Photo by Samantha Bryant
Store plans expansion along Austin Avenue this summer
The process of buying a gun can take anywhere from five minutes to several weeks, said Kristi Simank, owner of Guns Plus.
She said it depends on a customer’s budget, what he or she plans to use the gun for and what brand he or she likes as to what staff will recommend.
“It’s kind of like cars—everyone likes a different model and color,” she said.
Simank said the staff at Guns Plus have extensive experience in shooting and handling guns. Her husband, Stephen, an instructor at Guns Plus, was a police officer with the Austin Police Department for 16 years and still serves in the reserves with the Brazos County Constable’s Office. Their son, Kyle, is the store manager and shoots competitively.
Kristi said their other two children also enjoy shooting.
“It’s always been a thing that has bounded our family, and it’s done in a safe manner,” Kristi said.
Stephen Simank said the family’s combined experience, along with the knowledge of the other staff members, allows them to make educated recommendations.
“It’s not what we’ve read or what we’ve heard, but actually what we know through first-hand experiences,” he said.
Guns Plus buys, sells, trades and consigns guns. The store also offers gunsmithing services and sells knives, ammunition, targets, gun cleaning supplies, concealed handgun purses and gear related to hunting, personal defense, training, law enforcement and military use.
Kristi said the family started the business online and then opened a storefront in November 2010. They moved the store to its location on Austin Avenue in March 2011.
In July, the Simanks plan to open another section of Guns Plus in the building next to their current location, giving them more space to display inventory and hold classes.
Guns Plus offers Concealed Handgun License classes as well as an introduction to handguns and basic defensive handgun courses.
The two-hour introduction to handguns and basic defensive handgun courses are designed to teach people how to shoot and the cardinal rules of safety. Stephen Simank said he focuses on “not when can you shoot, but when do you have to shoot,” and situational awareness.
Having worked as a sex crimes sergeant and a homicide detective, Stephen said he is passionate about personal defense and helping people avoid becoming victims of crime so that they do not need to use a gun for personal defense.
“If I can keep you from getting in a [dangerous] situation, that’s even better,” Stephen Simank said.
Guns Plus has also taught a situational awareness class for Southwestern University students. Kristi said they like to be involved in the community and have donated firearms to charity auctions.
She said one of the reasons the store has done so well in Georgetown is the welcoming and knowledgeable staff.
“People like the way they are treated when they come in here,” Kristi said. “None of us ever met a stranger anywhere.”
The Firing Line
Guns Plus plans to open The Firing Line, a shooting range, in July.
The facility will have multiple tactical bays for pistol, rifle and shotgun use and 25-, 50- and 100-yard commercial shooting range.
Machine guns will be available to rent at the range, which will be membership-based.
2560 FM 972, Georgetown, www.texasfiringline.com
Guns Plus, 2302 N. Austin Ave., 547-4867, www.gunsplus.net