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Police sergeant, son open Ceres only gun shop
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Pat Sullivan (center) and son Randy Sullivan (right) enjoy talking guns to customers like former police sergeant Sam Ryno at their new Ceres gun shop, CenCal Tactical. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Name of business: CenCal Tactical.

Type of business: Gun, ammunition, accessory sales.
Location: 3525 Mitchell Road, Suite D.

Hours of operation: Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Contact info: (209) 541-3913.

History of business: Pat Sullivan and son Randy Sullivan are big believers in the concept that law-abiding citizens having the right to bear arms for personal protection and for sport. And as being experienced as a Ceres police sergeant, Pat has a wealth of experience to share about firearms sold in his new shop, CenCal Tactical.

The father and son team opened up the shop on July 4 at 3525 Mitchell Road, Suite D.

The idea of owning a gun shop was first mentioned to Pat by Randy, who is 28 and in his eighth year as a full-time Ceres firefighter. Pat was recovering from knee surgery at the time and was contemplating retirement when Randy suggested opening a gun shop. Pat's first reaction was no. But when they started seeing how busy other gun shops in the area were and how difficult gun buying became, they decided to go for it.

Guns were always a part of the Sullivan family household. Pat taught all his children - including his daughters - responsible gun handling and they regularly practices shooting.

"A lot of people, I think, are afraid of guns," said Randy. "But the people who are afraid of guns just haven't been exposed to them and it's the unknown that scares them."

There's been nothing but positive feedback as the word gets out about Ceres having a gun shop.

CenCal orders guns from six wholesalers, five of which are linked to the business website, which offers access to 75,000 products. The shop has about 30 different types of handguns on display and five different types of rifles and shotguns. The shop also has accessories. Gun safes have been ordered as the business seeks to build its inventory.

Sullivan said some customers complaint about shops pushing higher end models but his policy is let the customer decide what gun is best for them.

"Every person who picks up a firearm that they think they want to buy, it has to feel right, it has to feel good in their hand, it has to have the right size grip," said Pat.
CenCal sells the most popular handguns for personal and home protection, including the Smith & Wesson, Wilson Combat, Beretta, Colt, Daniel Defense, Springfield, Glock, Taurus, Sig Sauer, Remington and others.

"We offer a price range from the guns that people can afford to the custom guns that you can order and we can specialty orders for people to several thousands of dollars," said Sullivan. "We are intentionally keeping our prices as low as we possibly can because we're a new business we want to get a customer base to come into our store. We're the only gun store in Ceres."

Sullivan has found that all of his customers have been "law abiding citizens who have a right to own them."
"I have been a police officer for 30 years. I have no problem with people owning guns, using guns, having guns for personal protection."

Sullivan said many times the mere presence of a gun can thwart a crime in process. At other times, a person who has a gun needs to be prepared to use it.

"As a police officer, I tell people we (police) get there 90 percent of the time after everything is done. We're there to clean the mess up. Us getting there and protecting you rarely happens."

Sullivan hopes to offer training classes at a later date but until then refers gun owners to a number of firms in the area that offer training.

The shop also offers consignments of used handguns.
For new gun owners, Sullivan likes to find out what the gun will be used for, such as self or home protection, target shooting or whatever. He will direct them to guns that are easy to handle and generally safe. Those who plan to have a conceal and carry permit (CCW) he recommends guns that are smaller and easier to side.

The buyer has to take a handgun safety test. The buyer must correctly answer 23 of the 30 questions of the common sense quiz. Then the buyer pays for the gun, and undergoes a 10-day waiting period and background check through the Department of Justice. After that they come in and pick up the gun. If the gun hasn't been picked up within 30 days from the shop, the buyer has to re-do the process because the state recognizes that something could have happened within a month that changes the ability to legally obtain a gun.

The state only allows a person to buy one handgun every 30 days.

Anyone in the county may apply for a concealed weapons permit through the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, which may or may not be granted based on one's personal background, after a process that takes about eight months. Otherwise, individuals may own loaded handguns on their property or transport unloaded handguns in their car - as long as the ammunition and gun are located in separate compartments such as the gun in the trunk or trunk safe and ammo in the glove box.