Spokane Journal of Business

Gunfighters slated to move to North Idaho

Washington company said to prefer ’gun friendly’ climate in Gem State

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Gunfighters LLC, a gun-holster manufacturer and distributor currently based near Leavenworth, Washington, is moving its operations to Rathdrum, says general manager Woody Dixon.

The company, which does business as GunfightersINC, has leased 17,500 square feet of industrial space at 6672 W. Boekel Road, in the former home of Heatercraft Marine Products.

Dixon says he expects the company will move into the new location by late summer or early fall. The new facility will house the company’s manufacturing and distribution operations and also will have some retail space, he says.

GunfightersINC currently doesn’t have a physical retail space of its own and ships most of its products to external retailers, says Dixon, or it takes online orders through its website and ships the product directly to the individual customer.

The company produces a variety of gun holsters made with nylon, Kydex, and leather. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl material manufactured by Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania-based thermoplastic manufacturer Sekisui SPI. The material is used in aircrafts, holsters, and knife sheaths.

GunfightersINC distributes to over 20 dealers across the country, and its products are available through online retailer Amazon.com. The company also manufactures custom holsters, according to information on its website. 

GunfightersINC currently occupies about 5,000 square feet of space in Peshastin, Dixon says, where it manufactures shoulder, chest, and waist holsters that range between $55 and $150 for major-brand firearms, including Glock, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson. 

The company also manufactures and sells magazine pouches for handguns and rifles, as well as a thigh panel that’s compatible with all of the company’s holsters, according to the website.

Dixon says the move to Idaho was driven by a variety of reasons, including Idaho’s more relaxed business climate and more gun-friendly attitude. He also cited a lack of suitable space in Peshastin to accommodate the growing company. 

Dixon asserts the company was particularly motivated to move by the recent slew of gun laws passed in Washington state that tightened some regulations on gun ownership.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law seven new gun-control measures in early May, including strengthening requirements on background checks and increasing confiscation and ownership ban authority, in certain cases.

Craig Hunter and Rob Kannapien, both of Coeur d’Alene-based Coldwell Banker Commercial Schneidmiller Realty, and Bill Robinette, of Select Properties Co. Real Estate LLC, also of Coeur d’Alene, handled the Rathdrum lease.

Adam Harris, a U.S. Army veteran, founded GunfightersINC in late 2011 in Peshastin, a small, unincorporated community in Chelan County with a population of about 1,600, about four miles south of Leavenworth, Washington. Harris was disappointed by the lack of high-quality holster options for his firearms, according to the website, which led him to manufacturer his own brand of holsters.

The company’s change mirrors that of another holster-making company, Tedder Industries LLC, which moved to North Idaho from Arkansas in 2013. Following the move, the company expanded from 30 employees to more than 200. 

Tedder manufactures handgun holsters under brand names Alien Gear and Old Faithful, as well as Bigfoot Gun Belts, which are leather belts designed to withstand the weight of a gun and holster.

Tedder Industries moved operations from 30,000 square feet of space spread across three buildings in Hayden in early 2016 to its current, 70,000-foot-facility at 4411 W. Riverbend in Post Falls. Thomas Tedder, the former owner, told the Journal earlier this year he expects the company to see 200% to 300% growth within the next five years. 

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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