Visiting a gun shop for the first time can be daunting. But if you want to arm yourself and join the ranks of the millions of patriotic gun-toting citizens, you'll need to step inside and start shopping.
Don't Dry Fire Without Permission
It's also recommended that you do not dry fire a pistol without first asking the attendant for permission. Dry firing refers to the process of pulling the trigger of an empty, unloaded firearm. Many owners dry fire to improve their drawing, aiming, and magazine ejecting skills. However, some of the older model pistols – particularly those with a rimfire design – may become damaged when dry fired. Pulling the trigger will cause the striker to hit the mouth of the barrel instead of the cartridge. Over time, this can result in damage to the barrel, decreasing the gun's accuracy and increasing the risk of malfunction.
Bring Your Gun in a Case
If you're planning to sell or trade one of your firearms, you should bring it in a case. Most gun shops don't require guns to be stored in a case, but it's proper etiquette nonetheless. Walking inside of a gun shop or pawn shop with a pistol in your hand doesn't exactly look comforting to the employees. Even if they assume you are there to sell your gun, they'll probably feel uneasy seeing a person walking into their store with a pistol in hand. For this reason, you should pick up a cheap hard-shell case for your gun if you plan on taking it to the shop.
Point the Muzzle in a Safe Direction
The golden rule of firearm safety is to keep the muzzle pointed away from any person, animal or thing that you do not intend to shoot, and gun shops are no exception. If the attendant hands you to gun to “check out,” point the muzzle down and away. Sure, it's doubtful the gun is loaded, but again this is proper etiquette when visiting a gun shop.
Bring Your Gun Permit
Concealed carry weapons (CCW) license holders should bring their permit when shopping for a new gun. Gun shops are required by law to run a background check on all customers who purchase guns. Without a CCW, this background check is conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in which case you can expect it to take longer. But if you have a CCW, the background check is usually conducted through your respective state's database, which is faster.
What About Price Negotiations?
It's completely okay to negotiate – or try to negotiate – a lower price with the gun dealer. If a 9mm Ruger is listed for $350, you can ask the dealer if he or she will take less. As long as the price difference is reasonable, negotiations such as this are perfectly fine.
After reading this, you should have a better idea of proper gun shop etiquette. If you have any questions, ask the attendant.They frequently can inform you not only about the guns sold in their shop, but also about legal use and transportation of firearms.