Yesterday I talked about the recent Guns.com article in which they jump to conclusions about Bass Pro Shops policy on concealed carry. I just wanted to take the time to mention a few things here today in follow up to that discussion yesterday.
In correspondence with Bass Pro Shops social media guy, Tobi Roberts, he wanted to emphasis again that Bass Pro Shops official policy on concealed carry/open carry inside their stores is as follows:
In any state where there is a concealed carry issued to an individual, our policy is to only ask if the customer has the proper permit if one of our associates sees the weapon. As long as the customer confirms that they have the proper permit, we thank them for their time and tell them to have a wonderful day. We do not ask to see the permit, nor do we have any policy that requires our customers to check their weapon at the door.
I really have to commend Tobi and Bass Pro Shops for being so proactive on this. They have moved quickly to recognize the problem and to try to track down all the fires out there on the Internet and do their best to put them out.
I also wanted to take this one step further today and do some root cause analysis for them. Obviously there is confusion about the signage at their store fronts as well as amongst their employees. Like I said yesterday, this has been a subject of confusion for customers and has been debated on the Internet for several years now. To be blunt… the problem has gone on long enough and it needs to be solved.
There are two very easy solutions for this… First, communicate with your managers and sales associates in the stores about what the actual policy is and what the law says in their particular state. A quick five minutes in a team meeting can go a very long way towards ensuring a great customer experience and maintaining a safe environment.
The second and most important solve here is to change the sign hanging on the front door. Its the obvious source of confusion for both their customers and their employees. Simply fixing the wording of the sign will probably put this entire issue to bed forever. Right now, the sign simply states that all guns must be checked. Thats unclear with respect to the store’s policy of respecting concealed carry, and its confusing people who may be carrying guns for personal defense. My suggestion is to take a similar approach to the sign as Academy Sports does. I mentioned it a while back on this blog, and I have to say that their sign is much more clear and precise as to what is expected of people bringing guns into the store for service as well as concealed carry. I am not 100% sure of the actual wording of the sign, but just to paraphrase it reads something like this:
For your safety, all guns that come into the store for whatever reason (warranty/repair, scope mounting, bore sighting, etc) must be checked and kept at the customer service area. All concealed carry permit holders may continue to carry their firearms openly or concealed in compliance with state law.
Its clear, its concise, and it lets everyone know exactly where they stand. I think its a much better approach to conveying the store’s policies and it will end the confusion that their customers and employees are having.
UPDATE: Mr. Roberts has informed me that this has been forwarded to their CCW Trainer (Yes, the also offer CCW training classes inside some of their stores), and their public communications department. I have to say… through all of this, Bass Pro has really demonstrated to me that they do indeed care about getting this cleared up once and for all, and that they are indeed pro-concealed/open carry.