• Hare Trigger Gunsmithing owner Sean Byrd works on a rifle in his workshop. Byrd used vocational rehabilitation training after having a heart attack to open his own business in Spruce Pine. (BRANDON ROBERTS/NEWS-JOURNAL)
    Hare Trigger Gunsmithing owner Sean Byrd works on a rifle in his workshop. Byrd used vocational rehabilitation training after having a heart attack to open his own business in Spruce Pine. (BRANDON ROBERTS/NEWS-JOURNAL)

MAKING THE MOST OF IT

After heart attack, Sean Byrd turns hobby into business

SPRUCE PINE – Sean Byrd took a life-threatening situation and turned it into a life-altering one.

Byrd, 42, is a volunteer firefighter with the Spruce Pine Fire Department who used to work in the heating ventilation and air conditioning industry. During a training burn on Ledger School Road in July 2018, he had a massive heart attack.

“After that, I knew I needed to do something a little less stressful,” he said. “I have always been around and have been fascinated by guns.”

Byrd took his love of guns and the need for a less stressful occupation and attended the American Gunsmithing Institute through the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. 

Vocational rehabilitation provides counseling, training, education, transportation, job placement, assistive technology, and other support services to people with disabilities. Armed with his new training, Byrd opened Hare-Trigger Gunsmithing in the garage of his house in Spruce Pine. The business specializes in firearms sales and transfers, consignments, and Byrd’s favorites, restoration and repairs.

“The main reasons people would bring their guns to me for repair or restoration is the lack of maintenance over the years, or they weren’t cleaned and maintained properly,” Byrd said. “People have brought me guns that aren’t working or aren’t working properly, and they look fine on the outside, but then I open them up, and they are covered in rust.”

Byrd also acquired much of the equipment required for a full-service gunsmithing shop through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

“There are so many pieces to a gun, and there’s no room for error on a repair because guns are dangerous and it’s important they work properly,” Byrd said. “With a lot of the old guns, I have to make parts because they can’t be bought. My equipment makes that possible and so much easier.”

Call Hare-Trigger Gunsmithing at 828-467-8726 for more information. 

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616