WAYNESVILLE – Gun enthusiasts have been blasted with recent gun law negotiations at both the state and federal levels.
However, fearing the government could restrict the reach of our Second Amendment right to bear arms, gun sales are booming, something new Waynesville Gun & Pawn owner Don Bordwell, of Evening Shade, Mo., calls a "blessing."
Bordwell worked as an electrical contractor for 23 years, most recently with the local QSS Electric, before making the jump into a different type of entrepreneurship.
But it wasn't until after Bordwell lost a primary election for Mo. State Representative in Texas County that he earned his federal firearms license, which led him to pursue a new career.
"I did that and we [Bordwell and his wife Jenny] were thinking we would sell six or eight guns a month," Don said. "Well, I got my FFL the week before [the Newtown] shooting happened and things just went nuts."
After participating in area gun shows, Bordwell realized he was making more money selling firearms than bidding electrical construction jobs.
It still took some motivation to take the full-time gun salesman leap, however.
"After the sixth person came to us and said, 'You know, you ought to go in and talk to Ted Williams [former owner of Waynesville Pawn & Gun]'," Bordwell explained, "I wheeled in here on a whim and it just went from there."
Within a period of six weeks, Don and Jenny became the new proprietors of the pawn property. That was after nights of "praying about it" and Don's decision to cash in his retirement fun to pursue his new dream.
The new Waynesville Gun & Pawn will be in the same location, but several minor changes will take effect upon the Bordwells' takeover.
"We took out the food," Don said. "To be real honest, the food wasn't making any money and it only ran because it was Sue's cooking and none of us can handle that."
Don said he eventually plans to add a surplus of tactical gear and modern weaponry, including Glocks, new models, AR-15s and customization options.
Bordwell also said he plans to up the inventory.
"Right now we're about a 250-gun store. We'd like to push that up to around 450 guns," he said.
As far as pawning goes, Don said Waynesville Gun & Pawn will still offer the service to those in need, though he is "not interested "in doing Payday Loans."
Since taking over, Waynesville Gun & Pawn has more than doubled – and often triples – an acceptable business amount on most days.
"In our first four days of business we have yet to have a day where we did less than double," Don said. "Right now we're feeling pretty encouraged."
Page 2 of 2 - Neither Don nor Jenny have been self-employed before, so the couple is still "nervous."
"We've wagered everything on this," Don explained. "We have everything riding on the success of [the business.]"
"We'd like to make it a staple of the downtown community," Don said.
Waynesville Gun & Pawn is located just west of Waynesville Square on Route 66. For more information contact Don at (573) 774-7800.