Ambassadors of Shooting – The Firearms Retailer
Firearms retailers hold an important position within our shooting community. Often times gun shops are the first place a new shooter will seek advice. Accomplished shooters visit to see what is new, to help solve firearms related problems (be it due to shooter error or mechanical issues with their firearms), keep supplies stocked, or maybe just to while away some time.
Routinely students comment to me on how their firearm purchasing experience passed. I hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Many of the good purchasing experiences have the same common themes and elements. New shooters are impressed with sales people who take the time to answer all their questions. People know the difference between opinion and hot-aired puffery, and appreciate it when a clerk says “Not in my opinion” or “Personally I like…”
Lady shooters are extremely turned-off by statements of bravado (i.e. “This will blow a big ol’ hole in anybody!”), with comments belittling women as weak or unintelligent not helping (e.g. “This revolver is good for a woman because it is easy to use, not a lot to remember…plus it’s small and lightweight!”).
Retailer and Firearms Safety
Another area where new shooters comment about retailers is how they conduct themselves by the Safety Rules. It may be routine to you but believe me, when a new shooter sees a clerk pointing a muzzle into their palm while chatting, sweeping the muzzle across their coworkers, and/or holding their finger on the trigger while handling the firearm.
Not a person yet has complained about being shown all the firearms that they asked to see, nor having all their questions answered in a respectful manner.
It is these Ambassadors that deserve kudos from all of us in the shooting community, guiding those seeking assistance and embossing the professional seal upon the shooting community.