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The 5 “W”s (And 1 “H”) of Visiting Your Local Gun Store, Part 2

The local gun store is a sometimes strange, often wondrous place. It’s an amazing way to get your hands on products you might be interested in but can’t normally reach, and often their used inventory is unbeatable in diversity and price.

Recently, we broke down the “Who,” “What,” and “When” of visiting your local gun store. We’re going to finish our list with “Where,” “Why,” and “How” — maybe we can help you with your next trip!

Where- This can be broken down in two ways:

  1. Is this gun store close enough to merit the drive for whatever deal you’re hoping for? It’s the “local” in a local gun store. It’s silly to drive two hours to save 20 bucks — make sure you’re valuing your own time!
  2. Where do you see yourself putting or using this item? If you’re coming to the store for a specific firearm/optic, you’ve hopefully already asked yourself that question. In this context, it’s a great tool to use for those trips where you don’t have a specific purchasing objective. If you’re raiding the used gun inventory for that one piece to take home make sure that piece has a place once you leave the store — that place can be on the range, on your favorite hunting plot, or even in a display case. Just so long as you’re still content once the euphoria of “Ooh, new gun!” wears off.

Why- Perhaps the most important of all of these questions to consider, it’s essential to take a moment and ask yourself “Why am I going to this particular gun store?”

I’m all for supporting local business, but it’s no secret that many online retailers can undercut a lot of prices. Often, they really are the right choice. So, ask yourself — are you looking for expertise? Are you looking for that in-store experience? Do you want a particular product, and just not mind paying a modest markup for immediacy and the local economy? Do you want to see the used inventory that online platforms don’t often have?

You absolutely should support local business when you get the chance — just make sure that you know why you do and what price differential you’re willing to undergo to support your local business, so if you see a major retailer sale three weeks after you made your purchase at a local store you’re still confident in your choice.

How- Last, but not least — how are you going to pay for your purchase? If you’re buying a 50-round pack of ammo, it’s not such an issue, but if you’re buying an $800 rifle, you need to be sure you can — you know — pay for it. If you’re going to bring some kit or a firearm to trade in, make sure you bring everything pertinent to your trade-in with you. Preferably you make your purchase with cash-on-hand, but if you need financing, see if your local gun store does layaway.

As responsibly-armed citizens and sensible shoppers, it’s on us to make smart shopping choices. If you can, use your next time at your local gun store as an opportunity to bring a friend new to firearms into the community!

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