Fitness store owner welcomes guns in his business

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DENVER -- Aurora resident Graham Dunne is a man who wears many hats. He's a weight lifter who is married with three children, and has a full time job.

So with all the free time he has, (read sarcasm), he decided to open up a nutrition store, called Fit Republic Parker. “I wanted to get in the business that was something different where I could actually have a positive impact on people in their lives.  Help them get in shape,” Dunne said.

But Fit Republic Parker, like any other retail business, is susceptible to crime. “There’s always the concern of theft, armed robbery,” he said.  In addition to good locks, a cash vault and security cameras, Dunne employs one more piece of equipment. A concealed firearm, “I carry a gun to protect myself and to protect my customers.”

Not only does Dunne carry a gun himself, he encourages his customers to do the same with a sign displayed in his store’s window that reads, “Guns are welcomed on the premises.”

“Guns are the great equalizer, an old lady can protect herself against the biggest buy around with a gun in her hand,” Dunne said.

A few businesses down from Fit Republic Parker is a pet shop and grooming called Essential Pet, and groomer Robin McCaghren said, “I think it’s great.  I think firearms should be welcomed everywhere.”

A customer walked in Fit Republic Parker with his dog on a leash, and Dunne quickly said, “We’re dog and gun friendly, yeah.”