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Top Shop Discussion – Gun Policy

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The topic of Guns in the Workplace came up during a panel at the 2018 Tire Review Top Shop event in Nashville, Tennessee. This is what our 2018 finalists and past winners had to say about the topic:

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Tire Review:  I’m curious about your gun policies.

Alpio Barbara, Redwood General Tire:  Your what?

Patti Renner, Tire Review Editor:  Gun policies.

Alpio:  That’s what I thought she said the first time, yeah.

Howard Fleischmann, Community Tire Pros:  Everybody should carry one.  [laughs]

Barbara:  We don’t have one.  We can’t have a…

Renner:  Do you have, Claudia, do you have a gun policy within your organization?

Claudia Luppino, Bud’s Tire Pros:  No.

Bud Luppino, Bud’s Tire Pros:  No.

Claudia Luppino:  Never crossed our minds.

Bud Luppino:  Just because of a shooting behind us and someone got killed, we don’t…  They had the policy.  [laughs] No, we don’t have a gun policy.

Renner:  Okay.  Does anyone here have a gun policy?  You’ve got moose hunters in Alaska.  Do you have one?

Craig Wortham, Alyeska Tire:  We got so many guns in Alaska, we ask our customers to please leave their weapons in their vehicle.

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Wortham:  What about your employees?

Wortham:  Oh, employees are not allowed to bring…

David Sands, Lex Brodie’s Tire:  Yeah, we have a policy.  Employees cannot have guns.

Wortham:  Can’t have them.

Renner:  On the property?  Do they have to be sealed in the vehicle, or do they need to…

Sands:  On the property, on our property.

Chris Monroe, Munroe Tire & Service:  What’s unnerving is when a technician rolls a car in, and there’s a .45, you know, inside.

Wortham:  Yeah, you know, that’s happened a ton for us.

Monroe:  So, we come in, and they’re required to announce that.  They come in and tell the advisor, and then we text them or say hey, you’ve got a gun in the car, and you’ve got $300 and three pills that we don’t know what those are.  We’re just taking inventory.

Wortham:  So that you know that we noticed that.

Monroe:  Yeah, what we see…

Sands:  You’ve got two pills now.  [laughs]

Monroe:  I am from North Carolina, so.

Renner:  So, do you have that customer then come back and secure his weapon, his firearm, or do you just work…

Monroe:  No, they usually say okay, thanks, yeah, I know.

Renner:  You just acknowledge the fact that it’s there, and then you work on the vehicle with it.

Monroe:  We just acknowledge it, yeah.  We just know that they know that we know that they know.  That’s the key.  Sometimes they’ll take it, but most of the time, it just stays in the car.

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Barbara:  We have cameras, right?  Because I’ve had a customer one time accuse us of taking, ready for this, their Frank Sinatra tapes.  And I told the lady, I said…

Renner:  Was it The Golden Years album?  [laughter]

Barbara:  I said it ma’am, my employees will not listen to that, but let me do this for you.  I got her a stool, put her in front of our camera and gave her the remote, and I said here you go.  You can watch your car go through the whole thing.

Monroe:  The camera piece, I’m just getting ready, the 30th, we’re replacing all of our cameras in the shop.  Every angle is covered.  That has been, I told another shop owner, to…

Barbara:  That would be the first thing to do.

Monroe:  Yes.  Man, put that in place.  It’s not for your employees per se.  It’s just it’s good, and customers like to see it.  We have a big monitor, and they see all 16 cameras, and they know that…  And this wasn’t on there, or this happened, and that’s what we do.  We say all right, let’s take a review.  Let’s see what’s going on.  It gives you credibility, accountability, and people like it.  They ask sometimes to see what happened in a situation.  It’s worked.

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Renner:  Great.  Julie, do you have a gun policy at Waukegan?

Julie Scroggins, Waukeegan Tire & Supply:  We do not.

Renner:  Have you had any issues?  I mean, you’re outside of Chicago.  [laughter]

Barbara:  Why are you asking that?

Renner:  We are doing a feature story on what…guns in the workplace, basically, because there are different laws in different states.  There are different dealers.  There are some people who are concealed carry.  There’s some people who are in hunting areas.  There’s some people who are near military.  Just it’s an issue that really has not been explored, and there has not been any sort of light shed on it within the tire dealership business environment.  So, that’s why.

Barbara:  As Howard knows, I’ve said, I ride my motorcycle in Arizona as well as California, but in Arizona we can pack.  In the four years when I moved down there, I’m riding like this, coming back from Payson.  The guy next to me’s got this Glock sitting right here.  And I go [frowns].  So, we stop for our bio break.  And I go hey, Mike, I said, what’s with the Glock?  He goes oh, yeah, I pack all the time.  I said I was in law enforcement for 10 years.  I said I hated packing when I was working, but we had to pack when we were off duty because you’re a cop 24/7, right?  And I go, you packing a gun is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and you’re just going to get nothing but trouble with it.  I don’t care if the guy shoots you first.  You better catch that bullet, so you can prove it, that he shot first, versus you going there and popping him.  So, I mean, man, I’m not anti-gun.  I support the NRA and all that kind of stuff.  I’m not saying I’m against guns, but man, packing, going back and forth to work, you’re asking for it.

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Howard Fleischmann:  The laws in California are a lot different than Arizona.  We’ve always had the right to pack.  I can remember being young enough that I was riding my motorcycle packing, and I would check it when I went into a mall or a restaurant.  They would actually…  I’m that old.  I’m that old that that was standard procedure.

Renner:  It’s just a topic that has come up, and it just hasn’t been explored, so we just wanted to get some feedback.

Barbara:  We just had another sheriff in San Francisco, not the one that you heard about last week, one that happened yesterday, he had his gun stolen out of his car, another one.  Yeah.  You’re not supposed to put it in your glovebox.  You’re supposed to have it on you, you know.  That’s why they were in trouble, and that’s why they don’t tell their bosses when it gets stolen, hoping they can find it before…  But this one guy killed somebody with a stolen gun.

Renner:  I have yet another…

Pat Fleischmann, Community Tire Pros:  We have a couple people who carry, as far as techs, but they know when they come in, it yet locked into the office.  That’s standard.  No if, ands…

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Renner:  So, they bring it into the business.  They lock it in the office.

Pat Fleischmann:  In, lock, and then they go and get ready to work.

Howard Fleischmann:  The difficulty in Arizona as we had a politician, should’ve never been a politician, and she signed a bill off saying you can carry concealed without any education, without anything.  It’s really a bad situation.

Sands:  Very minimal training.

Howard Fleischmann:  Yeah, yeah, stupid.  Stupid.  Fortunately, Jan’s gone.  Oh, did I say that out loud?  [laughs] [crosstalk] Brewer.

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