Nick’s Shooting Range & Gun Shop aims for success: Family-owned store has a lot to offer
LAPLACE — Nick Lasseigne III followed in his father’s footsteps and turned a hobby into a profession. Located at 5192 W. Airline Highway in Garyville, Nick’s Shooting Range & Gun Shop is a one-stop shop for retail firearm sales, repairs, concealed carry education and much more.
Every Thursday evening and Sunday morning, people from all walks of life convene at the 100-yard outdoor range for Nick’s Practical Pistol Competition. Police officers, mechanics, IT professionals, salespeople and plant workers are among those who have come to Nick’s Shooting Range as strangers and left as friends.
The competition is about camaraderie and sportsmanship at the end of the day, and Lasseigne doesn’t tolerate laughing at someone who is still learning the ropes.
There is no shortage of shooting talent in South Louisiana, according to Lasseigne.
“Believe it or not, this area within a 100-mile radius has some really high caliber competition,” Lasseigne said. “It’s just a sport that’s fun. Anybody can do it. No requirements — you just have to be able to handle the gun safely. Most people didn’t know each other before coming here to shoot, and now we are all friends.”
Lasseigne worked for many years as a deputy for the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Gramercy Police Department. He was a hunter education instructor for more than 20 years and also directed women’s self-defense classes and “shoot, don’t shoot” classes for law enforcement.
Today, he continues offering an informative concealed carry class to equip River Parishes residents with the knowledge and the skills needed for effective self-defense.
His expertise comes from a family legacy started by his father, Nick Lasseigne Jr.
The elder Lasseigne was working as a deputy for the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office when he started reloading his own ammo in the early 1970s. The hobby gained steam as he began reloading ammo for other deputies and doing custom reloading for local outdoorsmen.
Lasseigne Jr. gained federal licensing to purchase and sell firearms. His first store opened in 1975 in a little building on side of the family house in Gramercy.
Reloading, retail sales and repairs were among the services offered. In 1980, the store moved from the side of the house to Main Street in Gramercy.
The younger Lasseigne was still in high school when the business opened. By the early 1980s, he was following his father’s footsteps in law enforcement and looking for ways to make the family business lucrative.
Nick’s Shooting Range & Gun Shop moved to its current location in Garyville in the 1990s, and the business has stood strong ever since.
Lasseigne enjoys interacting with customers and meeting new friends. He is blessed to be surrounded by family on a daily basis.
Lasseigne’s eldest daughter, Angie Duhe, works at Nick’s Shooting Range & Gun Shop. She likes that she and other women have means to protect themselves.
“I have four daughters. I’m always with my sister and she has kids, and we have our little brother here with us sometimes. When we go places, I feel like as women it gives us a chance to be able to protect ourselves and our families,” Duhe said.
Kairen Landry remembers visiting Nick’s Shooting Range more than 10 years ago when his grandfather was purchasing a rifle. Lasseigne told him to come back when he was old enough, and he’d teach him everything he needed to know.
He’s followed through on that promise. Landry is now a young man, and he enrolled in concealed carry classes along with his cousin.
Landry said he now knows his legal rights to carry, how to move if someone points a gun to him and when to back down.
“We’ve both had issues with family members getting murdered, and we wanted to protect ourselves,” Landry said. “Mr. Nick took care of me. He gave us so many stories and scenarios and so many ways to look at a situation. It was very effective. He gave me a whole different thought process. I would definitely recommend the class to anyone.”
Lasseigne teaches safe gun handling with three basic rules: keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot and keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
Students learn the mechanics of gun operation as Lasseigne explains the single action, double action, semi automatic revolvers, ammunition and safety features. He explains how each caliber got its name and where the numbers come from. Students then learn shooting positions and how to stand, hold a gun and aim.
Lasseigne brings the lessons to life by acting out situations and teaching students how to react quickly and correctly.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to allocate guns and ammo from suppliers. However, Nick’s Shooting Range & Gun Shop remains committed to serving the community from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the store is closed on Tuesday.