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Thread: Negative Encounter at Lowes in Columbus, GA

  1. #1
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    Angry Negative Encounter at Lowes in Columbus, GA

    Reposting from OCDO


    Negative Encounter at Lowes in Columbus, GA


    Went to Lowes today to grab some insulation hangers. I usually OC a Springfield XDm in a Serpa. I wasn't in the store more than ten minutes. Found my hangers. Decided I didn't want to wait in the lumber area to check out and headed to the Self Checkout area. Stopped to grab some safety glasses on the way and was greeted by the store manager as I left the aisle.

    He gives me the, "How are you today, sir?"
    I give him, "I'm doing okay"

    Then the real business. He mentions that five people have approached different managers (In ten minutes?) concerned that I'm walking around with a gun. I asked him if it was a problem. He says it is because he has to consider the safety and comfort of the customers. I replied that I was also a customer entitled to the same thing. He then tells me that since people have complained that while I'm in the store he asks that I conceal my gun. I told him that it was not going to happen and that if he wished to dictate the way in which I was to carry then the store did not deserve my business. I asked him if it was corporate policy that I was not allowed to carry openly in the store. He said it was. I told him it that his assertion ran contrary to what I'd understood to be Lowes policy to manage carry in stores in line with state laws. He disagreed.

    He then said that since I didn't want to conceal and if I was on my way to check out that he would gladly escort me to the counter. Now I was maybe 15 seconds from hitting self checkout and going on my merry way to sweat for hours in a dirty crawlspace. But, I wasn't about to let him make me feel like I needed to be escorted around like I was doing something wrong. I asked him if the bottom line was that he was not going to let me shop here if I declined to cover up my gun. He said that was the case and I handed him my items, asked for the number to the corporate office and his last name.

    Matthew Tew - Store Manager

    I dialed corporate on my way out and spoke to Michelle at customer service. I asked her to confirm his version of policy. She quoted that Lowes had a policy to honor Federal, State and Local ordinances. She took my complaint, the managers name and said that District Manager Michael Bowden should contact me regarding the incident in one business day.

    What disappoints me the most is that I've had only one occasion in which I've found myself walking into a store open-carrying behind someone else doing the same. It was at this Lowes. Been there many times open-carrying but will not go back until this issue is clarified to my satisfaction. I'm not going back when there's a sticky policy that allows me to open carry until enough customers vote me out.

    Ended up spending more for the same items at Home Depot. Worth it.

    UPDATE

    I'm happy to report that I received a call from the district manager who agreed that I was not doing anything wrong and that the manager made the wrong decision. He reiterated that The position of Lowes is to align their policy with the laws already in place and that he would see to it that his employees are better trained in how to react to these situations.

    I requested and am still awaiting an email from him. I'll update when it arrives.
    Last edited by Possmo; 08-10-2011 at 12:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Yea, I have carried at Lowes many times with no issues. This manager wanted to have his own policy. If you get a call from the district manager that open carry is okay, get him to email it to you so you have it in writing. Good luck and let us know what happens.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  3. #3
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Don't you wish you could say something like this?:

    "If I'm so scary, how do you (the Manager) have the balls to come up here and hassle me?"
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  4. #4
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Why dial on the way out. Why not dial while talking with the manager. Let him talk to corporate!
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Don't you wish you could say something like this?:

    "If I'm so scary, how do you (the Manager) have the balls to come up here and hassle me?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Venator View Post
    Why dial on the way out. Why not dial while talking with the manager. Let him talk to corporate!
    +1 to both!

    Possmo was probably more patient and polite than I would have been. I'd have invited the manager to accompany me to the check-out, completed the sale, then demanded a full refund on the spot. (I admit, my contrary streak doesn't make me the best public face for the OC movement.)

    Of course, I probably would have also called him a liar right to his face, for his claim that five different customers had approached managers and complained, all within 10 minutes. I like Lowes and frequently shop there, but I'm willing to be that during that 10 minute period, there were at least five different customers who couldn't find a single employee to help them find what they were looking for. The idea that five shoppers found managers is just ludicrous.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    OC at Lowes in Colorado Springs is a non-issue. Same at HD and Wally. At Big R, which I think is CO local only, my daughter bought a Hi-Point. I was carrying my Hi-Power. Comments I got at the Sports Department were to the effect of "great gun!" But, while OC is perfectly fine, if you buy a gun, they have to walk you out with it. The guy who did said "I know how dumb this is, but it's an insurance thing." So no problem with my loaded Hi-Power, but the unloaded in a box Hi-Point was an issue.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

  7. #7
    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venator View Post
    Why dial on the way out. Why not dial while talking with the manager. Let him talk to corporate!
    I'll take it one step further.

    Why talk to the manager at all? Why answer his questions? Get his name and call the corporate office right there. Inform corporate you are being harassed by one of their employees.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
    Alexcabbie

  8. #8
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet
    I'll take it one step further.
    Why talk to the manager at all? Why answer his questions? Get his name and call the corporate office right there. Inform corporate you are being harassed by one of their employees.
    While I appreciate the sentiment, it is private property, & he is a duly authorized representative of the owner of that property, so he can tell someone to leave.

    (As long as it's not for a legally-prohibited reason... kicking out a gun-toter who is minding his own business while gathering project supplies is perfectly acceptable under the law, kicking out a Bible-toter who's walking around preaching & bothering customers isn't.)

    But unless he's actually telling the OP to leave (which he didn't), yeah, calling corporate while he's trying to get in your face does have a certain appeal.

    Would be interesting to have the corporate / cust. svc. numbers for various local businesses in one's cell phone for just such occasions.
    "Are you the manager? And your name is? OK, just a sec please...
    [dials the 800#]
    Hi, I'm in your store in X city, & a manager by the name of Y is bothering me while I'm trying to shop, because I'm lawfully armed as protected by state & federal law.
    I understood your company followed state & federal laws. Did I misunderstand, so I & my friends should avoid shopping here in the future?

    Yeah, that's what I thought, too. Could you please contact the store, or may I hand my phone to the manager & you tell him that right now?
    Oh, and here's my email, would you please send me an email confirming this, just so I won't have any problems in the future?
    Thanks."
    Last edited by MKEgal; 08-08-2011 at 02:16 AM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    While I appreciate the sentiment, it is private property, & he is a duly authorized representative of the owner of that property, so he can tell someone to leave.
    Interesting. Can you be charged with trespassing if asked to leave by an employee even if they have the policy wrong?
    Last edited by HandyHamlet; 08-08-2011 at 02:40 AM.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
    Alexcabbie

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet View Post
    Interesting. Can you be charged with trespassing if asked to leave by an employee even if they have the policy wrong?
    Good question. I would think so. The police are local. They are going to accept the store manager's say-so for jurisdiction for his store.

    Any disagreement you have will have to be taken up with corporate and that isn't likely going to be in time, though it may get an apology later.

  11. #11
    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possmo View Post

    He mentions that five people have approached different managers (In ten minutes?) concerned that I'm walking around with a gun.
    Manager was a liar too.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    ^^ Yeah. Good luck finding the manager once in five minute time limitation.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  13. #13
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet View Post
    Interesting. Can you be charged with trespassing if asked to leave by an employee even if they have the policy wrong?
    He is an agent of the owner being the store manager. Ultimately, he can do what he pleases until told otherwise by someone higher up the food chain.

  14. #14
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    I call utter horse crap on 5 people complaining. I carry in Lowes in NC ALL the time and have never even heard of someone complaining. I bet the store employee was just another bed wetter.

  15. #15
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    In many states one must be an agent of the business to be able to order someone out. In Louisiana you must be an agent to do this. An agent (in la.)is someone who has the authority to sue on behalf of the principal. A regular employee does not qualify as an agent here.

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