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When David Bata retired from the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell in 2007, he decided to stay in the Clarksville area to pursue his dream of one day owning his own business.
"I had originally planned on getting a job with the Clarksville Police Department, but one day my wife asked me what I would really like to do," Bata said. "I told her that I would really like to open a gun store but didn’t want to get into a lot of debt."
Despite that brief moment of hesitation early on, Bata opened Tennessee Gun Country in September 2007 at 1525C Fort Campbell Blvd.
His main reason: he was tired of having to pay full retail prices on firearms and firearms-related items.
"When I was shopping for a long-range rifle in 2006, I kept getting told that I would have to pay retail prices even though I was special-ordering a rifle that wasn’t in stock, and I didn’t think that was fair," he explained.
"When I finally found a shop to order one for me, I was told when it came in that the price I was given was from the previous year, and that I owed them $50 more. I paid the $50 and never shopped there again."
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In 2013, Bata relocated to a new store at 1435 Fort Campbell Blvd. He needed more space and wanted to open an indoor shooting range.
The move made it possible.
Tennessee Gun Country has a 14-lane, 25-yard indoor gun range where customers can shoot handguns, rifles and shotguns.
Handgun-carry permit classes are held every Saturday. The classes qualify students to apply for Tennessee enhanced carry permits.
There are also “introduction to handgun” classes every second and third Sunday of each month, and instructors are willing to give one-on-one private lessons.
"At Tennessee Gun Country, we are here to save our customers money," Bata said. "If you are selling or trading in a firearm, we allow 80% of the Blue Book of Gun Values when buying or trading. We save you money on special orders because we only charge 10% over our cost. If your order is $1,000 or more, it is a flat $100 charge.
"Another way that we save our customers money is that we are a Glock and Smith & Wesson law enforcement stocking dealer. Under this program, those manufacturers offer better pricing on firearms to military (active, retired or disabled), law enforcement, (Emergency Medical Services) and other professional services."
Tennessee Gun Country sponsors Venture Crew 223, which holds meetings in the store from 6: 30-8 p.m. every Wednesday.
Those between the ages of 14-20, or 13-years-old and finished with 8th grade, and interested in outdoor activities, such as camping, canoeing, hiking and shooting, are invited to stop by and "see what our crew is about," Bata said.
Reach Jimmy Settle at [email protected] or 931-245-0247. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to TheLeafChronicle.com.
If you go
Tennessee Gun Country
Location: 1435 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
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This is an occasional series spotlighting local businesses in the Clarksville community. For more information on how to participate or for questions, contact Clarksville News Director Nicole Young at [email protected]
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