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Patriot Arms opens on Main Avenue in Erwin

Patriots Arms, Inc. isn’t your normal gunsmith shop.
Located on Main Avenue in downtown Erwin, owner J.D. Hill, recently opened his shop, Patriot Arms.
Hill, who retired from the Air Force in 2002, has his wife, Jennifer, who retired from the same branch in 2013, to thank for the business.
“It is my wife’s brainchild … she said if I didn’t get a job, she’d shoot me,” J.D. joked in an interview with The Erwin Record. “This is my retirement job. I’m retired military and she retired from the Air Force. We came here because we’re from the southwestern-part of Virginia. We mostly came because we love Tennessee. This is a place we wanted to come to 10 years before we even retired. We have a young son and we wanted him to grow up with the moral and ethics that people still have here compared to other places.”
Being a gunsmith puts you in two different spots, Hill said.
“It’s either you go work for a large, factory-type deal in a place you don’t want to live or open your own shop, so (Jennifer) pushed me to open up the shop and she came up with the name, Patriot Arms.”
The couple works with veterans, J.D. said, as his wife works for the Veteran’s Administration.
Patriot Arms helps work on guns, but it will be used as a way to pay tribute to veterans from the area, according to the owner.
“We try to work with the veterans as much as we possibly can,” J.D. added. “The town’s full of them.”
During the interview, Bob Knight, a local veteran, had nothing but kind words for the store, stating the Hill’s business is already making waves through the community.
Local police officer, Chad McKinney, even supplied a piece of artwork that hangs on the wall of the shop.
“We want to pay tribute to the people,” Hill added. “Everyone has been great here. We want to work on the guns, but we don’t want to drain anybody’s pocketbook by suckering them into buying something new.
“You got a piece of history that belongs to you, your family member or even a new gun you want to pass on, it has a story with it, just like the veterans.”
J.D. added that a corkboard located on the wall of the shop will eventually be used for community members to bring over photos of veterans to show respect as a tribute and a glimpse of history.
The business is still in its early stages, but will soon be decorated as a way to pay respect.
“We’re still new,” J.D. said. “It’s always going to be a work in progress no matter what you do.”
Business hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but are subject to go later depending on the workload.
“Monday’s are by appointments,” J.D. said. “I’ll typically lock the doors and use that as a day to catch up, but somebody can call and set up a time to stop by.”
For more information, call the shop at 743-4867.