Redbird Moving Forward With Business

By: 
JENNA GILBERT
Staff Writer

Business has come a long way for Redbird Armory Owner Matt Lomakin since the business opened last year. Starting by only able to provide a portion of his business because of licensing and re-zoning needs, Lomakin has spent the last year working with people to get his name out there for when he can help gun owners with his full potential.
The Orange County, California native spent the last six years on the west coast working at OC Custom Coating as their head armorer before deciding to relocate his family to west central Ohio. With all of the knowledge he gained there, plus being a firearm enthusiast, Lomakin made the decision to start his own firearms workshop with concealed carry weapons (CCW) training tied in.
On Dec. 17, 2018, the village approved the conditional use of the property where Redbird sits — and Lomakins home — to allow for him to work out of shop on the back of the property.
Before he was meeting people at designated locations to complete his services.
While he still isn’t able to take possession of others firearms without the owner being present — he is waiting on his federal firearms license (FFL) to be completed — he said his ability to provide a little more service is getting better.
Holding a large inventory of firearms is not a plan for the business owner just yet, but his own collection of them allows him to help people figure out what they need and want out of a gun.
“The biggest thing that I do there is helping people with consulting with them and saying ‘hey, what is your intention with this rifle? Are you building it for hunting?’” he said using an AR-15 as an example. “If so here’s a caliber for building it for hunting. Is it more for having fun at the range? Totally cool as well, but here’s how I would set it up.”
Once his FFL is completed, Lomakin will be able to start selling firearms to his customers directly, but explained that he plans to do it on an order-by-order basis out of a catalog.
“It doesn’t make sense for me currently where I’m at right now,” he said. “I just don’t have 50, 60, 70, 80 grand to throw into a new inventory.”
Buying firearms online for cheaper than what he can offer is something is he aware of, but he hopes his fair pricing and knowledge are something that help him seal the deal with customers, making sure they know what they are getting and that it’s the right choice for them.
Also with the FFL, he will be able to hold onto his customers firearms — which will expand his ability to complete more than just one-day services such as cleanings — but also allow for him to send out the firearms to other trusted providers for detailing, something he said will be cheaper than the facilitation he is doing now because shipping will cost less with the business.
Once the FFL is complete, he plans to apply to become a special occupational taxpayer (SOT) which will allow for him to sell and work on suppressors and short-barreled rifles. These items require extensive background checks and tax stamps for consumers to own. This is a service he said many in the area don’t have.
Lomakin plans to have his FFL completed within the next three months.
Also new for the business owner is a new contract between him and Midwest Shooting Center in Cridersville. While exploring the shooting range in December, and simultaneously signing up for a membership, Lomakin mentioned to the owners his service of providing CCW training. They mentioned they had heard of him before and asked him to work with them as their head CCW instructor.
The facility, which provides an indoor shooting range as opposed to the outdoor range at the New Bremen Gun and Rod Club, was something Lomakin was looking into for when the weather gets too rough to complete the shooting portion of the class outdoors.
Working and having a membership with Midwest Shooting allows for Lomakin to also keep up on his shooting, something he believes is important for his line of work.
“I shoot currently right now, 3 to 500 rounds per month,” he said. “I think that’s important for me as a trainer and as just me, as someone who has guns in general, to practice and train, practice and train because its a huge responsibility and if I do something stupid, it’s going to affect everyone else who is doing things legally.”
Ensuring that he, and the people he teaches, understand the workings and power of a firearm is a top priority. For those that go through his CCW classes, he sends out a general knowledge pretest to determine where people are at with their knowledge on firearms.
The data tells him which areas he needs to focus on the most to make sure the students understand completely.
For more information about Redbird Armory visit them online at RedbirdArmory.com or at Facebook.com/RedbirdArmory.

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