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Florence County gun store closing after 48 years in business

Norman's Gun Exchange (WPDE)

James Norman has owned Norman's Gun Exchange on South Irby Street in Florence since 1970, but has made a tough decision to close the business after 48 years.

"48 years in the gun business. That's a long time to stay in one business and you gotta enjoy what you do. We've got some real good customers over the years and we've really enjoyed the 48 years," said Norman.

He says his decision to close has nothing to do with what's going on in our nation about people wanting more gun control laws.

"No absolutely not, nothing to do with that at all. This was our decision that we were going to retire this year one way or another if [my son] took over, then we were going to retire. If not, then we were going to sell out. So now we're having to sell out. "

Norman said his son was supposed to take over the business, but fell ill late last year.

"Before Christmas, he came down with a sickness and he was unable to work any longer. So after we found out that he couldn't work, at my age of 79, it was time to retire. So we're getting out and hopefully doing a little fishing, a little hunting and play with the little grand boy. "

Norman said he's really looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

"I'm going to do a little fishing and working. I've got a lot of things that keep me busy around the house and stuff and I don't know what I'll really do because this has never happened to me before. But I hope I'll have enough to do to keep me busy. Between the fishing and hunting it will. I really enjoy it," said Norman.

He added closing his gun shop is bitter sweet.

"We're really looking forward to it in a way, and in a way, we're not. We're gonna miss a lot of people that we've been dealing with for 48 years. Like I've said, I've had a lot of their kids come in when they were really small children and now they're coming in with their little children and buying guns. You know it just does something to you when you see that and it's just something that happens to you over the years. "

Norman's Gun Exchange is expected to close in late April.

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