Author: Ayoob, Massad
Date published: October 1, 2010
Journal code: SHIY
Gordon Schorer's operation - called simply The Gun Shop - is a gun store not quite like any other.
As you enter, the first thing you see is a suite of barbers' chairs right out of us old guys' almostforgotten youth. You want a soda? You can buy it out of a period vending machine. And that's before you step further into the past, examining the giant military armorer's cutaway teaching samples of the BAR and other iconic guns of the early and mid20th century. If your taste in WWII firearms runs to the real thing, you'll find it there in plentitude, from 191 IAl .45s to Lugers, Walthers and more exotic rarities from the great conflict, and before.
You like modern? Gordon Schorer's got modern. You like to shoot? Do it right there, on a clean, modern, well-ventilated indoor range. Yes, rental guns are available. You like to not just shoot, but compete? You're standing at the site of a recent International Defensive Pistol Association ( IDPA) State Championship, and competitions are held there monthly.
The Gun Shop is one experienced firearms retailer's vision of what a retail firearms emporium can be. Eclectic? Oh, yes. Successful? You betcha.
Decor Creates Comfort
The antiques set out around the store range from archaic "horsey rides" to the kind of soda machine Grandma bought pop from. The biggest benefit of the decor is it gives the spouse and kids something fascinating to occupy their time while the family gun enthusiast shops. It also makes the atmosphere more neutral, and subtly conveys that guns are a non-threatening part of our history - a normal part of American life.
"I try to bring respect back to an industry that doesn't get much of it from the general public anymore," Schorer said. "A person who is intimidated by guns is more comfortable in the presence of things that are interesting, but neutral. We have had people from all walks of life come in, and everyone seems to be at ease. Our employees are armed, but they carry concealed instead of openly, Some customers are intimidated by open carry."