Hello Council, thank you for letting me speak today. My name is Nick Lahera and I work for Big Daddy Enterprises as their public relations coordinator.
Our company is a First Amendment absolutist organization, so it’s absolutely fantastic to see everyone who came out today. We support everyone’s right to free speech and applaud those who choose to exercise these rights. The sanctity we hold for these rights included being interviewed by Alex Jones about the growth of our business. Any insinuation that we deny Sandy Hook is not only untrue but inflammatory. This company was started as a means to protect the rights of our fellow Americans and hopefully prevent future senseless tragedies.
The large caveat to the First Amendment is its inherent protection by the Second Amendment! The Second Amendment is what allows us as ordinary citizens to protect ourselves appropriately and continue to live in a free and prosperous society. Beyond that, the Second Amendment even protects hunting which is one of the oldest sports in history.
There has been a lot said about our stores, and I want to settle your nerves a bit. The fact of the matter is we have already been a part of your community through our online platform, Big Daddy Unlimited. Since our inception in 2018, we have served almost 800 customers in West Virginia (798). Of which, over 550 (565) have been a member of Big Daddy Unlimited in the last year, and many are even from Morgantown. Not to mention, we even have over 2,300 subscribers from all over the state who know about us.
At the beginning of the year, we were only operating in 3 locations. Now, we’ve opened our 6th store this week, with several more in the works. I bring that up because, number one, this isn’t our first rodeo, but, second, and more importantly, we work to build a sense of community around every store we build.
Big Daddy Guns works to build relationships everywhere we go. When firearms are hard to access, it disenfranchises those who need to protect themselves the most. Big Daddy Guns prides itself on its customer service which is second to none and we can’t wait to put this into action! After speaking to several local residents today, we see that the need for our shop is even greater!
Beyond our Customer First attitude, we always maintain the pinnacle of gun safety within our stores and in the community. To that end, in Gainesville, and hopefully elsewhere soon, we host concealed carry certification classes that highlight the four basic rules of firearm safety. Since starting that program about 3 months ago, we have trained over 75 individuals in our headquarters and we plan on expanding the program soon which will include more classes, new education, and even more locations.
Additionally, we have even partnered up with several student groups at the University of Florida to provide range days where we teach gun safety and allow them to shoot several different types of firearms so they can have respect for the utility of these tools.
In Gainesville, we are less than four miles from the University of Florida and close to several schools and churches which has created an amazing teachable opportunity. In fact, we have a church that uses our headquarters for its services.
We take the approach of building a populace who has respect for these firearms rather than fear. With proper education and exposure, we can ensure that all of you have the means and resources to protect yourself, your family, and your community.
I want to close with this. While we may be in the middle of downtown, it’s because we are working to destigmatize gun culture and educate the surrounding community.
I have heard your concern, but, let me say this, our presence here today is a testament to the care and appreciation we have for your town. We look forward to the opportunity to prove ourselves in your community. Thank you.