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Minors handling guns at gun stores

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by ApronAmy, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. ApronAmy

    ApronAmy Beaverton, OR Member

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    I took my daughters to a sporting goods store today to introduce them to a real, live hand gun. I wanted to demystify guns a little bit for them. They have never seen one in person before, never touched one, never had a chance to see what I'm spending so much of my time and money preparing to purchase.

    Unfortunately, the store I went to has a policy (not posted anywhere) that no one under 21 is allowed to handle the guns. Even with their mother standing right next to them. Even when the gun is obviously unloaded. Even when the children are way, way too young to even think about pretending to be old enough to buy one.

    I still let my girls touch the gun (while I held it in my hand) and ask questions but I could tell I was making the sales guy nervous. I got annoyed and walked away but after thinking about it more I went back for clarification because I was sure Oregon law says parents can give their children guns at any age.

    The second sales guy said it was just a store policy, because the store interprets "possessing a firearm" as holding one at the gun counter. When I pressed the issue about me "possessing" it and then handing it to my daughter, he reiterated that it was just a store policy he had to enforce.

    So, my questions: Is this a typical rule? Should I not even bother bringing my girls to any more gun stores? Were the sales guys overreacting? And finally, do you think all three of us being "girls" had anything to do with how quick they were to enforce their policy or am I being too sensitive?

    Thanks,
    Amy
     
  2. sprice37

    sprice37 Albany Oregon Active Member

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    Go to a different store. I have neer had that problem at a gun store. I took my 4 year old to pick out her first rifle and they had np problems woth her handling it, of course I was present. Guess what, they made a sale.
     
  3. andy*

    andy* Everson Wa Member

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    The Youth Handgun Safety Act, a Federal law,which was passed about a decade ago, made it illegal for anyone under 21 to handle a handgun. If I remember right.
    Just for the record I think it is kinda of a silly rule, myself... Andy
     
  4. SavageGerbil

    SavageGerbil Salem, OR Active Member

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    Yea, forget that store. A lot of the time its less of a matter of worrying about X happening, especially when its honestly not a big issue like that, but to an employee its all the same big issue: getting in trouble when the job market sucks. I nearly had customers go to blows with me over policies when working at the walmart photolab

    I'm just saying this guy might not be a dink, but you still shouldn't spend any money with them.
     
  5. pchewn

    pchewn Beaverton Oregon USA Well-Known Member

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    http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/i/atf-i-5300-2.pdf

    People under 18 are not allowed to own/posess the handgun.

    There is a temporary exception allowed for hunting/ranching/safety training, etc.....

    I would think that handling the gun in the store could be covered under the training section ???

    There also appears to be an exception if the juvenile has a note from mommy or daddy ... but it is really unclear to me whether this is is sufficient, or if it has to be combined with one of the many other exceptions...
     
  6. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Why not let them shoot your own? Bought that M&P compact yet? Also, it is not you being girls. Back when I was a minor, some gun stores (not all) would ask if I was 21 when I wanted to handle handguns.
     
  7. ApronAmy

    ApronAmy Beaverton, OR Member

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    Nope, haven't bought it yet... I'm saving my pennies and looking for a deal. :bluelaugh:

    I also think it's important my girls get the chance to at least see the gun before I bring one home. I want them to have a chance to ask questions and get used to the idea gradually.
     
  8. tattoo

    tattoo NorthWest Active Member

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    If we were closer than I would gladly spend a day with you and your girls and my son out at a range with what I have.
    Maybe some one who lives closer to you will cowboy up and have a safe range day with you guys, :)
    My son started when he was 9. Almost 12 now and he is much wiser and in my eyes, safer for the time we have spent at the range. We have always been able to feel out the guns at my local store. Maybe because I am a good customer? :bluelaugh:
    Dave
     
  9. ApronAmy

    ApronAmy Beaverton, OR Member

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    Thank you, Dave. My boyfriend has plenty of handguns for when I get to the point of feeling like my daughters are ready for the range. The younger one is too... um... "flighty" for me to feel comfortable handing her a loaded gun without some more safety talks and practice at home just holding it safely. Today was the first of many planned steps, just wish it had gone a little better :(
     
  10. SonicBlue03

    SonicBlue03 Snohomish Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have your own solution. Have them handle one of your boyfriends' pistols somewhere outside of the home and bypass going to a retail store.
     
  11. absoluterik07

    absoluterik07 Salem, OR Member

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    I know wholesale sports and sports authority both have that policy. I think it is more of a liability issue for the big corporate stores trying to cover their butts "just in case". It's a stupid policy if you ask me but then again you can always go somewhere else as a consumer.
     
  12. Celtic Armory

    Celtic Armory Port Orchard, WA Member

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    Aside from the "take your kids to the range" idea; go ahead and take them with you to gun stores, but don't expect the store to let them handle the firearms. While technically the law says that a dealer can't sell a handgun to anyone under 21, the BATFE could work other angles. There was a case of an adult gang member with his son in a store somewhere and was "teaching" him about the AK and such. Seems there was some flap about that incident. I would politely ask permission from the store manager to see if you could let your children handle any particular firearm, but if they say no, don't get offended. They may be worried about their business. The BATFE doesn't really need a valid reason to shut a business down. If the manager is rude about it, take your business to somewhere more polite. If I had a store and you walked in, I would permit your girls to handle a firearm provided there was hands on supervision and provided the safety rules were clearly explained and that they understood.
     
  13. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    That's partially true. As always, there are plenty of exceptions. I've had the sales person hand the gun to me then I handed it to my child. No one objected...


     
  14. gehrheart

    gehrheart fidalgo island Well-Known Member

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    In all my life I have never been questioned about my age while wanting to see a firearm, until today. I was in a pawn shop and saw what seemed like a brand new sig p225 9mm and I wanted a closer look at this $495 piece. I had to show ID to prove my age, (I'm pushing 40). Now in one way it is kind of a complement. It was explained unless I am at least 21, I can not touch the pistols.

    Weird,

    I'd find a different store. And no, I do not have a new sig.
     
  15. sandman1212

    sandman1212 NW Oregon Active Member

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    have them handle a firearm in the privacy of your home. less distractions.
     
  16. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    minors cant "own" anything to begin with.. so the whole ownership thing is pretty moot.

    youths most certainly can handle handguns. they cant just roll around town with them, but they can certainly "have" and operate their own handguns. youth shooting sports is plenty alive and well- and a damn fine thing.

    that gun shop is retarded- screw over protective/reactive rules and the people who come up with them.
     
  17. davidgpo

    davidgpo Seattle Member

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    Check out an NRA affiliated firearm safety course. In Seattle, the Washington Arms Collectors hosts free training at our gun shows. There might be similar training available in your area. Contact your local NRA for details. Also, check your local shooting ranges, many of them have staff available for training. There's lots of opportunities out there, you just have to dig a little deeper.

    David