Contributed photo — New Whidbey Arms co-owners Craig Justus (left) and Mark Henny (right) saved the gun shop from closing when they purchased the business.

Business sale, employees save Clinton gun store

South Whidbey’s only gun shop has been spared from closure thanks to a successful sale.

Freeland resident Craig Justus and Clinton resident Mark Henny recently purchased Whidbey Arms from Freeland resident Jim Childers. Childers was considering closing the store for good but instead worked out a deal with Justus and Henny to have them take over the business.

Justus and Henny, a member of the Henny family which owns Whidbey Telecom, both worked for Childers at the Ken’s Korner gun store.

A grand reopening is scheduled for June 6 to June 17, offering specials of up to 50 percent off.

“I’ve been trying to get the deal worked out with Mark over the last year or so,” Justus said. “I’ve been working here as a manager for the previous year, and I know we’re both happy to keep the business around for the shooting community.”

Justus said Childers was on the verge of closing the store for “personal reasons” and wanted to leave the arms industry. As outdoorsmen, Justus and Henny couldn’t let the store close.

“We are both lifelong islanders and are passionate about the shooting community here on the island,” Justus said.