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Blockbuster Video's Clintonspeak

by Chuck S., Tennessee

Originally published on this website June 16, 2000

To: Customer Service/RetailOp/Corporate/Blockbuster@BBEGI, customer.service@blockbuster.com

Subject: Handgun Carry

Dear Blockbuster:

As a long time and regular Blockbuster patron, I am concerned about what appears to be your corporate "don't ask, don't tell" policy on the lawful carry of firearms in your stores.

I understand that you want your customers and employees to feel safe while on your property. This is the very reason that law abiding gun owners prefer to patronize businesses that allow them to protect themselves and others. I doubt that Blockbuster can guarantee the personal safety of each patron and employee, and I'm certain that local law enforcement can post an armed officer at each location to help ensure this.

As Mr. Harris (from Tennessee Firearms Association) has previously stated to you, Tennessee has no law requiring that a handgun be concealed when carried by a permit holder. However, most prudent gun owners do not carry their firearm openly visible in to a retail establishment.

My question is: If a lawful permit holder unknowingly had his gun visible to a Blockbuster employee, would that employee be required by your company to call the local law enforcement agency? If so, what crime as he/she committed?

Is it possible to just have the manager politely ask the customer to either conceal the weapon or leave the property? That is the policy of a little company you may have heard of.....WALMART.

Please clarify this policy for me, so that I may pass it on to the other 80 million gun owners that may or may not want to do business with Blockbuster. As for me, I only trade with businesses that allow me to protect myself while shopping. I DO NOT carry my gun openly or "brandish it" as you say - but I am concerned that if it were to be seen inadvertently, Blockbuster could contribute to the loss of my Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Thank you in advance for your reply,

-Chuck S.
Germantown, TN


Blockbuster's Response:

In a message dated 6/13/00 10:41:56 AM Central Daylight Time, customer.service@blockbuster.com writes:

First, we want to thank you for your e-mail. Customer feedback is very important to us we are glad you took the time to write because it gives us the opportunity to respond to your concerns. At Blockbuster, we believe the key to staying number one in our industry is to listen to our customers; especially if a customer is dissatisfied with a product or service.

We want our customers and employees to feel safe while in a Blockbuster store, therefore, Blockbuster does not allow customers, except for members of law enforcement, to openly carry or brandish weapons in our stores. If a customer enters a store with a weapon that is visible, employees are instructed to contact the local law enforcement agency. Further Blockbuster employees are prohibited from carrying weapons of any sort into the store, on to company property, or to any company function.

In states with concealed weapons laws, customers have the right to carry a concealed weapon. The very nature of a concealed weapon is that it is concealed and, as such, employees would not see it. However, Anyone found carrying a weapon in violation of the state law would be referred to the local law enforcement agency.

Thank you for letting us know how we can better serve your entertainment needs. We take your comments very seriously and welcome them, as a valuable tool needed to improve the quality of our service. Please feel free to contact us anytime in the future with your questions or comments regarding any of our services or products.

Sincerely,

Blockbuster Consumer Services


Gun Owner Comes Back:

Dear Blockbuster,

Thank you for responding to my E-mail regarding handgun carry. However, I asked you a very specific question about the state of Tennessee to which you responded by sending the same FORM LETTER that you sent to Mr. Harris of the TFA.

I am asking for a specific answer to this question: What is your corporate policy (directive to employees) if a firearm is inadvertently exposed in a Blockbuster store in TENNESSEE - WHERE FIREARMS DO NOT HAVE TO BE CONCEALED?

Please reread my previous E-mail and answer the question. By your form letter, I read "if we can see it, we will call the cops." Although I am NOT REQUIRED by the state of Tennessee to conceal my weapon...I always do. But what will Blockbuster do if I bend over to help a little old lady pick up the video she just dropped, and my jacket slips open?

-Chuck S.
Germantown, TN


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