Racial Tolerance at the Chicago Area Gun Stores and Gun Ranges

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on May 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm
LearnAboutGuns.com > Pro Gun Rights Articles > Racial Tolerance at the Chicago Area Gun Stores and Gun Ranges

As stated in my biographical and demographical information, I am an African American male, in my mid twenties.  Because of this, some of my friends have questioned whether it is wise of me to go to gun stores and ranges.  These friends were concerned that, due to my race, I would face discrimination or violence in these gun-related locations.  Since I have heard so many people voice this concern to to me, I thought I would describe my experiences as a black man who frequents 4 Chicago area gun stores and shooting ranges:

Gun Store/Range Employees
I have found the employees and owners of the four Chicago area gun stores and shooting ranges to which I have visited to be good people who are quite helpful.  In each of the stores or ranges, the employees have gone above and beyond to help me with gun related questions/issues.  For example, the Gunsmith at one store re-mounted and bore sighted a scope on my Ruger 10/22 after it came loose while I was at the range.  I wasn’t charged for this, despite my offer to pay.  At another gun store, the Gunsmith completed the porting of my Remington 870 barrel two weeks sooner than he had quoted, and took the time to discuss a variety of gun related topics with me.  I haven’t experienced any race-related issues at any of the Chicagoland gun stores or shooting ranges I have visited.

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Gun Store/Range Customers
The customers I have met at the gun stores and gun ranges were just as friendly as the employees. We’ve discussed guns, politics, and other hobbies.  We have traded guns for a few shots too.  Customers who were on their way out but had leftover targets have walked over to me and offered their extra targets to me, and I’ve returned the favor when I had extra targets.  At a trapshooting range, one kind person showed me the basics of trapshooting, and even let me borrow a proper trapshooting shotgun (since my shotguns at the time were not ideal for trap shooting).

In short, I have found the 3 gun stores/ranges, and one trapshooting range to be filled with good people, both employees and customers.  My friends’ concern that Chicago area gun store employees or customers would have a problem with me because of my race was misplaced.  The gun store/range employees and customers are not racist and trigger-happy, but are instead the same good people I would encounter at the movie theater, in a restaurant, or at work.  I hope this article helps assuage any similar fears that African Americans may have about going to gun stores and shooting ranges in the Chicago area.

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  • Andrew

    Hi. I appreciate you sharing your experiences being an African American male and gun stores. I too am a mid twenty (23 actually) black male with an authentic appreciation for firearms. I am still rather new to the culture, but I have acquired my FOID. If you could email me the names of the 3 ranges/stores that you've referenced that would be great. drew520@gmail.com

  • typee0

    I appreciate your article, it actually goes to show how all the political hoopla is out of place. The laws are misplaced and target the law abiding citizens who should be allowed the to protect themselves accordingly. The gangbangers and thugs are not being targeted nor even obey the laws. If law enforcement and politicians shake the crooks down the right way and keep them locked away then the need would not be so great for us to enforce our right to bear arms.

  • brolin1911a1

    Thanks for the honest article refuting all of the stereotypical hype put out by the hoplophobes in the MSM. I grew up in Illinois but escaped to the Ozarks of south central Missouri quite a few years ago. Not many African-Americans live in Howell county Missouri. The few I know or know of tend to be administrators or teaching staff at the local college or are engineers for local factories. But I can assure you that if you were to come down here and visit the local gun shops or shooting range, the only attention you'd attract would be concentrated on your guns and shooting skills.

  • Dan

    I also very much appreciate your article. I had the same concern out here Eastern Maryland(Frederick County, also known as “Fred-neck”) which turned to be completely unfounded.
    I actually met the nicest, most helpful and safe individuals that were a great help and treated me like just anybody else (which is all I wanted).
    I am a true law abiding citizen with a real passion for deer hunting and firearms.

  • Jack Caynon

    I am a black male living in New Hampshire with a concealed carry permit and various types of guns. I frequently hang out at several gun stores and have never experienced any racial anything. Maybe it is because I do not expect to be treated any differently than anyone else. My comments are covering a 33 year experience while living here in the "Live Free or Die" state.

  • "gunner"

    white folks here, and pleased to see the responses from law biding black american gun owners. (and to the gent from "new hamster" "howdy neighbor" from vermont.) i'm a conservative, and the author of this site and i may disagree on many points, but i firmly agree with the right of ANY law abiding citizen to own and carry a gun "for all lawful purposes", as my former massachusetts non-resident pistol permit read. i'm particularly pleased with the circumstances of the "mcdonald vs. chicago" supreme court decision, and that a black plaintiff and judge were instrumental in the case and its conclusion, though i'd have been happier if the other four judges voting for gun rights had followed justice thomas' thinking in his written opinion.

  • Ernest Grafton

    I live in New York, and would like to know where I can practice gun care and shooting. I am a U. S. Air Force veteran. Thank You.