Monday, October 01, 2012

Etiquette for the Gun Shop and Range

Eric from Colorado writes:
“Last show you and the guys were talking about welcoming the 20 and 30 year olds into the firearms culture.  To help us younger guys fit in could you address the proper etiquette to adhere to in Gun Shops and on the Shooting Range?  For instance, if there is a sign posted that states “no loaded guns” does that mean if I have my Concealed Weapons Permit I cannot carry it into the store?”

This is a great question!  Some Gun Shops can be a little cliquish.  There are five shops in my area one of which just went out of business. I am not at all losing any sleep over it because in the five years that I have lived here they never accepted me into their Fraternal Order of the Flannel Shirt club.  I can’t think of one time where someone came over and asked if I wanted to see something. 
However, there certainly are benefits to being considered a “regular” in your local gun shop.  Besides being treated as a neighbor you’ll get a phone call when something you’ve been looking for comes in; they might hold it for you so no one else can buy it if they know you well enough.  

So here are Average Joe’s Tips on Firearms Etiquette; they all boil down to three nice catagories:

·         Introduce yourself, ask for the name of the person you are talking to and then tell them what you’re are looking for or ask your question.
·         Check to make sure it is unloaded before you offer it to someone and after you have received it from someone.  Assume that every gun is always loaded.  When the giver and receiver both check to make sure the chamber is empty it is kind of like our own “secret handshake”.   

·         Take off your rings before you handle any wooden grips or steel frames and if you’ve just finished a bag of Cheetos or changed the oil on your F150 please wash your hands.
·         Don’t be afraid to politely ask for help. 
·         Don’t sweep the muzzle past someone on the range or at the sales counter and keep your finger off the trigger until you are prepared to take the shot.  Being a salesperson in a gun shop means that you will probably have more firearms pointed at you than had you been in the infantry during WWII.  While the salespeople become somewhat numb to it after a while they do appreciate it when they see you taking precautions not to point the weapon at them or anyone else.

·         Avoid the movie macho syndrome.  Real men don’t slam cylinders or slides shut.
·         Ask permission before you touch or pick something up even if it is displayed openly.
·         Keep your concealed handgun in your holster unless asked by the staff to present it.
·         Don’t think you know everything about firearms.  Unless your name is John Moses Browning, you don’t.

·         Everyone likes to be thanked when they help you.
·         Any firearm you bring in to shoot, trade, be repaired, be appraised, find new grips for, or find a holster for must be unloaded before you bring it into the shop.  Inform an employee or ask for permission before you take it out and expect that they will want to check to make sure it is unloaded.  They may want to hold onto it and fit it for holsters or replacement grips themselves.  This is done for everyone’s safety.

·         Don’t bash someone else’s firearms, especially if you’ve never fired one.  I’m not particularly drawn to Hi-Point firearms, but any review I have every read indicates they are reliable.  If a High Point is all someone can afford and it works for them who am I tell them how much better off they would be with a $4,000 custom 1911.
·         If allowed to use someone else’s firearm ask if the ammo you intend to use is OK with the owner.
·         If someone on the range is acting in an unsafe manner go and tell the range officer.  They cannot see everything at once and everyone will appreciate it if the unsafe behavior is either changed or removed from the range.
·         Ask before you “dry fire” a weapon.  With some, but not all, modern weapons it is OK but with most rimfire and older firearms it is not.

1 comment:

Al said...

Good review covers the baSics