FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — You might have heard of “Guns ‘n’ Roses,” but not like this.
Consider the Lilies, a popular florist in downtown Florence, is now selling firearms in a new venture called A&J Firearms and Training. At the store, shoppers can find floral arrangements, home décor and a glass case full of pistols.
“Nobody thinks about flowers and guns being together,” Angela Pecca, who co-owns Consider the Lilies and A&J with her husband, John said. “But if you know us, then it works.”
She said they bonded over firearms. In fact, the logo for the new business, which shows the silhouettes of a man and woman holding rifles surrounded by flowers, was inspired by their wedding cake topper.
“We go to Blue Line on Wednesday nights and shoot for 30, 40 minutes then we go have dinner and call that date night,” she said.
“Nothing says ‘I love you’ like proper sight alignment and trigger control,” John Pecca said.
While growing Consider the Lilies, the couple offered concealed handgun permit classes aimed mostly at women.
They said many of their students purchase guns, but not always one they can rely on.
“What feels good in your hand?” John Pecca said. “If you’re not comfortable with the gun, you’re not going to use it.”
They realized the buying experience at a typical gun store might not be right for their students.
“There’s usually a man behind the counter and they look very tactical. For women, it’s a little intimidating,” Angela Pecca said. “And they show guns and talk about guns in a guy’s language. Most women that really don’t shoot don’t understand that.”
The Peccas decided to start selling a small selection of weapons they knew they could trust, plus accessories like mace canisters, purses with built-in holsters and other accessories.
“It occurred to me that we could basically couple the businesses together,” John Pecca said. “Anything you see here is stuff I have used personally — not the purses, clearly, but the guns, flashlights and other stuff is all good quality stuff I can stand behind.”
The Peccas said they held a ribbon cutting for A&J, joined the Chamber of Commerce and have sold six guns so far.
They said they have trained hundreds of people over the years and plan to ramp up. They recently purchased land to turn into their own shooting range.
“We don’t really want a full, big box gun store,” Angela Pecca said. “We want to help our people and anyone who is looking for a gun. We want it to be more personable.”