From gunsmithing to self-awareness classes, Cleland’s Outdoor World offers a little something

By Chris Galford

Clelands SP smallThe old adage goes: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Clelands Outdoor World may not be stocked with fishermen, but the adage applies, for they are not just another gun shop; they also teach their customers how to use the instruments they provide.

Founded in 1967 by owner Theresa Cleland’s husband, it is a combination of retail and craft. The services that today define it, however, have stemmed from decades of change. Gun regulations have, of course, changed greatly since 1967, evolving the very nature of the business, and the evolution of technology—or more specifically, the Internet—has rocked the retail side of guns.

Owing to Theresa’s teaching background, therefore, they have found other ways of addressing their business.

“I do a lot of the teaching and my son teaches the concealed carry classes. We teach everything from basic handguns, to personal safety, self-awareness, archery, youth archery …depending on the demand, we provide at least one class a month. Concealed carry is 12 hours: 10 hours in the classroom, two hours on the range. We do it all in one day,” Theresa said.

Yet not everyone is proficient with guns. That’s where Cleland’s steps in with its self-
awareness classes.

“I don’t think people realize that we service the person who is not proficient with a gun. We still realize that they want some form of comfort to help take care of themselves—that’s where those classes come in. Handguns are wonderful and I love to shoot, but to become proficient enough to take care of yourself with a handgun takes a lot of practice. Standing on a range is a lot different from a home invasion,” Theresa said.

Their classes are family-friendly, taught by men and women alike, and in terms of archery, Theresa noted, “You can do it when you’re 10 and you can do it when you’re 70.”

Show your support for local businesses! Call Theresa at 419-865-4713; email at; visit the website at; or visit Cleland’s Outdoor World at 10306 Airport Hwy, Swanton, OH.