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Thread: Tri-State distributors in Moscow...no open carry

  1. #1
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    Tri-State Distributors in Moscow, Idaho is the best (and for some items the ONLY) store for quality kitchen and home appliances, hunting and fishing clothing and gear, hardware, outdoor clothing, shoes and boots, tents, backpacks and other camping equipment and so much more, in this area. They pretty much have it all, and the next closest place of this kind (as far as the hunting/fishing/camping/outdoor equipment...they don't have the rest) is in Lewiston, and they don't even come close to the selection and convenience of Tri-State.

    I had already been told by some of my fellow local OC'ers that Tri-State store had adopted a policy of no open carry. I had actually OC'ed in there several times before (after this policy was supposedly in effect), on the hardware side and no one said a word. But now that has all changed. (I should also mention that I once worked there for several months between other jobs, this comes in later).

    On Saturday, June 20th, as I was OC'ing in the store (incidentally, for the second time that day) and getting ready to spend some MORE money there (on some new fly fishing flies...I had already bought some stuff earlier that day), I saw an employee looking at me closely and then go talk to the sporting goods manager Thomas. Since I knew what their policy supposedly was, and since I am generally a pretty perceptive person , I knew what was coming, but continued shopping and decided I would play dumb.

    Thomas approached me, stopping to lean on a stack of boxes of clay pigeons, and initially just stood there looking, pointedly staring at me and my sidearm. He finally spoke, and asked a few inane questions about the flies and the box, and made small talk, something about the display. I continued to make small talk and play dumb. Finally, he got to the point.

    He asked how long it had been since I worked there. I said "...about 2 years", then after some thought I said "maybe it has been about 3 years". He said that they had changed their policy on OC and that it was no longer allowed. I mentioned that I had not seen any signs on the front doors, and he said there were signs at the back counter (the gun/ammo counter...doesn't help much having it posted there but whatever). He asked that I leave it in the car from now on, and said that he needed to escort me to the front when I left. I asked if I could finish getting my flies and he said yes, just that he needed to walk me out whren I left.

    I finished making my selections (purposely taking my time ), and even talked for a few minutes to a lady with 2 kids who was buying Father's Day gifts for her BF. She knew nothing about fly fishing, so I offered to explain fly fishing tackle to her and spent several minutes telling her how it all worked. Finally I couldn't stall any longer and went to get Thomas.

    As we were walking to the front, I asked him why the store had adopted a no OC policy. He said that customers had complained (to the owner Gerard, via their comment box) about OC'ers in the store, saying they felt "uncomfortable" (getting tired of hearing this excuse) with people carrying openly in the store...when not in uniform! He also said that several ROTC guys from University of Idaho had been coming in OC'ing while not in uniform. (I guess the presence of a uniform somehow makes OC'ing "safer")?! I also asked if it was in their written policy and he again responded that it was posted at the back counter.

    I said that it seemed a little ridiculous that a sporting goods store (Tri-State was originally started as a sporting goods/camping store, sort of similar to an Army Navy surplus) has a policy banning open carry, a legal activity in Idaho. He responded that they are not just a sporting goods store, that they also have other areas (clothing, hardware etc). I don't know what significance that is.

    I reiterated twice more that I felt it was ridiculous that a store that SELLS guns does not support a person's rights to lawfully carry a firearm on their person.

    So as I said before, my fellow Moscow and Pullman OC'ers had already told me of this policy. But since Tri-State is about the only sporting goods store we have in Moscow which sells more than just hunting and fishing (they have some really good selections of tents, backpacks and other outdoor equipment), I have continued to shop there...there really is not much choice in the local area. I don't typically buy my hardware items there, but I had been in the store recently pricing a few small but pricey kitchen appliances that I wanted to buy in the future.

    Since I had OC'ed there with no problem before, I had been willing to continue to spend money there until such time as someone said something about it. Now that I have been personally advised of their no OC policy and the [stupid] reasons for it, I will make the effort to take my shopping elsewhere whenever possible (some things you just neeed right away and can't go somewhere else, but I will make my kitchen purshases somewhere else and when I get ready to buy more camping/backpacking gear I will go to Spokane or Couer D'Lene or buy through catalogs).

    I intend to write a letter to the owner, letting him know that he has lost my business and the business of all of the local OC community, and why. I also intend to provide copies of my recent purchase receipts (ammo, fishing, camping etc) to show him how much I have spent in his store. I think I will also mail copies of receipts when I make my future purchases (especially anything expensive), along with a note saying how this is money thet I would have spent there but for his policy.

    Dave R

  2. #2
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    Maybe we should start using their comment box to describe our displeasure at their "policy". Say that we are feeling discriminated against for merely exercising a right that they appear to endorse via their sales of firearms but only when they feel it applies. Let them know they are on the DNP list and are losing money.

    I haven't been to Tri-State in a while. I stopped going after one of their gun counter weenies swept me with a shotgun in addition to their policy. I don't know what their problem with ROTC cadets OCing in there is or why it was even brought up. Their CS has never been that great IMO, trying to get help in that place is much akin to talking to a wall. They actually have a no-gun policy, this was told to me the last time I was asked to leave for OC.

  3. #3
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    Vandal wrote:
    Maybe we should start using their comment box to describe our displeasure at their "policy". Say that we are feeling discriminated against for merely exercising a right that they appear to endorse via their sales of firearms but only when they feel it applies. Let them know they are on the DNP list and are losing money.

    I haven't been to Tri-State in a while. I stopped going after one of their gun counter weenies swept me with a shotgun in addition to their policy. I don't know what their problem with ROTC cadets OCing in there is or why it was even brought up. Their CS has never been that great IMO, trying to get help in that place is much akin to talking to a wall. They actually have a no-gun policy, this was told to me the last time I was asked to leave for OC.
    I would certainly appreciate it if you, and everyone else in the Moscow/Pullman OC community, did just that! And the way you said it in the first paragraph is perfect...say it just like that! I will also mention the DNP list in my letter.

    I plan on mailing a letter addressed specifically to the owner (not just in the comment box), detailing my thoughts on his decision, and explaining why I will be patronizing his store as little as possible from now on. Unfortunately, in a community this small with limited retail outlets, there are just some minor items that one needs quickly and with little notice that will have to be bought there. Luckily we do have other hardware stores, as well as other places to buy shoes, clothing etc. But his is about the only place to get good quality backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor gear.

    For big ticket items, things I can think about and shop around for (ESPECIALLY hunting, fishing and outdoor sporting goods), I will find somewhere else to buy them, even if it means going to Spokane. This is where it will hurt him the most, because he is the only local retailer of this kind of equipment.

    Like I said, in the future I fully intend to mail them a copy of each and every receipt for anything I buy that I would have gotten there. This is an idea that I learned form another post a while back. She said she did this to some store that she was asked not to OC in, and I think it is a great way to get the point across.

    I am also going to go through some of my old ones from the last several months and show him how much money I have spent there. I may even send him a list of the items I window shopped for, and tell him that this is a list of items I will eventually buy, and represents the money he will not get because I will buy these items somewhere else. Maybe it will get his attention.

    Dave R

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    I'm sorry to hear that about Tri-State. When I was at UI, I liked to dumb around in there and always bought something. Still like to stop by - guess I won't anymore.

    Is the Husky gas/sporting goods store still open? Would they be a viable alternative? I seem to remember buying ammo from them periodically back then.

    Feel free to scan in a Tri-state comments card - I'll print it off, criticize their no OC, and send it in.

  5. #5
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    Husky closed almost 2 years ago. The only other gun/hunting shop is Sure Shot next door to Wendy's on the highway and IMO they aren't that great. Luckily I was up in Coeur d' Alene enough to get what I needed.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like Moscow ID has turned into weenie land. Do anti fur protesters march around the Moscow Hide and Fur location, and Wissmiss who sells traps and trapping supplies? I don't know if either is open direct to the public or not, but they do mail order and have websites.

  7. #7
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    Its not that bad, Tri-State is the only place I have been that doesn't like OCing. The hippies stay on campus for the most part. It is still North Idaho.

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    I generally don't open carry. I prefer to keep it concealed. Im very disappointed to here this about Tri-State. Sounds like I need to drop a note to the owner next time I drive by the store. I have purchased guns from them in the past but this will have an impact on future purchases. Wonder if they restrict any other Constitutional Rights in their store?

  9. #9
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    The Grand Pooh-Bah wrote:
    I generally don't open carry. I prefer to keep it concealed. Im very disappointed to here this about Tri-State. Sounds like I need to drop a note to the owner next time I drive by the store. I have purchased guns from them in the past but this will have an impact on future purchases. Wonder if they restrict any other Constitutional Rights in their store?
    LOL...I am sure they probably don't. Funny isn't it, how easy some businesses find it to restrict THAT particular right, but they would never think of restricting your right to free speech or freedom of religion or whatever? Or how no business person in their right mind would ask a gay or lesbian couple not to hold hands in their store because it makes their other customers feel "uncomfortable", but they won't hesitate to ask me not to OC? I don't have any problem with that either, but I am tempted to make it an issue with Tristate just to ram home the point.

    I will definitely mention that irony in my letter to the owner. I am sure it will not make any difference, but maybe when I start sending him copies of my receipts from Cabelas, Sportsman's Warehouse and Bass Pro Shops, all of whom DO support and allow OC, it will get his attention. I may even have to start going to Spokane specifically to spend money so I can mail him the receipts...although that might get kinda expensive!! LOL.

    Dave

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