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Thread: Hampton BassPro's Policy...No Loaded OC'ing & Mandatory Trigger Locks

  1. #1
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    This evening, as I was buying some reload components, I was approached by a store "Inventory Control" associate who politely asked me if my OC'd 1911 had been "cleared" prior to coming in the store. I gave him an odd look and replied: "Why yes it is...I cleared it while I was in the parking lot prior to coming in and it's fully functional...why do you ask?" He told me the store's policy was that all OC'd firearms must be "check" at the counter prior to being brought into the sales area. I asked him if there was a prominently displayed description of the policy at the entrance to the store and that I had OC'd numerous times before and was never challenged. We walked to the front of the store and the associate vainly looked high and low for the warning to no avail then finally came inside with a "WTF!?!" look on his face. I just looked at him and told him that unless the store posts their policy where a normal person can see it, how can they expect me to comply. At that moment, another associate walked over and pointed to a sign on a pillar next to the turnstyle where the greeter stands. It read: "All firearms & bows must be checked at the counter. Concealed Weapons Permit Holders Exempt". I reached in my wallet, pulled out my freshly issued CHP & VA Drivers License and handed them to him and said: "Anything else you'd like to discuss before I resume my shopping?" He smiled and returned my cards and said "No sir Mr. McCarty, please enjoy your shopping...I'm sorry if I've angered you in any way."

    Well...I'd like to say this episode ended happily, however, as I was paying for my items at the checkout line, this ditsy associate points to my pistol and says: "Hey, your gun doesn't have a lock on it...how come?" I respond: "Why should it? What good would it be if it had a lock on it and I needed get to it in an emergency?" She then told me that I was suppose to have a lock on the trigger...that it was store policy and then called the associate that stands near the exit to come over and pointed at my gun and started asking why I was carrying an unlocked gun through the store. At this point I was feeling that all too familiar flush of anger rising in my chest and up my neck so I asked if we could talk in a more secluded area and with the store's manager present. We walked over to where I had my first encounter with the "inventory control" associate and I waited. After a few minutes...Joe, the store manager swaggers over and in a very authoritative voice demands: "Can I help you sir?" I asked him when did BassPro start treating honest, law-abiding citizens in such a degrading manner and when did the store adopt a policey that violates my right to OC? For the next 15 minutes Joe gave one hypothetical situation after another why they don't allow loaded OC in the store and why they insist on the gun being locked with an external device rendering it inert. One excuse was: Sir, can you imagine if we allowed everyone coming in the store to OC? I responded: "Hell yes Joe...I'd feel safe as ****...besides, your presuming that people that carry guns are not to be trusted and dangerous and that's just plain wrong. Virginia trusts it's citizens...moreso than any other state that I'm aware of to carry firearms so they can do what you or the police are unable to do...and that's to give me a 100% guarantee that me and my family are protected. Can you tell me that Joe? Can you give me your personal guarantee that while I'm here in this store, if a maniac breaks out a gun or knife and starts stabbing people at will, that you'd protect me with you life? Huh? Be honest Joe...would you? His response was an honest: "No, I probably couldn't" I cited the recent example of the Tenn. employee who came to the rescue of 8 shoppers who where stabbed by a butcher knife-welding lunatic in the parking lot of the store. The employee's employer policy was "no firearms on the premisis", but the employee ran to his car and grabbed his Glock and when the attacker saw it, he immediately fell to his knees and started crying, then he was handcuffed....by the same guy and all before the police even showed up! After hearing this, the manager asked me my name and told me he was going to give me "priority" treatment and was going to call corporate himself to set the record straight. I closed by telling him that he need to either remove that sign or have it re-worded in such a manner as clearly describing what the store's policy is and then display it outside the enterance so average people like me can read it prior to coming in while OC'ing.

    I aplogize for the length of this post, but as the saying goes "The devil's in the details". I think a visit from Phil/VCDL is in order to nip this matter in the bud.

  2. #2
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    As their sign says, CHP holders exempt. 99% of all open cariers in VA have CHPs.

    Keep open carrying!

  3. #3
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    Mike. if it were only that simple I'd say your right, but the issue at hand is BassPro's policy (per Joe the manager) will force OC'rs to walk around with an empty gun with a triggerlock installed while in the store. I think that's the equivalent of neutering a person. The sign implied (and to me and the Inventory Control associate) that if you were the holder of a CHP, then OC/CC was at your option. It completely obvuscated their real intent...that being to disarm anyone that OC's in their store, and I brought that to their attention. Some folks would say: "Well G, just pull your shirttail out and cover the piece...no problem, right? WRONG!!! I carry for several reason not the least of which is - because it's my right and also Virginia re-affirms that GOD-given right. And, I'm trying to change an image that's insidiously been buried in the sheople's minds that guns are bad...only bad people and LEO's carry guns.

    Now don't get me wrong, for the safety of their patrons, they've taken the time to install a "clearing chamber" at the point of entry where they clear the firearms, and , as a matter of habit, I never have a round in the chamber. Maybe I'm just picking nits here...I dunno, but the presumption that I get is the store makes no distinction between the Wilbur Dumbass bringing his fully loaded,uncased Remington 870 in to have it looked at by the gunsmiths in the Guns Dept, and a person such as myself who has chosen to take responsibility for their own safety by OC'ing even if they have a CHP and can conceal. This dude even had the balls to ask me if I had the level of training that a police officer had and could respond to any "situation" in the manner that a LEO could. I told him that I knew what constituted "use of deadly force" and met the training guidelines of the CHP. Man, this guy was chaffing my patience to the limit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought only a few situations existed that forced the CHP holder to OC....one being at a resturant that serves alcoholic beverages. I feel that it's a clear infringement and should be challenged. As for me, I will contact BassPro's corporate office and confirm their policey.

    More news as I get it.

    GGG

  4. #4
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    I have open carried numerous times at the Bass Pro shop in Kodak Tn. This is at exit 407 on I-40, have not had any problems or comments and everyone appeared okay with me carrying.

  5. #5
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    And this is a sporting goods store?

    I understand your furstration but this is a classic example of a clash of rights.

    You have a right to OC, but the store has a right to create policies which are contridictory to your right.

    I can only advise that you report this shop to the Virgina Citizens Defense League so that BassPro may be (and rightfully so) Blacklisted. Then stop doing business with them.
    If they don't respect your rights then they are not deserving of your money.




  6. #6
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    I hope this is straightened out. I recall reading somewhere, maybe at packing.org, that for a store that sells guns, Bass Pro Shop was not very carry-friendly.

    ProguninTN

  7. #7
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    I contacted BassPro's Corporate Office and described the incident as it occured. Monday afternoon, I received a call from Hampton's BassPro manager who said: We will honor your desire to OC , however, we reserve the right to change our minds/policy in the future. I guess that's an affirmation that I can live with. Like somebody once said "A right not excercised is a right soon lost!" I think when I mentioned that I was a member of VCDL and regularly posted articles on this board that is read by hundreds, if not thousands, of patrons that shop at BassPro, that may had influenced them. Plus the fact that I am a superb negotiator.

    3Gs

  8. #8
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    GodGunsnGuts wrote:
    I contacted BassPro's Corporate Office and described the incident as it occured. Monday afternoon, I received a call from Hampton's BassPro manager who said: We will honor your desire to OC , however, we reserve the right to change our minds/policy in the future. I guess that's an affirmation that I can live with. Like somebody once said "A right not excercised is a right soon lost!" I think when I mentioned that I was a member of VCDL and regularly posted articles on this board that is read by hundreds, if not thousands, of patrons that shop at BassPro, that may had influenced them. Plus the fact that I am a superb negotiator.

    3Gs
    Good job, and I thank you for your effort. It is too bad that the list of gun unfriendly businesses is getting bigger instead of smaller.

  9. #9
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    It certainly seems like you VCDL folks are on the ball.

    ProguninTN

  10. #10
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    The VCDL is a group that I will gladly renew my dues with!!!


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