A husband and wife who recently opened a gun and sporting goods store in Arroyo Grande were arrested on assault weapons charges after an investigation by state officials.
Dylan Todd, 36, and Stephanie Todd, 34, were arrested on Nov. 16 following an audit and investigation of their business, The Outdoorsman, by the California Department of Justice, according to a short statement issued by the Arroyo Grande Police Department.
The couple was briefly booked into the SLO County Jail on charges of possession of an assault weapon for sale and possession of an assault weapon. They were released on same day on $20,000 bond each, according to SLO Sheriff's Department Spokesman Tony Cipolla.
According to the business's Facebook page, the couple opened the Outdoorsman in May. Photos on the same page show that the store's wares include handguns, shotguns, rifles, and other sporting goods.
While news of the Todds' arrest rapidly spread through the county after the press release, the Department of Justice declined to release the specifics of the investigation or the circumstances that led to the couple's arrest.
"Pursuant to our policy, we do not comment on investigations," a DOJ spokesman wrote in an email response to questions from New Times.
As of Nov. 21, no charges had been filed against either of the Todds in SLO County Superior Court.
Friends, family, and other local supporters are preparing to rally behind the couple in the wake of their arrest. A Facebook post made shortly after the arrests were made public announced that a fundraiser for the couple would be held at Red Dirt Coffee in Arroyo Grande on Dec. 3.
"Steph and Dylan are the picture of the American dream just trying to survive as small business owners and support their family," the event's Facebook paged stated.
The post also claimed that the arrests stemmed from the couple's attempt to follow a court order to hold onto an AR-15 while its owner made private arrangements to transfer the weapon. As of Nov. 21, New Times was not able to independently verify those claims.
The post also stated that The Outdoorsman would remain open for business with "some restrictions" on what firearms it could sell. New Times called the store and left a voicemail asking for comment, but the call was not returned before press time.
In Facebook comments to a local television station, Dylan Todd indicated that the couple may issue a statement at some point in the future.
" ... our lawyer has advised us to only provide a written statement to the media as words have a way of getting twisted," Dylan Todd wrote. "We will get something together over the next few days as we are still dealing with the aftermath of all this." Δ