Beware of “The Gun Counter Instructor”

Yesterday evening I was in my local gun shop (LGS) just looking around, and a few feet away from where I was standing a young man in his 30’s was asking a salesperson for some advice on what ammunition he should use in his home defense shotgun. As you might imagine, I was trying hard to hide the fact that he had my full-undivided attention.

Enter “The Gun Counter Instructor” with is classic answer. “All you need is some #7.5 bird shot.” Then he gestured past where I was standing and said, “It’s right over there past the guy in the tan shirt.”

As the young man walked my way, I stopped him and said, “I couldn’t help but overhear that you are looking for some ammunition for a home defense shotgun.” He answered in the affirmative and I told him, “Bird shot is for killing birds, not home defense against a home invasion robbery.” I then asked him what kind of shotgun he has and he politely said, “Remington 870 Marine Magnum.” (One of my favorite shotguns)

I then handed him a box of Federal FliteControl® Wad 2 3/4″ 9 pellet 00 buckshot (Not the exact load I prefer, but it will work) and told him this was what he is looking for to load in his home defense shotgun and to try it out at 10 and 15 yards to see what the pattern looks like at those two distances. If it is smaller than 12″ to 14″ then he should be good to go as he probably won’t have to make a shot of more than 15 yards inside his home. He then confirmed that the largest room in his house is only 35 feet wide, so not quite 12 yards. We continued our conversation on the way to the checkout line and I handed him a business card inviting him to my next Defensive Shotgun Course and noticed he was buying five (5) boxes of 00BK. I left him by recommending he try to find the 8 pellet 00BK through one of the major online ammunition retailers and handed him an extra box that I had in my car.

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The moral to the story is, as an Instructor or a responsibly armed citizen don’t overtly make the “Gun Counter Instructor” look bad, and try to be consultative in nature when giving advice in a gun shop. If you are an Instructor, make sure to have some business cards with you as well.

It is my sincere wish that this using bird shot for home defense theory would go away, but it won’t until we educate all of the “Gun Counter Instructors” to stop giving out poor advice to unsuspecting customers, I’d settle for my local gun shop employees as a start.

Until next time, stay safe & train hard!

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Firearms Instructors Who Give Bad Advice, What’s New?

Last week on April Fools day, a Lakeland area man took a firearms safety course from a firearms instructor who works as an independent contractor to a local gun shop. This particular shop has locations in Apopka, Cassleberry, Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Tampa and West Palm Beach. They are also major vendors at every gun show you can think of in Florida, I’m sure you have a name that is coming to mind about now.

During the class, this student was told directly by the firearms instructor that it is legal for him to carry a concealed handgun on a motorcycle in his backpack strapped across his back WITHOUT having a Florida Concealed Weapons or Firearms License.

After face palming, I told this gentleman that this is either a bad April Fools joke or if he was serious, this kind of advice could land him with felony charges. Even though Florida Statutes Chapter 790.25(5) has no clear language on this matter, there is a test case from 2008 on record in the 4th District Court of Appeals. The case style is, Daniel J. Doughty, Appellant, v. State of Florida, Appellee. In the opinion Judge Stevenson wrote the following which I will summarize here, you can read the full opinion in the link below.

“In this case, we consider whether the private conveyance exception of section 790.25, Florida Statutes, permits the unlicensed carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon in a zippered pack around the waist while riding a motorcycle. We conclude that it does not.”

http://www.ecases.us/c…/fladistctapp/1785041/doughty-v-state

Another resource I highly recommend to our Florida students is Attorney Jon Gutmacher’s book on Firearms Law, Use & Ownership. Jon is crystal clear about this very question on page 90 of the eighth edition of his book. I encourage you to read the book several times, and keep it close by where you can refer to it on a regular basis. It may just save you jail/prison time and a considerable amount of money you will need for defending yourself in a criminal case. www.floridafirearmslaw.com

Personal note: Do a little research on your firearms instructor, and ask for references/qualifications. Going to a gun store for your firearms safety class is not always the best option. This instructor has a multitude of licenses from the State of Florida and gives certificates bearing his Florida K-License number, but one thing is certain, he should never be considered an expert on legal issues.

Lastly, never ever take legal advice from someone unqualified to give it.

Stay Safe and Train Hard!!!

– Gordon