No More Gun Rentals?

No More Gun Rentals?
No More Gun Rentals?
No More Gun Rentals?
No More Gun Rentals?

The other day, a friend of mine called me and said, “guess what just happened to me at the gun store?”

Apparently, he went to a store in Utah to rent a few guns before deciding on a new gun to purchase. I think this is a great idea and I always recommend renting a bunch of guns to make sure you end up buying one that feels good in your hand and one you’ll actually carry.

Well, when my friend got to the counter to rent the guns, the clerk asked him if anyone could vouch for his mental capacity within the last 24 hours. My friend thought the guy was joking, but the clerk made him call someone and verify he hadn’t been drinking, doing drugs, and wasn’t suicidal.

After the clerk had spoken to someone, he ended up renting my friend the guns. Obviously, this screening method is nonsense because my friend could have called anyone up to “vouch” for him. But it sounds like the store owner has been talking to a lawyer who probably advised him on this tactic to limit his liability.

In Florida, several gun stores have taken it a step further and have stopped renting guns altogether. One Florida store owner will still rent guns to people, except white males…

“We don’t rent to any white male Florida resident who comes in alone. In the past 30 years, we’ve never had a suicide that wasn’t a white male Florida resident who came in alone. They don’t want to mess up their families’ homes, so they do it here.”

The fact is, the vast majority of new shooters end up renting guns while learning about the sport. This saves them a lot of money during the time they’re deciding which gun they want. If more gun stores around the nation stop renting guns, forcing everyone who wants to try shooting to bring their own gun with them, then fewer people will be able to try shooting and realize how enjoyable it is.

I realize that store owners don’t want suicides in their ranges and I certainly can’t blame them, but there has to be a better way to prevent this. I don’t think discontinuing gun rentals is the answer because, as I just mentioned, there will be untold amounts of people who will never learn how to responsibly use firearms and how to protect themselves with a firearm.

Also, based on the statistics I read, the amount of suicides at ranges across the country is miniscule. However, it seems some store owners have overreacted based on this small percentage of people.

I don’t know what the solution to this predicament is but I am sure it’s not to stop renting guns altogether. The last thing we want to do is to stop encouraging people to learn how to protect themselves and to support the Second Amendment.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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The reason that range asked about mental capacity is because that range has had 3 suicides from gun rentals, in their short period in business. For them, it is reasonable. It is a business decision. A suicide ends up closing down the business for a long period of time.

James S.

Yes, that is a reasonable request. But the manner in which they are doing this is not going to keep free from any sort of litigation. Call someone to vouch for you? Seriously, how lame is that?


Closes down for a long time? The range I go to moved people to a different shooting bay; only the one bay was closed. I was there two days after the incident, and you would never have known there was an incident, without being told or reading about it in the local news. It was not publicized at all in the larger papers.


it would be racial profiling if they ask a black gang banger for mental capacity report!!!!! Let the bas tar ds kill themselves


This is really interesting. I went to my local indoor range for the first time in a while and noticed a sign amid the rentals on the wall stating they won’t rent a gun to an individual, only parties of 2 or more…I don’t rent guns much so I just found it curious.


I would think rentals would be an intricate part of owning a gun range. Sounds like they’re shooting themselves in the foot. (Pun intended).


Unfortunately this is, most likely, a result of two converging factors; our litigious society and politicians who are all to eager to search for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

I see one solution being everyone who rents a gun will have to have a store employee with him as he shoots to ensure the renter doesn’t injure himself or someone else. This, of course, will raise the cost of rentals or, if the store owner deems it too much of a pain, he’ll just eliminate rentals all together. Any way you look at it it boils down to the total elimination of personal responsibility and the transference of it to someone else (the store owner).


Doesn’t that imply that folks that already have a gun coming into the store are more trustworthy? If not, then maybe all shooters will have to have a store employee monitor their activities while they are on the range.


Beats me. I agree with you. I have no good answers. I doubt if there are any good answers and that’s the real shame that it’s come to this. Geez.


Rent to anyone except white male? Yepper rent to black and Spanish gang bangers, that sure makes sense.. All White males should protest this racist store owner. Oh where is the civil rights outcry!!!!!


Just think what all would be going on if it were BLACK males that were prohibited?


Or wimmin …..

James S.

That is a surefire discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen as well as loss of business.


DOJ should be all over this ……. What’s that … the DOJ advised you this was a great way to keep guns out of the hands of those pesky white men …….


I’ve never heard of Whites discriminating against Whites, dang.


Here at Myrtle Beach the same thing happened. After a suicide the range owner decided to only rent .22s. Not sure if a deterrent.


When we get rid of Obama and his dictatorial tactics and ignorance, lots of the problems will go away. It may already be too late for many of our constitutional entitlements and freedoms and the USA is getting closer to Germany 1933 every day. Granted, there have been far too many gun incidents but the problem is NOT guns and confiscating them as Obama is doing with no due process or reasoning is not going to stop anything. Look at the violence on TV, movies and the “games” our kids are spending too much time playing. Stop, ban or seriously reduce the violence in what our kids are growing up with and teach kids to talk about problems instead of grabbing Dad’s gun……then things will improve.


If only…

Sadly, Obama is only one in a long line of Statist thinkers, and he won’t be the last. Maybe you didn’t mean that everything will be roses and we can all go back to being the Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet America that many of us learned to love growing up.
Even when Obama is gone, Nancy Pelosi will still be around, as well as Harry Reid, Chuckie Schumer, Hilary and all the rest, as well as Piers Morgan and his ilk.

The gun grabbers have been at it since at least the 1960s. The Gun Control Act of 1968 banned mail order sales of guns, and we should remember that machine guns were banned in 1938 by the Federal Firearms Act.
We must stop electing these statist politicians whose ultimate goal is simply absolute power. THAT is what is behind all of the gun control hype. “Vote for me and I’ll give you stuff!”
Wake up America!


The Problem is US that`s right us, we all want the same thing but, we all are waiting for someone else to do the footwork. The “King” has broken the law. Clinton (Willie) was almost burned at the stake because of lying under oath about an Intern & his johnson. What does this guy have to do? Start a Civil war? I cant understand WHY the people in power has`nt raked HIM over the coals and Crying for his Impeachment! If you think he`s going to settle for what he`s got You have`nt seen anything YET. Every time he picks up a pen He Breaks the law. These younger Soldiers & Marines are a bit smarter than we may think. They wont stand for this. The V.A. is borrowing money to keep the lights on from the Treasury, Because they wont fund the V.A. This new Healthcare thing will force them into the V.A. These People that Work there are Apologizing for lack of funds to provide services, They want to help the vets. But Instead We send Millions in aid to Pakistan a country that Burn our flag & Aid the Taliban with OUR tax money!! Damn, Where`s the Tylenol….


Actually, “machine guns” were banned (at least production of new ones for the civilian market) by the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (Reagan). This law also tightly regulated the sale and transfer of automatic weapons. They are still legal, but heavily regulated and crazy expensive.


Funny, in California it’s been a law for awhile now where one cannot rent a gun if your by yourself and you don’t own a gun. So, if you just come off the street without your gun to shoot then you must have someone with you of legal age to shoot with you. Plus everyone new to the range must fill out paperwork which includes questions of your stability etc…


The indoor range I’ve been going to for over 20 years had 4 suicides before the new owners took over. When they did they instituted a policy that unless you are a member you aren’t allow to rent a firearm if you are by yourself. It has worked for them and I can completely understand them wanting to protect themselves legally and emotionally.


What Florida store was that? It needs to be boycotted!


At Target Sports in Royal Oak, MI. You can still rent guns, but you can only rent if you have someone else with you. Individuals can no longer rent on their own.


I used to shoot there many years ago when it was call Royal Oak Range & Gun Shop. They have had there problems there with at least two suicides that I know of. I did not know that suicides had become such an issue at gun ranges.


I have often wondered if displaying a concealed carry licence/permit would change any minds. My formerly Japanese wife felt insulted when she, by herself, rented a S&W M&P before purchase — she was watched closely at a rental range that does not generally do so when we go together. I suggested that they just wanted to be sure she knew how to operate it, but she felt insulted enough that she bought one elsewhere.

Justin Time

She’s no longer Japanese?


One of the stores in Florida, Shoot Straight, that is doing this has had quite a few suicides with rented guns, and at least one murder/suicide, where a woman killed her kid and then herself using a rented gun. There have been 11 such incidents there in the past few years.

The other store, Oak Ridge guns, is the one that won’t rent to single white males. I think that is a lawsuit in the making. You are telling me that I can’t rent a gun because of my race? Can you say Federal Discrimination lawsuit?

Smart Old Fart

Divemedic, you must have retained too much nitrogen in your bloodstream on your last ascent. The DOJ in Washington D.C. only prosecutes WHITE people; they are forbidden from ever taking the side of a WHITE MAN by Obama and Holder. Holder has decreed that they MUST play the race card in any matter involving a BLACK person, regadless of culpability. Visit a hyperbolic chamber and hopefully your thinking will clear up – UNLESS THEY WON’T LET WHITE MALES use it. Lock and Load brother.

Justn Time

It’s hyperbaric chamber btw…


I have never thought about this, But, I have never rented a gun. If shooting yourself makes any sense, I can now see where doing it with someone else`s pistol in their range could be an attractive way to get it done without doing it at home where a loved one will find you or hear it and come in while you are in that state of mindlessness. and ruin their life with the P.T.S.D. This Write up, May give someone the idea. The range I go, They have a waiver on file that I signed, In order to be able to shoot “My Gun” on their property. As we all know the gun haters thrive on this kind of News, or anything that helps they`re “Cause” But, All this fear of liability in this situation don`t sound to me to be reasonable. What Judge or jury could find the range owner responsible. That`s like saying The Auto maker is responsible for a Head-on fatality done for the same reason, Or the Drug Company for an intentional overdose. Which happens much more often. All this “Stuff” the Govt. Is coming out with has everyone Afraid of anything that has to do with guns. We need to take our freedom back by Getting rid of the ones causing the trouble, or Not, Representing us as we hired them to do. And JAIL the ones Breaking the law. Starting at the TOP. and the rest will run like rats jumping from a burning ship.


Yes ALL incumbants must be taken out of office no matter what their agenda. Agendas change after the votes are counted.
Lifetime jobs in government must END! Only We The People can make the change. They (Lifetime politicians) are never gonna vote for term limits. Politicians only quit when they are 90+ years old.


The shop I work at will only rent to you if you’ve bought a gun from us brought one with you are taking a private lesson with an instructor or with one or more people. No single non gun owners.

James Rinaldi

I don’t have a problem with this at all. Before I owned a gun, I had a friend (a gun owner) who was willing to come to the range with me. Now that I own a gun, all I have to do is bring it in with me and they will rent me anything I want.


At a range I worked at in 1995 we had a white lesbian kill herself. Not the type they are profiling here!

James Van Valkenburg

Lawyers, lawyers and more damn lawyers. Between ATF and lawyers, I think there needs to be an enema given to DC.


The chance that DC will accept it’s enema is slim, most likely the reason for the formerly self reliant WM’s to commit themselves to eternity, a bit earlier than they did before Obee came to inherit the throne. Possibly they realize they are now hopelessly in deep muck, on a long dead end road, far from traditional society, stuck with the tow charges…… for the rest of their lives.

Frank J. Austin

You Cannot give an enema to DC !!! Even IF they made one strong enough to be effective, It would cost many times the GDP of China to buy enough of it to even begin to work !


They need to put up a sign stating No Suicides Allowed, I’m sure that will make it safer. Works well for the gun free zones.

Harlan Baublit

Some gun ranges will have you bring your own gun into the range, and “trade” it for the rental gun. I believe to stop suicides this it’s a good step, why get a gun from a gun range to kill yourself if you already have your own.

James Rinaldi

My local gun store has the policy that if you want to rent a gun, then you bring in your own gun if you own one, and they keep it behind the counter if you are not going to shoot it. If you don’t own a gun, then you have to bring in a friend with you. Their theory is that if you want to commit suicide in their store, you won’t be bringing a friend with you.

Ray Torres

In Michigan you can’t rent a gun if you’re buy yourself, you must be with at least one other person. I guess you’re less likely to commit suicide when your with someone.


That is probably the policy of a particular store or range. I live in Michigan (Macomb county) and have rented several guns at the range when by myself, sometimes to try out a certain model before buying it and sometimes just out of curiosity to see how a particular gun feels to fire.. I know several others that have done the same at other local ranges.


I also live MI (Wayne County) and also rented guns at the Range/Store.


Hey all:
Could I get a wee bit of clarification .. .. ..
This article said: “GUN STORE” or did this take place at a “Indoor Gun Range” .. .. .. I have a yearly membership at a public indoor gun range / store and if you’re very serious about a purchase they’ll give you 10 rounds to shoot on their range, if you want to try several handguns they’ll request you buy a box of ammo and then let you take one weapon at a time into the range to test fire so you can make up your mind. (I live in Washington State).


Its a free market. If you don’t want to sell to a certain demographic you can deny them. If you dislike the current options in the market, open your own store. Clearly if there is a large population of white males that want to rent firearms a new store should have no problem making money off of the demand. Being a white male I dislike the rule of these particular stores, but nobody is forcing me to shop at them and if I dislike their policies, I will gladly spend money elsewhere. Banning stores from making decisions, especially ones like this, is the bigger crime. These stores are limiting their perceived liability. Don’t we all try to do that every day? The fact the majority of legal firearm owners in this country happen to be the population they are removing now has the firearm owners in a worry. If you don’t like it, open your own range.


This is clearly another example of this nation loosing it’s mind. An example of the greed and love of money by lawyer’s and insurance companies. For you posters that want to dump this on shooters of color. Just stop it. The stats show who are committing suicides at these ranges. Blame the lawyers and insurance companies.

David Pickens

If people really wanted to kill themselves at a gun range. Just buy the gun outright (doesnt matter if youre going max out the card, like they wouldnt be around to pay that bill) and take the gun off to the range portion and do the deed there. Just banning rentals wont do a bit of good.


I’ve been to one range that only rented to people who also brought their own gun with them. They apparently no one will bother to rent a second gun just to commit suicide.


This is the strangest thing I have read in a long time. Sorry statement about our society in all ways. If I had never rented (alone) at a range, taken a couple of lessons there, and gone to the CCW class they had, I never would have dreamed of purchasing. Of course, making it impossible to learn is the politicians’ goal. I live in a very gun-friendly part of the country but indoor ranges are hard to find. If the local one were to close, the next nearest one is an hour away. BTW at the local range, many of the clients are women, both white and black, learning self-defense shooting with instructors. (The cute young blond with a 9 shot 22 revolver was devastatingly accurate.) The owner is a woman. The CCW instructor was a woman. So much for stereotypes.

Leslie Hoerwinkle

I wouldn’t say having someone vouch for you is total nonsense. There are some loners who end up using guns to do something wrong and they may not have a friend or relative they could supply as a contact. Of course, not sure how many of them would go to a gun range to get a gun to harm someone other than themselves. And, it does inconvenience the 99.999% of “decent” people who just want to rent a gun and shoot it at the range.


At the range I go to, a person taking a gun training class took one of the loaded guns (i believe) and carried out the sad event, while other members (including children) of the class and instructor were right there with him. So in this case, he didn’t rent a gun. Psychological illness is a serious issue and nothing will stop some from finding a way out of here.


Lame story unless you post the name of the gun store so that us hard working law abiding white males can spend our hard money elsewhere..


No one near me rents guns making it extremely difficult to choose a carry caliber and model.


What store is it? Why not post it so people can petition them, or boycott them?

Dan Kidder

Meaningful statistics on gun range suicides can go one of two ways: First, how many people who commit suicide with a gun do so at a range? Answer is low. Few. Flip the question around though: How many shooting ranges that rent guns have had a suicide on their premises? Most have. High. So how you ask the question puts it into perspective for you.


I shoot and rent at a gun store/range I frequent that had a suicide last year. Now they will rent you a gun as long as you brought your own gun as well…you don’t need to shoot your own, just show them you’re a real customer. If you didn’t bring your own gun, you’d have to be escorted on the range and watched by an employee. I think this is the best way to get around it, or join the range club.


A no suicide zone Sure why not .. but singling out white males .. racist and should be the target of some silly investigation. Call th ACLU NAACP ASPCA hell call the View . Idiots morons and liberals & now a gun store owner . We are all doomed …..


A lot of ranges require the buddy system when renting guns. I’m ok with that


Why aren’t the liberal pos damming the sucides by automobile too????????????????????????


Suicide by COP????