Smoke Trail Sports stocks specialty firearms, including the custom built .204 Ruger rifle pictured above and the CZ-USA P-09 pistol below. — Johnson Publications

Smoke Trail Sports outfits unique guns

    Since he can remember, Aaron Schlachter of rural Holyoke has had a passion for guns. When he was young, the worst penalty his parents could impose on him was to take away his pellet gun. He always wanted to do more, so three years ago he applied for a Federal Firearms License to become a gun dealer and started his home-based business, Smoke Trail Sports.
    For a long time Schlachter had thought about getting his gun dealer’s license, mostly because no one in the area sold the types of firearms he is interested in owning. Before having his license, he would have to make two to three trips to Denver for each item he wanted to purchase.
    Because there is a six-to-eight-month waiting period on restricted items, he would make one trip to Denver to complete the paperwork. Once approved, he would travel at least one if not two more times to order, buy and pick up the merchandise.
    Schlachter explained that a Class III dealer is allowed to purchase and sell restricted items such as silencers or suppressors and machine guns. In order to be licensed to own a restricted firearm, special paperwork is submitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which issues a government tax stamp that must accompany the gun at all times.
    “It’s really neat and different to have a silencer,” Schlachter said. It is safer for one’s hearing and it makes it more fun to shoot with friends because earplugs are not necessary and it allows for easy conversation, he added.
    When asked about owning machine guns, Schlachter said, “There really is no reason to have one — it’s just fun and they are becoming collector items.” He pointed out that machine guns manufactured after 1986 are not available for public ownership. However, those made prior to that are available for purchase.

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