Hayes pet store owner encourages customers to wear sidearms

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Feb 27, 2013 - 02:45 PM

Photo: Richard Clayton, owner of The Pet Castle in Hayes, openly carries his 9x18mm Makarov pistol to work every day in a holster. A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, he hopes to encourage other gun owners to carry openly, as well. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Richard Clayton, owner of The Pet Castle in Hayes, openly carries his 9x18mm Makarov pistol to work every day in a holster. A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, he hopes to encourage other gun owners to carry openly, as well. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Richard Clayton, owner of the pet supply shop The Pet Castle in Hayes, believes so wholeheartedly in the Second Amendment that he’s actively encouraging gun owners to visit his store openly armed.

He’s doing this by offering a 15 percent discount on merchandise through the end of March to anyone who drops by openly—and legally—carrying a weapon.

Clayton has long offered a standing 10 percent discount for all military and law enforcement personnel and for all concealed handgun permit holders, but recent stories about other businesses across the country encouraging open carry gave Clayton the idea to go a step further himself. He said he doesn’t like to mix politics and business, but "this is something that’s really important to me."

"The more people that carry openly, the less taboo it will become," he said.

The son of a military small arms instructor, Clayton said he’s been shooting since he was four years old, when he would sit on his father’s lap and shoot a .22. He said his own 2½-year-old daughter does the same thing with him, and she even has her own .22, a Davey Crickett, which is used by the National Rifle Association for its youth programs.