Sullivan County gun store owner says public still hoarding guns, ammo

Hank Hayes • May 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

KINGSPORT — An insecure public remains in a gun-buying panic mode more than four months after the Sandy Hook School shooting massacre, Shooter’s Edge General Manager Don Reimer told a Greater Kingsport Republican Women’s (GKRW) luncheon Monday.

“I don’t have to remind you of the tragedies. ... A lot of unnecessary death has come about,” Reimer said. “I think most of the public is scared to death. That has created panic buying. It has created an urgency of hoarding — ammunition and guns. ... If you would have come out to my shop a few months ago, you would have seen hundreds of guns in the cases. You would have seen hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition stacked on the floor. I can’t say that any more. I currently have four guns for sale in the whole store. We’ve got a couple hundred thousand rounds of ammunition. That sounds like a lot, but when you rent guns every day and have new shooters to participate (in target practice), that’s nothing.

“You can thank a couple people for that. One of them is in the White House (President Barack Obama). You can thank the criminals who don’t need background checks and steal guns.”

Reimer said 52 percent of his customers are women at the 21,000-square-foot Shooter’s Edge Indoor Range and Training Facility in Piney Flats.

“We have three things that we stress every day at Shooter’s Edge: We’ve got to be safe, clean and friendly,” Reimer noted. “If it’s not safe, you don’t want to come in there. If it’s not clean, women will not come back. They may come once but they won’t come back. If it’s not friendly, quite frankly we don’t sell anything.”

Reimer stressed Shooter’s Edge conducted gun training classes resulting in 1,800 new concealed carry permit holders last year.

He backed state lawmakers passing a new so-called “Safe Commute” law this year to allow those gun permit holders to leave their concealed weapons in their vehicles at work.

“Businesses have the right to tell you that you can or cannot bring a gun into a store,” Reimer told the luncheon. “If you work in an establishment that says you can’t bring a gun in, you can’t bring your gun in there, simple, carry permit or not. ... We teach you to carry it concealed ... that way it’s there for your defense, but not to be brandished in any manner.

“Car jackings ... robberies ... things happen all the time. You have a right to bring that weapon with you from your home to your job. Once you’re there, ... you can keep it there but it must remain in your vehicle. That’s not an unreasonable request. ... I can’t see anything that’s wrong with that (Safe Commute) law whatsoever.”

The Tennessee Senate sponsor of that new law, GOP Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey of Blountville, is being criticized by Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) Executive Director John Harris.

In a posting on TFA’s Facebook page, Harris charged Ramsey and some other Republican lawmakers don’t understand the Constitution as it applies to gun rights.

Ramsey, who attended the GKRW luncheon, responded: “The Tennessee Firearms Association is a great organization but I will say this: I do think at times it exists to benefit one person, John Harris. He is unreasonable at times. I think we passed a bill that will be very good to protect Second Amendment rights and his bottom line is if he doesn’t write the bill, he doesn’t like it. There’s nothing I can do about that, but anybody who knows me at all knows I’m a big defender of Second Amendment rights ... but for some reason he has gotten crossways with me and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

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