I recently attended several First Shots events in the Las Vegas area. At the end of one of the events a young lady asked, “Where is the best place to buy a gun?”
Her question confirmed a few things for me. One, with this shooter, First Shots had accomplished the goal of creating another potential life-long participant of the shooting sports. And two, where to purchase a firearm is not an easy question to answer.
I remember purchasing my first firearm. It was at a big-box store. I did not buy one the first time I shopped. Instead, I went to the gun counter and started asking questions. I told the person behind the counter what I was looking for, and he showed me several options. I then went home and did my homework on the firearms I’d seen.
Next I talked to other people in the know and got some opinions. I was lucky; I had several friends with different types of firearms and who were kind enough to let me try them, so I could make the best decision for me. You cannot base your purchase decision on what someone else likes. Firearms are like shoes. You have to try them on for size, comfort and purpose.
I went back to the store I’d originally visited and talked with the gunsmith. While I was there I also noticed the store had classes on gun cleaning, types of shooting activities and events and a few other things. I learned the names of the guys at the gun counter, the gunsmith and even a few of the managers.
That store became my go-to place for information. Yes, I purchased my firearm from them, not because it was the best price or the best deal. I purchased it because of the people. I felt that I could trust them — and not just with the purchase of the gun, but with information. I knew if I had a question, someone there would be able to answer it or steer me in the right direction to find the answer on my own.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has more than 12,000 members. A large percentage of those members are retailers. We offer many benefits to our members including best practices for working with customers and hiring practices for store staff. Retailers who display the NSSF “Proud Member” sign on their door represent the businesses who understand the importance of customer service.
My advice? When looking to purchase a firearm, look through our database of NSSF member retailers, do your homework before you get there and ask a lot of questions. Feel good about the purchase your about to make, not just about the firearm, but from whom you are purchasing that firearm. A good retailer knows that if they treat you right, you will be back again and again. That is the loyalty they want for life.
Remember it is Illegal to Buy a Firearm for someone who can’t
About the Author
Tisma Juett is an NSSF Regional Member Services Manager for the Northeast region of the U.S. Juett’s enthusiastic passion and desire to grow the shooting sports is her driving force behind getting others involved and serving NSSF Member businesses at the highest level. Tisma is an NRA-certified pistol instructor who enjoys sporting clays, bass fishing, motorcycles and baseball.