The Buckeye Arsenal gun store is expected to open next month in Hilliard.
Operator and gunsmith Ryan Huskey, 27, described the gun store at 3663 Fishinger Blvd. in the Mill Run Center as “high-end retail,” with an inventory that will include 9mm Ruger models that sell for several hundred dollars to certain models of Barrett .50-caliber rifles that retail for as much as $15,000.
Huskey said he hopes to open the 3,125-square-foot shop by mid-June but allowed it is a best-case scenario amid delays caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s been my goal to own a gun shop,” said Huskey, who graduated in 2013 from the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School near Pittsburgh and began working in the industry.
The opening will be the first retail endeavor for the 2011 Reynoldsburg High School graduate.
“I looked at a location in Gahanna because I wanted to be near Easton (Town Center),” he said, but he could not find a site that met his needs and was zoned properly.
Huskey looked to Hilliard and chose the Mill Run site because the zoning allowed for it and the location near Interstate 270 provides easy access and good visibility, he said.
Buckeye Arsenal will not have a gun range, but it will provide both retail sales and gunsmithing services.
The store is just east of the former Jed’s Fireballs and Brew restaurant, 3799 Park Mill Run Drive, at which the property owner, Mill Run Partners LLC of Dublin, proposed a Point Blank Range and Gun Shop in 2016.
Hilliard City Council in May 2016 voted 4-3 in support of a planned-unit-development modification for the range, with Tom Baker, Les Carrier, Joe Erb and Kelly McGivern voting in favor of it and Albert Iosue, Nathan Painter and Bill Uttley voting against it.
But the PUD modification failed because, according to then-law director Tracy Bradford, a 5-2 supermajority was required to overturn the negative recommendation of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission.
The range instead opened as Shoot Point Blank in Lewis Center in Delaware County.
In 2019, after the owners discovered that Hilliard erred in the interpretation of the city code, which, if applied correctly in 2016, would have resulted in the approval of a required PUD for the range to operate in Hilliard, they filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
As of Friday, May 15, the case is pending, according to Sean Alto, a partner for the Cooper & Elliott law firm representing Mill Run Partners.