Shooter’s business still firing

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Ever since he was handed his first gun, an air gun, at the age of 6, shooting has run through Lindsay Duncan’s veins.
Mr Duncan has worked in the firearms industry for his full working life, from selling firearms at the Southland Farmers Co-op to opening Shooters World with his wife on July 23, 1976.
‘‘The whole venture started from the idea of wanting to turn my hobby into a business,’’ Mr Duncan said.
Initially located in Main St, Gore, where Flowers by Veronica is now, Shooters World moved to its Medway St location after outgrowing its premises in 1999.
Forty years on and business is still going strong for the Gore man, a feat he puts down to a loyal customer base throughout New Zealand.
Mr Duncan said things had changed a bit in his time.
Advances in technology were the biggest change.
‘‘Now we do paperwork, payrolls and everything electronically; it is all automated. We also have an email set up where we get lots of inquiries every day about our stock,’’ he said.
‘To get a rifle permit back in 1957, you would get a permit form from police, then
. . .purchase a firearm’
He said while all businesses could expect the good and the bad, his Shooters World business had been lucky enough to stay steady throughout the years.
The firearms sold in store had changed as well. The biggest change came in the ’80s, when stainless steel barrels and synthetic stocks came to replace blued barrels and wooden stocks.
He said there had been many changes in the law, including the change from lead shot to steel shot for duckshooting and in the way people could obtain a firearms licence.
‘‘To get a rifle permit
back in 1957, you would get a permit form from police, then would come to the shop and purchase a firearm before then taking it over to the police to have it registered. Back then, shotguns were purchased without a permit,’’ Mr Duncan said.
Over the years, that had changed, and vetting was now a lot stricter for buyers.
Mr Duncan has been an arms instructor for the
Mountain Safety Council since 1975, taking new applicants for firearms testing.
He said Shooters World had been working for the past six months on a website for its customer base and, in times of everchanging technology, had recently joined Facebook.
‘‘We are the only Shooters World in New Zealand and not part of any group, as we pride ourselves on being an individual,’’ he said.
Since his wife’s death seven years ago, he had worked with three others, but employed an extra person this year to handle extra demand and setting up the web page.
While Mr Duncan preferred the back-seat work, including fixing guns out back, he had enjoyed every part of the business.
He said while sometimes he would work seven days, his additional staff had helped to relieve some of the pressure.