What Really Grinds My Gears: Gun Stores That are Closed on Weekends

I got the call Saturday morning around noon — the one I’ve been waiting for since August. The local FFL/SOT gun store finally received my new 9mm Ti-Rant silencer from AAC, and they needed me to bring in my trust paperwork to fill out the Form 4 for the ATF. That’s the downside to NFA items: there’s always more paperwork and more waiting to be done. So I grabbed my trust documents, hopped in my car and drove straight down to the gun store . . . to find that it closed at 1 PM on weekends. And I was 12 minutes too late. At which point I was furious . . .

Does it really make business sense for a gun store to be closed on weekends? To, in effect, keep banker’s hours?

Gun stores generally service a population with disposable income, meaning those with a steady job. And that usually means they’re working from 9 AM to 5 PM, unavailable to hand money over in exchange for firearms during those hours.

My old gun shop in Herndon, Virginia, NoVA Armament, understood this concept. Not only did they stay open until 6 PM on weekdays, they were open all day on Saturday and the afternoon on Sunday as well. They adopted the radical idea that making themselves available when their clients wanted to patronize their establishment would be good for the bottom line.

This shop, Dury’s Gun Shop in San Antonio, doesn’t seem to grasp that concept. In addition to keeping banker’s hours, they’re only open for four hours on Saturdays. Oh, and they’re CLOSED on Sundays AND Mondays. Maybe the operation is just a hobby for the owner, but it’s like they don’t want to take my money.

If I ran a gun store — scratch that — WHEN I open my gun store, I plan to actually make it easy for people to visit my shop and hand me their hard-earned money. It’ll be 3 PM to 11 PM on weekdays and 9 to 5 on weekends. That’s the plan, at least.

The first step to good customer service is actually being available for your customers. And that’s something most gun stores just don’t get. I guess they prefer to sit on their OFWG asses most of the day and only be busy for a couple hours at lunch and a couple hours at the end of the day. Rant concluded.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

70 Responses to What Really Grinds My Gears: Gun Stores That are Closed on Weekends

  1. avatarRalph says:

    I’m with Nick on this one, but I do understand that even FFLs have families and might want to spend some time with them.

    • avatarLarry says:

      He should be glad his gun store in open even that much on Saturday. The one where I live is closed on Saturdays and weekdays closees at 5 pm. Try getting in when you get off work at 4:30.

  2. avatarjwm says:

    I understand a gun store being closed on Sunday. Some folks are church goers. But on Saturday they should be open for a full day.

  3. avatarsurlycmd says:

    If you own a business and live comfortably on the profits you make, why shouldn’t you operate on your own hours. If a customer doesn’t like it, they can take their business elsewhere. If profits drop to an unacceptable level due to loss of customers, then you must reevaluate your business model. The wonders of a free market society.

  4. avatarChris says:

    Annoys me too. That’s why I shop at Academy instead of my local shops. Sorry local guys but you need to have better hours for customers.

  5. avatarGet_A_Clue says:

    Spoken like a true product of Generation Instant Gratification.

    • avatarMotoJB says:

      LOL, very true. Like we all can’t wait one more day or so for yet another firearm. ;)

      To Nick’s point/story, I had the same thing happen…drove 20 minutes for a pickup only to find my local store closed at like 3pm on a Saturday. I was like WTF? I was about 9 minutes late, could see them through the glass and had to walk away (and drive back on Monday to pick up). That was annoying. I didn’t expect them to have Saturday bankers hours. Their right, but I now shop/DROS elsewhere.

    • avatarensitu says:

      10-4!
      Sounds like someone needs a ‘time out’!

    • avatarTTACer says:

      So we are supposed to take a half day off work to drive across town for the privilege of giving someone our money?

      • avatarCarrymagnum says:

        And on a side note. I detail cars. If someone asks me to do their car(side work) I get it done on the first availableday(for both parties). Doesn’t matter that I just crammed 45 hours into three days of the same tough labor. I will bend over for my customer to make them happy. Kudos to my folks for my work ethic

    • avatarAverage_Casey says:

      How about the generation of expecting customer service. There is a local gun store that the owners seem pissed every time a customer is in there; like we shouldn’t waste our time helping you and you should give us your money and leave. I refuse to shop there now.

      • avatarMilsurp Collector says:

        WAY too many gun store clerks have that “gimme all your money and get the fuck out of my shop” attitude and act like their customers are wasting their time. I’ve seen it in other industries, but for some reason the gun shops attract most of those types. I will never truly understand why

        And those pricks wonder why their businesses are failing. Customer service and manners go a long way.

      • avatarTTACer says:

        +1

        I love how people of a certain age like to both complain about how anyone five years younger than them does not know how to do a job and yet if a customer five years younger than them expect them to do their job all of a sudden the kids are acting “entitled” and are therefore unworthy of common courtesy.

        • avatarBill says:

          Yup. Happens to me all the time. Especially when it’s gun related (local shops, shooting ranges, etc.) I’m sorry that a medically retired, combat disabled, Army veteran in his late 20′s is such a burden to a high and mighty OFWG when I am trying to give him money for a product or service.

      • avatarPaul W says:

        There’s one here like that. Screw those guys. I went in to look into a 20 gauge pump for home defense and they gave me flack for not going with a 12. WTF?

    • avatarLarry says:

      Now now, get-a-clue, don’t be a troll.

    • avatarCarrymagnum says:

      Well what if the store hours completely conflict with your work schedule. Yin and yang. One should have to take time off from earning their livelihood to procure a weapon? If you own a shop you should make it accessible. Even closing at 6 on weekdays would help a lot of folks. And no one has any business opening a retail store that is closed on the weekends. I hope all the shops who do that have a short run of it.

  6. avatartank03 says:

    My local is open 7 days a week except holidays.

  7. avatarAharon says:

    If NY State and NYC ever change their illegal laws allowing law-abiding residents to non-criminally buy handguns, semis, etc I’m tempted to move there and open a gun store specializing in guns for home defense, concealed carry, and prepping. If the market research justified the ROI, I’d like to open it in the heart of NYC’s most heavily populated Jewish neighborhood(s). Behind a heavy secured window (really thick glass) display facing the street I would place a large video screen and play 24/7 the JPFO DVD ‘Innocents Betrayed’ along with speakers pumping the sound onto the sidewalk area. Inconsideration of the neighborhood, I’d keep the store open Sunday through Friday afternoon. I’d call the store something like “Aharon _____ Gun Defense” and come up with a really good tag line. That should make some of the local gun-grabbers gag :) For laughs, I’d send Mike Bloomberg a proposal offering him the opportunity to be an investor.

  8. avatarm.ia says:

    I agree, be open when your customers want your services. We have a local baitshop that doesn’t open till 9 on weekends and is only open till 3 or 4. Either get bait a day early or get a late start. Makes no sense. They loose a lot of business that way.

  9. avatarST says:

    Nick, please cease bellyaching. You were filling out a Form 4 for the ATF, which is hardly a cause for urgent action. Given the current NFA wait time you’ve got months to cool your heels before its processed, so the hours of your FFL are irrelevant. It can wait.

    As far as hours go, the only reason I’d see it as a problem would be if one lived in a waiting period and/or owners permit state like Illinois and the waiting period ends when the FFL which has your purchase is closed. Its bad enough to wait 3, 5, 10 days to take home your purchase ,much less having to wait another day or more because the toy store’s closed.

    If you want to talk about delays, how about a segment on state governments breaking their own laws on when to issue purchase and ownership permits. Illinois law mandates the ISP issue a Firearm Owners ID in 30 days. My friends card took 57 to process.

    • The quicker I fill out the form, the sooner I can start waiting. Now thanks to them being closed, it will be Thursday before I can get down there. That’s nearly a week extra that I didn’t have to wait that has been tacked onto this process.

      • avatarShane from Kanuckistan says:

        Can I get you some cheese to go with the wine? If you have used this store in he past how did you not know their hours? I,like most posts on this site but this one is pretty grade 5 whinging

  10. avatarJeff O. says:

    Yeah, there a couple local gun stores that I basically can’t go to because they close so early.

    Seriously, how much business are you going to have at 10am-6pm? What if you shifted hours to 11am-7pm? Wouldn’t staying open later allow customers that work until 5 or 530 to show up? Which I know there are a lot of…

    • avatarAharon says:

      Years past, I worked high-end (big-ticket item) retail selling jewelry, furniture, and stereos. Keeping store hours 11-7PM (possibly a bit later) is probably the best mix to keep a store open. Most business was transacted after 1PM. The most dangerous time for high-end big-ticket item retail stores being held-up by criminals are after dark especially during the winter months when days are shorter and darkness comes sooner.

    • avatarsurlycmd says:

      There is a LGS I frequent with hours of 10AM-6PM Monday thru Saturday. I’ve gone a coupla times at 10AM and the parking lot was full with people waiting for them to open. Solid business all 8 hours.

  11. avatarDavid W. says:

    When you open a gun store, you should have places to sit. Like a common area in the shop. Not out in the open or anything, but just a place where everybody can sit together and talk if they want to. Like off in the corner with some magazines, maybe a sign up sheet for a pistol competition or 3 gun or something, advertisements for shooting ranges or gun clubs, stuff like that. The main reason why I haven’t joined any local gun clubs is simply I am very self conscious and would feel weird just walking in and joining, but talking to an actual member face to face would probably make me take the plunge a lot sooner.

    Truthfully that is one of the main dislikes I have about the 4 gun stores I go to, only one of them has seating, and even then the seats are usually covered with new stock or magazines (the reading kind, not the shooting kind).

    Also, when you do, don’t have the guns locked to the wall. I hate that. I can understand behind a glass case, but seriously, waiting for the owner to get done, then walk over, find the key, unlock the gun, remove the lock, hand you the gun, then stand there next to you is just awkward. I rarely ask to handle any guns in one shop just because of that.

    I have seen pictures of shops with the guns chained to like the counter area above the like, actual for sale models, and that seems the best way to do it. Being able to pick up a gun, and get attached to it, always makes me more likely to buy, or at least come back to ogle at it once or twice a week, which then makes me feel guilty so I buy black powder or bullets or something to show that I’m not just a 100% window shopper. So yeah… Ogle = good, awkwardness = bad.

    Really, the social aspect is the reason why gun rights will always win. There are no Gun Control stores you walk into and learn new things. There are no Gun Control conventions where you can look at old gun control memorabilia and well, guns. There is no Gun Control competitions to be apart of. So therefore, I think all gun shops that want to make a lot of money, should cater to the social aspect a lot more.

  12. My favorite gun shop and range in Houston is the Arms Room because they are open till 10PM Mon-Sat and 8PM on Sundays. I drive across town to go there because they’re the only shop that is open.

  13. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I don’t like that most gun stores close at 5:00pm, but I guess they want to get home at a reasonable hour. I never have time during the week to visit my local dealer, so I have to wait until Sat. and deal with everyone else who works during the week. I can’t really blame them for the current hours because I woundn’t want to work until 8 or 9 every night.

  14. avatarMr. Joeboto says:

    Pro tip: the next time your LGS calls you and tells you to come pick up your whatever, ask them their hours then plan accordingly.

  15. avatarstephen says:

    This post strikes me as an eloquent whining and crying. I’d probably be mad too if i were in your situation, but from an outside observer perspective it seems quite immature.

  16. avatarZM says:

    I am glad my LGS has decent hours. They are open from 10am-9pm Tues-Sat and 10am-4pm on Sunday.

  17. avatarChris Dumm says:

    Many LGSs think they can keep 1890s banker’s hours and stay in business, but they can’t. Not when Bud’s and Ammoland all take orders 24/7 and ship (everything but guns) to your front door.

    Their reasons for keeping very limited hours might make sense to them, but they won’t keep them from being devoured by big box and online retail.

    In business as in biology, adapt or perish.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Remember that Bud’s ships guns to your LGS. Around here, dealer fees for the transfer have gone from $35 to $65 or $75 per handgun–so if you want to buy off the internet, yeah these guys can afford to keep whatever hours they like. None of my local shops are open Sunday, but all are open six days until 6.

  18. avatarTim says:

    Amen to this post.

    Biggest local shop in my town just added Sunday and Monday hours after 30 years without. Can’t believe it took that long.

    I think most small shops are staffed by the owner who doesn’t want to work 7 days a week. Must small gun shops have no clue what customer service is.

    • avatarChaz says:

      Yes. I’ve tried to give a new small shop some business but in the end I gave up because I had to work too hard. For example I’d call and find that something had come in for me. I’d say I’d be right over, only then to find the store unexpectedly closed with a sign saying “back at 2PM.” It was taking two trips to the store to get one trip’s worth of business accomplished. No more.

  19. avatarAverage_Casey says:

    When I bought my Sccy CPX-2, I had to wait an extra couple of days because of customer service. I verified that the store had them and showed up fifteen minutes before. It took a guy a couple of minutes to come over and help me and I told him that I wanted to purchase one and he said he couldn’t because it was ten minutes before closing and the paperwork can take up to an hour. The manager backed the guy up too. Three days later, more has and more time spent driving, I finally was able to buy it. I even timed the paperwork and it took less than ten minutes. Also, the no sales 10 minutes before closing policy isn’t posted anywhere in the store. Now, I won’t shop there unless they are the only shop that has what I need.

  20. avatarchris says:

    Did you not know their hours ahead of time? I agree with the free market explanation. If you dont like their hours, go elsewhere.

  21. If you get this angry over such a triviality, I am not sure you should have a gun at all.

  22. avatarRKflorida says:

    The point made applies to other businesses as well. If you work during the day at the same time the stores are open, and then the stores close (or have greatly reduced hours) on the weekends, how can you shop? That’s why barber shops traditionally had Sun/Mon off and were open on Saturday. Seems like the good times sales that gun dealers are now experiencing is being considered a permanent condition when it is not. One day they will be moaning about how they should have “made hay while the sun was shining.”

  23. avatarRadomHero says:

    i dont know which side of town you are located at, but The Bullethole Shooting Range out on Grosenbacher rd (near Sea World) does NFA stuff. they are open everyday. the only problem is that they can get really busy at certain times (being a shooting range) and the clubhouse can get packed and it will take awhile for them to get to you. took me almost 45minutes to get my PSA lower when i went in to get it from them the day before Thanksgiving.

  24. avatarMark N. says:

    So tell me, how are these gun store owners any different than your doctor, dentist, lawyer, insurance guy and so forth and so on? No one-man operation can go 12 hours a day seven days a week and survive the stresses.

    • avatarTim says:

      Then they should hire some help. No customer should have to apologize to a business for wanting to spend money with them.

      • avatarPaul W says:

        May not be able to afford to hire help. It’s one thing to hire a kid to work in the shop while you’re there under your direct supervision. It’s another to hire someone who can actually run the shop. That’s a lot harder to do, particularly if you ahve tight margins and can’t pay well and stay profitable.

  25. avatarRalph says:

    The zoning regs in some towns around here (MA) won’t let LGSs stay open past a certain time. ‘Cause guys buying guns at night are scary, I guess. Or maybe it’s the notion that BGs are more likely to commit robbery at night — in a store where everybody is armed to the teeth, including family pets. Or maybe in the parking lot where all the legit customers are rocking more hardware than the 101st Airborne.

    BTW, our esteemed Governor, Deval Patrick, might be a candidate for AG when Holder leaves. If Patrick gets the job, we’ll be looking back at the past four years as “the good old days.”

  26. avatarIn Memphis says:

    My partner and I were posted near a gun store yesterday (Saturday). Im trying to introduce him to our world so we went in for about 45 minutes or so. I found a beautiful young lady in there who was OC’ing IWB in the SOB but I also eventualy looked at some guns too.

    I came across the SIG Nightmare Carry and wow was I impressed. I asked if I could dry fire and immediatley was in love.

  27. avatarLance says:

    Hay Hay Nick gun owners need worship time on Sundays dont go after them for that!!!

  28. avatarPCnotPC says:

    Welcome to my world, Nick.

    I have the same problem with my local lawnmower repair shop which is only open 8-5 M-F and not at all on the weekend when I can get there.

  29. avatarKenw says:

    Local gunshop knew I was interested in picking up a Sig P226/
    I ran into the owner at the range and he wanted to know why I did not check with him before I picked one up.
    “Your hours,” was my reply, he’s only open 9 to 5 Tuesday through Friday.
    Back when he was open on Saturdays I went in often picking up ammo and perusing the wares. I bought 2 guns and a pile of ammo before he changed.
    Now I would have to figure out a way to leave work early and that aint gonna happen.
    I shop places that are open when I am able to go.
    Wonder how much business he is losing because of his hours?

  30. avatarjake45 says:

    Gander Mountain as most of the other big box stores are open 10 to 9, seven days a week. If the little guy doesen’t want our business go big.

  31. avatarblehtastic says:

    My local gun shop has good hours, but I went in there the other day during business hours and it was packed. Maybe it’s due to the holidays, but apparently a lot of people can just haul off to the gun store whenever they want. Or a lot of people happened to have the same idea to take some leave from work just to hit up the gun store.

    My complaint about my local gun store is they don’t really carry any accessories that are popular at the time. If I owned a gun store, I would watch youtube videos in the back for half the day to figure out what to put on the shelves. When I went in there and asked about a brass catcher for a flat-top AR-15 the guy actually said “Yea, I think I’ve heard of those”…

  32. avatarBob H says:

    I used to shop at an LGS that was only open M-F 10am-6pm…

    I stopped shopping there 2 years ago when I found a place with these hours:
    Monday – Saturday 1000 to 2200 (10am – 10pm)
    Sunday 1000-2000 (10am – 8pm).
    The attached range is open the same hours.

    The old place? Closed last year. I ran into the owner and he just didn’t understand why so many of his customers left. I didn’t even try to explain it to him. He wasn’t a businessman, he was a hobbyist.

  33. avatarHT$ says:

    They have a huge honking sign out front with their hours. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. In any case, this ought to endear you to the people who will be holding your can for the next 6+ months.

  34. avatardunsho says:

    i feel the same way, why are gun ranges closed on holidays. if i ran a range, i’d open on holidays and close the day after or before. just like tackle and bait shops that closes on weekends.

  35. avatarJuanCudz says:

    You could ask them why they have funny hours. Maybe local council zoning laws stop him being open when he wants to.

  36. avatarPaul W says:

    I’m sympathetic to the hours issue, but really…you didn’t even check what the hours were before making a drive? That’s at least as much on you.

    Personally, if I had my own shop I think I might do 11am or noon till 7 or 8pm M-F, maybe M-Sat…or I might do Tues-Sat. But I’m not going to be able to be open 7 days a week, 12 hours a day with just me either (particularly given that close and open duties take 30-60 minutes on each end extra). And I doubt I’d be able to afford an extra person to watch the store (as opposed to help out…I can get a kid for that for just over minimum wage).

  37. avatargringito says:

    Buy somewhere else
    or
    blame yourself for not beeing on time.

  38. avatarTJ says:

    Nick!

    It’s good to read your blog once again. Just wanted to say Thank You. We miss you and your anecdotes up this way.
    We hope TX is treating you well!

    TJ
    NOVA Armament

  39. You realize thus significantly on the subject of this topic, produced me for my part consider it from so many various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested until it is something to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always handle it up!

  40. avatarDury's Gun Shop says:

    Dear Mr. Leghorn, June 25, 2013

    Allow us to express how much we appreciate all of our customers’ business and please understand that we have a business that has always been family oriented. Our business hours were decided around having time with our children and families. I hope that you are able to understand that our families are the most important thing to us and one of the main reasons why we work so hard is to be able to provide for them. Having this family oriented business concept has contributed to our store remaining open since 1959 and we were recently awarded the honor of being a Historical Business State Treasure by the Texas Historical Commission.

    Let us address a few comments that you stated in your self-proclaimed “rant” on TheTruthAboutGuns.com dated December 2, 2012.

    “My old gun shop in Herndon, Virginia……They adopted the radical idea that making themselves available when their clients wanted to patronize their establishment would be good for the bottom line.”
    *The bottom line is not all that matters in our lives and we make ourselves available to our kids and family, first and foremost.

    “WHEN I open my gun store, I plan to actually make it easy for people to visit my shop and hand me their hard-earned money. It’ll be 3PM to 11PM on weekdays and 9 to 5 on weekends.”
    *We open for four hours on Saturday to provide our customers an opportunity to shop with us on the weekend without compromising our family time. With your proposed hours, if you have children, they would be just getting out of school when you open and would already be asleep well before closing. You would miss birthday parties, sporting events and normal daily activities that bring them so much joy? And isn’t their joy what life is about?

    “I guess they prefer to sit on their OFWG asses most of the day and only be busy a couple hours at lunch and a couple hours at the end of the day. Rant concluded.”
    *This last paragraph is very disturbing, and the only conclusion which can be drawn is you do not know us or our company history.

    We have all worked very hard to build a good, reliable, trustworthy business that anyone in the shooting sports/hunting community can rely on not just for good products, but for honesty and knowledge. We do this by providing good customer service, a great staff and a lifetime guarantee, to name a few ways.

    We enjoy serving our customers and providing the BEST customer service and knowledge possible. Also, please understand that everyone has different schedules and sometimes it is impossible to maintain the store hours that would make it possible to service 100% of the consumers 100% of the time. We at DURY’S GUN SHOP employ over forty employees, all with families and their own individual responsibilities which we strive to keep a priority because, after all, they are our extended family and without them we have ZERO business. We have a customer base that stretches not only across Texas, but across the nation and it is our mission to be the trusted provider of choice for guns, accessories, gun repair and shooting sports knowledge to all of our customers.

    It is your choice of who you prefer to spend your hard earned money with, and if our family oriented and family run business conflicts with your consumer needs, then you will have a choice that will need to be made.

    Sincerely,
    DURY’S GUN SHOP.

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