Archive for Wednesday, August 15, 2012

She’s a pistol

New gun shop triggering a buzz downtown

Becky Bieker, owner of She's a Pistol, holds her Lavendar Lady, a .38 special. According to Bieker, her new Shawnee business will offer guns and training, with a special emphasis on female customers.

Becky Bieker, owner of She's a Pistol, holds her Lavendar Lady, a .38 special. According to Bieker, her new Shawnee business will offer guns and training, with a special emphasis on female customers.

August 15, 2012

A new gun shop is creating a buzz in downtown Shawnee.

Becky Bieker, who plans to open her female-friendly She’s a Pistol store at 5725 Nieman Road next month, said she chose that location because she likes the area’s hometown feel.

But Heidi Hullman-Davis, manager at Dodge City Beef at 11101 Johnson Drive, said some downtown merchants think the gun shop might trigger an erosion of the ambience they’ve worked hard to build.

Hullman-Davis said she is used to being around guns, having grown up on a ranch and been married to a police officer. So having a gun shop half a block from her business “doesn’t bother me that much,” she said.

“But I wouldn’t want it next door,” she said. “The merchants have really focused on trying to make this a cute, clean downtown. And some of them are worried that this might start a negative trend,” attracting businesses like pawn brokers, gold buyers and payday lenders to their wholesome mix.

Bieker said she knew there would be questions and concerns about her business, and she invites those merchants and residents to drop by to let her respond to them.

“I don’t want them to be worried,” she said. “I want the store to be an asset, to help people protect themselves.”

According to Bieker, she has long been a gun enthusiast. Her father was in the U.S. Marines and she used firearms recreationally as a youth. Then, as the result of a relationship turned sour, she began to appreciate the self-protection aspect of gun ownership.

“I was in a situation where I knew it was safer to get out,” Bieker said, “but putting miles between us didn’t make me feel safe and I didn’t think pepper spray or stun guns would be enough to protect me.”

Now happily married, Bieker said she had purchased several handguns since that time. During one gun store visit with Jon Bieker, then her fiance, the idea of opening a female-friendly gun business began to crystallize.

“I was looking for a holster, and I asked if I could see a gun of the same make and model as mine to make sure it would fit,” Bieker recalled. “So the guy pulls it out of the display case and hands it past me to Jon, who was standing behind me.”

Bieker said she’s also heard a lot of comments like, “Here sweetie, you’ll like this gun because it’s small.”

Sensing the need for a business that would make female gun purchasers feel comfortable and respected, Bieker launched She’s a Pistol as a home- and web-based business in 2009, after completing master’s degrees in business and organizational administration at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

A resident of Olathe, she has previously worked in the insurance and real estate fields, but her passion for helping others protect themselves prompted her to launch, then ramp it up with a bricks-and-mortar counterpart.

In addition to offering handguns, shotguns, rifles, gun accessories and other self-defense products, the new store will offer four training classes: an NRA First Step Pistol Orientation class for beginners, the NRA Basic Pistol class, a Kansas concealed carry class (required for a state license), and a Refuse to be a Victim class covering various aspects of personal safety.

Not surprisingly, Bieker said most of her gun and training customers are women, including students, those who live alone and those who reside in rough areas. But the business welcomes male customers, as well.


Alex Smith 8 years, 2 months ago

That's funny, because don't we already have a gold broker/payday loan place in the shopping mall by Price Chopper?

I can see where a pawn shop isn't wanted, and more gold brokers/payday loan offices, but whats wrong with a gun store?


shawneeray 8 years, 2 months ago

Go over and park in the parking lot and look inside.

Lookin' good. Since it is dedicated to the female customer it is set up very nicely with open displays of sportswear types of apparel.

Let's see.............folks taxes on purchases. Store owner pays rent and landlord makes money. Shop keeper pays utility bills, and the corresponding 5% franchise fees.

Why would a gun store (actually this appears to be more of a sporting goods store because of the aqccessories) attract pawn shops etc?

Oh well, it's a nice concept and they need to be welcomed to the city.


REED 8 years, 2 months ago

This is great. I'll be shopping there. This is good thing for a community. Heidi Hullman-Davis acts like she knows a lot about guns but doesn't know anything about the gun community. We are law abiding citizens that spend thousands of dollars on our hobby. It's hard to buy a decent quality gun for less than 500 dollars plus ammo range time classes etc. You can't tell me that someone that goes to a payday loan has thousands of dollars laying around to purchase guns.

Good luck with the store.


Shes_A_Pistol_LLC 8 years, 2 months ago

Thank you all! I am excited to be a part of Shawnee!

I look forwad to meeting you - Ruberneck21 and Reed! Please stop by when we open (VERY soon) and introduce yourself!

Ray, your continued support means a lot to us! I look forward to seeing in the store!

Thank you all again!

-Becky Bieker She's A Pistol, LLC


Jax 8 years, 2 months ago

This will be a great addition to downtown Shawnee. It will be good to have one more reason for not having to go to Lenexa to shop.


Shes_A_Pistol_LLC 8 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, Jax! We look forward to meeting you!


aerojb 8 years, 2 months ago

More power to you, Becky. I'm not a gun fan but I think it'll be a great addition.


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