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Bankrupt gun distributor’s rival hires laid-off Ellett workers, opens Chapin office

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A longtime competing gun distributor to fallen Ellett Brothers has moved into Chapin.

Davidson’s, the Arizona-based company, set up a small sales office in the same town where Ellett Brothers recently laid off 171 employees. A lawsuit alleges the homegrown distributor hemorrhaged money as executives and stakeholders lined their pockets with business loans.

Davidson’s CEO Bryan Tucker said he started planning the Chapin office as soon as he heard his competitor was liquidating.

“With Ellett closing, we’ve been looking to hire some of their salespeople,” he said.

Ellett Brothers employed many people who had been there for decades. Tucker said he didn’t want to let those many years of collective experience go to waste.

The new sales office, located at 115 Clark St., has eight workers. It is not open to the public. The company is not accepting any applications for sales positions, but Tucker said he is keeping an open mind about how Davidson’s could grow in South Carolina.

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Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.
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