The long lines that snaked out of Alquist Arms during the past busy shopping weekend were nothing out of the ordinary for Turlock’s downtown gun shop, as they’ve experienced a boom in business that has been spurred in part by impending gun laws. The increased interest in bearing arms by locals has prompted the store to expand its operations in the coming year.
Alquist’s plans include a new store location at 1400 Frettas Park, which will also include a much anticipated shooting range. Owners expect “tons” of new business once the new facility opens.
“The first year we’ll open our new shop off of Frettas Park. Then we’ll start construction on the range which should be finished by the end of next summer,” Bobby Alquist said.
Even without their new location, Alquist Arms’ business has been a treat in 2013 with patronage doubling over Black Friday weekend. But more than just deals, upcoming requirements regarding background checks for gun ownership and public fervor over a potential gun registry has sent would be gun owners rushing to buy weapons before the new year.
“All long guns,” Alquist said of his most frequent sales. “Because you have to register them after the first of the year, so everyone’s trying to get them in before the government knows what they’re getting.”
With plans to operate Turlock’s lone gun range, Alquist’s increased business is expected to continue well past the New Year, however. With two locations and the market cornered on the only legal location to unload ammo, Alquist Arms is expecting 2014 to be a boom as well.
“This will be a new retail spot; we’re not 100 percent certain,” Alquist said of the existing location at 120 S. Center Street. “But the other location will be our full time shop with the gun range.”