Tallmadge -- Blue Target Firearms, a retail store that sells guns and accessories and services firearms, is the newest tenant of Rocco Plaza on West Avenue.

The store opened Nov. 15 at 294 West Ave. A grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 7, with a ribbon cutting at 10:15 a.m. Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Jim Renacci are expected to make appearances sometime during the event.

Radio station 97.5 WONE-FM will broadcast live from the store from noon to 3 p.m. Throughout the grand opening, visitors are invited to enter two drawings for two 9 mm pistols: a Glock and a Ruger.

Sean Gordon, an Ellet resident and a high school history teacher in the Akron Public School District, is the president and owner of the company. He said the business will fill a need by being a local business that sells and services firearms and gear, especially for police departments in the area that have to travel to the far east of Cleveland or out of state.

"I enjoy firearms. I know firearms. And there is a need," said Gordon, a 1989 graduate of North High School in Akron.

The store also buys previously owned firearms for resale; sells ammunition, police and fire uniforms; and offers group and private Ohio concealed carry, basic handgun and advanced firearms training. In conjunction with local police, the business participates in firearm buyback and trade-in programs.

Private consumers can also apply for a concealed carry permit, for which the store will do the required background check.

"We're going to be a one-stop shop," Gordon said.

In recognition of the 72nd anniversary of Japan's bombing of the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii that prompted the U.S. to enter World War II, Gordon purposely scheduled the grand opening on Dec. 7. Two WW II veterans from the American Legion Post 281 in Cuyahoga Falls and Cuyahoga Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars Ralph Huff Post 1062, who were at Pearl Harbor during the attack, will stop by to greet customers.

Gordon plans on hiring one full-time employee and up to 14 part-timers to operate the store, including his father and uncle. The store already is staffed with eight employees.

Gordon, whose background in business includes previously owning a Dollar and Cents store in Cuyahoga Falls and another in Belden Village in Canton, sees the store in Tallmadge as the first of many for Blue Target Firearms.

"We're going to open up a total of five stores over the next two-and-a-half years," he said, adding he plans to hire staff to run them while he maintains ownership. The other stores will open in the Strongsville area, Ashtabula, Columbus and Marietta.

After the corporate stores are up and running, Gordon envisions further growing the business by franchising at least three additional stores in undetermined locations in the U.S. Franchising would begin two years from now.

For more about Blue Target Firearms, call the store at 330-548-5882 or visit www.bluetargetfirearms.com.

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com

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