New gun shop to open in June

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By Jaci Webb Outlook Assistant Editor
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Avid hunter Scott Hooper, left, is opening a new gun store, On Target Outdoors, in the former Laurel Trading Post.

Avid hunter Scott Hooper, left, is opening a new gun store, On Target Outdoors, in the former Laurel Trading Post.

A former sales office on Laurel’s south side is getting new life with a retail gun shop opening there in June.

On Target Outdoors will open in early June at 620 SE 4th St., the former site of Laurel Trading Post. The new business will offer rifles and pistols, ammunition, optics, gun-smithing services, and eventually training opportunities for gun buyers. Owner Scott Hooper, his son Cole, and son-in-law Kyle Koopman, will operate the retail store.

The family has fallen hard for Laurel with friendly people and close proximity to public land.

“It’s just kind of a good opportunity here. It’s a good little town, a friendly town,” Scott said.

All that stands between the Hoopers and opening day is getting the sign and the security shutters in place. The family is moving to Montana from Castle Rock, Wash., where they also have a gun business. Plans are to keep the Washington store, managed by his hired crew, and move to Laurel. He already found a house to buy.

Scott said he looked at locations all over Laurel, but found the space near I-90 to be the most visible. He signed a fiveyear lease on the building and is excited to share his expertise with local customers.

“We are a little out of the box,” he said. “We specialize in long-range shooting.”

An avid hunter, Scott said he was drawn to gun sales right out of high school, and started working for box stores. He eventually founded his own store, and recruited his son and son-in-law to help him in Laurel. Cole and

Kyle were happy to leave behind jobs in the paper mills, where they worked 120 hours every two weeks, Scott said.

Earning a living doing what you love, even though it requires hard work, is perfect for the family. During the pandemic, people have gotten more into hunting, and Scott said gun sales are strong, despite the fact that ammunition is harder to get in and shipping delays have become the norm. Helping new gun-owners learn how to shoot is one of his favorite parts of the job.

“Since the COVID pandemic, we have sold 1,500 guns to firsttime gun buyers,” Scott said. “We set them up with training classes.”

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