If that couple is Jeff Massengill and Tammy Casciato, they open their own shop.
The two, longtime Bee County residents have opened Americana Arms in a building at the end of their driveway at 2820 Cagle Lane just outside of Beeville.
“The reason we started it (the business) is because for many years we’ve been shooters and we couldn’t find what we wanted. And didn’t want to go out of town,” Tammy said.
“We just wanted more options,” Jeff said.
“A lot of women want to shoot,” said Tammy. But they do not always know what they want and they often have lots of questions.
“Just having a place where they can go and sit and talk and learn more is important,” Tammy said. That is what Americana Arms offers. The business is female friendly. And Jeff and Tammy want to help their customers who want to carry guns.
Most men take their wives to buy a gun and end up getting them small pistols or revolvers, Jeff said. But smaller is not always better when it comes to a gun that a woman can carry.
“Carry something you can grip and take out of the purse or shoot through the purse is better,” Jeff said.
The two avid shooters will take customers to their range in the Mineral area and loan them guns so that they can make an informed choice.
“A lot of it is education,” Jeff said. But the range is open only to their customers and not to the public.
Then they can either sell the customer something they have in stock or order something and have it ready to deliver in a matter of days.
If the customer wants to take a concealed handgun course so he or she can legally carry, they offer the classes.
Jeff and Tammy said their aim is to serve their customers, to build a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Although the couple have yet to hold an official opening at the shop, they have been meeting with customers. They also have a web site, www.AmericanaArms.com, and an email address.
Jeff posts information on specials and sales on the web site and on the Facebook page.
Although business hours have not formally been set, the couple plan to be open Tuesday through Friday from 5 until 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. They both have regular day jobs.
“We like to do trades,” Tammy said. They also offer layaway plans and take guns on consignment.
Their ammunition includes some excellent brands not normally seen in most gun shops.
One of those brands is Underwood. Jeff said the mom-and-pop operation had not had a commercial account until he called them about buying their products.
As for gunsmithing, Jeff said he sticks to simple things like some work on Glock handguns and light work on AR rifles.
For the more complicated projects, Jeff said he sends customers to other gunsmiths, like his friend, Nick Bauer of the Beeville Armory.
“I think gunsmithing is a calling,” Jeff said. “And I don’t have the call.” Fortunately, South Texas is blessed to have some of the best quality gunsmiths.
“We’re going to try to carry a full line of products,” Tammy said. That includes rifles, shotguns, handguns and related products. They have lot of gun cleaning supplies and gun cases.
Jeff, Tammy and their two sons consider themselves a shooting family. Jeff got his first gun when he was eight years old and he has been shooting ever since.
Tammy started shooting in 1990. The two boys are excellent skeet shooters and they are only eight and 10 years old.
Jeff reluctantly admitted that Tammy is a better shot. They made a bet before the first time they shot together that the loser would buy the winner the gun of his or her choice. So Jeff ended up buying Tammy a .357 Magnum revolver with a six-inch barrel.
They do a lot of business at gun shows these days. Tammy likes to be there because she and Jeff like to make themselves available to female shooters.
“There are lots and lots of women shooters,” Tammy said.
“We put chairs on both sides of the table because we want to sit down and talk,” Jeff said. “We enjoy the interaction.”
The two also have no secrets when it comes to prices. They show the customer what their cost will be. Then they figure in their mark up and settle on a final price.
“Before you pull the trigger and buy a gun, get in touch with me on Facebook or call and we’ll work out something,” Tammy said. And because their shop is located outside of the city, their sales tax rate is only 6 3/4 percent.
“We’d like to put together a local gun show,” Jeff said. He and Tammy already work with several gun dealers who specialize in different products and services and they would like to arrange a small show for local shooters who are looking for guns, accessories and ammunition.
“We got into this because of our love of shooting and to exercise our right to shoot,” Tammy said. Jeff said the entire family supports the Second Amendment and they believe that right must be exercised or it will be lost.
“I’m not making a political statement with the shop,” Jeff said.
“We’re not in this to get rich,” Tammy added.
The goal is to offer local shooters a place where they can visit and learn more about what they believe is a great sport.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.