Working in retail gets tough at the best of times. Dealing with angry, crazy, or just generally awkward customers all day every day makes for a surefire way to end up frustrated - and for people who work in gun stores, those types of customers come with heightened stakes. Those who work in firearm stores face people who want to get their hands on very specific items, the types of customers who make the worst Walmart customers look like saints.
As you might imagine, employees who spend their time selling guns to people accumulated more than a few interesting stories to tell. With sites like Reddit offering them a place to share their experiences these workers let the world know about the worst gun store customers and the creepy things they deal with when they clock in each day.
Not What you Want To Hear From A Customer
From Redditor /u/youlovemyKoch:
Had a guy get denied, gave him the whole spiel about how it happens sometimes, how to appeal, etc., and then he starts going on about how maybe it was that domestic charge he got. We agreed that was probably it, then he keeps going on saying that it may be the time he was involuntarily committed. I told him to get the f**k out.
People Can Be That Slow
From Redditor /u/eshemuta:
In the times before the instant background check, we just took their word for it. The guy answered "yes" on the have you been convicted of a felony question. I told him he couldn't buy a gun. He asked for another form so he could answer no.
I told him to leave and never come back. Either it was an ATF sting, or he was too stupid to own a gun.
Trying To Get Around Gun Restrictions Using Their Partners
From Redditor /u/Ammoholic:
Straw purchases - constantly having a guy and his girlfriend come in, look at a cheap shotgun/rifle. He asks all the questions about it, holds it, she doesn't want to even touch it. They walk away and she comes back five minutes later and wants to buy it for herself.
I ask her which one it was, she only says "the one we looked at earlier" I tell her to point it out, she can't.
That happens all the time.
Sketchy Transactions Are Best Avoided
From Redditor /u/ApexGS:
I run my own small shop and am thankful to be able to screen my own customers effectively. However, sometimes my license info gets entered automatically into large retailer databases who don't vet their customers and blindly drop ship me guns with no notice, dumping the responsibility on me.
One case about a year ago, a major retailer I won't name did exactly this and also left out the packing slip by mistake so I had no idea who the gun was for. I received the box during a particularly busy Friday late in the afternoon, and only had time to log the pertinents while I sorted out my existing appointments. I jotted down a note to call the retailer Monday morning, since I was leaving first thing 6 AM Saturday for a weekend trip.
Monday morning I come home to half-a-dozen messages on my answering machine, all from a very irate individual yelling incoherently into the phone from a millimeter away demanding I give them their gun. After an hour of analyzing the contents of these voicemails I pieced together that they had purchased this extremely high quality Hi Point Carbine and expected it to be delivered directly to their door, no questions asked and not involving ID or background checks.
I called the retailer, relayed the contents of the voicemails, got an apology, and promptly returned the gun to them on their dime. Then I called and attempted to speak to the would-be buyer, who was impossible to communicate with and belligerent beyond comprehension. I clearly informed them as politely as I could I declined their business, returned the gun to the retailer, and didn't want any future business from them. They uttered some choice words and hung up.
But wait, there's more.
The next morning an hour before opening time this person shows up banging on the door, demanding I give them their gun. Without getting into too much detail they were asked to leave and only finally hightailed it when the threat of police involvement was raised. Every single thing about this was sketchy as hell, and I'm glad it's the only bad apple I've had in going on 10 years in the biz.