NAS Guns & Ammo, located at 726 Queen Street East, is celebrating a successful first year in business.
The store, locally owned by Darrell Wood, Chris McLeod and Brad Gregorini, sells its merchandise across Canada, competing with other guns and ammo retailers and online vendors.
“It was a natural fit for us to open up our first storefront in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. Downtown’s a great place to be, its diverse and we definitely get some good foot traffic down here, everything’s close, we’re downtowners for sure,” Wood told us as he and shop assistant Amy Zuccato received a pair of cool SooToday mugs.
“Our clients include hunters, competitive shooters, collectors, as well as individuals who are trying to attain a career path in policing and law enforcement,” Wood said.
“We stock everything they need, like handguns, shotguns, rifles, every type of calibre of ammunition that is needed for those aspects of the sport.”
“It is a sport, at the end of the day. People can get the wrong impression about firearms and ammunition, but it’s a very safe and regulated business,” Wood emphasized.
“Anyone who has a license and shoots and hunts understands the safety measures that need to be implemented, they adhere to it and that’s the most important thing when you’re dealing with firearms and ammunition.”
Locally, competitive shooters would use guns and ammo purchased at NAS Guns & Ammo at locations such as the Algoma Rod & Gun Club and the Practical Shooters of Algoma shooting range.
“It’s an industry that’s growing leaps and bounds, you see a younger generation coming into the sport, which is exciting,” Wood said.
Wood encourages those interested in taking up shooting to go through all the mandatory steps in order to obtain a firearms licence, such as being trained by a professional instructor, submitting test results and an application to the federal government (along with references and fees), then visit NAS for advice for all their shooting needs before purchasing a firearm.
“Sales are fantastic,” Zuccato said.
“Right now it’s usually the down season for firearms purchases (compared to fall hunting season), but every day we’re selling guns all across Canada.”
“We love the business, it’s absolutely amazing to learn shooting with different calibres, it’s a sport, I enjoy the sport of it,” Wood said.
“I’ve always been around guns. I was Daddy’s little girl, sitting on his knee at his gun table, he was showing me how to take apart guns, clean them and put them back together,” Zuccato smiled.
“After years of hands on experience with older guns and now working in a gun store with the new guns, I’ve got a huge database of knowledge and its become my niche,” Zuccato said.
NAS Guns & Ammo hours of operation are currently 9 a.m. to 6 p.m Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday.