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Tsk Tsk Salesman, Tsk Tsk

By Dana

Female and One heck of a shotgunner!
Last weekend at our ladies shoot I fired a 12 gauge shotgun at some stationary clays. I had no problem hitting each one or with handling the shotgun at all and I absolutely LOVED it! I was told last weekend that its “hard to miss” with a shotgun but still it was fun and now I want one.

I was feeling pretty disheartened after the election results so to make me feel a little better I went to a certin big box retailer to pick up some ammo and since I was there figured that I’d check out their shotguns. I really don’t know anything about shotguns like which brand I should get so I was happy to see 5 or so men in the sporting goods area decked out in their camo so I decided to ask if any of them had a shotgun.

Most replied “yes” and were happy to engage in a conversation about which brand they had. Nearly everyone had a Remington and one guy said he had a Mossberg. The men got what they needed, told me good luck, and left. It was now my turn at the counter.

I started by asking for my boxes of ammunition the CCI Mini Mags that Walther loves but they were sold out so I picked up some boxes of Winchester for the rifle and this is what transpired next:

Me: “If I was to get a shotgun, what kind would you recommend?”

Clerk said with concern: “Ma'am, I don’t mean to ‘downgrade women’ but you couldn’t handle one. If you do get one you should get a 20 gauge.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. At least he didn’t ask me if I wanted it in pink!

He did tell me if I wanted to buy one that I’d need to provide photo ID and go through a background check but that shouldn’t take long at all especially since I already had my pistol permit.

Just to be clear, he wasn’t NOT going to sell me a gun. This isn't like the story from a few months back, where a store clerk refused to sell a women a shotgun because it was “too much gun for her". I honestly don’t think that he meant any harm; I think that in his mind he was helping me because he believed that, as a woman, I could not handle the recoil.

So far, no matter where I go locally to purchase firearms or ammunition,* it seems that I’m treated differently, simply because I am a woman. The belief seems to be that I couldn’t possibly know about nor have a passion for firearms.

Even though I’ve been downgraded, I haven’t given up. I’m sure my perfect gun store is out there, I just haven’t found it yet!

* Editor's note: Generally speaking, Dana is located in the northeastern part of the US. Specifically, south of Canada, north of NYC and east of the Great Lakes.
©2012 ArmedCandy,LLC

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Ko I said...

Yeah, I worked as a gun sales person for six years and heard that sort of coddling from husbands and boyfriends all too often. If it wasn't "I'm going to get her a revolver because a semi-automatic is too complicated for her," it was the same sort of thing you got. The first I always liked to respond with, "Does she drive? Cars have like ten times as many controls as the most complicated gun here does. She'll figure it out in no time."

Even women tended to ask about it in that sort of fashion. "What kind of guns do you have for women?" As if there's really an innate difference.

Von Lute said...

I used to work in a gun shop, in the '70s, always used to be as helpful as possible, if anyone asked for a rec, I would first ask what the gun would be most used for, any brand preference, previous experience/training. Also offered free training at a public shooting range on my day(s) off. Safe gun handling, marksmanship, and care & maintenance instruction. Am sure this was both helpful & resulted in more gun sales than otherwise would have happened! V. R. Lute MSgt, USMC (Ret.)

Dana said...

Love your car response! I'll be sure to use it the next time.

Dana said...

I love that you asked questions and did your best to make people feel welcome and respected while in your gun shop and I have no doubt that you are right that it increased sales and created repeat customers for the shop. If I could find somewhere where I felt comfortable they would have a customer for life.

Tam said...


Dave Stein said...

My Mom. 68 yrs. AutoOrdnance 1911 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u09caRk_OtI

Susan said...

I just completed an NRA women on target shotgun event. They had us shooting trap and we were all hitting the clays on our first time. The first Shotgun I shot that day was a Remington 12g. I loved it. It had a lot of punch in it, but nothing I couldn't handle and I'm not a big girl. I really liked auto loading one. We shot several different kinds including a .410 pump which was also fun. Good luck in your search and don't be afraid to just get whatever you like or suits your needs.

Julie Washburn said...

I have had several bad experience at gun stores. Most times I just have a hard time getting waited on. When I bought my first gun, I did my research ahead of time, and knew exactly what I wanted. It was the Kahr CW9. Since it was fairly new at the time, all the logal gun shops were on back order. I decided to chance to Gun Show that was in town. I found it at one of the booths and waited and waited to be served. The salesman walked past me several times offering to help men who hadn't been waiting as long. Finally he came up to my friend (who is a guy) and offered to help him. He pointed the salesman my direction. I told him I wanted to purchase the gun. He then proceeded to show my friend how to use the gun, handed it to him to check out, and then when it came time to purchase it he spoke to him. Never to me. It was a horrible experience. One other time, I went into a gun shop and the old man behind the counter took one look at me and said "the pinkies are down there" while pointing to the end of the display counter. Yes, just because I'm a girl, that must mean I was looking for pink.

Eugene Edward Yeo said...

Yeah, this was my reaction right here. My kid sister is a better shot than I (with five years in the Army) can ever *hope* to be. That said, nothing wrong with a 20. I love mine, got started young with a little break-action and have been hooked since. Of course, when I get the side by side ten, I'm sure she'll be wanting to shoot it second.

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