Owner of Big Red Gun and firearm safety instructor, Brian Hayes, breaks down the importance of gun training, reviewing guns and gear, receiving instructor certification, and working with National Firearms Act-regulated weapons. Check him out at https://www.bigredgun.com/.
- Firearm Safety
- Reviewing Guns & Gear
- Instructor Certification
- National Firearms Act Regulated Weapons
Aaron Tharp 0:00
The information provided in this episode is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have questions regarding your health, please contact your medical provider.
Welcome back to another episode here at Men Explained. We have a very special guest today. Mr. Brian Hayes, owner and operator of Big Red gun and Bennington, Nebraska. Brian, welcome.
Brian Hayes 0:27
Thank you. How are you? Yeah, well, how are you?
Aaron Tharp 0:30
I’m doing good, man. It’s good. It’s good to have you. I’m so new to what we’re going to talk about today. So I’m going to put myself out there a little bit, but tell us a little bit about, you know, your knowledge, your background, you’ve got a lot of background in patrol and you’ve been in a lot of other various, a lot of law enforcement. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started.
Brian Hayes 0:59
Well, I got a pretty extensive background on firearms in general, started hunting and fishing at five years old. Shooting with my dad, my uncle, my cousins, my brother grew up basically hunting all of Nebraska, Iowa, across the Midwest, went down to Arkansas, chase the ducks and geese north and south. So been hunting a lot. Went through college and got a degree in criminal justice decided, Hey, I’m going to be a cop got hired on what the police department and 2004 I started working as a patrol cop went inside to investigations to homicide homicides officer involved shootings, felony assaults, property crimes, a dope investigations, I mean, basically ran a lot of different types of investigations, got promoted to sergeant came back out to patrol and and that’s where I’m working now. Throughout my, my career in law enforcement, I’ve always been around guns and guns have interested me. So I became a law enforcement firearms instructor started taking firearms classes through nationally known trainers. And just kind of, you know, hitting the gun scene a lot. I decided I needed to do something to offset the expense. So I started a business, sir. Yeah, selling gun going.
Aaron Tharp 2:40
That’s right. That’s the same direction, isn’t it?
Brian Hayes 2:42
Right. Yeah. So I figured, well, if I can get guns at, you know, a cheaper cost and an ammo, especially at cheaper cost, that’d be that’d be pretty cool. So I started a business and probably 2012. And just kind of started running it and you want a lot of gun sales, gun and gear. NFA items like silencers, that sort of thing. Do a lot of that, too.
Aaron Tharp 3:13
Yeah. So if if if somebody was new, they wanted to take a concealed carry course they wanted to purchase their own equipment. I would be the guy that doesn’t I mean, I know nothing of this. So I would want to know that I’m going to go buy the right equipment, the right stuff, and I’m going to do it in a financially smart way. Sure. Right. Because I want you along in that journey. Right? Yeah, yes. Because it’s gone.
Brian Hayes 3:46
It’s a difficult market. You know, there’s a lot of different gun manufacturers. There’s a lot of different types of guns sizes. So yeah, it’s a pretty difficult space to kind of operate on if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Yeah.
Aaron Tharp 4:04
So you mentioned a couple of different areas that you worked in law enforcement or patrol, homicides, police involved shootings. Sure. Oh, I want to get a sense for how you see the Law Enforcement Training protocols evolving and changing on this current climate.
Brian Hayes 4:23
Um, you know, obviously there’s, there’s some issues going on right now, nationwide. And I think there’s there’s got to be a give and take between the taxpaying citizens, governments, ie politicians that are running governments and also the police departments. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it takes a lot of money to run training in large organizations like Minneapolis, Chicago, when you have, you know, over 1000 officers In a department takes a long time to get them trained, especially through year to year doing in service training and that thing, so when you look at that, I think people are going to be surprised at how much money it’s going to cost to get these officers officers adequate, adequately trained to where they are making no mistakes. And, you know, we’re all human, we make mistakes sometimes. And we, we got to live with that. But I do see increased training coming down the pike and, and I think it’s needed as a training junkie, like I said, I, I, I hope work.
Aaron Tharp 5:46
Yeah, cuz you Are you also you stay up to up to date on your current your current with a you’re obviously very close to it. You’re an instructor, a firearms instructor as well. So that since mid 2000s, yeah, right. Okay. So what types of classes certifications are we talking about?
Brian Hayes 6:08
So I’ve taken Obviously, I’m a state certified law enforcement instructor in the at the academy level, as well as firearms. So I’ve taken classes you know, from centrifuge training vehicle, CTB, CTB classes from at a tactical, a lot of handgun manipulation classes, rifle manipulation, and classes, just work in different tactics, weapon manipulation, and that sort of thing. Taking a lot of classes from from different instructor instructors across the country, just, you know, from all over the place, so yeah, handgun, rifle, shotgun, that sort of thing.
Aaron Tharp 7:01
Okay. So I want to go in, and again, I saw this really cool site online, and they had this cool looking gun, and I’m thinking that’s the one I gotta get. Right. Right. So how often does this happen? And what can be improved? what’s the what’s the solution here?
Brian Hayes 7:27
So I get I get a lot of calls. The people that call me that I’ve dealt with my customers, my customer base, they call me and they asked my opinion on a lot of things. Mostly, it’s cost. I mean, let’s be honest, everybody wants to save a buck. Yep. So you know, a lot of guys will go to a big box store look at their guns or I kind of like this one. Call me Hey, what can you get this for? I don’t operate shop per se, I have an online store. So I don’t have the overhead that big box store would have
Aaron Tharp 8:05
keep the expertise though. Eat right, yours is the expertise correct? Right. So
Brian Hayes 8:12
we would they would basically call me and and we would go back and forth that ask them what they want to use it for. Ask them the questions that need to be asked and you know, and see what their responses are and just kind of go from there. Just have a conversation with them and
Aaron Tharp 8:30
what they need it for and listening to what they want to do. Do you have to kind of like I don’t know, steer him in a different direction or or sort of influenced them in different directions
Brian Hayes 8:41
sometimes sometimes you know, we get we get a lot of or I get a lot of calls about certain guns I’m not gonna name them off because I don’t know if those manufacturers would hate me at that time but we get a lot of like different brands people people hate it brand a they’d rather you know very brand loyal Oh very Yeah, it’s like it’s like car guys is Ford Chevy you know, Glock Springfield, 19 1145. Nine, it’ll, it happens all the time. So So yeah, they they kind of call me and, and I try to steer them towards again, that’s going to last them you know, I look at as an investment. Normally, I don’t normally I don’t sell guns, you know, my personal guns. So I like to have stuff that last forever.
Aaron Tharp 9:40
Yeah. So it’s, we’re not talking about just like saving money. You’re This is a performance expertise as well. Right?
Brian Hayes 9:47
Yeah. Durability, longevity.
Aaron Tharp 9:49
Brian Hayes 9:50
I don’t want somebody to come in drop $600 on a gun that lasts them, you know, a couple 1000 rounds and then they have to send it back. I don’t I don’t want them to waste that money,
Aaron Tharp 10:03
Brian Hayes 10:03
I think somebody’s going to spend money. I’m kind of the the buy once cry once type of person, you know, I’d rather put my money into something that is gonna last a while and I don’t have to buy it three or four times. Sure. You know or buy it and sell it, buy it and sell it.
Aaron Tharp 10:20
Yeah, it’s an investment. I mean, that’s exactly the look at it. So for sure. Um, you guys do guns and gun accessories, as well. Anything gun related magazines, holsters,
Brian Hayes 10:30
firearms, anything gun related?
Aaron Tharp 10:34
We can we can pretty much get what’s your favorite area in this whole arena?
Brian Hayes 10:40
Um, I do a lot of AR stuff. Okay, a lot of ar 15 stuff. That’s a hot topic. I do a lot of that. Right now is probably the red dot handguns. That’s the hottest.
Aaron Tharp 10:55
Okay. Everybody wants to shake my head like I know. So don’t know. Red Dot I’m sure that means a lot to a lot of people. Yeah. Well just listen.
Brian Hayes 11:06
So a lot of people are putting optics on their hand guns. Okay, you know, like, electronic site? Yeah. Many rec electronic side on their handguns. And it’s so hot topic right now. There’s, there’s some people that, you know, oh, this is the new hotness. I’m gonna I’m gonna go out and buy it right now and slap a, you know, crap scope on top of a handgun and call it good and Okay, you know, walk out. So not the
Aaron Tharp 11:33
really the performance that we’re looking for? Yeah.
Brian Hayes 11:36
Oh, there’s a lot of I don’t know how maybe vain people were just, I’m doing it for the grams. Or I’m doing it because it looks cool. There’s I’m sure a lot of that stuff in the industry. I mean, social medias kind of push that along.
Aaron Tharp 11:53
I mean, that it’s, it’s the truth. Yeah. I don’t doubt that. It’s so sad. It is it because it’s just not, it’s just not a space that you can that you should just be careless with? No, right. There’s a there’s a there’s a real appreciation for the safety and the security and the respect of at all There is and I
Brian Hayes 12:15
look, I look at guns as tools. You know, it is they’re no different than a hammer or drill a gun in the garage. They’re a little bit more dangerous if used incorrectly. But, you know, I that’s what they’re, that’s what they’re there for, you know, protect yourself protect others. You know, I guess I carry one every day. So it kind of is no different to me. But that’s just how I feel.
Aaron Tharp 12:45
Sure. No, that’s all good. So you opened up? Or you kind of started this? Maybe 10 years ago or so?
Brian Hayes 12:55
Yeah, about 2012. Okay.
Aaron Tharp 12:58
So what are your What else do your customers come to you for?
Brian Hayes 13:04
So I do, like, I get a lot of concealed handgun permit class requests. I do take a few of those, I try to get people on the lineup a class, like, if you’re interested in getting one get, you know, eight to 10 of your buddies together, I’ll come to your house teach it, you guys got a place to shoot, I’ll bring targets target stands, okay, we can go out and do that, you know, knock that out. And some Saturday or Sunday? No problem, I can definitely do that I’m certified to do that. Um, so I’ve been, I’ve been asked about, you know, like one on one handgun, that sort of thing. But like anything else, there’s a lot of liability with with handguns or with any guns in particular, especially firearms training. So without having, you know, a place to call my own my own land insurance to insure that land and all that, that sort of thing. It’s really difficult to operate within the training industry right now. Unless you’re doing it full time, you know, and you got, you got all that stuff going on. All that insurance, and you’re traveling and doing it full time. You know, you’re you’re probably used to that. But, you know, for somebody that has a real job that they’re concentrating on for another few years. Sure. Yeah. I don’t want to throw any more liability into it that and I have to respectfully that’s
Aaron Tharp 14:37
Yeah, that’s to be understood. What does that look like for you? You’re kind of planning and you’re moving in that direction. As you Yeah. Kind of maybe final up, finalize some chapters in your professional career? Yeah, I
Brian Hayes 14:50
think when so I kind of started this not only to to help take care of some of the costs associated with my hobby, but you know, to maybe fall onto something when I go to retire you know have have something that when I retired I can just go to work and love what I do. Yeah. And
have a little side job make a little extra money on the side and brochure. That’s it.
Aaron Tharp 15:19
All right. So if I’m a new gun owner if I want to get some training some certifications if I want to do it the right way in financially safe way, have a little fun. Where do I got to go? To learn more about how to do that?
Brian Hayes 15:34
Well, I got a website I run Big Red gun calm on Facebook, Instagram, all the social medias. Oh, yeah. I don’t do them all. But no, the big ones.
Aaron Tharp 15:48
Yeah, for sure. Now, that’s all good. Well, Brian, thanks so much for your time today, man. It’s been really good to hear and you got to probably add a mountain of expertise that we’d even get to explore but if you’re listening out there, and you’re still you want to become a new con owner if you have questions in the space. Brian is your guy. You gave us your phone number before you want to you want to deliver that or should we? Should we hold off it’s on the website. Okay, fair enough. Okay, not the website, which is again, Big Red gun calm. Okay, awesome. That’s gonna do it. fellas. Thanks for joining us Thank you Take care.
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