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Thread: How should I have handled being asked to unchamber a round?

  1. #1
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    I was OCing at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Chandler, one morning before I headed to the range. This was on a tuesday morning, and I needed to purchase some 20 and 12 gauge ammunition.

    I headed towards the gun counter, which was populated by a store manager, and got his attention. He asked what I was carrying, and I told him what model my gun was. He asked me if it was loaded, to which I replied, "Yes", then he asked if there was a round chambered, to which I again responded with "Yes". He then asked me to unchamber the round, right in the store. I did, and he thanked me. When I asked him why he had me do that, he told me it's because if some 90 year old woman comes up to him all afraid, he'd feel more comfortable telling her she has nothing to be afraid of.

    I then proceeded to the purchase counter where he ran the register, and again, he thanked me for doing that for him.

    I'm only 18, and I've had less than a year of carry experience. This is the first time anything like this has happened to me. Did I handle it correctly? In a perfect world, I would have told him that I wasn't going to unchamber a round and that I was going to take my business elsewhere, but there isn't another place to purchase ammo that was close, and I was already running late to the range.

    Thanks for reading.

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    I would have told him I do not feel comfortable unchambering a round in public and left if he did not want me to purchase my ammo.

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    Ltp0wer wrote:
    SNIP Did I handle it correctly?
    You did fine for your level of experience.

    I think it depends a lot on the circumstances.

    Ideally,he would have a designated safe area for clearing your gun, but I cannot recall ever seeing such ideal at a gun store or sporting goods store. I mention it here only for perspective.

    Accidents and negligent discharges do happen. The less you handle the gun, the less likely it will be fired unintentionally.

    In a small sporting goods store with just me and the requester, I might just ask him, "Right here?" You see, I can't imagine anyone who is not already comfortable around guns making that request. But, I would ask as a courtesy.

    In a little bit larger store, or with more people around, I might walk outside to the grass. I've done this a few times when I spotted a holster I might like and wanted to test the fit for the gun.

    In a chain store with parking lot all around and lots of people, I'd decline just to avoid scaring any 90-year old ladies who happen to see the clearing activity.Depending on how bad I wanted whatever I came for, and how I was treated, I might go back to my car and clear. Or, just leave, making a mental note to clear in the car before entering the store next time.

    I'm just giving examples of how different circumstances might affect what you want to do.

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. (Because that is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--for each other and everybody else--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.)

    Equality and consent of the governed: We're all equal. How can another legitimately govern me without my express consent?

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    Founder's Club Member The Big Guy's Avatar
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    Handling your firearm in a public place is not wise. First, anytime you handle your firearm there is a chance of an accidental discharge. Secondly, immagine what someone else walking through the store would think if they saw you with a gun in your hand. In the future I would recomend that you tell the requestor that it is your policy to only draw your firearm to clean it, lock it away at home, or to use it.

    TBG
    Article 1, Section 11, #1 of the Nevada Constitution: Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use ..

    Life member GOA and NRA. Member SAF, NAGR, & former member NVFAC.

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    Personally, I would not have unchambered a round inside of the store. I would have told the manager that I wasn't comfortable with his request, butthat I'dgladly comply withone of two options:

    1. Buy what I'm already in there for and leave.

    2. Buy nothing and leave immediately, never to return.

    ...but that's just me.

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    The Big Guy wrote:
    Handling your firearm in a public place is not wise. First, anytime you handle your firearm there is a chance of an accidental discharge. Secondly, immagine what someone else walking through the store would think if they saw you with a gun in your hand. In the future I would recomend that you tell the requestor that it is your policy to only draw your firearm to clean it, lock it away at home, or to use it.

    TBG
    I agree completely. The manager was out of line to ask. A properly holstered gun will harm no-one, but one out of the holster and being manipulated is a potential accident. Should it happen again, perhaps you should politely explain that unnecessary handling of a firearm in a public place is hazardous and you decline to do so. If he insists, just leave.

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    IMHO If a 90 year old woman was in a gun shop or a sporting shopshe wouldn't be scared of guns.

    Ask him why he wouldn'ttell her any diffrant? It only takes a second to chamber again anyway. He was the old woman he was talking about.
    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

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    Seems like everyone agrees with what I said. Unchambering a round in public (or even removing your gun from the holster) in public is a bad idea.

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    I am sorry, but if I have to pull my weapon from my holster in public, that thing is going off.
    GOD gave me rights!!!....The Constitutuion just confirms it!!

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    I agree..., however; I always Carry with the full Clip or Magazine inserted into the Firearm-well, but never with a Round Chambered or Racked into the Firing Position. Furthermore, I am sure to engage the Safety prior to inserting the Clip or Magazine, and I Carry in Public in much the same manner.

    Although modernFirearms are Specially-Crafted Machinery..., I try to err on the side of caution.

    This may sound like Utah Carry, but I think that is more safe than full-blown Loaded Carry while in Public, unless it is nessecary to do so.

    I think that another way to say the same thing is to suggest that my Firearm is alwaysat least two actions away from Firing, unless it needs to be ready to Fire.

    However, I am uncertain if this puts me ina disadventageous Tactical Position...

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    If they have a clearing barrel or equivalent, I might do it... or I might go shop elsewhere. Depends on circumstances.

    Absent a proper firearms clearing zone? No way in heck. And I'd tell them exactly why it is unsafe, then go shop somewhere with competent **** Sapiens.

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    Personally, i would NEVER unchamber a round, especially in public. The law says i can have one in the chamber, and thats how i carry, even with guns that have no external safety, like a glock. I agree that the manager person was out of line asking you to do that. I have been asked to un chamber a round before, and i respectively declined.
    IMO you should have told him that you were NOT going to unload your gun, and taken your business elsewhere. (wal mart has cheaper shotgun ammo anyway). BTW i am 19, so i know where you are coming from.

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    I probably would have left....or told the manager there is nothing to worry about. The gun is going to stay in the holster...it won't go off.

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    18 years myself....In the US Marine Corps..... absolutely NEVER handle a weapon in such a location. They don't jump out of holsters and go off on their own. They DO go off when being manipulated.

    I'd have said to the manager.... "finger ******* my weapon in public is much more likely to alarm one fo your customers, have the police show up, guns drawn, or result in an accidental discharge. Are you sure you really want to take that risk?"

    But then I'd have been really nice in my tone and facial expressions while saying it..... more like Gunny R. Lee Ermey ONLY if he had been a beligerent twit about it, which from the OP was NOT the case.

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    I think that this thread is a microcosm of life in our politically correct nation. Anyone with a complaint or who thinks another's actions are "inappropriate" is given automatic primacy over anyone, no matter what rights of his might be trampled in the process. Perhaps we should change our name from United States of America to United States of the Appropriate.

    In this case, the manager should have told the 90 yo woman about the dangers involved in her request (if she even existed). Tip of the hat to Packer fan. If the manager would not educate the woman on safety issues, he should not be the manager. If he could not educate her he should not be the manager.

    O.P.: ya done good!

    MD

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    I'd never have done it... Bizarre request at best. The manager had no authority to do that... Tell you to leave... OK, (it's private property 'n all that) but not unload.

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    I always carry "one in the pipe" around Tucson.

    Never been asked to unchamber a round. If asked, my answer would:"Nope. See ya'"

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    Un-holster and un-safe my weapon in public?

    No thanks.

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    Regular Member AL Ranger's Avatar
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    Unchamber a round...not in public. If a 90 year old asks, just lie to her. She won't know the difference anyhow. If he wants me to unchamber a round, point me to the nearest target with a proper backstop and I'll be more than happy to.

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Like I said in the OP, I totally would have told him "No thanks" and then walked away, but I was on my way to the range, and I had to meet people there.

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    Next time you might think about turning it around on him instead.

    1 What? you want me to unholster a loaded weapon in your store?
    2 Are you crazy?
    3 Why wouldn't you tell her the truth, in the retail business it is the gun you don't see that comes out of a robbers pocket.
    4 Perhaps you need to attend an NRA approved safety course sir, one of the first things you are taught is that there is no such thing as an unloaded gun, you never should have even asked the question.

    This is how folks get KILLED. Shift that scenario a little, you unholster, rack the slide back and lock it open, pick up the cartridge, put it in your pocket, thumb the slide release, he says hey do you mind if I take a look at that I have never seen one, you hand it to him, the idiot puts his boogar hook on the trigger and BLAMMMMMM, because you neglected to drop the mag as you were huge nervous first about being addressed, second about committing a fairly unsafe act in unholstering, etc.

    This might sound pretty far fetched for you, but it is not, it happens a LOT, guys clear the chamber without dropping the mag, or they lock it back and slap a mag in and ASSUME the gun is not loaded and test fire it after cleaning. I can name four folks whom have admitted doing this and none of them had any less than 20 years experience with firearms.

    Like Zeke said, it never clears the holster unless your going to shoot it. If you like to clean it once a week, put it down on your cleaning bench holstered. I have two carry weapons (more but 2 I carry the most) and both are removed from the belt and put into the safe IN THE HOLSTER and back to my belt the same way.

    Cops have to holster and unholster a lot and a large number of the negligent discharges happen during that process.

    Next time they ask such a stupid question try "Sir, my training taught me one thing real well, there is no such thing as an unloaded weapon" When he ask about the pipe "Sir, the only way you would ever need to know that is if you threatened to kill me at which point you could verify for yourself by simply looking down the barrel and I don't think you would like to do that one." May I finish purchasing the cartridges I have on the counter without any more questioning of my legal behavior or do I have to shop some where else as a respected customer?"

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    Absolutely not, (and here's why!)

    Most prev. posters have covered the obvious one: the more you handle a gun, the higher the probability of a discharge, negligent OR intended.

    Next up: legal -- The manager asks you to clear your weapon. Ok, was there a witness? Someone with you or who would testify on your behalf at a trial? Arizona defensive display allows for verbal conveyance, display of the weapon in a holster, or hand on the weapon in a holster (or otherwise secured). If at least one other third party were to see you with your weapon out, NOT knowing what had transpired between you and the manager, you could have a brandishing charge on your hands, not to mention another CCWer thinking you were trying to hold the place up. (Just *possible scenarios here folks, not how it necessarily would have played out).

    Lastly, it clearly wasn't a question of a) law or b) store policy. It was so a manager could feel better not lying to someone if a situation came up. Not only is this a) shaky at best, but b) just lie, manager. It's not even really a lie: with a holstered weapon there *is* nothing to worry about.

    No, I would have refused the request, and either completed my purchase if able or gone somewhere else.

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    I agree with most here

    ejecting a round is dangerous, cop locker rooms and my old job at an armed security company provide
    shooting barrels. I hate that they ask you not to have a loaded gun at gun shows too -& then fail to provide a safe area to eject a round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrsjhnsn View Post
    ejecting a round is dangerous, cop locker rooms and my old job at an armed security company provide
    shooting barrels. I hate that they ask you not to have a loaded gun at gun shows too -& then fail to provide a safe area to eject a round.
    The gun show situation became an issue for me the last time (and I do mean LAST) that I went to the Crossroads show at the state fairgrounds. I had been there once before and actually seem to remember there being clearing barrels just after the ticket sales booths, but such barrels we definitely not there this time. Instead there were a couple (not-so-nice) guys behind a table doing clearing/tagging. I hadn't seen any signs on the way in (although they claimed there were signs saying no 'loaded' weapons at the booths where ya pay for parking) but knew that I'd have to be unloaded within the event. So while I was buying my tickets, I dropped the mag from my gun without unholstering, pocketed the mag, and went along my way (mind you I di NOT attempt to clear the chamber while standing in line since that would be idiotic.)

    I got my ticket, went to the clearing tables, and handed my USP to the ******* behind the table who cleared the gun and, shocked, proclaimed "you had a round in the chamber!?" Well, duh, there was nowhere to clear the gun safely. He began berating myself and my friend who was in the same boat about how it's state property, there were signs, etc. (Of course, being state property does NOT mean no firearms, which is what he was pressing, but i didn't push it with him.) Eventually I got a poorly placed zip tie run through the magwell and chamber of my gun that proceeded to scratch my arm for the rest of my visit. To say the least, I'm done with that place.
    Last edited by Thoreau; 07-14-2010 at 01:59 PM.

  25. #25
    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Handling your firearm at the register? Does he want other people to think you are going to "stick up" the place?
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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