything!
I get to the house and they had all the deceased's hardware on a blanket on the table.
Me:'I said not to touch anything'.
GF: 'We were careful.'
Lawyer: 'They were just stored around the house, so they're not loaded.'
I pick up a 9 mil and drop the mag - full; work the slide, one pops out.
Same with the others. When I cleared the skeet gun, they both looked like they needed a bathroom stop.
Me: 'What did I say not to do?'
GF: 'Not to touch anything.'
Lawyer: 'Why were they loaded?'
Me: 'They don't work if they're empty.'

Anonymous said...

I lost a lot of "customers" over the years due to that shit.

Might've cost me a few bucks but I figure I might've saved a few lives.

@ Robb Allen: Don't know about the Tampa location, but the guys and gals at Shoot Straight Lakeland are about as professional and courteous in firearms handling as I've ever seen anywhere. Mostly young folks, but somebody trained them well.


NotClauswitz said...

All my Grandpa's pistols were loaded, Mom stayed away and didn't (wouldn't) touch any of 'em.

Anonymous said...

I must be lucky, at both the gun stores I frequent, every time they pull a gun out to show you they check it and hand it to you with the action open.


Walter Mitty said...

My family has never gotten over the death of my beloved nephew who was killed when one of his buddies pointed an "unloaded" gun in his direction and pulled the trigger. All four rules, and many hearts, were broken that day.


Ancient Woodsman said...

Mr. Jay G knows of what he speaks...I worked at that establishment for 7 years in the '80s, and Mrs. AW was Asst. Manager of the entire cashier staff, so she had her turn(s) being muzzled, too. My introduction to what the past manager then said, "the general public is not as smart as the average person," since there were signs everywhere not to point or aim, and not to dry fire, and correcting that behavior was a constant occurence even then.

Much changed - for the worse - when the enterprise passed from the first generation Adams to the third. I still go there occasionally, but only if I can confirm that one of the two - who are both match shooters now - who were there when I was, are working that day. The quality of the sales staff otherwise is mostly maybe a half-bubble above Wal-Mart, and no safer. A shame, really; Old Bing & Phil are probably rolling in their graves.

Much better is the small shop across the street from where Mrs. AW works now. Nice place, a 'neighborhood gun store' if you will, and safe to boot. Kind of like how KTP was...once upon a time.

RevolverRob said...

When I was slinging guns across glass, I never picked up a gun without checking it and handing it to a customer with an open action. I worked for the number one firearms distributor in the country in sales. Getting muzzled by customers was a daily, no hourly, occurrence. My mentality was, if I checked the gun and watched the customer's hands, there would be little chance a live round would end up in a gun pointed at me. None the less, I would side step the customer and let them aim at the sign above the counter and our heads. I still had lots of guns pointed at me.

Where I drew the line though, was my coworkers. One guy thought it was funny that I was "paranoid". He pulled a shotgun off the rack and pointed it at me. I side stepped him and pushed the muzzle up so it was no longer pointed at anyone or anything but the ceiling and politely told him that if he EVER did that again, the last thing he would see, would be muzzle flash. The muzzling of store employees was never an issue again.


libertyman said...

Ancient Woodsman -- would you care to share the general vicinity of said gun store? Perhaps we met at KTP years ago, I have had very few issues, not zero, but very few at KTP.

Ancient Woodsman said... least under the curent ownership. Previous owner also had a shop in Newbury, MA. Small stock, but personable, interested & helpful staff. I have no relationship nor interest in said shop, but it's nice to visit.

I'm sure the customer who spends an hour or two at the KTP wouldn't notice things quite so much, but spending 44 hours a week there even then, well...things got noticed. Maybe my view is jaded, but that view is of a staff now that is a shadow of the place it used to be. Not just the gun department, either.

T'was a time when if it had to do with shooting, and you needed it, it was not only there, but there was someone behind the counter who could truly help. Their motto then was, "we don't dabble"; i.e., they carried EVERYTHING Lyman or RCBS or Leupold or Williams or Colt, etc. made, and there was always someone there who knew how to use (whatever) properly. Somewhere along the line - along with the Conibear traps - that world disappeared from Route 1, Kittery, Maine. Again, there's still two guys there who really know their stuff, and they are the ones to see.

For the vibe the family pitches now, though, I can do better a few miles north at the big place in Scarborough, or for the old-timey shop feel, the one I mentioned is just fine.

I still go to KTP once in a while, but I don't go to 'shop' anymore. Which is a shame; the Adams' really had something there, and somewhere along the way they must have at the least misplaced it.

Old NFO said...

I used to frequent KTP when I was up that way, but the last time I was there, I got muzzled about three times in 30 sec, and turned around and left. And I won't EVER go back. At my dealer's, the guns are checked, handed across the counter open for inspection, and people are 'promptly' and courteously reminded if they muzzle anyone (I can only think of 1 time in 8 years that I've seen that happen.

TBeck said...

I used to work PT for a store/indoor range. Most guns were checked at the register when people wanted to use the range. There was a large cup next to the register labeled "ammo from unloaded guns". If a customer brought a loaded gun to the register they had a choice; forfeit the ammo or find another place to shoot.

Anonymous said...

There are two small local fun stores hereabouts. When I 1st moved here, the staff would try to hand me something from under the glass with the cylinder closed or the bolt/slide forward. I kept hands in pockets, and politely asked they open the cylinder or open the bolt/slide before I would take my hands out of pockets.

After I bought a few pieces, they decided it would be a $ood thing to make me happy.

They even stopped looking at me funny when I rechecked the piece after they handed it to me.

We laugh about it now, but I appreciate they have learned, and they appreciate I have taught them how to present arms for inspection.

Anonymous said...

My son still hasn't forgotten the day he was taking the Rifle merit badge at scout camp. I'd been teaching him the basics, so he was feeling pretty cocky at the class. The teacher lined the boys up, explained how to check for clear, then handed the first kid a rifle, action open. Kid took it, checked the action, and passed it down the line, each boy checking in turn. Same with my son. The last boy in line handed the rifle back to the teacher, who immediately popped an empty case out of the chamber, showed the boys, and yelled "you all FAILED!".

My son was muchly humbled that day. He's never screwed up since.


God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Dann in Ohio: Could I look at that Springfield XD-M

Clerk: Sure.

[Clerk takes gun of case, checks chamber, hands to Dann in Ohio.]

[Dann in Ohio points gun in safe direction, removes mag, checks chamber.]

Clerk: I just checked that, it was safe.

Dann in Ohio: I know you checked it, but I'm holding it now.

[Clerk gives Dann in Ohio annoyed look.]

Dann in Ohio's daughter: That's how we were taught, we're responsible when we're holding it.

Clerk: Whatever.

Justthisguy said...

I am beminded of Freewheelin' Franklin's statement to Fat Freddy:


Oh, how I miss the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers!

Justthisguy said...

P.s. I believe that just pointing a gun at somebody is considered to be assault, in law.

Justthisguy said...

P.p.s. Mah kitteh is a dead ringer for Fat Freddy's Cat, aside from not having any balls, which may account for his still existing after 16 years.

Anonymous said...

Never understood the idiocy of checking the customers guns at the counter prior to renting them a shooting lane. You know, a place designed to handle loaded guns that will be shot. The number of holes in the wall behind the sales counter should have been a clue they were doing it wrong.
Then the clowns behind the counter will drop the slide with the slide stop lever.
And, why did it seem that I was always there when the clerk encountered some gun he had never seen before? Which would entail much fumbling and 4 hands in use, typically followed by cartridges hitting the countertop. Nervewracking. I didn't spend much time or money, there, due to that policy. They were only a 5 minute drive from home, but I was much happier to drive an hour or more to a less dangerous environment to spend my cash.

Christopher said...

I usually go with, "gosh if you keep pointing that at me it's going to be hard for us to stay friends."

Anonymous said...

My favorite was the guy whose buddy was looking at a Glock and asked us how to disassemble it for maintenance. Cletus drew his own Glock while announcing, "First, you pull the trigger." BLAM!

Just missed the store owner's son.

The staff had grown weary of having to go out on the range to correct some egregious safety violation from Cletus (and his horde of Cletii) and had been lobbying to ban the guy, since he wouldn't listen and invariably called up the aforementioned owner the next day to complain about his treatment.

Incredibly, it still took some doing to get him banned. I quit soon after. I still can't go in that shop without breaking out in a sweat from all the safety violations.

Larry said...

Rule #1 is in effect.

Tam said...

Anon 2:23,

"Never understood the idiocy of checking the customers guns at the counter prior to renting them a shooting lane."

Me neither.

Keep that shit in your range bag. Nothing good can come of fingering loaded guns on the sales floor, especially when there's a perfectly good backstop out on the range.