Gun sales brisk in Clinton

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Tim McGarigle, owner of Gargoyle Firearms, sells a couple of handguns to Jay Demski of Manchester on Thursday. The store, located next to Clinton High School east of downtown on US-12, sells a variety of guns, ammunition and accessories. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

After 28 years working as a chemist, Timothy McGarigle was laid off and had to rethink what he wanted to do for a career. He spent time researching demographics and discussing different sales ventures with his wife, Cindy, and one area that seemed like a good investment was selling firearms. When she saw the former party store property was available on E. Michigan Ave. in Clinton, Cindy suggested it would be a perfect location for a gun shop.

“It seemed like a good business to get into,” McGarigle said.

He had knowledge of weaponry, although he does not consider himself a gun enthusiast. Hunting with his father as a boy and visiting the Department of Natural Resources shooting range with his children were positive experiences in McGarigle’s life.

Since opening six months ago, Gargoyle Firearms has had great success. Business has been so good, in fact, that McGarigle decided to close on Sundays so he could have some time off.

“I had good support from the town and the local police,” said McGarigle.
Sales of guns and accessories like targets, hearing protection and eye protection have been flying off the shelves. With the current political climate, gun sales have been strong and McGarigle is finding it difficult to keep his shelves stocked.

One surprise for McGarigle was how many women are interested in firearms. “They are definitely a major force,” he said.

Products marketed to women include guns that come in different colors, like pink or purple, as well as feminine-style grips. Gargoyle Firearms also carries designer purses with built-in holsters and steel reinforced straps that guard against slash and grabs. McGarigle gives credit to his wife for noticing the trend and picking out the very popular items for women.

Guns and weapons not in stock that are available can be ordered through McGarigle’s dealers. Most of his customers come in and know exactly what they want.

“People are very detail-oriented about guns,” McGarigle said.

For those unfamiliar with weaponry, McGarigle is ready and able to provide information and guidance about guns, as well as information about area shooting ranges and local gun clubs.

The shop is a family business with McGarigle’s son, Chris, and daughter, Sandy, helping out regularly. Cindy is on call for Saturday assistance. “Everybody does something,” McGarigle said with a smile.

Gargoyle Firearms is located at 520 E. Michigan Ave. in Clinton. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and McGarigle can be reached at 517.918.5239. Gargoyle Firearms also can be found on Facebook.

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