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Buffalo Mountain Sports opens in Unicoi

Outdoor enthusiasts now have the opportunity to shop locally for top-of-the-line hunting gear.
Buffalo Mountain Outdoors recently opened its doors in the town of Unicoi and has hit the ground running ever since, owner James Howell said.
“It is all about the safety,” he added. “We have locks on the guns, on the cabinets, and when someone purchases a gun we make sure they leave in lockboxes so they’re secure.”
Education of handgun safety is highly encouraged at Buffalo Mountain Outdoors, according to Howell. The store often recommends individuals to different handgun safety courses around the area.
“I was educated on guns when I was 11 years old,” Howell added. “My dad wouldn’t let me have a BB gun because they were dangerous. But I was the oldest of seven kids, wanted to be the man of the house … He had a Western Auto Nylon 66 22 rifle, and I guess you can say that’s when I started to enjoy guns.”
The story is often told by Howell, he said, to stress the importance of learning what guns can do.
“Kids were around shooting each other with BB guns,” Howell said. “I was brought up to learn what a gun can do.”
Buffalo Mountain Outdoors also supplies pamphlets for child safety in regards to hunting.
As far as an adult with the love of the outdoors, the rare and hard to find guns can be found in stock.
“If we don’t have it, I’m up most of the night searching for it,” Howell added. “I’ve had people come in and say there have been 200 on a waiting list for a Glock 43 and we have it in stock. A security member with NFS was waiting to get one through his agency, but stopped by this weekend and purchased one.”
The inside of the store is lined with different guns, along with hunting knives, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to Howell. Buffalo Mountain Outdoors also has other items not in store available for purchase.
At the end of the day, it was all about keeping tax dollars in the town, Howell said, while stressing safety and different variety of guns in a faith-based atmosphere.
“Guns don’t kill people, people do,” he added. “There was a recent study done that showed there were more deaths by tools, like hammers, than guns. Criminals won’t come in here to buy a gun. We run background checks through NCIC and if anything, it could be more of a chance to capture criminals.”
Visit the Buffalo Mountain Outdoors Facebook page for more information. Visitors that “like” the page are also in the running for potential drawings in the future, Howell added.
Individuals can also call the store at 735-9236. Buffalo Mountain Outdoors is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed on Sundays.