AV1162 001

Gun Shop Etiquette


For most of you, a trip to the gun shop is like a child’s trip to Disney; You don’t ever want to leave. With these trips come unwritten rules of how to conduct yourself while browsing the fine selection of firearms and accessories. Remember that each employee at the shop speaks with many people a day, a lot of whom are new to firearms. Knowing and abiding by these unwritten rules will ensure a smooth, safe and respectful transaction.

1. Look at one firearm at a time

I have been in a gun shop multiple times and witnessed a customer doing the following: “Let me look at that one, that one right there, this one over here, oh and definitely that one!” While it may be beneficial to compare them side by side, it is recommended to have just one on the counter at any given time.

2. Never cover anyone with the muzzle

As per the 4 Rules of Gun Safety, the gun is always loaded. Being in a gun shop does not make this rule any less irrelevant. When handling any firearm ANYWHERE, never let the muzzle cover anything you aren’t willing to destroy.

3. Don’t dry fire or ‘slam’ the slide without asking

I know you want to play with your potential purchase, believe me I understand! 9 times out of 10, if you want to dry fire or release the slide with the slide release, the employee will say ‘go ahead’. It’s always a good idea to ask first though, because after all, it’s their property until they sell it to you. You may also be unaware that dry-firing the firearm in your hand is actually bad for that particular firearm. Please, ask first.

4. If you’re trading in a gun, bring it in it’s case

Instead of walking up to the counter with a firearm in your hands, put it in it’s case and let the employee take it out and safety check it. This seems like common sense to me, but I’ve seen it done the other way numerous times. We’re dealing with firearms here, not jeans you’re looking to return at Wally World.

5. Always, without exception, safety check a firearm as soon as you pick it up

I don’t care if the employee just showed you it’s clear. As soon as you pick up a firearm ANYWHERE, the first thing you should be doing is a safety check. This policy does not change in a gun shop.


6. Know about the firearms you’re interested in purchasing

Do some research online before you go to the gun shop. You probably have an idea of what you’re looking to get, so check them out before you go see them. Even the best employee may not know all the answers to every single product they carry. It’s a good idea to be informed ahead of time to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking at.

7. Have your permit with you

If you’re in a state that requires you to have a permit to own a firearm, HAVE IT WITH YOU. Chances are, the gun shop can’t even let you touch a firearm without seeing your permit. Do everyone a favor and bring it with you and present it at the counter.

8. Haggling is generally ok, but don’t go overboard

If you find a firearm on for $500 and your dealer is selling it for $589, asking for a few bucks off isn’t a bad idea. Asking them to price match however, might not be your best option. Remember that the online purchase may have other fees such as shipping, and they generally don’t have as much overhead as your dealer. He needs to keep his doors open, so haggle respectively.

9. Don’t talk about anything illegal

I’m not even going to explain this. Just…don’t do it.

10. Be respectful and courteous

Gun Shop employees see a lot of people everyday, and many are new to firearms and don’t follow the rules. I hear of ‘angry’ employees all the time, and my feeling is that they come across this way sometimes because they have people all day long doing everything on this list. Give them a break by knowing the proper Gun Shop Etiquette.

Have anything to add?

Let us know in the Facebook Comment Section below

Categories: Beginners Guide, General
About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

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  • Andy Lester

    There is an acceptable exception to Rule #1 that I have done myself. I’ve asked to see two similar pistols at the same time to compare them side-by-side. I’ve even done this with very similar firearms, such as comparing a Glock 26 to a 27.

    • mslady269

      I haven’t been in a gun store where they will give you more than one gun at a time. But I usually just look at one, then the other and see how they feel in my hand.

  • D Wagner

    There’s a gun store here in Cincinnati that I will not go to anymore because there are always gang bangers there, I’ve almost been shot twice on their range by those idiots.

    • Emily W

      Can I ask which store you went to?

      • D Wagner

        I won’t say the name, but if you think enough about it, you’ll be able to figure it out….

    • Joe

      Had to be Target World where the range ranger is usually to busy talking up the guy at the ammo counter to be bothered with gun safety on the range.

    • MoreFreedomLessFreeloaders

      There’s a store/range in Aurora Colorado that I stopped going to for the same reason. I will name drop their ass, it is called The Firing Line. Do NOT give that place your business! They kept letting gangbangers in, and they wanted to act all hood at the range which endangered everyone else around them. I will not support a range/store who allows the blatant banger trash in. Not to mention most of their employees are extremely rude.

    • D Wagner

      This was about then years ago, I was there with a fellow Serviceman and Deputy, after the third time getting muzzled, and then almost hit with a ricochet from the “bangers” to our left, when the dumb ass tried to clear his “gang banger special” while his finger was on the trigger, we both drew down on them, and the guy behind us, (mostly also a cop, by the way he handled and carried himself) leveled his shotgun off at them…
      we politely told them to leave, they launched into all assorts of racist bull shit, despite the guy behind us also being black.

    • 2ndKentucky

      I saw an add today that said they were hiring… which figures.
      The last couple times I’ve been in there I’ve witnessed the “Range Nazi” syndrome
      with most of the help. Heck I’ve won three of their “poker guns” over the years.
      Now I go to a competitors range in Blue Ash.

      • D Wagner

        I don’t go to public ranges anymore. I shoot at a friends property. It’s worth the hour plus drive to not have to deal with NRA “instructors”, aka as you put it a “range nazi”.

  • Some stores won’t let people look at more than one gun at a time.

  • Jonathan Furnari

    How about you write one of these for the arrogant firearms store employees that seem to be in abundance everywhere. They are the reason so many of us choose to shop online.

    I’ll start it off: 1) Assume at first that your customers are not idiots and treat them like you value their business.

    • Paul Buckner

      As a customer, I’ve stood in MANY a gun store and listened to other customers be complete idiots. I don’t like arrogant employees either, but they deal with some real winners on a daily basis.

      • GStandforth

        Whether or not the _last_ customer was an idiot or not, or whether the _last_ customer was arrogant or not does not predict what kind of customer that _I_ will be. Just because the last guy/gal was a “winner” _must_ have no bearing on their dealings with me. Deal with _every_ customer as a clean slate. Come at me as an arrogant employee whose _job_ is customer service and it’s the last time that you’ll find me in your store. Further, I’ll do everything that I can to keep any of my friends or family from ever setting foot in your store. Control your employees attitudes, or be prepared to pay the consequences.

        • Paul Buckner

          Obviously you’ve never worked in customer service or are just trolling. I’ve worked in customer service 19 years come January. It takes a LOT of effort to keep from getting jaded by TRULY stupid customers . I do my best to remember that in my daily dealings with the public, but it takes dedication.
          Then, with many of the gun store employees being truly educated on firearms, they have to deal with know it all clowns coming in every day and strutting around. That’s an added challenge.
          I find that most gun store employees appreciate a knowledgeable customer and know one when they see one.

          • GStandforth

            Yes; I worked quite a bit in customer service. There is NEVER justification in being rude to someone for what someone _else_ did. If you can’t segregate that in your mind, get a different job.

          • Chrissums

            Really? I find that most gun store employees aren’t that knowledgeable.

          • amy goins

            find a new gun store..

          • mslady269

            Places like Gander Mountain don’t have knowledgable people like the local gun store.

      • Davis Thompson

        That is the sad reality of anyone who work in an industry which requires contact with multiple human beings. Many of us, however, manage to rise above.

    • Jesica Leigh

      Being someone who used to work in a gun shop, the vast majority of shoppers are just lookers. And like the article says, we deal with a LOT of people in any given day. It wasn’t uncommon for me to deal with 2-3 customers at one time. It gets to be a challenge when you have 3 or more firearms out and you’re answering questions for way too many people at one time. Spend a day (a whole day) watching gun salesmen deal with people. Calling a side-by-side a over under and telling you they know how to open a break away only to find they haven’t a clue the difference between their ass or the release. Not to mention how many arrogant ASSWIPES point a gun at you and pretend to shoot it. Or how about busting a benalli because they slammed in into the ground because some dipshit showed them that it’s the best way to fix the problem. Oh and I wont even begin to tell you how many times you get cussed at when they ask where the clips are and naturally because half the people (sadly gun freaks too) don’t know shit about the difference between as magazine and a clip, it only pissed them off when you ask what kind of clip they are looking for (moon, half moon, stripper…). So please don’t go and act like gun salesmen talk to people like that to be jerks. Because the truth is people don’t know half of what they claim to know.

      • Jonathan Furnari

        Jessica, it’s called customer service, and notice that I said “Assume at first….”

        Don’t treat me like a piece of crap, just because the last guy you dealt with was a douche.

        • Jesica Leigh

          What do you consider to be treated like crap? 90% of the shops I’ve been in don’t treat people like crap. Explain about the gun (yes this is with the assumption that people don’t know) but that is also GOOD customer service. What you may see as being treated like crap could very well be the guy that is extremely rushed trying to make everyone happy. Unless they are flat out telling you that you’re an idiot or they are blowing you off or even flat out lying to you about it, give them a little credit. Would you rather a salesman that explains right off the bat or waits until you ask about it. In my experience, when you wait the customer either walks away or gets pissed off that we assume they know about the firearms they are looking at. Either way, it’s impossible to know what each customer wants. I had a guy that had been shooting for years but according to him; has never held a pistol. Now when someone tells me they have been shooting for over 30 years, I’m going to assume and all that did was get them pissed off that I didn’t explain the difference between a M&P and an XDs. Most shops drill it into the employees to explain from the start. Now I will agree that it’s somewhat bullshit simply because people only know half of what they claim. With the amount of choices out there you will end up with idiots mouthing off things they don’t know. Like I said, either way we won’t win.

          Also when you start off as “arrogant employees”, one can only assume that’s the attitude you have before you even talk to them. I know about customer service and I also know about customers that come in pissed off from the start.

      • terrymofmich

        You get pissed off over “clip” vs “magazine” ? Maybe working in a gun shop isn’t the job for you -or- you could take the high road and calmly (NOT arrogantly) explain the difference.

        • Jesica Leigh

          I never said I get pissed off over clips vs magazines. I said it pissed customers off when they are directed to what they asked for and not what they really wanted.

      • Joe

        If a sales person can’t deal with the stupidity and move on then it’s time to find another type of employment. Yes as a buyer I have the liberty of going to a local shop. I would prefer that over online however if the person behind the counter has a superiority complex, I have an issue with that. Just because someone uses the wrong terminology you decide to be a complete ass, that is not helping you or helping the person in correctly educating. Then you try and take that out in me that’s just making matters worse. How does that equate to being my fault that you have absolutely 0 temperament for that job and making maters worse 0 temperament working at an establishment that sells firearms. That’s the problem and the reasons why people have issues with the the people behind the counter. Fix yourself before you decide to be an ass to a customer.

    • Marion

      Do not walk past the female that has been standing there longer than anyone else trying to get assistance, JUST BECAUSE SHE IS A GIRL!!! SO INFURIATING! !!!

      • Cam Owen-Meder

        Exactly. Nothing makes me madder when we are treated as if we do not matter, or does the’little lady’ know what her husband sent her there to get!

        • Di

          Pretty much exactly what I posted…I’ve bought half the guns in our house, I know what I want and what I need so no need to direct yourself to the husband once the lady said she’s the buyer. My husband has shrugged his shoulders and pointed at me when this happened and the guy persisted. Takes a special type of moron to lose that sale.

          • Canton Hall

            I feel blessed. The gun shop my wife and frequent goes to her first, and I have never seen them treat a lady customer any different than a man. However, I have seen some ladies at the gun shop act like fools and treat the purchase of a gun like they’re buying a handbag and matching shoes. I have to say, that could be frustrating to deal with.

          • Di

            Of course, but treating all as if none know anything frustrates the knowledgeable buyer and ends in no sale. The employee must be able to adjust depending on demonstrated knowledge. I have three places I can go that I know without the shadow of the doubt I will be treated well and not talked down to. Is getting better all the time for us ladies.

            FWIW I have seen men act like idiots at the counter, waiving the gun and pointing muzzles at other customers. It happens on both sides.

          • Haywood Jablowme

            I understand!

          • DenverKos

            I suppose I’m blessed, too. In fact, my husband gets mad because I get acknowledged before he does, and better service. He jokes that he should just send me up to get whatever we need. And I’ve never been treated poorly or as though I’m ignorant simply because I’m a woman. We’ve gotten bad service at places, but so was everyone else at those particular shops.

        • Haywood Jablowme

          you said you are a little lady…ok I am listening.

      • Haywood Jablowme

        I agree…………….do you need me to hold you?

      • MD_Knapp

        Do NOT ask the woman behind my counter if you can talk to a guy. She probably has more training and trigger time in than you and your buddy. She is a certified armorer, certified instructor, and is perfectly capable of taking care of your question.

    • chad

      find a new gun store the one i go to doesn’t act like that their very patient and always willing to help and they encourage you to look at guns side by side and the owner offered me to try his gun out asked me if i would like to borrow his optic before i made a purchase.

    • greywulf1064

      I asked for 9mm Makarov ammunition. I was told by the clerk that they didn’t have any and that I could use 9mm Luger, because Makarov just means steel case. I replied, “No, it doesn’t it’s a completely different round.” He scoffed and acted like I had no idea what I was talking about. I then asked him, “How many Makarov pistols do you own?” He said none. I said, “Well, I have five. Luger is 9 x 19, Makarov is 9 x 18. You have no idea what you are talking about and I sure as heII hope you didn’t tell anyone else that.” I didn’t want to act like a know it all, but oh wow….

      • Jesica Leigh

        Like I said, people only know half of what they claim. I never herd of that round before. I have now and I will be doing my research on it.

        • greywulf1064

          It’s a Soviet/Warsaw pact round between a 9mm Luger and Short. The Makarov PM was made by the Russians, Bulgarians, East Germans and Chinese. The Poles, Czechs and Hungarians had their own models. You used to be able to pick them the pistols up for cheap, now, not so much.

          • Jesica Leigh

            That’s awesome. I love learning new things :)

    • CB

      Agreed Jonathan !

    • Davis Thompson

      I was already posting on that topic when I saw your post. Right on. .

    • Pete Hernandez

      2. Hire employees that have some clue as to what they are selling. Don’t know how many times I’ve been in gun shop and the person I was dealing had no clue.

    • Travis Porter

      I use to buy my guns at a shop south of Seattle just like that. All the employees were arrogant A-holes but they knew their stuff and had by far the best prices. Could be different now, haven’t been there in about seven years.

  • Ray S.

    I hate getting muzzle sweeped. You can always tell how much a person knows about firearms by how they handle them. #11. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you are dry firing. And I’ll add a #12: I would say that if you are testing the sights and you want to point and aim at something, PLEASE don’t aim at other people across the store or in any direction where people are walking by. It shows a total disregard and carelessness that will make customers not want to visit again. Aim behind the counter if you have to or down at the ground. Happens more than I wish it did.

  • Ron

    Did a shop write this shit. Laughable

    • Roger V. Tranfaglia


  • Richard Libertas Semper

    if you think you want to sell your gun clean it first. As a buyer nothing smokes my butt more than when someone brings in a gun rusted, dirty and poorly cared for and then the seller thinks it should be worth 125% of its value.

  • Doreen Parwey-Beer

    I was shocked to have a sales guy point the guns in my direction several times. I was forever dodging. Very uncomfortable.

  • Doreen Parwey-Beer

    OH! And Mr. Gun Salesman – Just because I’m a woman does not mean I want some cute little pink grips. Geeze.

  • FinallyFree

    OK with all except the first. Comparing 2 models of say 1911’s to see the balance, options, and smoothness of slide, etc – requires having both out on the counter. For general interest, one at a time is OK. The think I have problems with are salespeople who are ignorant of the product. So if I’m looking at an AR, and want to know if the barrel is chrome lined or melonite, etc. – most gun stores will not allow a simple takedown to look through the barrel. Train your salesforce, or at least have someone on the floor who knows the product.

  • Ray Weddington

    As a customer, how about just getting waited on. Sales people will walk by the counter were you are standing for 20 minutes and never stop . I always have a problem getting waited on at gun stores.

  • Rodney Campbell

    1 & 4 are a joke

    • Roger V. Tranfaglia


  • Rick Harvey

    What gets to me is that so many gun shop employees take one glance at me in my power chair and wonder why I am even in their establishment, let alone the fact that I might want to purchase a firearm…Also there are very few indoor firing ranges that are handicapped accessible even though the rest of the gun shop is…They should realize that just because I am not standing on two legs I am still a person who would like to practice with my firearms…JMNSHO…YMMV…PEACE!!!

  • Joshua

    Or better yet, the employees can be extremely polite to the potential customer and explain the rules of etiquette if need be. Always remember the “CUSTOMER” is the reason the employee has a job in the first place. That’s what’s wrong with this place now. We forget where the power is, and it is with the consumer. Just my 2 cents.

  • Di

    Write one for employees who still treat women like they are dumb about firearms. When I’m buying a gun and my husband is present please, for the love of God, direct yourself to me after it has been made clear I’M the buyer. Ignoring me will lose you that sale.

    • J. Walker

      I can usually pick up on those who have -zero- firearms experience, those who know what they are talking about, and those who are just BSing their way through, whether they are male or female. I usually show them what they want to see, +/or my recommendations, and will bring out the pink and purple pretty’s if that’s what she seems to like.

  • Randy

    I get pissed off at the counter person that automatically takes the position that they know everything and the customer is an idiot. I’m a retired sheriff Drputy 34 years, have carried before most of the counter employees were even born. I always allow the counter person to maintain control when looking at firearms and use proper handling etiquette. I don’t know everything there is to know about firearms and don’t pretend to but some of the sales folks need to remember who has the wallet. Don’t talk downor demeaning to customers that could cause that &600 sale to go to another shop.

  • sebastiandunbar

    Never buy from an FFL, unless you don’t care about keeping your privacy safe. If you can, purchase privately, you can always get a new gun this way and no need to register it

  • MessyEssie

    It’s important when writing on gun issues to proof read, because anti-gun people often think that gun owners are less intelligent than they are. The following edits are glaring;
    #2; It should be, “This doesn’t make the rule any less relevant.” or “this doesn’t make the rule irrelevant.” “Less irrelevant” doesn’t make sense.
    #4; “… in it’s case.” It’s is a contraction of “it is” and that doesn’t make sense. “Its” is possessive.
    #8; Respectively should be replaced with Respectfully. Respectively means “separately or individually in the order previously mentioned.”

  • Davis Thompson

    Now where are the training tips for gun shop employees? Tip #1 thru Tip #10: Stop being such dicks.

    • larryik


  • Mr. Passin Through

    I enjoyed reading the post and all the responses. The angry salesman is so far my favorite. Everyone here hates an angry sales man and I do too! After twenty years in the gun business selling and working as a gunsmith I have had a lot of time with the general public. So I’ll start off with I was shot by a customer who brought in his broken and “unloaded” rifle. I was across the shop walking towards him asking him to again and again “set the gun down until I get there” and being reassured by said customer it was unloaded. (Still have the bullet in me).
    Last week had a CCW carrier walked in the shop drew his pistol from an inside pants holster without stating what he was about to do and then proceeded to pointed it at me. I demanded he clear the weapon to which he pointed the gun at his face to show me that he had no magazine in it. I quickly snatched the gun away from his hands and pulled the slide back which extracted a shinny new 40 S&W Hydroshock. Yes his gun was still loaded. To his response “how did that get in there.
    Right after that I had a retired sheriff ask me to tell him why he wanted to buy a Glock 17. Hard to tell a person especially one with years of training under his belt why he needed it. (He wanted a better price then Blue Label.)
    The current gunshop I work at has a range with bullet proof windows so we can monitor the shooters, and daily we have a stack of wavers signed from new first time shooters, so we offer a lot of shooting classes and training. We have videos on range etiquette for the first timers. IE, close one door at a time when entering the range because the sales floor doesn’t wear hearing protection. ( I have tinnitus since working at the range) caused by people leaving both doors open. The range gets painted twice a year because the walls and ceiling are riddled with bullet strikes. We also have to replace our range tables yearly because they get shot to pieces.
    And yes we get a lot of customers from big box stores trying to shoot 9×18 in both 9×19’s and even 380’s. We gladly explain the difference and sell them the correct stuff.
    As for females, well I’ll be flat out honest, when a couple comes in and a female is looking at a 40 S&W or a 45 ACP and the fella is there we have to assess if this could be a potential STRAW sale. As women are more likely to do this. STRAW sales can cause a shop to get shut down and we HAVE to make sure the sale is legitimate. There are a lot of bad apples in every field of work from Best Buy to Police officers. But remember gun salesmen are exposed to used guns coming in loaded, customers drawing concealed weapons or the guy who hovers around when were taking in consignments or used guns attempting to offer the seller money behind our backs while in the shop.
    We deal with a lot of momentary dumb, like customers holding loaded weapons on the range and texting at the same time, or checking their empty weapon by looking down the barrel. Or walking off the range with a live round jammed in their firearm waving the gun in the air like it was on fire. My favorite customer request is “can you clear a jam in my carry pistol”. This is why we have to keep our heads on a swivel, watching hands and making sure the customer is safe, especially from themselves.
    Salesmen are expected to know everything about every gun ever made or going to be made. But learning or not we are expected to know it all and have the answer right away.
    From mall ninjas to armchair gunsmiths we have to give the same courteous service. Many times we miss lunch especially around the holidays. Most salesmen don’t get breaks as most are part time or retired, and we try to move from one customer to another as soon as the last one walks away, but sometimes we also need to catch our breath. So chances are we have answered the same questions many times before you. Or we get the guy who has no idea what he wants and all he wants to do is play with guns. We have to cut those guys loose as soon as possible because there are only a few guys working the counter at a time. Yet were are told we look down on people, however what it really comes down to is we have become conditioned by experience to be cautious. You don’t know if we just had a suicide on our range, or an accidental. So many times we just finished a sale with someone customer who wants everything free! Like we have no over head. Then they buy online to save a buck and bitch when we charge a receiving fee, last I looked paying the bills keeps the shop open.
    We get guns pointed at us daily, we have guys dry fire guns while pointed at us. We ask them not to and of course that means we somehow just insulted their masculinity. Which amazes me that the customer feels completely content with pointing a weapon at us in the first place. Or we have parents hand weapons to their kids who then proceed to point them at customers, we say something and boom a manager is called because we were being rude.
    If I had a dime for every kid who walked up to our Viridian display picked up the trainer pistol and point the green laser at me or another salesman while the strobe was going off, (and the parents thinking its cute or funny) I could retire.

    We are guys and gals who are doing our best with people from every level of skill. We have customers who are Swat Snipers, Police officers, firefighters, Military, former Military, EMT’s, Firearm Instructors, engineers, teachers, cooks, pizza shop owners, first time buyers, collectors, to those who just turned 18 or 21 years old. Skill sets from High Speed Ninja Warriors to grandma who never touched a gun, and we have to switch gears to address those different people. It isn’t easy and with the holidays we don’t have the time we usually do to help.

    I agree with the post, people should educate themselves, and local gunshops are the first place to do so, but on the other side of the counter realize we the sales people are doing the best we can especially when you come in with no idea what you want.

    • mslady269

      I got my CPL in Michigan and took the required class before ever stepping foot into a gun store, so I feel like I missed a lot of the dumb sh!t that people do because I was educated. I think everyone should have to have training to own and carry a handgun. I moved to GA and you can get a CCW without any training. That’s kind of scary.

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  • Rogue

    Well if this is venting time; let me start with the gun counter staff. If I’m standing patiently there at the counter, that should give you a hint that I may need your assistance. Might be a good time to break off your chat session, about your latest firearm purchase, with your fellow associate. And on another note; I’m not impressed hearing about your prowess at 300yds. or what you are a fanboy of.

    Now for my pet peeve on the other side of the counter: the guy from NJ that proclaims he can’t purchase this or that firearm, but wants to finger them anyway. Usually happens when the shop is crowded, and he has no intention (or legal for him) of buying.

  • Michael R

    Personally I encourage my customers to look at 2 or 3 side by side. I won’t drag out 5 or 6, but I’ll happily pull 2 or 3 that are comparable.

  • Greg Peterson

    Have the gun shop employees concentrate on the customer and their needs and wants. There is zero reasons to pull out your phone as an employee and start bragging about the 135 guns you own and how much of a badass you are, it doesn’t help with a sale and really puts a major damper on the prospective new gun owners hopes.


    My store brings out numerous firearms during the course of a conversation. Not because I ask, but because they want to show me more options. And if there are 2 I really want to compare, I’ll ask to see 2 side by side. Good article though.

  • Mark R Medina

    Be respectful in coming to a price, a Gun Dealer can get emotional when you say some thing like so and so has the gun cheaper on the internet. Thus the dealer gets hurt feelings. Maybe look at a another gun, the maybe go back to see if the dealer has some second thoughts of a lower price.

  • Clay

    Please be respectful of all the first timers out there. Not everyone was born with a Sig and a Glock in their pockets or went to 15 years of military training with every weapon available and can field strip them all in 7 seconds each.

  • Dennis the buyer

    Now you need a “Don’t Do” for the gunshops. 1: don’t try to sell me a used gun and tell me it’s brand new.
    2: don’t try to tell me that a new gun that I know comes with 2 mag only comes with one mag but you just happen to have a spare mag you will sell me for a ridiculous price.
    3: don’t try to sell me a common run of the mill used gun for more than it cost new.
    4: don’t get mad when I realize that you don’t have the slightest idea what you are selling.
    5: don’t get mad when I leave your shop and spend my money at your competition.
    Any one else have something to add?

  • Jeff Wielgos

    Here is another one:

    Don’t take the guns apart! Have the sales person do it for you, There is nothing worse than a brand new high dollar gun with a big circular scratch across the slide and the frame from a customer that decided he was going to use your $1200 Kimber to learn how to take a 1911 apart.
    Even if you think you know how to do it, Let the salesman do it. you just might learn something.

  • J. Walker

    Allow me to add:

    I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t know it all,
    and know more about some areas than others, but gee whiz, do some freaking
    home-work. (1) Walking in and saying, “I want to buy a gun” puts us
    way behind the curve in finding something that suits you. If you can’t do that,
    then please catch me when I’m not four customers behind and we can take some
    time to learn.

    (2A) coming in when I’m backed up with half a
    dozen customers, wanting to see every other rifle on the rack, just so you can reminisce about having the same
    one 20 years ago, does nothing but put me further behind in helping folks who
    want my help.

    (2B) Asking to see a gun, looking at it for 10
    minutes, just to say, “Yep, just like mine at home” just wastes my
    time. Go home and look at yours.

    (3) I might like to hear about what your uncle
    brought back from the WWII, or every gun Dad had in 1932, IF I’m not busy. If I’m busy, let’s keep it for another time.

    (4) Just because I don’t have customers does not
    mean I’m not busy! I have close to 20 wholesale houses I buy various things
    from, and am constantly looking them up for good deal, ordering items I’m low
    on or out of, or looking at emails from dealers or answering questions.

    (5) Please DON’T call me and ask “what kind of
    huntin’ rifles ya got” We have a couple hundred guns out for sale. Get up,
    get in your car, and come see us !!!!! If you want to call and ask, “You
    have a Gen 4 Glock 22 in stock?” that takes a couple seconds to check. No
    problem. Walking around the store telling you the make/model/caliber of half
    the guns in that inventory when you aren’t going to remember it as I tell you
    is a waste of time.

    (6) If you see yourself as the know-all of the gun
    world, please don’t waste my time coming in asking for outdated, archaic ammo
    that you’re sure I don’t have, especially if you wouldn’t buy it if I had it,
    you’re just showing off. Sometime I might fool you and have it, but you never
    buy it. “Just wanted to see if you had any”.

    (7) If you’re going to bring your own “Gun
    Expert” I’ll deal with that. If he/she counters everything I say,
    eventually, I’m going to hush and let them lead you, good or bad.

    • J Walker

      I love guns I love talking about them, hearing about them, dealing with them. I love teaching newbies about guns. But like anything else, sometimes the timing is bad, and when the crap hits the fan and you’re way behind, it’s not the time for most of the above.

  • Lonnie

    You should never turn away from your dealer and his display case when handling one of his weapons, just simply stand back, keep the muzzle in a safe direction, this will reassure your dealer you do not have a loaded magazine for this particular weapon and you do not intend to do harm.
    This is something my local dealer actually filled me in on one day as I was casually “twisted” to my left side As I was inspecting a potential purchase.

    I thought it made sense so I figured I’d share.

  • Renee Rohl

    Let’s not forget the background check. EVERYONE gets one EVERY time! Bring your current ID and CPL. Take your time as you fill out the application. Read every question. And don’t yell at us when you’re delayed. We have NO control over it!
    Buying a gun takes time and requires paperwork. Don’t expect to stop and pick it up like you do your McDonalds.

  • Tabitha Martin

    A LOT of the time, i have found MEN who work at gun stores treat women badly.

    I have experianced everything from blatant ignoring, to outright hostility in MOST gun stores.

    There have been a couple of timed were it seemed that my being there was appreciated, but that was a rarity.

    A lot of guys seemed to get angry at my knowledge. As if a girl should not know anything about guns. Or get unhinged a bit because i carry a S&W Governor for my EDC, instead of a pink .380 or some other cute dinky “girls gun” especially when they are carrying 9mm or another caliber smallet than mine themselves.

    I typically wont go back to that store for a few years, if at all. There are other places to shop for my guns and shooting supplies. Places where i am treated right.

  • Dan

    besides the gun handling rules this could not be more wrong for real life retail.. Guns stores are not the good ole boys club anymore they need to get people friendly or let online and big box close their doors.

  • PaC SGM (R)

    One of the best things about going to gun stores is listening to all of the subject matter experts there.

  • Michael Ray Jr.

    Or the people who come in with holsters. Please ask before holstering before asking to see a gun and then immediately seeing if it fits your holster. Ideally set your holster on the counter and then ask to see if it fits and then holster it on the counter. If you know your holster well enough though you shouldn’t even have to ask.

  • Haywood Jablowme

    #11 talk as much trash about liberals as you can it won’t help but it will make you feel better!

  • randy crawford

    Ask the clerk whether it’s OK to take your gun out from concealment. He doesn’t know you are armed if you are properly concealed, and he doesn’t know why you are pulling out your gun. He may have just gotten a tip some psycho is headed for the store, and the description may match you if you are having a particularly unlucky day.

  • terrymofmich

    I miss dealing with the owner’s wife of a nearby gun shop (this shop changed hands then closed). The lady was awesome and attentive, unlike her husband who came off as surely. I bought two guns from her I didn’t really need and only half wanted. She wasn’t flirty or arrogant like many gun shop employees just patient and informative – a great salesperson.

  • Austin Reed

    I would like to add. For the love of the all mighty if you bring in your firearm for trade or repair make sure it is unloaded! I was almost shot by a guy trying to demonstrate his trigger pull was to heavy…