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Community rallying in support of Arroyo Grande gun shop owners recently arrested

The Outdoorsman owners receiving widespread help

Community rallying in support of...

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - Wednesday was business as usual at The Outdoorsman.

Less than a week after its owners were arrested, customers continued to come in and make purchases at the Arroyo Grande gun shop throughout the day.

"We're maintaining a positive attitude," said owner Stefanie Todd. "That's all we can do. Just ride it until we can see what happens."

Last Thursday, Stefanie and Dylan Todd were taken into custody on suspicion of illegally possessing an assault weapon. The arrest came after a surprise audit by state authorities. 

"We've seen a couple of interpretations of what's going on, most of them are inaccurate, but we've been advised by legal counsel to just let it play out," said Stefanie Todd.

The case is being handled by the California Department of Justice, which is not commenting on the investigation.

It's unclear what led to the arrests. The only information provided by officials has been from the Arroyo Grande Police Department, which said in a press release the Todds were arrested on allegations they illegally possessed assault weapon(s) on the premises of their business.

Several days later, the Todds are back at work, but still reeling from the unexpected situation.

"It's nerve racking," said Stefanie Todd. "There's periods of dread, just as much as there's periods of hope, so all you can do is just continue to push forward."

As the couple waits in legal limbo, they are receiving a massive show of support from the community.

"I've been contacted by tons of people, how they can help, what they can do," said Shane Day, who is organizing a benefit fundraiser. "People have been bringing in money, just donating cash. It's actually pretty awesome to see this community come together."

Day said he's known the Todds since they bought the longtime local business earlier this year. He calls the couple down-to-earth, family-oriented people who embody the spirit of small-town business owners.

"It's about people trying to make a living and living that American dream of running your own business and having your own business and things just not going right and needing some help," Day said.

According to Day, the benefit fundraiser is set for Sunday, Dec. 3. The event will be held at neighboring business Red Dirt Coffee House and will include a BBQ and raffle.

Despite the legal issue, Stefanie Todd said business has remained strong. She added the community support is helping them through the difficult time and providing extra incentive to keep the business doors open.

"We can only say thank you from the bottom of our hearts," Todd said. "We're really grateful for the support of the community because without them we wouldn't have any motivation to be here. It gives us reassurance that we can keep it going."                                       

According to their attorney Greg Jacobsen, the official report has not been turned over to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney.

Jacobsen believes it might take until next week for the District Attorney to receive the report and perhaps another week or two to determine if any charges will be filed.

Until they receive word, the Todds are simply trying to live life and conduct their business as normal as possible.

"It's all we can do is to be optimistic and we just hope that everything just settles down and we can move forward," said Stefanie Todd. "We're taking it day by day."

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