Two employees of Gallenson's, 166 E. 200 South, one of Utah's oldest businesses and Salt Lake City's oldest gun store, have purchased the business from Nate Gallenson, son of one of the founders of the store.

The new owners are Steve A. Gallenson, 38, Salt Lake City, Nate Gallenson's son and a full-time employee of the store since 1984, and Dave Boulton, 35, Woods Cross, a full-time employee since 1976.Steve Gallenson grew up working in the store part-time and Boulton started working at the gun store part-time when he was 15 years old, in 1970.

Nate Gallenson is still coming to work at the store and says he plans to work there "as much as I can for as long as I can, because I like it there."

His two brothers, Leo and Marvin, also work at the store.

Boulton says he believes there is a big future for the gun business and outdoor recreation. He said he plans to double the size of the store's hunting clothes inventory, including boots.

"I also plan to add more camping equipment and boost the store's black powder muzzle loading gun and equipment inventory," Boulton said.

"Gallenson's has always been famous for its service and its knowledgeable staff of employees and we want to continue that service and improve it in every way we can," he said.

Steve Gallenson said he is confident the future of the gun, hunting and outdoor sports business in Utah will be good. He said one goal of the store in the future will be to have the lowest prices possible and depend on high volume sales for profits.

"We want to handle more lines of guns and gun-related merchandise, boost our used gun department and offer more rare and one-of-a-kind guns for collectors," Gallenson said.

"I'm confident that hunting sports will continue to grow in Utah and I see a big increase in recreational shooting coming. Right now one of the hottest shooting sports is sporting clays, a shotgun sport that is much more like hunting than trap or skeet.

"The future looks bright for all the gun sports, from handgun, shotgun and rifle shooting to air rifle and pistol competition," Gallenson said.

Boulton, an avid hunter and target shooter, grew up in Bountiful, graduated from Viewmont High School in 1973 and studied business at the University of Utah.

He started working at the Salt Lake Gun Club in North Salt Lake as a trap boy when he was 12 years old and became friends with the Gallenson brothers, who were avid trap shooters. Marvin Gallenson asked him to work at the gun store and started young Boulton on a career in the gun business he says he has never ceased to enjoy.

Steve Gallenson, a native of Salt Lake City, graduated from Highland High School in 1970 and earned a degree in geological engineering from the U. in 1980. He spent several years working as a mining geologist before and after graduating from college before deciding to get into his family's gun business.

Gallenson began working in his father's store when he was in grade school sweeping floors, sorting used brass cartridges and putting stock on the shelves and continued working in the store part-time through high school and college.

An avid hunter and shooter, he is one of the founders of the Honk Busters chapter of Ducks Unlimited, one of the national organization's most successful chapters and winner in 1989 of the Chapter of the Year award for Utah.

The well-known Salt Lake gun store and pawn shop was started by Nate Gallenson's father, William Gallenson, and an uncle, William Paver, in 1916 at 128 Regent St. The store moved to several downtown locations in succeeding decades and was located at 220 S. State St. from 1948 until this past summer when the store moved to its present location on 200 South.