Rifle-ing Through The Bad Customers

| Right | July 31, 2017

(Our store sells firearms. Among my duties, I am part of the Risk Management (safety) and Loss Prevention teams. If a manager is not around or an unusual situation arises, coworkers often run to me. One runs up, breathlessly.)

Coworker: “You need to come up front right now. There is a guy with a rifle!”

Me: “I will go, but you need to go get a store manager. Now.”

Coworker: “They are all in a meeting. They only left [Department Manager] in charge.”

Me: “Go to the meeting room. Open the door. Tell them it is a code red to the front.”

(We don’t have a code for this but red will bring them running. Keep in mind, there is a large sign on the door, and it is well known, that if you need to bring a firearm in for a return, a manager must hold the firearm while it is in the store unless you have a license. I find the guy who looks really ticked off and go up to him.)

Me: “Hello, sir! If you have a license, you are welcome to bring your side-arms in the store; however, rifles must be carried by a manager while in the store. You may step back outside, or I can hold it for you. A manager is already on the way to help you.”

(The man ignores me. He is looking at some end cap. I repeat myself and he starts to walk further in the store. I block his way.)

Customer: “Get the f*** out of my way!”

(He is now carrying the rifle in one hand and waving it around. He is NOT carrying it like a normal, sane person would.)

Me: “Sir, I would be happy to assist you. Please point the gun at the floor. Look around. People are scared. We just want to be safe. Do you want ammunition for the gun?”

(The customer starts screaming profanities. Everyone up front is staring in shock. No one is getting checked out. I am signaling for everyone to clear out as this guy is not right. I keep babbling and dancing in front of him for what seems like an eternity but is really only a minute or two until our very capable store manager and assistant store manager came running up. They immediately see the situation and hear him screaming.)

Assistant Store Manager: “Get everyone out of here. Now.”

(He and the store manager started to talk to the man who managed to scream even louder and come up with new profanities. I started to get everyone at the front end away towards the entrance doors. Of course, we had those in the middle of checking out that did not want to leave their stuff. I was not very nice to those. I was just herding the last stragglers when someone in front of me screamed. I turn and look back to see the two managers had tackled the man to the floor. It was a pretty good fight but the one manager was not small and the other was wiry. They literally sat on him until the police came. Turned out the guy just wanted a scope for his rifle. He had bought one and it didn’t fit so he wanted to bring the rifle in to make sure it fit right, which is not an unusual request at our store. He was not a felon but he was on probation for, you guessed it, assault, so he violated his parole and got sent back to jail. He also tried to sue us for the bruises he got from the managers!)

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