HURON – Avid hunters themselves, Dan and Erin McGaugh believe they are filling a need in Huron by opening a store catering to others interested in guns.
Huron Guns and Ammo is located along busy Highway 37 on the north end of town. In their first month in business, the McGaughs have already been able to satisfy the needs of many customers.
“We thought it would be a good spot for it,” Dan McGaugh said of their address, 1885 Dakota Ave. N. “We’re along the highway, a good location.”
Formerly the site of Dakota Restaurant Supply, Huron Guns and Ammo carries handguns, shotguns, rifles, reloading supplies and used guns taken in on consignment. Scopes and other accessories are also available. Steel targets made locally by Target Hanging Solutions are also on display in the showroom.
“We want to get big into the ammo,” he said. “We want to have a large selection of ammo.”
The McGaughs said their decision to open a store fills a need that otherwise takes customers to other South Dakota communities of similar size that have as many as three such locations.
He said it didn’t make sense that people must drive 50 miles to the nearest one.
Long guns, handguns and accessories are also available at Walmart.
Runnings Farm & Fleet in Huron has a new gun display area it opened three weeks ago.
Floor manager Michele Korell said many of the other Runnings stores have sold guns for some time. A grand opening and ribbon cutting celebrated the addition to the Huron store over the long Fourth of July weekend.
Runnings offers a great selection of long guns, handguns, accessories, targets, scopes, ammunition and other merchandise, she said.
Not only are customers interested in purchasing guns for target practice, some want one for personal protection.
Dan McGaugh said guns are also popular with collectors. Guns have a good value and are actually a good investment, he said.
“Nobody ever loses much money on a gun,” he said. “Some guys do it just for that. They buy a couple guns a month just to have them.”
Business has been good, with word spreading among customers and potential new ones, through social media and their highway location.
“We’ve bought 30, 40 guns off the bat and we’ve ordered in just as many as we’ve sold off the shelf,” he said.
Two women called last week who were interested in purchasing a handgun for personal protection, Erin McGaugh said.
With hunting season only a few months off, the McGaughs will be preparing for the demand for long guns and shotgun shells. A special license is not required to sell ammunition, but a Federal Firearms License is needed to deal in gun sales.
People from all 50 states and three Canadian provinces spent time in Huron at the end of June for the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, and many were gun enthusiasts who checked out the store after learning of it on social media.
The rodeo brought 120 competitors to town for the shooting contest alone, the McGaughs said.
“There’s a lot of different interest out there when it comes to guns,” he said. “There are so many different tastes.
“You never know what somebody’s going to ask for when they walk in the door,” he said.