He's A Democrat..And A Gun Shop Owner

Gun shop owner Michael Cargill
Gun shop owner Michael Cargill


Austin gun shop owner Michael Cargill, 43, might not fit the popular image of the gun rights movement. He's gay and a Democrat. He didn't grow up hunting, or with guns in his home. In fact, his family shunned guns like many other black families -- a reaction, in part, to the harrowing rates of black-on-black homicide.

Cargill applied for a concealed-gun license 22 years ago, after his grandmother, who decided to get a nursing degree at the age of 70, was mugged and raped on the way home from the library. Now he runs Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, which specializes in concealed weapons. And while a recent poll shows six out of 10 Americans support stricter gun control laws, Cargill believes strongly that all law-abiding Americans should have a right to carry a gun for self-defense.

Guns 'Do Actually Save Lives'

On Sunday, Cargill auctioned off a Bushmaster, the same firearm used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in order to raise money for medical treatments for the baby daughter of one of his employees. Cargill told Austin TV station KTBC that he hopes "to prove that guns do actually save lives."