Guns are his business |

Guns are his business

by Jo Rafferty

A Minden gun store moved off the beaten track in June, but still offers the same selection and conversation, according to the owner Richard Brengman.

Brengman, who has been in the fire arms business in Douglas County since 1989 and offers everything from black powder to machine guns, relocated his Special Interest Arms from Highway 395 in Minden to Industrial Way in Gardnerville to allow for Greater Nevada Credit Union’s expansion.

“I try to keep a little bit of everything,” said Brengman. “We’ve got collector guns and modern guns.”

He is no longer on a major thoroughfare, but regulars and new customers are managing to find his unique business. As the sole employee at Special Interest Arms, Brengman is the one who answers all their questions.

Many customers come for miles just to “pick his brain” about anything related to guns, according to Brengman’s mother Anita Koops.

“They come to him,” said Koops. “They buy a gun from a garage sale. He tells them what type of gun it is. He shows them how to take it apart and clean it. He tells them how to use it.”

Brengman is also well versed on gun regulations in both the Silver and the Golden states.

“I explain the law to people who don’t know,” said Brengman. “I do all the things the big stores don’t.”

Special Interest Arms carries reloading supplies, gun cases, takes special orders, trade-ins, buys used guns and will arrange gun transfers.

“A transfer is needed when someone buys a fire arm on the Internet that can’t be shipped directly to them. It has to go through the dealer,” said Brengman, who added that inherited guns need a transfer, too.

Brengman has a Class 2 license, which allows him to manufacture fire arms and sell machine guns.

He converts a high powered rifle (an Endfield No. 4) into one with low power (a 7.62 X 39), with a low recoil.

Gun prices range from revolvers that start at $125 to machine guns (he has one for $11,000).

“Machine guns are a fantastic investment. They’re going up 20-40 percent a year,” Brengman said.

Customers were crowding into his store on Tuesday, but Brengman, 49, said business is sporadic.

“A couple of guys come in every day,” said Brengman. “But, the busy times are just before Christmas or a month or two before the hunting season.”

Brengman’s mother said some of his customers helped her son when he had to move the store because of his bad back.

“He’s got a very good customer base because he is so trustworthy,” said Koops. “Customers helped him move. I think that says a lot for my boy.”

A gun enthusiast since he was 10 years old, Brengman is now a life member of the National Rifle Association, on the Carson Valley Republican Central Committee and an election volunteer and coordinator for the Nevada 2nd District.

He regularly makes donations to 4-H, Ducks Unlimited and the Douglas High School band, Koops said.

“He gives to the community. I’m pretty proud of him,” she said.

For more information, call Special Interest Arms at 782-4342, log on to or visit the store at 1422-A Industrial Way in Gardnerville. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

— Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 213.