Gun shop owner, pitchman Don Davis dies at 82

February 4, 2016

Don Davis, one of the nation's most prolific gun dealers and a late-night TV commercial icon in Indianapolis, died Thursday at 82.

Davis, who operated local gun stores for more than four decades, became widely known for his advertising catch phrase, "I don't want to make any money, folks, I just love to sell guns.” The slogan, punctuated by Davis' cackling laugh, was featured on numerous commercials that ran frequently on local airwaves in the 1980s and 90s.

He died at Community South Hospital after an undisclosed illness.

Davis got his start in retail ownership in 1974 by opening Don's Sports Shop in Greenwood. He founded Don's Guns and Galleries in 1980 and opened several gun stores in the area, including a superstore and shooting range at 96th Street and North Keystone Avenue.

He claimed to be the largest independent gun dealer in the United States during the peak of his business in the 1990s. Today, his store at Lafayette Road and 38th Street is the only one still open.

Davis grew up in Warsaw, Kentucky, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and moved to central Indiana in the 1960s.

Prior to opening his retail  business, he worked as a bouncer at local bar Nick & Jerry's and also as an organizer for the Teamsters, where he became an aide to Jimmy Hoffa.


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