With a name like Right to Bear Arms, the Haubstadt, Ind., gun shop isn’t subtle with its support of the Second Amendment. Sitting just off U.S. Highway 41, the vinyl hunters-haven is identified with a front yard sign boasting large red letters that spell “GUNS,” their Second Amendment nameplate, and the store motto, “Show Your Guns.”
Knowing that not every customer understands weapon jargon, co-owner Bob Hinton keeps it simple from the start. “We greet them right away,” he says. “We put them at ease and don’t talk over their heads.” Sincere greetings, a popcorn and soda stand, and entertainment from his 18-month old granddaughter is what Hinton claims gives his store a customer service edge. “And clean bathrooms,” adds his son-in-law and co-owner Jacob Stotlar.
The shop opened in 2010, after Hinton and his wife Darlene proposed the idea of a gun store to family members. “I don’t like to keep all of my eggs in one basket,” says Hinton, who previously owned a construction business. After entertaining the idea of opening a dog kennel, the avid hunter and gun collector came up with the winning idea following a bad experience with a gun repair. “I thought, ‘there’s a market in this,’” says Hinton. “So we did it.”
“We” includes three families within the family: Bob and Darlene; Ashley, their daughter, and Jacob Stotlar; and Darlene’s brother Trent Smith and his wife, Ginny, and sons, Tucker and Wyatt. Being family-run helps ensure a family-friendly atmosphere, says Hinton, which, he adds, many stores of this genre lack. The range of products sold can seem intimidating, from archery equipment to pistols to muzzle loaders to ammunition, but at Right to Bear Arms, the customer base includes women dragging their husbands in to buy their first bow and arrows, avid shooters, and couples looking for comfort in home security. In addition to the wide array of weapons, Hinton says the plan is eventually to incorporate safety lessons as well as a shooting range. Constantly, he and his team are searching for ways to improve the customer experience. “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” Bob says. “We’re constantly looking for ways to get better.”
For more information, visit www.righttobeararms.us.