Zach Kean stands behind one of his sales counters Tuesday at the new location of his shop, ZK Guns, at 313 S. Kansas Avenue. Kean is a transplant from Missouri, and started his gun dealership last year out of his home part time. He now operates the business full time at the old Scout and Outdoor Shop in Liberal. Daily Leader photo/Larry Phillips
By LARRY PHILLIPS
• Daily Leader
After growing up in the woodlands around Columbia, Mo., and hunting and fishing from an early age, it wasn’t a far stretch for a young man named Zach Kean to be talked into getting into the firearms business once he had resettled on the High Plains of Southwest Kansas.
“I got transferred out here with my job,” Kean said. “My previous employer, my boss, asked me to get my (gun dealer’s) license, and I got my license.”
Kean then established ZK Guns and initially started operating his part time business out of his home. That was in February of 2009. In August of 2009, Kean rented space out on east U.S. Highway 54, and hung out his sign.
“I’ve been around guns since I was big enough to walk,” Kean said. “My grandpa was a gun dealer when I was a kid, so I’ve been around guns my whole life.”
Hunting and shooting sports is also being handed down to Kean’s son, Hayden, who is 8 and in the third grade.
“Oh yeah, he’s been shooting since he was 5,” he said. “My son shoots a lot.”
Kean also has a daughter, Allie, 3, and his wife, Stacy, teaches school in the USD No. 480 District in Liberal.
“We stay very busy in the community,” Kean said, with a laugh.
ZK Guns offers a wide variety of long guns, including shotguns, rifles and even tactical-style guns. He also has pistols and “smoke poles.”
“I carry muzzleloading equipment, and I have some muzzleloaders and black powder stuff here, as well,” Kean explained.
Besides guns, Kean also offers non-lethal self-defense items, such as tasers and mace canisters.
“These tasers are $315, but they have a lifetime warranty. If you ever have to use it, you do a police report, and Taser International will send you a brand new taser for free,” he said. “I’ve sold most of them to people who are buying them for their college-bound daughters.”
Guns are not his only products. The store offers all kinds of ammunition, holsters, hunting accessories, such as scopes, slings, tripods, cleaning supplies, gun cases, gun socks, a wide variety of targets, even exploding targets.
“I try to keep a wide variety of things,” Kean said. “I’ve really stocked up on the reloading supplies – that’s very big around here.
“I also have all the deer stuff here and the turkey stuff, as well,” he added.
Kean can also order just about anything people could want.
“If I order something, like a gun, it usually take three days before I get it in,” he said, adding a deposit is required when ordering a specific gun.
If anyone doubts Kean’s knowledge of how to handle guns, that doubt is quickly eliminated when he explains his accreditations.
“I’m certified by the Kansas State Attorney General’s office to teach concealed carry classes,” he said. “And I am a NRA firearms instructor.
“Teaching is a big thing now,” he continued. “And I teach NRA pistol courses, youth shooting and a self-defense course through the NRA.”
Kean also not only sells new and used guns, he buys guns and will even do some old-fashioned trading.
“And in the next week or two, I’ll be selling Kansas hunting licenses,” he said. “As soon as I finish some online training, they will mail me my machine, so you’ll be able to get your turkey tags or deer permits and all that right here.
“It’s one-stop shopping,” Kean added, with a chuckle.