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Old 03-15-2013, 02:17 PM
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Default Banned from buying at Academy Sports?

Have you ever heard of anyone being told they couldn't buy a handgun because they expressed their opinion?

Now, this story concerns my brother-in-law (honestly, this isn't about me.) He is a disabled veteran, had been diagnosed with PTSD, has some issues resulting from chemicals he was exposed to in Desert Storm, and also has a physical disability from a helicopter crash he was in while serving in Iraq. (He was in the Marine Corps.)

Most of the time he seems fairly normal, conversationally, but sometimes he will get very excited, talking fast and waving his hands, and then he loses his train of thought and frequently changes subjects while he is talking. He does sound like a nut case when he does that.

He called me last night, saying that he had been in Academy Sports, trying to buy a handgun...while he was talking to the counter salesman, they got to talking about the conditions currently, and my BIL said that while he was expressing his opinion, a supervisor/manager walked up and told him he couldn't buy a gun there and asked him to leave. He said that if the supervisor or manager had come up a little earlier, he would have heard the counter salesman expressing the same disgust with "things" as he was. (For the record, I've never heard him threaten anyone, or make any statements that would lead me to assume he is dangerous...he gets excited and forgetful, but I do not think he is or has ever sounded violent. He has also bought handguns before, at a gun shop, and passed the background check, evidently.)

He said he went to another Academy Sports store, and they told him he was in their system as unable to buy a handgun from them for 30 days...it wasn't a background check issue, because one had not been done yet (apparently he filled out the 4473, but they hadn't processed it yet.) He said he was told it was "store policy" and each store had the discretion to refuse to sell, and other stores had the discretion to abide by that in their own store. He said they did sell him a shotgun at the second store, though.

Now, this is all by his account...it sounds very bizarre to me. Like I said, I've never known him to make any comments that would make me believe he has any issues with violence, paranoia, etc. I thought about calling Academy Sports and seeing if I could verify that, but I don't know if they'd talk to me about it...I have no authority, power of attorney, or guardianship over him, etc.

Has anyone heard of anything like this?
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:26 PM
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Nope.

Do they have a posted policy somewhere? Like at a tavern they post 'We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone we feel is intoxicated'.

Maybe they have a sign 'We reserve the right to refuse to sell to anyone we feel may be raving mad, or preparing to commit a criminal offense'.

I would think if someone came in and said, "Hey buddy, help me pick out a gun because my neighbor has ticked me off for the last time and I plan on doing something about it! " they may refuse to sell the guy a bazooka.

Sounds reasonable.... Everyone tries to cover their behinds nowadays.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:31 PM
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Years ago it used to be standard that a store had a right to refuse service to anyone.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:36 PM
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I don't know if they have a sign posted...I've never noticed one when I've been in Academy Sports stores. I can also understand not wanting to sell a handgun (or any other weapon) to someone who appeared irrational or perhaps had mental issues.

What confuses me about this strange tale is the "30 days" he is supposedly banned from buying...and the second store wouldn't sell him a handgun on that basis, but did sell him a shotgun (so he says, I haven't seen it.) This whole thing just sounds very, very strange to me.

He didn't sound any different to me than he usually does...so, I don't think he is cracking up. There have been many times when we were talking that I felt like telling him to stop, but that is just because it is annoying, not threatening. I can easily see that someone who doesn't know him could think he was a nut...but the 30 day ban? It seems to me that rather than a cooling off period, if they had any concerns about his mental state, they would have said no sales at all, ever, period.

BTW, I'm not arguing about the store's right to sell or not sell...that is and should be their right. It really is the 30 day ban on handguns and then selling him a shotgun.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:37 PM
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Never heard of it but if he was diagnosed with PTSD and he told them about it it could have been the issue it's CYA with things that are going on. They don't know what level PTSD he has and some with some he should be kept away from firearms until it is controled. As from US Department of Veterns Affairs "Studies show that suicide risk is higher in persons with PTSD" there are other factors involved also that increase risk. Suicide and PTSD - NATIONAL CENTER for PTSDDisclaimer Iám not a DR nor have any medical experiance just what I have read at the above site.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:41 PM
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Never heard of it but if he was diagnosed with PTSD and he told them about it it could have been the issue it's CYA with things that are going on.
I thought about that...but he doesn't usually tell people, and he says that he was talking about politics. This is all his version of events, but I've never heard him express any violent intent, or wish to harm himself or others.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:02 PM
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As someone who has been on the owner's side of the gun counter, I can tell you that if at any time you feel "wiggly" about a customer buying a gun, you can refuse to sell him/her one. As a dealer, you listen to everything they say and watch how they act, in order to satisfy due diligence that this isn't a straw purchase, but also if someone gets the hair on the back of your neck to stand up and you feel your Spidey Sense tingling, it's usually a good idea to politely deny them service.

Does the ATF require this
? Not per se, but no FF licensee wants to be the one who sold the "crazy-mass-murderer" the tools of destruction. It's bad for business.

Your brother in law probably got the store manager's Spidey Sense going, and he wanted to stop the (probably what he deemed as "not politically correct") conversation from continuing in front of the other customers.

I'm just guessing, here. I could be way off.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:38 PM
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Your brother in law probably got the store manager's Spidey Sense going, and he wanted to stop the (probably what he deemed as "not politically correct") conversation from continuing in front of the other customers.
I think you're probably right.

I think the second store used some poor judgement, in selling him a shotgun...seeing that he had an issue in their own system. That's just my opinion, and he was probably calm in their store...but still, if I was the salesman/manager of the second store, I wouldn't have sold him a gun of any kind either.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:05 PM
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As someone who has been on the owner's side of the gun counter...

As a dealer, you listen to everything they say and watch how they act...

Your brother in law probably got the store manager's Spidey Sense going, and he wanted to stop the (probably what he deemed as "not politically correct") conversation from continuing in front of the other customers...

I'm just guessing, here. I could be way off.
True ^^^ I've also had the opposite happen and had store owners and clerks in the smaller shops try to "get my goat" with some spurious comments of their own.

All depends on how a person reacts or doesnt react I guess.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:22 PM
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You state that he was "expressing his opinion"

Do you know by chance what that was or what they were talking about?? It's all guess work on everyone's part without being there and hearing what was said.

If his opinion was about doing something drastic or illegal for example, the alarms would go off.

I have seen a FFL refuse to sell a gun to someone (think it was more a possible straw purchase)
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:54 PM
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Gun store I used to work at... if we smelled alcohol it was an automatic no sale.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:55 PM
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First let me say that I have banned myself from Academy Sports because of their lack of customer service. They act like they just don't give a you know what. On the other hand I can see them being very careful who they sell guns to. Don
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:14 PM
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I haD a woman at Dunhams, refuse to sell me a 15-22 one day. It was 2weeks or so before Christmas and I look the rifle over and say I'll take it...you think my wife will like it?

She says in a very upity tone "Well...if it's for your wife, she has to come in and fill out the paper work."

I replied "It's Christmas, wouldn't be much of a suprise would it. Take your gun" and handed it back to her and walked out.

Now don't bother posting about a bunch of straw purchace nonsence. It's friggin Christmas time, everbody buying a gun is buying it for someone else.

I went to my LGS and had him order me one, couple more bucks but well worth it.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:26 PM
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No store is REQUIRED to sell a product any particular individual, so long as the reason for denial is not due to race, creed, color, sexual orientation, religion, national origin and maybe other "protected" categories of persons.

If your bro demonstrated evidence of PTSD, or started waving and gesticulating in an odd fashion as you describe, it is probabaly a very good idea to deny him a gun.

Right now, mental illness and gun ownership is very much on people's minds because we think most mass murderers are crazy, and here are some recent mass murders.

This is supposed to be a free country. The gun store is free to choose to not sell to whoever they decide not to sell to, for any reason or for no reason (other than the protected classes). To me, that freedom is a great thing about America.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:39 PM
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I haD a woman at Dunhams, refuse to sell me a 15-22 one day. It was 2weeks or so before Christmas and I look the rifle over and say I'll take it...you think my wife will like it?

She says in a very upity tone "Well...if it's for your wife, she has to come in and fill out the paper work."

I replied "It's Christmas, wouldn't be much of a suprise would it. Take your gun" and handed it back to her and walked out.

Now don't bother posting about a bunch of straw purchace nonsence. It's friggin Christmas time, everbody buying a gun is buying it for someone else.

I went to my LGS and had him order me one, couple more bucks but well worth it.

It is perfectly legal for you to purchase a firearm as a gift for anyone in your immediate family, including your wife! The ATF has no problem with that.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:49 PM
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You state that he was "expressing his opinion"

Do you know by chance what that was or what they were talking about?? It's all guess work on everyone's part without being there and hearing what was said.

If his opinion was about doing something drastic or illegal for example, the alarms would go off.

I have seen a FFL refuse to sell a gun to someone (think it was more a possible straw purchase)
No, I don't know what he was talking about, other than what he told me...and as I said, he's never expressed any violent tendencies that I am aware of. He is prejudiced, racially, although he doesn't usually express that in the general public, and he is very disgusted with the political climate and other things going on in this country. I've heard him express his opinions many times, and other than the excited gestures and sudden changes in topic or lapses, he doesn't say anything any worse than you hear most conservatives saying. I really think it is his manner of expressing more than the content. Like I said, if you don't know him, and he gets going on one of his excited discourses, you might really think he is a nut.

I certainly don't disagree with any store or store owner's decision to sell or not sell (as long as it isn't prejudicial, based on a protected class, for example) and in fact, if he came to my store and I didn't know my BIL, I don't think I would sell him a gun either.

As I said, the strangest thing to me of this whole incident (assuming that his version of events is accurate) is the 30 day period, and the second store selling him the shotgun.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:06 PM
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"Most of the time he seems fairly normal, conversationally, but sometimes he will get very excited, talking fast and waving his hands, and then he loses his train of thought and frequently changes subjects while he is talking. He does sound like a nut case when he does that".

I'm sorry, but should your BIL own a gun? What if..... Your description of his behaviour makes me wary.

I do respect his service for our country, but maybe there is a reason to re- evaluate the whole situation.

Regards,

Hobie
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:19 PM
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It is perfectly legal for you to purchase a firearm as a gift for anyone in your immediate family, including your wife! The ATF has no problem with that.
True, but then you would have been bothering the staff with facts, and you know how well that goes.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:22 PM
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No, I don't know what he was talking about, other than what he told me...and as I said, he's never expressed any violent tendencies that I am aware of. He is prejudiced, racially, although he doesn't usually express that in the general public, and he is very disgusted with the political climate and other things going on in this country. I've heard him express his opinions many times, and other than the excited gestures and sudden changes in topic or lapses, he doesn't say anything any worse than you hear most conservatives saying. I really think it is his manner of expressing more than the content. Like I said, if you don't know him, and he gets going on one of his excited discourses, you might really think he is a nut.

I certainly don't disagree with any store or store owner's decision to sell or not sell (as long as it isn't prejudicial, based on a protected class, for example) and in fact, if he came to my store and I didn't know my BIL, I don't think I would sell him a gun either.

As I said, the strangest thing to me of this whole incident (assuming that his version of events is accurate) is the 30 day period, and the second store selling him the shotgun.
My guess is that the second store manager did not see the behavior the first store manager saw and decided a shotgun would be OK to sell, but since another manager had noted him in the system handhuns would be a no no. There are less strict rules for sales of shotguns compared to handguns.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:03 PM
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Well, from my 30 years of experience I make the observation that you have heard one side of the story. Believe me-there is another side to the story-there always is. After you hear both sides-what really happened lies somewhere in between. Trust me on this one-I do this for a living
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:15 PM
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My guess is that the second store manager did not see the behavior the first store manager saw and decided a shotgun would be OK to sell, but since another manager had noted him in the system handhuns would be a no no. There are less strict rules for sales of shotguns compared to handguns.
There are? Other than a waiting period if no CCW you still fill out the same 4473 and background check.18 for a long gun 21 for a handgun.

A law here in Florida that always amazed me. There is no waiting period for a a long gun of any kind. Shot Gun or one of those evil black rifles.
But if you want a 2 shot 22 handgun you need to wait. I guess those long guns aren't dangerous. (those short shotguns with pistol grip are very easy to conceal)
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:27 PM
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I'm sorry, but should your BIL own a gun? What if..... Your description of his behaviour makes me wary.

I do respect his service for our country, but maybe there is a reason to re- evaluate the whole situation.

Regards,

Hobie
You know, to be honest, I really don't feel that comfortable with him owning a gun myself. He already owns guns, and he's always wanting to talk to me about them, but I don't encourage him to do so. For one thing, talking to him is sort of like that old Abbott-Costello routine "Who's on first" and it is just maddening to try to carry on a conversation. Like I said, he's not violent, in any way that I have ever seen, but the reason I say I'm not that comfortable with him and guns is that if he gets any more forgetful than he is, I can see him "thinking" he unloaded or checked a gun, when he didn't...or forgetting that he loaded it, and have an ND.

He is divorced, so he doesn't have a spouse who can monitor him, but he does have adult children (young adults, but still capable of taking a conservator role over him.) My wife is really getting concerned about him too...again not that he is violent, or would purposely harm himself or others...but that he is getting so forgetful and can't seem to recall things he is talking about, or needs to do.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:34 PM
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There are? Other than a waiting period if no CCW you still fill out the same 4473 and background check.18 for a long gun 21 for a handgun.

A law here in Florida that always amazed me. There is no waiting period for a a long gun of any kind. Shot Gun or one of those evil black rifles.
But if you want a 2 shot 22 handgun you need to wait. I guess those long guns aren't dangerous. (those short shotguns with pistol grip are very easy to conceal)
There is no waiting period here in Texas for either handguns or long guns. If you have a CHL, you don't have to have a background check. If you don't have a CHL, and if you are buying from a dealer (not a private sale), the dealer will call in (or complete it online) and get clearance to sell you the gun. If he gets a proceed, then he takes your money and out the door you go.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:17 PM
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There is no waiting period here in Texas for either handguns or long guns. If you have a CHL, you don't have to have a background check. If you don't have a CHL, and if you are buying from a dealer (not a private sale), the dealer will call in (or complete it online) and get clearance to sell you the gun. If he gets a proceed, then he takes your money and out the door you go.
The PTSD issue is a big thing.

Here is a link to a 60 Minutes story from a few weeks back. The featured suicide is that of the stepson of my first cousin. The life and death of Clay Hunt - 60 Minutes - CBS News

I knew Clay, but not very well. Guns are not considered evil in my family and are not blamed for this tragic outcome. I'll also say that if someone selling guns is not comfortable with the customer then it is right not to sell.

I find the rules governing handgun vs long gun sales laughable.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:19 PM
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:24 PM
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:34 PM
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Doesn't matter if there were no policy signs posted or how much we may disagree with the gunshop's decision to not sell him a gun. Most serious FFL holders would shy away from anyone acting "strange" and wanting to buy firearms, and the FFL can do so at his discretion with the blessing of BATF. As a long time FFL, if the customer acted as described "sometimes".. I think I would have refused, also. A reasonable mix of common sense and CYA paranoia would lead most folks down that path.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:42 PM
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I don't tend to talk about sex or politics while buying guns...my opinions don't matter there..I just want hands on the gun!
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:49 PM
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GKC, I think I concur with most that probably your BIL gave them ample reason(s) to not sell him a handgun. I know I would be devastated if I sold an erratically acting individual a gun and they went out and murdered someone. It is a huge responsibility being a firearms retailer and it would be bad for business to sell a gun that was used in a crime and be tracked back to your business.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:51 PM
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I won't talk politics or religion in gun shops, it just seems to get ...uncomfortable.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:30 AM
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:54 AM
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Of course they sold him a shotgun. According to Joey Biden you can just randomly blast them off anywhere and they're a-ok!
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:07 PM
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Of course they sold him a shotgun. According to Joey Biden you can just randomly blast them off anywhere and they're a-ok!
Yeah, but they sold him a pump and not a double barrel...so, isn't that one of them evil, high capacity guns? AND....OMG...it is BLACK!
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