The owner of a gun shop that opened in Lower Saucon Township earlier this month says he plans to differentiate himself from big-box firearms retailers by providing a level of customer service that area residents won’t typically find when they buy weapons from large retail chains.
“Personalized service is what I’ve been about all my life,” said Bryan Lloyd, who opened Lloyd Tactical at 1850 Friedensville Road, Bethlehem, on Oct. 10.
The store is located in a building near the back of the Society Hill Plaza complex, where it is tucked away behind the Bagel Basket and several other small, established businesses.
Although he could have opened his store on Main Street in Hellertown and enjoyed greater visibility there, Lloyd said he prefers the quieter location just outside town, in part because there is plenty of customer parking available.
The store sells a variety of firearms including youth model and adult rifles, shotguns, pistols and AR-15s, along with ammunition, safety gear such as eye and ear protection, cleaning supplies, AR-15 parts, reloading supplies, targets and magazines.
Although his inventory is limited by the size of his shop, Lloyd said he special orders and stocks “whatever people want.”
A resident of Upper Saucon Township, he said that although he has owned and used guns his entire life, the gun business “hasn’t been my life.”
After years spent working in the construction industry, Lloyd said the work began to take a toll on his health this summer, and he decided he needed to consider a second career.
He had already obtained his federal firearms license–which is necessary to sell guns–and had been legally selling weapons to friends as a dealer, which led his wife to suggest that he open his own retail business selling firearms.
After that it was a matter of scouting locations for the business, and the building on Friedensville Road was chosen in part because it offers room to grow, Lloyd said.
Utilizing his construction experience, Lloyd renovated the single room his business occupies himself, and a second room next door could eventually be used to house additional inventory or for training and safety classes, possibly sometime next year.
Lloyd stressed that the gun world is vast, and while individual consumers might know a lot about a particular weapon, he knows “a little about a lot.”
“I’m learning every day,” he added.
One of the things Lloyd said he has already learned is that there are misconceptions about some of the weapons he sells, such as the AR-15; a semi-automatic rifle with a reputation as being especially dangerous. Lloyd said its reputation isn’t necessarily deserved, since other firearms that are lesser known to the general public can actually inflict more harm.
Another misconception involves the legality of automatic rifles, which Lloyd stressed are “100 percent illegal to own.” He added, “I can’t even get one and I own a gun store.”
Although he sells “lowers,” which can be used to build one’s own gun, Lloyd said he only sells 100 percent lowers which include a serial number, as opposed to 80 percent lowers, which don’t.
Building a gun can be cheaper than buying one off the shelf.
“It’s a lot of the younger guys that do that,” Lloyd said.
In the sale of guns, safety and security are of paramount importance, he said, and in addition to his federal firearms license Lloyd also holds state and county licenses.
Background checks are performed on gun purchasers in accordance with all applicable state and/or federal laws.
Lloyd Tactical is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bryan Lloyd staffs the store himself, with some help from his wife.
In celebration of their opening and to help introduce themselves to Saucon Valley area residents, Lloyd Tactical will host an open house on Saturday, Nov. 17.