The North Bend Eagle


Raymonds open business in downtown North Bend alley

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/6/16

Steve and Sherry Raymond have been gun enthusiasts for a long time. Though they both have been hunters in the past, though target shooting is what they like to do now for their personal recreation.

They have been going to gun shows and other places to buy and sell guns, but their collection finally got too large with Steve, 65, wanting to change his inventory of guns and buy others. Originally they were going to have a shop for personal use, open to friends and family at their home north of Ames.

Back Alley Defense
Sherry and Steve Raymond opened Back Alley Defense in North Bend to see guns and ammunition.

“They wouldn’t let us set up a shop at the house because it was zoned agriculture” Sherry, 55, said. “We had to rent a place here in town to do it legally as a business. Something has to pay the rent, so here we are.”

Last summer they began looking for a store front in North Bend to sell their guns. After looking at different possibilities, they talked to Shawn Juhl of Bullseye Transportation who was moving into the building just east of the North Bend Post Office. He was open to the idea of sharing space and showed them a back room he was not using and the Raymonds thought they had found their space.

It took a lot of cleaning up, painting, decorating to get Back Alley Defense ready. They also installed a strong security system for the business space.

They were ready Jan. 2 when they opened the doors and welcomed 17 customers. The hours will be Thursday and Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both Raymonds have full time jobs, Steve at Hormel and Sherry as manager at the North Bend Senior Center, so stoer hours will be limited. They will also open their shop by appointment. Call Steve at 402-660-0336 or Sherry at 402-657-7495 to make arrangements.

“If things take off Steve will be down here full time,” Sherry said.
It took them a while to get all the city, state and federal permits to open a gun store, a process that took about 11 months to complete. The last step was their Federal Firearms License from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which came in December.

Back Alley Defense will offer live ammunition, handguns, rifles, military rifles, knives, a few parts, a tool box used for storing game and a gunsmith available to repair guns. They try to keep their prices competitive with the big box sporting stores.

The Raymonds are also looking into offering carry and conceal classes.
This is a family store so the Raymonds have opened up their space to family members. Sherry had a rack of greeting cards she makes for sale. Daughters Cher Krause of Arlington has metal yard art and Shunari Hummel of Omaha has vinyl cutouts for sale. Son Ray Raymond has para cord braided bracelets and key chains on display for sale. The Raymonds are also dealers for AmSoil, a synthetic lubricant, which Steve uses to clean his guns.

“We carry a little bit of everything just to get us going,” Sherry said.

“When we fill up with guns we’ll start eliminating,” Steve added.

The Raymonds buy, sell, trade and take consignments of guns.
To get to their Back Alley Defense store go to the alley between the NAPA and the North Bend Eagle. There is parking in the alley or on Main Street and a sign on the door to welcome customers.

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