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Biz Buzz: Conservative California couple to open gun shop in Pocatello

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Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BUZZ

POCATELLO

California couple opening gun shop in Pocatello

dpcs gun barn
Merrisa Bishop of California is the new owner of this building, formerly occupied by Doc’s Gun Barn at 305 Jefferson Avenue in Pocatello. | Google, July 2019

POCATELLO – Merrisa Bishop grew up in Orange County, California, and has been practicing law in San Jose for 29 years, but the chance to open a business in eastern Idaho is an opportunity she’s thrilled about.

She and her wife, Dianne, are relocating their ammunition and firearm manufacturing business to Pocatello in early February. Merrisa tells EastIdahoNews.com they just bought the space formerly occupied by Doc’s Gun Barn at 305 Jefferson Avenue on Tuesday.

“We haven’t settled on a name yet. It will either be Black Dog Guns or Bishop’s Gun Barn,” Merrisa says. “The ammunition manufacturing part will not be done at Doc’s, but the gunsmithing will. We’ll be providing a full-service gun store.”

Her business specializes in manufacturing ammunition for handguns ranging from the 9mm to the 45 Long Colt pistol. It also repairs and manufactures high-end hunting rifles and provides ammunition for the .223 Remington rifle, the .308 Winchester, .458 Socom, .45-70, .38-55, .30-30 and the .475 Magnum.

“I invented a cartridge (for the .475 Magnum) that’s designed for use in the AR-10,” says Merrisa.

RELATED | Guns and ammo getting harder to find as demand continues to grow

Merrisa formed Bishop Ammunition Manufacturing LLC in North Highlands, California, in 2009. She is a disabled combat veteran and served as a police officer in the military before practicing law. The inspiration for the ammo business stemmed from a handgun she bought after getting out of the military.

“I could not find any ammunition for it, so I started making it. My dad was a Marine, and he taught me how to reload as a kid. I took my dad’s formula and refined it for my handgun. The (groupings from my bullets during target shooting) got smaller and smaller until I was putting eight rounds inside of a quarter at 25 yards. Everyone was like, ‘That’s incredible ammo. How do we get some?'” Merrisa says.

Eventually, Merrisa got licensed to open an ammunition manufacturing warehouse, which started with just one (bullet assembly press) — the machine that makes the ammo. Her business has continued to grow over the years, which now has six presses. She and her wife, who is an Air Force veteran, run it together.

RELATED | Idaho bill aims to stop Biden executive actions on gun laws

Merrisa, a proud Donald Trump supporter and Republican voter for the last 15 years, says the gun laws and the politics in California have made it difficult to own a gun shop, and she can’t stand living there anymore. In 2018, she and Dianne attended the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas and became acquainted with John Regetz, the former president and CEO of Bannock Development Corporation.

They told him about the challenges of owning a gun shop in the Golden State, and Regetz suggested they relocate to Pocatello. With just the two of them, Merrisa didn’t think it could feasibly be done at that time. They met up at the SHOT Show the following year, and in 2020, Merrisa says they started to take Regetz’s suggestion seriously.

“We started the process of looking for property, and we looked at all kinds of buildings,” says Merrisa. “We originally considered (purchasing) Sam’s Gun Shop, which is (also) on Jefferson, but I really didn’t like the location. Then I saw Doc’s, and it had the exact look I was looking for.”

As she’s visited Pocatello in recent weeks, she says it feels like home because people are polite and respectful, and it reminds her of the way Orange County was more than 40 years ago.

Renovations on the gun barn will get underway soon. Merrisa wants to replace the carpet in the building with a wood floor and add a wood-burning stove so she can share an old-fashioned pot of coffee with customers and have jars of penny candy for the kids.

She’s planning to have a grand opening once the shop is up and running.

“We look forward to our new home in Pocatello and contributing to the community,” says Merrisa.

BIZ BITS

Corn dog restaurant opens in Idaho Falls

corn dog station
Courtesy Tyler Dodge

IDAHO FALLS – Corn Dog Station, a new food truck offering premium corn dogs, opened last Saturday in the parking lot next to Big Deal Outlet (formerly Smith’s) in Idaho Falls. It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“Best corn dog I’ve ever eaten!” one customer tells EastIdahoNews.com. “The turkey bacon pineapple corn dog is my favorite.”

Hospital welcomes new CFO

IDAHO FALLS – A new chief financial officer has been installed at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Aaron Martin will be overseeing EIRMC’s fiscal operations and leading several departments, including accounting, patient access, health information management, case management and supply chain services.

Martin comes to EIRMC from HCA Healthcare sister facility John Randolph Medical Center near Richmond, Virginia, where he served as CFO for three years. Prior to that, he served as the assistant chief financial officer at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital, also in Richmond. He also worked with Lourdes Health Network and Deaconess Hospital in Washington.

Originally from Spokane, Martin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University, respectively.

Mental health clinic opening fourth eastern Idaho location

REXBURG – The staff at Pearl Health Clinic is pleased to announce the fourth office in eastern Idaho at 264 East Main Street in Rexburg. It opens on Sept. 15.

Owner Zak Warren says its location is ideal not only for its accessibility but also for partnering with other hospital groups and primary care providers. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Rosemary Brown, along with licensed marriage and family therapist Leisa Watkins are the clinic’s two full-time providers. Licensed clinical professional counselor Jaxson Stark will be there once a week. Pearl Health Clinic will be hiring more providers in the coming months. New patients are being accepted. It will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment or learn more, call (208) 346-7500. You can also visit the website.

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