Mark Mann, owner of The Rifleman, 7209 Hawkinsville Road, Macon, 784-2767.
How long have you been in business?: Mann started the firearms business 22 years ago as a freshman at Mercer University.
“It was an appointment-only and weekend-based business for my four years of college. About six months after I graduated from Mercer, I opened a full-time retail business.”
He opened the first retail store on Mulberry Street in downtown Macon.
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“We did some work with the movie industry and specialized in finding things for people who wanted more than just the box-store kind of guns. ... We do carry those (box-store kind of guns), but we like specialty items like the items that are hard to find.”
What do you like best about your job?: “I don’t deal with the retail part as much as I used to. I’m working more with the larger scale things. I’m dealing more with the entertainment side of the business. I’m dealing with overseas customers.”
What is your specialty?: “Our goal is for the retail facility is whoever walks through the door, we want to make sure they are taken care of in a professional way. We want to make sure they feel comfortable. ... If they are not sure what they want to get ... we have a lot of knowledge that not every other store has, and we will gladly fit that person with what’s going to fit their desires and needs.”
What are your future plans?: “We will be building a new retail facility and training facility across (Hawkinsville Road) from where we are now. We will be building a gun range. ... We are in the design and planning at this point of our new facility. It will be one of the most state of the art, retail environments as well as shooting environments.
“It will be a climate-controlled shooting facility, and it will offer things that haven’t been offered anywhere in the Southeast. ... We will have longer distances than anybody uses. We will have classroom setting, will have a gun library. We will be able to work with anybody at any level.”
-- Linda S. Morris