LISBON - More women are buying guns for home and personal protection, according to Jon Newburn, owner of East Ohio Shooter's Supply.
"Many are more interested in self protection," he said, "about 25 percent. We sell a lot of handguns to women. Anything from .38s to .40s to 9mm's and 45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol). One woman, she's shooting 300 rounds a month."
He noted, "A lot of woman will come here and buy weapons after taking concealed carry classes, while some don't want concealed carry, just something for home protection."
Many handgun purchases are made during the holidays and tax time.
East Ohio Shooter's Supply has been located at 7556 state Route 45 for eight years and is a Class I federal firearms dealer, which means it doesn't deal in full-automatic weapons.
Newburn, a 1996 United Local High School graduate, said weapons and shooting were his hobby and he "turned it into a business."
The business is about 60-40 percent handguns over rifle sales and carries some crossbows, bolts and archery supplies and had one compound bow on display. The store serves the Columbiana County, southern Mahoning County and western Pennsylvania areas.
The firearms sales "depend on the season" and Newburn said some crossbow buyers are also rifle hunters looking to extend their hunting season.
"The clientele on crossbows are mostly gun hunters. What crossbows do is extend your hunting season," Newburn, 34, said.
Archery season runs four months and archers represent more than half of all Ohioans who hunt deer, about 345,000 bowhunters, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
East Ohio carries crossbow accessories like Horton Tru-Glo Red-Dot scopes, 16" through 24" bolts, broadheads and other supplies. Newburn also fletches arrows and bolts.
He said, "Most hunters use shotguns and rifles, there are a few handgun hunters. To bag a deer with a handgun, you're looking at a .44 Magnum at the least.
"You can hunt deer, pigs (feral) or wild boar, the .44 is the prevailing handgun," he said. Feral pigs have been documented by the ODNR as close to Columbiana County as Belmont County.
East Ohio Shooter's Supply is an authorized Henry Rifle dealership, Kimber "master dealer" and a full Glock dealer, Newburn said,
"We have an armorer on call for Glock."
The store carries Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Savage, Mossburg, Remington and Sig Sauer.
The most popular rifle?
"We sell a lot of Savage, Remingtons and Henrys. Savage is probably the top seller with Remington right there, anything from .223 to .22-250 to 30.06, mostly bolt actions."
Top selling shotguns are Mossberg and Remington.
"Those are pretty much our main sellers," he said, "but if we don't have a gun we'll order it. Anything anyone wants."
The majority of shotguns are pumps, but Newburn said the Savage 12- and 20-gauge bolt-action shotguns are reasonably priced "and even though they're bolt action they are fantastically accurate."
They use a three-round magazine and since there are no sights, an adapter rail for a scope is a must for the surprisingly light, 6.75-pound shotgun.
East Ohio carries some used over-under shotguns and a few side-by-side double-barrels.
Right now its turkey season, but Newburn said, "It's not as big as deer season."
"In hunting season we sell a lot of single-barrel shotguns," Newburn said, noting that youth guns are "getting popular."
"People want their kids to start out with something they can handle," he said, explaining the youth rifles are scaled down, shorter and lighter versions of full-sized rifles.
"So they're easier to handle, it (the name youth gun) has nothing to do with caliber," he said, "it's 17 and under and as young as 10. They must pass a safety course and have to shoot on a youth license."
Youth season for turkey runs until May 20. It began on Monday.
Check with the ODNR for other youth season updates.
Newburn and his wife, Erin, have been married nine years have three boys ranging in age from 14 months to 7-years-old. The oldest, Trent, shot his first deer.
East Ohio Shooter's Supply has a couple of references for customers interested in a concealed carry weapon license. Jack Smith, a firearms instructor and CCW instructor is the nearest in Columbiana.
It also uses a couple of local gunsmiths.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and extended hours during hunting season. The store is closed on Sundays.
For more information, call 330-420-0818.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org