Jeremy McGuire said there are a lot of responsible sportsmen and gun owners in Maricopa who need a local place to buy guns and ammunition.
He had been operating his gun shop KISS Tactical Firearms out of his home in Rancho El Dorado, but decided to take it to the next step by leasing retail space. He has lived in Maricopa for five years.
“I saw a need in the city and decided to fill that void,” said McGuire, who opened his business on Jan. 13 on the second floor of the former Train Station Inn. “We need to keep our money in the community as much as possible.”
The former motel next to the Union Pacific tracks is also the location of the Maricopa Auto Spa and several other small businesses.
McGuire said KISS is an acronym used in the gun community and military that means “keep it super simple.”
To McGuire as a businessman that means, “Sell a good product, take care of your customers and make each one your biggest fan.Your customers will tell you what they want if you listen to them.”
McGuire said he has the city and federal licenses required to sell guns and is a Class III dealer, which means he can sell suppressors, or what most people know as silencers.
He said suppressors have gotten a bad rap from television and movies, where they are seen being used by criminals.
“Bad guys don’t run around with suppressors because you must go through a very extreme FBI background check before you can buy one,” he said.
McGuire said the device saves hearing, softens the recoil on a weapon and are a good way to introduce young children to shooting because they will be less frightened without the loud noise.
McGuire builds custom weapons and has on display an AR-15 he built for competition. He also carries some historical firearms, including three rifles used in World War II, one by the Japanese, one by the Russians and another by the British.
McGuire said he has a small inventory right now, because he is trying to figure out what products will be the biggest sellers. However, he can special order any gun.
His inventory includes rifles, short rifles, shot guns, hand guns, ammunition and hunting knives. He will buy, sell and trade firearms, and said he will buy unwanted guns if someone wants to remove a firearm from his or her home.
McGuire said he is a big proponent of gun safety and gives every customer who wants one a free gun lock.
“I want to dispel the myth that guns are evil and stress responsible gun ownership,” he said.
When McGuire was growing up, he said his dad taught him how to shoot and safely handle guns, and that’s what all parents should do if they keep guns in the house.
“You need to take away the taboo,” he said. “If you hide the gun in the back of the closest and tell them never to touch it, they are going to find it when you’re not home.”
Though his son is only 2 years old, McGuire said he is teaching him that guns are not toys.
“I still lock my guns in my safe,” he said. “As a responsible gun owner it is my duty to teach the next generation about gun safety. My son loves to be with me when I am reloading and he wants to help. Any kid his age loves to do what his daddy is doing.”
McGuire said there are guns to fit anyone’s particular interest or need.
“People are into history, tactical, cowboy guns, bull’s-eye shooting and hunting,” he said. “There’s a niche for just about everybody.”
McGuire’s gun shop, the only one in town, is the second business to open in Maricopa in recent weeks. On Jan. 2, King Fish Sea & Soul Food opened down the street from KISS Tactical.
Mayor Anthony Smith said although he enjoys the familiarity of national chains, he is always excited when different, small businesses open in Maricopa.“It makes for a fun and unique dining experience,” he said of family-owned restaurants.
Though he said he is not a great shot, Smith said he does own some guns and in his family there is a tradition of skeet shooting on holidays. He said hunting is an important activity in Arizona.
Store hours at KISS Tactical are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. The store is closed on Mondays.
More information is available by calling 520-568-3269 or going to http://kisstactical.com.