I love spending time in gun shops like any gun guy does. Looking through the glass at all the guns in the cases is about the same as going to an art display for me. My wife really hates it because I like to point out all the pistols and spout off ridiculous facts that she could care less about. Usually when I’m doing my window shopping I only talk to myself or whoever is with me but eventually one of them will approach me. The dreaded gun counter guy. I have met many different types of these guys and a few I absolutely can’t stand. I have worked on the other side of the counter and had a good system that I felt helped people find the best gun that would fit them and their needs. Knowing the times that we are in right now politically and having so many first time gun buyers we need to have good personalities on the other side of that counter to help them and make a good first impression about what the gun community holds for them. In this post I’m going to lay out some of the personalities one might meet when browsing the gun counter.
The “Un-safe Salesman” is first up. They always seem to forget the first rule of gun safety, “Treat every gun as if it is loaded.” Nothing irritates me more than a gun counter guy not checking the chamber of a gun before they hand it off to someone. He is also the guy when you ask to see a gun from under the glass or hanging on the wall he will muzzle every person standing along the counter including pointing it directly at your chest while handing it over.
Next we have the “Simple Sales Rep.” This guy is just there to make his commission and go home. He will tell you anything to get you to buy a gun, and he will always push the highest priced gun even if it doesn’t fit the needs of the customer. On one of my window shopping experiences I over heard a first time pistol buyer asking about Glocks and Smith & Wesson M&Ps but the clerk insisted he didn’t want any of those but the custom high-end Kimbers would be right up his alley.
The “Mall Ninja” is the guy on the other side of the counter who wants to sell you all the guns that the Navy SEALS use. He can also name all the latest and greatest guns and tell you what magazine he read about them in which sums up his first hand experience with them. He is usually easy to spot. He will be the guy who looks like a 5.11 catalog threw up on him. That seems unfair to a lot of people who wear 5.11 clothing such as myself on occasions like visiting the range or hunting, but the difference is the mall ninja takes “tacti-cool” to a whole new level.
Somewhat similar to the mall ninja but just on the other end of the spectrum is the “Old Guy.” This is the guy who is still stuck on revolvers and break open shotguns. Unless the gun you are asking about has a wood stock or is made entirely of metal he could care less about it and probably will most likely be disgusted you even asked to see one of the “new fangled pieces of junk.” He is so dedicated to his cause that he won’t give us his carburetted pickup because “that fuel injection stuff is just baloney.”
My personal favorite is the “Fan Boy.” One brand is all you are going to hear about from this guy. He actually chooses to know nothing about the other brands because nobody should want second best. Oh you want a shotgun? You don’t need one of those because Glock doesn’t make one yet.
The type that is a close second place on my list of annoying personalities would have to be the “Uninformed Moron.” When this guys speaks it will make anyone with an IQ larger than luke warm water cringe. These are the guys spreading the typical idiotic myths like “Glocks are dangerous cuz they don’t have a safety” or “you don’t need to aim a shotgun you just point it at them and pull the trigger.” It is almost like they get their firearm information from CNN or MSNBC. The best example I can give for this is when my wife was looking for her last pistol. She walked in and said that she was interested in single stack 9mm. After she was brought everything from double stacked 40’s to revolvers I had to step in and explain it slowly to him.
The one guy that every sport and hobby in the world has and everyone in every country and in every language can’t stand is the “Know It All.” This guy knows everything about everything, and even if you just proved him wrong he will still tell you he is right. The biggest problem with the know it all is he is condescending and makes the first timer more intimidated than they already are.
Last up is one kind of gun counter guy that we don’t see enough of. He is the guy who figures out the who, what, when, where and the why that should be asked to help the customer get the most out of their buying experience. What is the intended purpose for the gun? Is if for carry? Is it for competition or target? Is it for the nightstand? Who is it for? Is the gun for the 110 pound wife or the 250 pound husband? When were you wanting to make the purchase? Do you need one today or is there something that might work better that isn’t in stock that they could order? If it is a carry gun where do you intend to carry? Iwb or owb? Pocket or purse? Not all times do these questions need to be asked. Sometimes you have that one customer who had done all their research and knows exactly what they want when they walk in and that is great, but more times than not questions need to be asked to help the customer find the gun that will work best for them.
Can you think of anymore personalities I missed? Do you have any horrible experiences?
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