Keeping Them Interested

It would be unrealistic to think every new gun buyer will take up a shooting sport, start hunting or find some other way to turn this into a hobby. But with the right touch — particularly on the customer service front — many of them will stick around, believes Jillian Biltz, owner of Mad Dog Armory in Largo, Fla.

“We can’t convert everybody,” Biltz suggested, “but if they’re treated right, we’ll keep a lot of them.”

A big part of this is helping uncomfortable people feel welcome in places many of them never thought they’d be. Her shop uses a range of tools to make this happen. They offer shooting clubs (one for men and one for women), that meet once a month to help customers understand different aspects of firearm ownership. They’re in the midst of a training push, with several different courses, including a weekly introductory class.