By Alex Knapp
You’ve read articles and blog posts about what it’s like to work in a gun store, but you may not have read one about from a woman’s perspective. What is it like working in a gun store as a woman? Don’t get me wrong — I love my job and the people 97% of the time. But the remaining 3% is the part I’m not too fond of. Now some of what I encounter are the same issues the men who work in gun stores have, like customers pulling their loaded firearm from a holster for me to look at their “sweet-ass 1911” just like the one we have on the shelf. Or someone asking for a price on a new gun, then proceeding to tell me that while my price is better than every other shop in town, they’re going to order it from an online store that’s $20 cheaper. . .
As a woman working in the gun industry, you deal with a whole new stream of bull. Some days it can be as small and easy to navigate as a creek. Other days it flows like Niagara Falls. So let’s start with that creek: When you call a gun store and a woman answers the phone, please don’t ask to speak to a man or “one of the guys.” Chances are the woman on the phone knows more about guns than you ever will. If you do want to speak to one of the guys, ask for him by name.
When you go into the store to look around, and the woman behind the counter tells you to let her know if you have questions or want to look at something, don’t ignore her and wait for one of the guys to be available. Again, she works there for a reason and knows her job. She can probably run circles around you knowledge-wise.
Then there’s Niagara Falls. I had an active military customer come in for a transfer for an AR-15 in .22 LR. He had an Illinois drivers license, so we had to check to be sure he could own the gun since we have to comply with the laws in his state of residence. It took longer than expected to find the laws about rifles in Illinois, but he didn’t seem upset about it. Until two hours later.
That’s when the boss told me we got a new review on Google. It was the same guy. He wrote that I was rude, hostile, and overweight. I’m sorry that you feel that way, but I wasn’t rude or hostile, and my weight has nothing to do with my job. I’m sorry you had to wait, but I won’t risk my rights as a citizen or the store’s FFL for a twenty dollar transfer fee.
Again, most People of the Gun are wonderful to deal with. But some of you don’t respect the women or men at your local gun store. We all work hard to do what we can to make you happy, even when you’re upset with us. So please understand when we make small mistakes. We’re only human.
Alex is part of the next generation at Knapp Weaponry. During her formative years, Alex found herself exposed to constant instruction in safety, maintenance and marksmanship. Now she has joined the team at Knapp Weaponry to bring the enjoyment of the shooting sports to her customers. Alex is especially in tune with our female customers and those new to the sport.