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Thread: Blackhawk HQ in Norfolk

  1. #1
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Blackhawk HQ in Norfolk

    I went to Blackhawks HQ today only to be asked to stow my gun. :-( I wrote the following letter and plan to send it tomorrow. Any suggestions for improvements?

    President & CEO Mike Noell
    Blackhawk Products Group
    6160 Commander Pkwy
    Norfolk, VA 23502, USA

    Dear Mr. Noell,

    Firstly I would like to say I love your products. Each pistol I own has a SERPA holster for it (except my FNP-45 where your customer service says you are reviewing & planning for later this year). I have been using your equipment for a couple years and have not been disappointed.

    Secondly, I was thrilled to see your headquarters was nearby in Norfolk. I visit my customers in that area three to four times a month and I was excited to think I could stop by your show-room/store rather than ordering online all the time.

    With that said I was sorely disappointed when I visited your building today during lunch (1pm) only to be asked to stow my “loaded” pistol in my car. When I arrived I signed-in when asked by the receptionist and then went directly to the store. I believe I was the only customer in the store and the only person working was a blonde woman who almost immediately asked if I was LEO. When I answered in the negative she instructed me that your policy was to only allow LEO to have loaded handguns in the building. She was polite and answered a few of my questions before I left.

    I instructed her that I was only exercising my 2A right and she replied that Blackhawk strongly supports the 2A! (If I was told to shut up while in your store I could imply that you strongly support the 1A too!) It is legal to Open Carry a handgun in Virginia. I was also using a SERPA retention holster for my USP at the time. Never did I unholster nor even attempt to touch my holstered gun while in your building. Your employee tried to explain that people like to try holsters with their guns so you don’t allow loaded guns in your store. (BTW: I was hoping to look at tactical vests) I would suggest maybe a sign saying something along the lines of, “Please do NOT unholster a loaded gun while on premises!” rather than trampling on anyone’s rights. I quietly signed out and left your building. Do you really believe that if someone had criminal intent, they would obey your policy?

    I respect your right as private property to disallow loaded firearms. I expect you to respect my right to shop elsewhere. (Ironically, two SERPA holsters were on my doorstep when I returned home from a recent online order) I explained to your employee that just like a restaurant that asks me to stow my gun in my car, I will leave but not return. I shop at Home Depot, Food Lion, Mc Donalds, Walmart all the time and don’t get asked to disarm! I even shop for holsters at my local range (The Marksman) and don’t get asked to disarm.

    I am flabbergasted that a company that creates and sells gun related products wouldn’t allow average citizens to openly carry in your store. Please review your policy and notify me of any decision to change it. I will post this letter as well as any response you supply (in full) on the open carry forum.

    Respectfully yours,
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 07-15-2010 at 04:34 PM. Reason: final version sent

  2. #2
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    "Your employee tried to explain that people like to try holsters with their guns so you don’t allow loaded guns in your store."

    Not a bad letter, but for the above reason, in that type of place, I would think twice about allowing folks to bring guns in too. Obvioulsy, they've been burned.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  3. #3
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Same problem they have with gun shows. They both need a more limited policy:

    "Loaded weapons shall remain holstered at all times."

    TFred

  4. #4
    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    Good letter and well written. Keep us updated.

    Jero

  5. #5
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    My first goal is to try to see if they will change their policy.

    If they choose not to change do you consider their policy boycot-able? I don't boycot gunshows even though I have to unload. I figure the sellers don't have a choice because of the insurance and the venue rules. In this case this is their building and their store that they do have control over both.

    While at the Marksman I can look at holsters while armed but do unload before placing a pistol in one. That is simply common sense but as you can see from the letter above I already have SERPA's for my pistols and was wanting to look at their vests. Since this is their HQ and they have 3 floors above their store a ND could affect their other workers easily.

    Also if I then choose to give my business to someone like Safariland, who can tell me if their stores are any better as far as policy?

    I was literally flaberrgasted to be asked to leave. I don't want to boycott them since they make such good products. So I am torn as to what to do if they reject the plea to change.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 07-14-2010 at 09:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    The age old problem. Why should I pay for the idiots mistakes.

    When you figure the answer out...please tell me what it is.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    "Loaded weapons shall remain holstered at all times."
    Which could create a conundrum in some peoples' minds as many of us have been taught from the beginning to treat EVERY GUN as if it is loaded.

    When I went to Extreme Outfitters on Shore Drive (near Pleasure House) I was trying out holsters. I carried my sidearm in on my hip and had the one I was shopping for in the case. I took it out of the case. I made sure the magazine was out. I cycled the action to verify that the chamber was empty. I tried it in a few holsters to see which one might suit my needs.

    How the heck else do you find out if a product will work with your sidearm?
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  8. #8
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    Which could create a conundrum in some peoples' minds as many of us have been taught from the beginning to treat EVERY GUN as if it is loaded.
    Yet another reason why that is a stupid rule.

    The only plausible version of that rule is, "Every gun is loaded, until you have personally verified that it is NOT loaded." I would add a corollary that states, "Re-apply Rule #1 every time you freshly handle any gun."

    Rules with ambiguous exceptions are doomed to fail. One must employ exceptions to that rule to do any cleaning, evaluation for purchase, even to unload, decock and store a gun that does not have a de-cocking function built in. None of these exceptions are stated in that rule, so how do you know whether it is OK or not OK to treat the gun as if it is loaded?

    With that version of the rule, nobody could ever look to see if they are about to buy a gun with a rusted barrel. Nobody could ever measure a trigger pull. Etc, etc, etc...

    The simple fact is that we must do things with our guns while they are unloaded that we would absolutely not do when they are loaded. To embrace a rule that does not account for that is nonsense, and very dangerous.

    TFred

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Yet another reason why that is a stupid rule.

    The only plausible version of that rule is, "Every gun is loaded, until you have personally verified that it is NOT loaded." I would add a corollary that states, "Re-apply Rule #1 every time you freshly handle any gun."

    Rules with ambiguous exceptions are doomed to fail. One must employ exceptions to that rule to do any cleaning, evaluation for purchase, even to unload, decock and store a gun that does not have a de-cocking function built in. None of these exceptions are stated in that rule, so how do you know whether it is OK or not OK to treat the gun as if it is loaded?

    With that version of the rule, nobody could ever look to see if they are about to buy a gun with a rusted barrel. Nobody could ever measure a trigger pull. Etc, etc, etc...

    The simple fact is that we must do things with our guns while they are unloaded that we would absolutely not do when they are loaded. To embrace a rule that does not account for that is nonsense, and very dangerous.

    TFred
    +1

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    To embrace a rule that does not account for that is nonsense, and very dangerous.
    Hence the conundrum.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  11. #11
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    To the OP...
    I have felt precisely the same way about many gun shops and considered writing a letter similar to your (which was very well-written, btw).
    I however have come to understand that customers bringing in guns that are loaded as well as others that are unloaded AND allowing them to try them out with holsters presents a problem the store attendants, the lawyers, and the insurance companies just cannot deal with. I can accept this now, even though I did not always.
    I however cannot accept for a minute that their is a prohibition in ALL of these policies for LEO's. There is no rational reason to believe they:
    a) are better trained than me
    b) have more common sense than I do
    c) are of more sound mind than myself

    Anyone running a gun-related shop should understand that many cops have neither the inclination nor the government funding to train as much as myself or a host of other gun owners in VA.
    I know why they have these exemptions and it's entirely because if cops were disarmed, they'd complain to their colleagues and superiors and something would be done about it. When citizens complain, we're marginalized and dismissed.

  12. #12
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments, the letter is inthe mail and I will await a reply.

    Not holding my breath for any changes though.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Walt_Kowalski's Avatar
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    Thanks for writing them. I eagerly await hearing their reply. I currently run a Galco holster, and was considering the purchase of a CF Blackhawk Serpa holster. Your reply from Blackhawk will determine if I spend my money with them.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
    -- George Washington

  14. #14
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt_Kowalski View Post
    Thanks for writing them. I eagerly await hearing their reply. I currently run a Galco holster, and was considering the purchase of a CF Blackhawk Serpa holster. Your reply from Blackhawk will determine if I spend my money with them.
    I will post what they respond but am on the fence as whether to boycot or not. It would be interesting to see if Galco, Safariland and other brands had stores (at their HQ) and how they treated OC or carrying in general. Anyone up to do the research and post threads in the locale they reside, asking for volunteers to OC to their stores? :-)

    So in other words, I don't know if it makes sense to boycot BlackHawk when the brand you are choosing instead may be as bad or worse as far as their policy. With all the good products Blackhawk makes for our group I can't say outright that they are anti. It is like saying Kimber is anti since they are made in New York, or Springfield because they are made in Illinois. I know you won't be able to OC at either of their HQ's!

    Now with that said, I won't shop at their HQ-store unless they change policy because I am not going to disarm.

  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    Thanks for all the comments, the letter is inthe mail and I will await a reply.

    Not holding my breath for any changes though.
    I am thinking if I get time tomorrow.. I will send them a postcard.

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    Even after I verify a firearm is unloaded, I still wouldn't put it to my head and pull the trigger or point it at other people.
    Last edited by nova; 07-15-2010 at 04:55 PM.

  17. #17
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    Even after I verify a firearm is unloaded, I still wouldn't put it to my head and pull the trigger or point it at other people.
    No you wouldn't, but those are covered by the other rules.

    TFred

  18. #18
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    I am thinking if I get time tomorrow.. I will send them a postcard.

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    I've read posts on other forums from gunstore employees who have been swept by the muzzles of loaded guns as stupid customers unholster their carry pistols to check the fit of some accessory, or to compare some feature of their gun to that of a one they're considering for purchase. No-loaded-gun policies in gun stores, gun accessory stores and gun shows are posted for the protection of the employees and other customers, because of the stupidity of some customers. There have been negligent discharges in these environments. That said, I would prefer these places to adopt a policy of "loaded guns to remain hostered at all times."

  20. #20
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Their present policy of No Guns except for law enforcement is ludicrous.

    They said is was because people want to trial fit guns in holsters? How can one trial fit if guns are NOT allowed? Is a cased gun automatically safe?

    Second "only law enforcement?" And who is the more dangerous - the non-uniformed citizen or LE? Don't bother to answer that one.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  21. #21
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Their present policy of No Guns except for law enforcement is ludicrous.

    They said is was because people want to trial fit guns in holsters? How can one trial fit if guns are NOT allowed? Is a cased gun automatically safe?

    Second "only law enforcement?" And who is the more dangerous - the non-uniformed citizen or LE? Don't bother to answer that one.
    Their policy is that no loaded guns are allowed except for LEO. She told me I could go out to my car and unload it and bring it back.

  22. #22
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    Their policy is that no loaded guns are allowed except for LEO. She told me I could go out to my car and unload it and bring it back.
    Did anyone check it for unloaded/safe or do they just accept the word of another?

    If they did check it, do they use an approved unloading station for safe check?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  23. #23
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Did anyone check it for unloaded/safe or do they just accept the word of another?

    If they did check it, do they use an approved unloading station for safe check?
    When I was onsite, there was one woman working. I am not sure what "checking" she would do if you wanted to bring an unloaded gun in to try holsters. If I was to bring one I would have the mag out and slide locked back and let them examine it.

    Since I told her mine "was" loaded she didn't have to examine anything just jumped to the knee-jerk policy statement that I couldn't be there since I wasn't LEO!

  24. #24
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Does "No, I'm not a LEO" mean the same as "Yes, I'm not a LEO?"
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    If I was to bring one I would have the mag out and slide locked back and let them examine it.
    This. It's how I've done it. It's a good policy. It works well. Drop the mag and lock it back. It's not that fing hard....
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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