SANDWICH — Jim Graff saw a need and filled it.
Originally from Bensenville, Graff said he has worked as a private detective for about 15 years. In that role, he started selling guns to his colleagues and employees who didn’t want to pay a small fortune for a quality firearm. He said he started looking west when someone suggested opening a shop in Plano.
“I couldn’t find anything that met my needs there, but my Realtor suggested this location in Sandwich,” Graff said.
The store opened in late August and Graff said business has been good. He said there is no one demographic that buys guns.
“Gun owners come from every walk of life; people who want personal protection, hunters, people who just like guns,” he said.
For someone new to gun ownership, he said he can help the customer find a good fit.
“I always ask the purpose the gun is intended for – home safety, hunting or just to have fun.”
Graff said no one is allowed to even handle a gun in the store without a firearm owner’s ID card. The one exception is when taking a class. Even then, the student must sign a legal waiver.
Graff said he has applications for FOID cards, will take the photo required and can help customers complete the paperwork.
Along with his retail location at 705 W. Church St. (U.S. Route 34), he also is working to get his indoor shooting range usable in a former warehouse at Third and Reimann streets. He planned to have it open by December, but had to push back the opening date to May.
He said he hopes to offer classes when the range is ready to open. He also plans to move the retail operation to the same location.
The lowest-price new firearms Graff sells cost about $300. He said the average upper limit is around $800. He also sells used guns and will accept consignments.
Along with selling guns and ammunition, Graff also sells a gun safety product called Safety Bullet.
In a nutshell, the Safety Bullet works with revolvers or semi-automatic weapons to effectively disable the weapon. It does not damage the weapon, and it is easily removed by the owner.
“You know, if the Safety Bullet is engaged, someone has tried to fire the gun,” Graff said.
For more information on that particular product, visit www.safetybullet.com.
Graff Guns is open seven days and can be reached at 815-786-1030 or online at www.graffguns.com.