“My objective here is ... to educate people and get them the right things for the right price,” he said.
Ferns, a retired U.S. Army sergeant, said Gr8 Guns is not his main income but a way for him to arm residents without taking advantage of them.
“I don’t need guns,” he said. “I used guns, and I didn’t like it, but I also said, ‘If I ever thought they were going to impede the Second Amendment, I was going to buy as many guns as I could.’”
Ferns said he got into the gun industry in 2008, when he was concerned the Second Amendment might be in danger.
“I went out and bought a lot of guns, and the more I bought, the more I figured out I was getting ripped off,” he said. “I started this [store] because I hate gun dealers.”
Gun dealers, he said, are often selling mass-produced guns that are overpriced or custom-built guns, which he called “Franken-guns,” after Frankenstein’s Monster.
“‘[Custom-built guns are] on sale for one of three reasons: One, it doesn’t work and you can’t test it because you’re at a gun show; two, it didn’t come out the way they’d hoped, and they didn’t like it, so you’re not gonna like it—but they’re not gonna tell you why because they’re trying to sell a piece of junk; or three, they’re thinking, ‘I’m gonna make a killing with my homemade Franken-gun when I find a sucker.’”
According to Ferns, all gun purchases require a background check—which takes as little as 15 minutes. Fern said he likes helping customers buy their first firearm and he only recommends brands he trusts, such as Texas Shooter Supply, F-1 and Radical Firearms.
“Small-batch manufacturers make guns to a much higher standard,” he said. “I’ve already thoroughly investigated those three brands. ... Those are very good examples of a small-batch manufacturer.”
Ferns said he does not try to sell his customers the most expensive firearm; instead, he wants to sell them the gun best suited for their specific needs.
“Once somebody has been educated here about AR-15s, they don’t buy an AR-15 from anyone else,” Fern said. “Most gun dealers start you off with the most expensive gun and work down to your tolerance—but I start with the least expensive gun, working up to your needs.”