We sell hunting rifles, recreation firearms, and competitionlevel target rifles. Pa rt of our business naturally focuses on self-defense, which is particularly attractive during a time when violent crimes including home invasions and car jackings, seem to be on the rise. We supply a sense of security to people who have been victims of crimes. Businesses and homeowners alike come to us for defensive weapons.
We give discounts to local businesses that have a particular need for protection. Some of our firearms have actually been used in genuine self-defense. Law enforcement agencies are some of our best customers. We like to give back to the community and donate up to 15 firearms a year to local charities. We recently donated a $1,500 shotgun for a PAL fundraiser.
Brentwood Armory is a quality store with a relatively large inventory. Turnover can be gratifying; some of our firearms don’t even make it to the counter. We comply with all regulations including state and federal. Every year it is a fight to stay in business. California is unfriendly to small businesses, in general, and does nothing to encourage the Firearm Industry. Our second amendment rights are constantly under attack. New laws and regulations are continually being added to try to ensure firearm ownership remains a province of the criminal class and becomes increasingly less possible for law-abiding citizens.
Our customers include women, which is an emerging shooter demographic. Some retail gun outlets seem have some kind of macho thing going on with attitudes that discourage women and even drive them away. Brentwood Armory deliberately embraces equality as a core value. We treat a woman customer just like anyone else who would come into the store looking for a firearm — advising her on which gun to choose, teaching her how to keep it safe, and then preparing her to use it effectively, if an occasion to do so would ever arise.
Shooting is a family activity as well as a business. My wife comes from a firearm friendly family in Nevada. Our five-yearold daughter has her first firearm. She is the proud possessor of a little pink Cricket 22 and is developing into quite the shooter. Someday she might be behind the counter,working the family business, and showing other women how the presence of a small firearm together with the knowledge of how to use it can, in some cases, instill a sense of empowerment and subsequent confidence that might improve a woman’s life if she never actually drew it.
After all, I think that the subtle poise and self-assurance of a man or woman who is packing a firearm while walking down a dark street might put them in less danger of actually being attacked than an unarmed citizen. Thugs and hoodlums are looking for easy prey, waiting for people who appear weak and fearful. They would never mistake my wife or me for an easy target. Or, if they did, we are prepared to make that a terrible error in judgment on their part.
I was raised in San Leandro. I loved the outdoors. I was a committed member of the Boy Scouts and loved to go hunting and fishing at Eagle Lake with my grandpa. My love for shooting began with my father and granddad. I acquired my first firearm when I was eight years old. It was a Ruger 10/22 Carbine Autoloading Rifle, which has been America’s favorite 22 for more than 50 years. The number 22 in the name indicated the caliber, and I recently learned that the 10 was for a removable 10-round rotary magazine that was designed to fit flush with the bottom of the stock. (Dad never bought me the removable magazine.)
I rapidly improved my accuracy and used the rifle in successful hunts for small game and a few upland birds. Dad and Grandpa took me on my first hunt when I was seven years old. I was carrying a 22-revolver that Dad had bought for me at a famous gun-store called Traders. Even at seven I was able to draw down and sometimes hit what I was shooting at. The day I shot my first squirrel was a triumph; I felt like I was becoming a man.
When I was a teenager, I graduated to a Winchester Model 1894, lever action carbine, which I still own. We would hunt deer and pigs in the mountains. In high school I got more interested in playing basketball than hunting. I graduated from Dublin High in 1993. I had always been a bit on the wild side, dropped out of college before completing the first year, and joined the Marine Corps. My basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego was the most difficult thing I ever did in my life, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me, as well. The harsh discipline and rigorous training helped instill qualities including integrity, honesty, courage, and teamwork.
I was assigned as a heavy equipment engineer with the Second Marine Air Wing out of Cherry Point, North Caroline. We were building runways for the air wing. The work was fun, but I mustered out as soon as my hitch was over. I intended to go into law enforcement, but wanted to make a better income than I could as a cop, so I got into computing and taught myself enough hardware and software to qualify as an administrator for both Windows and Unix, before getting into software programming. I spent the next 15 years as a software engineer. My career began to include a lot of interruptions because on six different occasions I would become temporarily unemployed when my job was shipped overseas.
For a while I entertained a dream of becoming a pro bass fisherman. My buddy and I were on my bass boat one day fishing on the Delta, when he asked a question that changed my life: “Why don’t you open a gun store?” I have always collected guns and was intrigued by the possibility of turning my hobby into an actual business. I had recently cashed out some stock and was looking for something to invest in. I spent the next three months investigating the opportunity and researching licensing requirements and area demographics. I discovered that Brentwood didn’t have a local and trusted outlet where citizens could acquire firearms at a reasonable price.
We are doing sales on our Internet ecommerce site as well as out of our Brentwood Retail store. We’ve been in business for three years this month. It’s going well. We began with 700 square feet retail and now are at 2,800. We’re planning to expand and someday have a firing range.
Safety first is our priority, and we go to great lengths to ensure that gun owners act responsibly. We conduct safety demonstrations with every purchase.