Wichita gun store explains customer vetting process

One Wichita gun store owner says while he’s noticed the spike in sales and appreciates the business, not all potential customers walk away with a firearm.
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 9:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Gun sales have been rising since the start of the pandemic. One Wichita gun store owner says while he’s noticed the spike in sales and appreciates the business, not all potential customers walk away with a firearm.

The owner of Range 54, Ken Grommet, says in light of recent events he wants people to know that buying a gun is a multiple-step process that’s not simple. If they have a reason, they will not sell you a gun.

“We can deny somebody for any reason. Everybody has a sixth sense. You have to trust your gut,” says Grommet.

He says the process of buying a gun is not always long, but it is thorough. The forms and background checks required to purchase a firearm at Range 54 ensure a weapon doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Grommet says this is standard practice for most Wichita gun stores.

“A background check is conducted to see if you can legally have the firearm. If that comes back to us, we can sell the gun, and you can walk out,” said Grommet. “If it’s delayed, the FBI wants to investigate that person further. If it’s denied, they can’t have a firearm at all.”

Range Manager, Matt Reichle, expressed that even if someone passes their background check, the employees can use their best judgment and refuse a purchase.

Reichle says, “most of the time, we deny someone a gun because we smell something on them. It could be alcohol, illicit drugs, or maybe their behavior doesn’t seem right. We want to ensure the gun won’t be used for the wrong reason.”

Employees will also deny someone a gun sale if they believe the purchase is not for themselves.

“That person might be buying for someone else. We won’t let that happen. Tragedies throughout the country happen because somebody bought a gun and gave it to somebody else. No one wants that on their hands.” said Grommet. “If a customer wants a specific gun but doesn’t know anything about it, that tells me they’re trying to buy the gun for somebody else.”

Grommet hopes people understand when they come into Range 54 or any other Wichita gun store, they expect to be vetted because guns aren’t toys.

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