Gun Counter Fables:
It’s me again everyone. You’re favorite college student, coating specialist, and merchant of death. That’s right, I have a day job, and guess what it is? It’s to sell guns for a certain large box store to members of the public. Yeah, I’m that guy you love to complain about. You know, the friendly local gun store employee who doesn’t know anything about guns, is rude as hell, or sold you the wrong gun. Well I’ve been doing this for a few months now and I’ve seen what it’s like on the other side of the glass counter now. And quite frankly it has to be said that dealing with the public is no peach either. So we’re going to do something a bit different today. Instead of you complaining about me, I’m going to share some of my experiences with you. And no, that’s not the picture of where I work at the top.
Let me start this off by saying that I work for a big box store. I will not name which one and where. Some people might be able to figure out but I’m going to take a policy of deliberate ambiguity on it. Anyways I do a huge volume in sales every day, and right now is our busy season. Not only that, but our busiest days Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You know, those days everyone has off? So right now when I’m writing this it’s still a few days before Christmas. Not only that but we’re still feeling the effects of our oh so lovely president, best gun salesman for going on 8 years now, has opened his mouth to pontificate at us about how he knows best when it comes to guns. Busy as a one-armed paper hanger doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Busy Times Behind the Gun Counter
To illustrate how busy we are right now, when I started at this company more than 6 months ago we were at our nadir of sales for the year. Even still we’d sell about 30 guns a day. Right now at our zenith of sales for the year we are going about three times as many in just handguns alone and about the same number in rifles. That’s 180 guns a day sold on average. That doesn’t include delays or denies. Depending on staffing levels we could have between 1 and 3 people on hand to work the forms and ring out your guns and all the other sundries you are buying too. Each form requires us to input information, and company policy has us have one of our coworkers check over our forms to make sure there are no mistakes. All of this takes time, and it will take even more time for you to get done if you are not the first person in line.
We’ve kind of eliminated some of the sloppy as hell handwriting problem by getting a variance from the ATF in our forms and we can now do them on a computer, and send the forms in electronically. This saves time and aggravation for everyone involved. Especially you with your sloppy ass hand writing because you’re in such a rush to just deal with this form. That’s right, if you’re filling out a hand form take your sweet time and fill it out as neatly as you can manage because if it’s unreadable I’m not going to process it because the ATF will chew my ass for it and use it as a strike against me. You’re not putting my job at risk because of your sloppy hand writing.
Alright so now that I’ve illustrated at least somewhat what it’s like on my side of the counter, I’m going to regale you with stories that I’ve personally had happen to me.
This is a form 4473: https://www.atf.gov/file/61446/download
When buying a gun from me at work I’m required by federal and state laws to have you fill out this form. Take a look at questions 11 b through 11 L. One question I always get is “do people really answer yes to these questions?” If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that…. Anyways the blunt answer to you is yes, I have had every single one of those questions answered yes. Not necessarily in the same form. One of my favorite is question 11 d “Are you a fugitive from justice?” Yeah I’ve had that. We’ve come to my first two stories.
Mugshots for Photo ID?!
The law requires valid photo identification for a gun sale. During one not too busy day I had a gentlemen come up to me because he had a question about buying a gun. This award winning member of society asked me point blank the following: “Is a copy of my mugshots valid photo ID for buying a gun?” I gave him my “Are you bullshitting me or are you actually serious?” look and asked him if he was serious. He was. I told him point blank that no way in hell were mugshots acceptable photo ID, and that he should just get out because there was no way I was selling him a gun.
America’s Most Wanted
Another story to share is one from a few months ago. I fat fingered a key on my keyboard and instead of having the form sent in through the e-check system I ended up having to call it in. This can be a laborious task and time intensive. I told the customer I was sorry about my mistake, and it’ll probably take a little while longer than normal for me to get it done. So I go back into our vault to make the phone call to the FBI NICS hotline. After passing the info to the lovely person on the other side, they told me to hold because it needed further review. After waiting about 5 minutes on hold for the next person I finally get one. After a few seconds of review the person says to me “Sir I need you to listen to instructions very carefully. I need you to keep that person in your location as long as possible. I’m contacting local authorities and having them dispatched immediately.” Every single warning bell goes off in my head at this.
We use radios to communicate between employees of the store, as well as a few select codes, and after I get off the phone with this person I am immediately calling over the radio for my manager on duty, and I am essentially using one of our special codes that basically means “I NEED THE MANAGER TO STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND PAY EXCLUSIVE ATTENTION TO ME BECAUSE WHAT I HAVE TO SAY IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!” I call them at their private extension on the phone and give them the run down. I’m not going to have the whole store hear this because it might tip him off. I tell them that we need our guy in the security room to immediately focus exclusively on this guy and keep track of him, police are on the way. Everything needs to appear normal though, so I’m going to go back there and distract this customer.
I get out of the vault and rejoin my coworkers and quickly make up a story about the NICS system crashing right as I was on the phone with them, and they need a few minutes to restart and they will call me back as soon as they are up again. So I do my absolute best to bullshit for a while and get this guy to focus on me. Within about 7 minutes I see them sharking their way through the store. Cops with serious faces. Within a few seconds of me seeing them, there are four cops taking this guy down after coming from multiple directions. He never stood a chance and he was hauled by four men out of the store.
Turns out there were a number of warrants out for this guy. They’d been looking for him for a while, and he was stupid enough to put his real information down on the form. That’s just two examples of the stuff I could have to deal with on any given day. Stay tuned for such amazing stories like “The Stinkyman” and other great hits like “Racist old guy.”
Don is a Minnesota college student working his way through school as a firearms coatings specialist. An avid shooter with a love for just about all things gun related, gladly sharing his somewhat unique experiences with anyone who will listen. If you have any questions for me, email us!