collector I visit quickly steps forward and wants to know what I'm writing down.
I tell him I'm writing an article and ask about the sign on the door. He says there are lots of reasons for the strict policy including the hope of deterring thieves. I listen but am distracted by a beautiful single-shot Remington rifle. "Oh, you like that, do you?" he asks, and he shows me an antique model 42 Winchester, made in the 1930s or 1940s. It's engraved with a hunting scene, complete with pointing dog and flying pheasant inlaid with gold. The wood is AAA-grade walnut. Price tag: between $20,000 and $30,000. "These aren't the kind of guns that somebody's going to rob the 7-Eleven with," he laughs.
The club president tells me stories about antigun activists who take pictures of gun dealers and then put them on their websites. It's never happened here, or to anyone he personally knows, but hearing about it is enough to worry him. "We're like family here," he says. "We take collections for the Saline Food Bank have a scholarship program for colleges and trade schools."