Did an Old Toys ‘R’ Us Building Later Become a Gun Store?

We looked for the truth on Google Maps.

  • Published
A tweet claimed that an old Toys "R" Us store in Yuma Arizona later became a gun store called Firearms Unlimited.
Image via Twitter

Claim

After an old Toys “R” Us store closed in Yuma, Arizona, the same building later became occupied by a gun dealer.

On Sept. 21, 2022, Twitter user @patriottakes tweeted, “This old Toys ‘R’ Us location in Yuma, Arizona is now a gun store.” The tweet displayed two pictures. One of the photos displayed the old Toys “R” Us sign, and the second picture showed the same building later as a gun store, Firearms Unknown, still with the former toy store’s colorful rainbow extending over its entrance, exit, and front windows. This was all true.

A second tweet also showed how signage near a main road was updated from Toys “R” Us and Barnes & Noble to instead show the company name, Firearms Unknown, as well as “Guns & Ammo.” The second picture appeared to come from Yelp.

The address of the building was listed as 801 W. 32nd St. in Yuma. According to Google Maps, the old Toys “R” Us was still empty and unoccupied as of March 2021. In February 2022, the building reopened as Firearms Unknown.

Photographs of the inside of the store showed walls of guns and ammunition in the same space where children and their parents used to browse toys.

On July 8, a Facebook user posted about the contrast between the building’s former and more recent owners, saying, “Many many years ago, this used to be a Toys ‘R’ Us. Not anymore. I find it humorous that they kept the color scheme outside of the building. #pride #guns.”

When did the Yuma Toys “R” Us store close? According to the Yuma Sun, the toy store appeared to have shuttered around April 2018, and many other store closures for the toy retailer followed as the company faced bankruptcy.

The Sun’s newspaper article was published on Jan. 25, 2018, and began, in part, as follows:

Yuma cus­tomers of Toys “R” Us woke up to sad news Wed­nes­day morn­ing. The big box toy store announced plans to close up to 182 stores as part of its Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy re­or­ga­ni­za­tion plan, and the Yuma store lo­cated at 801 W. 32nd St. is on the list.

Fans of the store filled up lo­cal Face­book groups with com­ments, most of them voic­ing dis­may but a few ex­cited about the go­ing-out-of-busi­ness sale to be­gin in Fe­bru­ary and run through April.

“I liked their lay­away at Toys ‘R’ Us. Wal­mart only had it avail­able the last 4 months of the year but Toys ‘R’ Us price-matched. I guess I can still order from them on­line,” De­bra Mor­ley posted on What’s Go­ing On in Yuma AZ.

“It sucks, but they’re ex­pen­sive com­pared to the other chain stores in town,” Joe Deck­ers wrote.

Oth­ers lamented how the clos­ing would af­fect em­ploy­ees and oth­ers pointed out that they do most of their shop­ping on­line anyway.

In sum, it’s true that a building in Yuma that was formerly occupied by a Toys “R” Us store for children later became the gun store Firearms Unknown.

Sources:

Firearms Unknown. https://www.firearmsunknown.com/.

“Firearms Unknown – Yuma, AZ.” Yelp, https://www.yelp.com/biz/firearms-unknown-yuma.

Google Maps. https://www.google.com/maps/.

Knaub, Mara. “Yuma’s Toys ‘R’ Us on Closing List.” PressReader.com via Yuma Sun, 25 Jan. 2018, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/yuma-sun/20180125/281487866776612.

McDowell, Erin, and Bethany Biron. “Inside the Wild and Tumultuous History of Toys R Us, the Beloved Children’s Brand Once Again Attempting a Comeback with in-Store Shops at Macy’s Just in Time for the Holidays.” Business Insider, 7 Aug. 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/the-tumultuous-history-of-toys-r-us-photos-2020-8.

@patriottakes. Twitter, https://twitter.com/patriottakes/status/1572614388686721024.

“Toys ‘R’ Us Retrenches Again, Shutters Its Last 2 US Stores.” Snopes.com via The Associated Press, 29 Jan. 2021, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2021/01/29/toys-r-us-closed/.

Yuma Sun. https://www.yumasun.com/.