My friend Stein told me over the weekend that we had a new gun shop opening up in our area. Since CGW closed (and you all know how Tara and I worried about that), I've been looking for a new shop. But looking for a new shop is hard when you're a female. That sounds weird, but there truly are so few female-friendly gun shops around. Stein told me he spent some time talking to the owner on Friday and thought I'd like the place.
He was absolutely right. RCC and I drove over on Monday, thinking we'd check it out, but it turns out they're closed on Sundays and Mondays. Poor timing on our part - everyone's entitled to a weekend - so we planned to stop in today.
Stein had told me that they had an incredible inventory and that they were still unpacking and getting set up, but that the owner took time to talk to him. I had a picture in my mind of what I thought the store would look like and it far exceeded my expectations. I was running late getting back from my parents' place this afternoon, so by the time RCC and I arrived at the shop, it was ten minutes 'til closing time. I thought we'd run in, say 'hi' and plan to go back at another time.
As we walked up to the front doors, we ran into a welcoming committee of kids who literally welcomed us and asked if we had a good experience there to please spread the word. This is me spreading the word :) Plus, it helped that the kids loved the 1911 decals on Ripley.
The store is amazing. You know, there are some gun shops that are crowded and dark-feeling? This one is the exact opposite. No problem with claustrophobia for me in this store. It's huge - open and airy with lots of natural light. And guns everywhere. If it goes bang, not only do they carry it, but they carry multiples.
The owner was welcoming and friendly, even though it was just a few minutes before closing time. I told him what I was looking for, and though he didn't have any in stock, he offered to find it for me. Then he started showing me guns. Me. Not RCC. He spoke directly to me without talking down to me. That carries a ton of weight in my book. Like I said earlier, female-friendly gun shops are hard to come by. Oh, there are plenty who say they are, but are lying through their teeth just to get your money.
We talked until well beyond closing time and then talked a bit more in the parking lot. He told me about the classes that he recommends (I might take one just to see what it's like) and what he does for new gun owners, which I think is brilliant.
Each Saturday, he opens the store an hour early for people who have purchased new guns. In that hour, he holds a class to teach them how to break down, clean, and handle their guns safely. For free. He's very conscientious about gun safety and pushes training; he wants to know that the people who purchase guns from him know how to handle them safely. Because of this, he's also very picky about who he recommends as instructors.
I like his philosophy and I love that he's not just giving lip-service to gun safety and training - he's actually providing the stepping stone for new gun owners to bear the responsibility of gun ownership.
I will most definitely be returning to USA Liberty Arms frequently and spending my money there. You know, when I have some to spend :)
As a side note: I love their location. Right next door is a spa where I can get my happy toes and then just skip next door to fondle guns. Pretty much a perfect situation.
USA Liberty Arms
921 E. Harmony Road
Suites 101, 102
Fort Collins, CO 80525