Missouri gun shop owner Mike Brown said it was “an honor to represent the people” after his store came under the spotlight as host to Gov. Mike Parson’s signing of a new bill to nullify federal gun laws and protect Second Amendment rights in the state.
The bill, HB 85, was ceremoniously finalized on June 12 outside of Frontier Justice, the local shop Brown opened eight years ago in Lee Summit, Missouri, and that has since expanded to three locations over three states, with plans to add two new stores.
Brown, who told The Epoch Times that the governor had reached out to him and his wife to sign the bill at their first location, called the bill “a phenomenal piece of legislation that sets a good tone for state’s rights.”
As a long-time Second Amendment proponent, he expressed concern about federal government overreach and that he takes pride in Missouri’s ability to assume a leadership position in challenging federal gun-control attempts. He also expressed hope that other states will follow suit.
“The Second amendment is for everyone,” he said, adding that he and his wife started their business with this in mind. They believe that a gun is just a tool, and knowing how to properly use it is not just about protection, but also empowerment.
“We are in the protection business, but we really teach people how to take care of themselves,” he said.
Frontier Justice offers a full schedule of classes, but not every class puts a live weapon in students’ hands. Brown stressed the desire to provide a welcoming environment for all. They have beginner simulation classes for young students, or adults who need more confidence before they are ready to utilize the tools that Frontier Justice has to offer.
He said he noticed a trend last year. With all the uncertainty and movements calling for police forces to be defunded, about 90 percent of students in 2020 were new clients—many of whom had never owned a gun before. When asked why he and his wife keep teaching, he said, “We just love teaching new people to shoot.”
Brown said he’s been shooting for 45 years and has a family history of hunting and sport shooting. “I was raised to understand and respect the tool,” he said, adding that he compares learning gun safety to learning how to swim. Water can be deadly to a person who doesn’t know how to swim, but when properly taught, a person can utilize their swimming skills for various activities and needs.
“Hunting especially keeps us connected to our Creator and our food source.” He called it a sacred thing, and explained how so many people go to the store and buy food without really understanding all the work that goes into getting it to the shelf. He said that hunting “keeps me grounded with nature.”
When asked what his favorite gun is, he laughed. “I know it’s cliché, but the AR-15.” He said that despite the media controversy surrounding this gun, it is a favorite of Second Amendment proponents because it’s so practical.
“It’s simple, versatile, and accurate,” he said, adding that his wife and Frontier Justice co-founder was able to easily down an antelope with it. “It can be used for hunting, sports shooting, protection, and law-enforcement.”
Brown said he shoots about once a month to keep in practice and that the Second Amendment Preservation Act doesn’t just aid him as a long-time Second Amendment supporter, but also as a business owner who considers himself and his wife “students of the constitution and its history.”
“Federal regulation is a constant threat to our business,” he said. “It forces us to operate with one hand tied behind our back.”
When asked if he had anything to say to gun control advocates in the United States, Brown sighed.
“You have to quit blaming the tool and you have to understand that you cannot legislate evil from our society,” he said. “We need to make sure the good people can protect themselves and others.”
Frontier Justice has plans to add another location in Missouri on the Eastern side, just outside of St. Louis, in O’Fallon. Having run a successful gun shop born and raised in the state, with avid support from Governor Parson and new backing by HB 85, Brown says he is “excited for it.”