“A Kennewick [WA] couple arrested earlier this year for allegedly operating a meth lab were jailed again this week for stealing a gun from a Richland hardware store,” tri-cityherald.com reports. “Two other Kennewick men also were arrested in connection with theft, said Richland police Officer Erica Tungesvik. The theft from Ace Hardware, 103 Keene Road, was reported to police Sunday.” Am I reading this wrong? Was the first theft unrelated to the second? There is another Ace Hardware store in Richland. And other non-Ace hardware stores in that meth-lab-plagued locale. But one thing’s for sure: in some parts of the country, Ace is your helpful handy firearms place.
In Altoona, Helsel’s hardware store sells guns – mostly rifles. Not sure if they have an Ace in the city, but True Value doesn’t sell them.
There's a hardware store about 70 miles from me that I don't get to visit nearly as often as I like, and they have a decent new and used gun section with prices rivaling internet prices. It's a True Value. Plenty of handguns there, too, as well as a .50 cal rifle that's been calling my name.
Growing up "out west", it would've been unheard of to walk into any hardware store and not found stacks of ammo boxes behind the counter, and a few long guns on the wall, over by the shovels and rakes. East of the Missouri, tossing a twenty on the counter would get you an over-the-counter pheasant license and a box of 12-ga shells. West of the river, your twenty got you a deer tag and a box of ought-six. Pull into any dusty small-town Main Street in the Dakotas, Wyoming, or Montana today and not much has changed in those hardware stores — 'cept the prices and the fact most tags are sold via drawing over the internet and the guns now have trigger locks on them. (Now that I think of it, Dad bought his M70, my Ruger M77 and my brother's M70 all at Gibson's department store — guns were over by men's shoes.) Man, I miss those times and that town. Living in Chicago now…feels almost like I moved to a whole nuther country.