Taunton pulls trigger on new gun shop

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

Scott Taunton knows there is an orderly way of how things are done. The Navy veteran realizes, though, that it’s okay to buck the system every once in a while.

As many traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores struggle against the bane of e-commerce, Taunton is moving his successful 30-month-old online business to a retail store. Scott’s Tactical Supplies, located at 214 S. Long Drive opposite Family Video, will open to the public at 10 a.m. Friday. Taunton held a private opening for friends in a social media group Thursday evening.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Scott Taunton, a Navy veteran, will open Scott's Tactical Supplies at 10 a.m. Friday at 214 S. Long Drive in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Scott Taunton, a Navy veteran, will open Scott’s Tactical Supplies at 10 a.m. Friday at 214 S. Long Drive in Rockingham.

“Finally, finally,” said Taunton, 42, as he works to finish data entry on the shop computer.

Taunton said he purchased the building in April 2014 with an eye for a storage warehouse. Then a few friends suggested he open up shop in the physical world. A general contractor by trade, Taunton did most of the work himself.

Firearms and shooting for sport, Taunton said, is a hobby “that turned into what it is today. All my life I’ve always heard if you’ve turn your vacation into a vocation, you’d be happy.”

One thing’s for sure: the Roberdel resident will have the shortest commute of his adult life in this new phase of his life. To start, the shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Friday and Saturday. As the construction season slows and hunting season nears, however, Taunton said he plans to expand hours as needed.

“From home to Internet, now it’s going retail,” Taunton said.

Taunton said he’s not worried about the against-the-grain business approach. Taunton noted that customers of super stores like Best Buy or Walmart like to shop for the best price online.

“If you know what firearm you like, you can do the same thing,” he said, “and have it delivered to your local dealer, pick it up and pay a transfer fee.”

But many gun owners are more “touchy-feely,” he said. “What does it feel like in my hand?”

He said an online review for firearms seems to prompt customers to their store to get a grip on the gun.

Taunton served in the Navy as an electrician and was discharged in 1995. While in the service, he came to known and appreciate being around “like-minded people” who sought the camaraderie and “the brotherhood of military service.” It’s the same in the civilian world, Taunton said, and expects many of his customers to be law enforcement officers.

“I’ve just got a soft spot for the guys that are out here putting their lives on the line, keeping us safe and free,” he said.

He also aims to help military veterans as much as possible. To start this new phase, Taunton will continue to rely on the generosity of Nine Line apparel. The veteran-owned company donates 3 percent of its sales to to nonprofit veterans service organizations. He said he also hopes to help 22 Until None, through which Hoffman-area resident and Marine Corps veteran Brandon Parrish advocates for a world where far fewer than 22 veterans per day end their lives by suicide.

Taunton has more than 17,000 items listed on his online shop but will have fewer than 1,500 items in the retail facility. The trick for him and his wife, Josie, is to find things that both men and women will like. Both he and Josie are certified conceal-carry instructors and along with classes in the near future and “basic sporting goods stuff” such as knives and scopes, he also will carry a line of conceal-carry handbags.

They are, Taunton said, “an oddity that most of us guys don’t think a lot about.”

“My wife found a product line she was satisfied with,” Taunton said. “We carried it online, we took it to gun shows” and it was a success.

“I guess she’s got good taste,” Taunton said.

Filed in: Business, Latest Headlines, Military and Veterans, News, Outdoors

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