An update for anyone that shops at Bass Pro Shops concerning their policy on Open Carry. This past Friday I rode over to the Bass Pro in Ashland Virginia, walked through their greeters and 30 yards into the store before an employee followed behind me asking for a permit. I informed her that a permit was not necessary in the Commonwealth of Virginia and that my form of carry was completely legal. It was brought to my attention that no loaded and/or unlocked firearms were permitted in their facility, so I calmly walked back to her check point and unloaded my CW so that she may put a trigger-lock on it. I attempted to honor this policy despite that this makes it impossible to openly carry my firearm anywhere but my hands and that for all intensive purposes, this would scare more customers than a loaded firearm properly secured in a holster. I was thanked for my patience by having the muzzle of my own weapon waved in my face as this poorly instructed employee attempted to lock the trigger of my firearm, at which point I corrected her for this mistake and asked for my firearm back. Once retrieved it was returned to my vehicle, and I went in to purchase what I rode an hour to pick up. This is my last trip to Bass Pro Shops, until such a time as they can rethink their policy and train their employees to do such simple tasks in a safe manner. Their store has the legal right to limit firearms on their property and I honor that despite my personal beliefs. This doesn't excuse dangerous, poorly educated, and poorly trained employees. Also note that their policy isn't properly marked and enforced at the door. I was barely noticed by an employee that was looking for such rights being exercised. I open carry because it is practical and legal for me, not because I need to flaunt or make people uncomfortable. People like this are why it draws so much negative attention. Having had this issue, I have done a basic Google search and found that many others have had these issues at other Bass Pro Shop locations. I don't appreciate this stupidity, but it's something to watch for.
I am also typing up a formal complaint for their management, and will keep you all updated as to how they respond to/handle this.
For all those interested, the store location is 11550 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland Virginia, 22305.
Update : I received a response early this morning from the store manager, that reads as follows.
I am sorry, that is unacceptable. Can you tell me who it was that stopped you and I will rectify immediately. We have folks coming in here all of the time. You are right. It is your right and my right to carry arms. I will fix.
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Hanover County, Virginia"
Notify me if you would like to see the draft sent directly to the manager.