Latino gunsmith on target

By John Newton
La Voz Latina

SAVANNAH, GA — When Puerto Rican native, Pedro Ortiz, arrived in Savannah from Cleveland back in 2001, he didn’t bring any suitcases but he was loaded down with personal baggage.

“I got off the Greyhound bus in Savannah with nothing but the shirt on my back and a pack of cigarettes in my pocket,” he said. “But I also came here with addiction issues and this is the place where I discovered a power much greater than my own that helped me to turn my life around. I eventually became an addiction counselor and interpreter but gun-smithing was always my ultimate goal in life”

Today, Ortiz runs a successful gun shop on Montgomery Crossroads in Savannah and is recognized as one of the top gunsmiths in the United States. Many business owners frame the first dollar bill they earn to record their start in business. But Pedro Ortiz proudly displays a framed sheet of paper containing bible verses from Proverbs 3:56 and Jeremiah 29:11 printed on a sheet of multi-hued paper.

“I printed the Bible verses to give God all the credit for helping me open this shop,” he said. “I used plain white paper and was astounded when I walked over to my printer and saw the words had printed out in black ink with this rainbow of colors in the background. I tried to duplicate this many times but never got this effect again. For me, it was a vivid reminder of the covenant promise God made to believers when he sent Noah that rainbow so many years ago.”

In addition to his smithing skills, Ortiz is also a top competitor in target shooting and earlier this year, he returned to Puerto Rico where he took 1st place at the 2015 IPSC Puerto Rico Open in Caguas. One wall of his gun shop is covered with the medals and plaques he has won in shooting competitions.

“First place was great but even better was the chance to return home and see people like my old friend Dr. Alfredo Colon, an international pistol champion and pediatrician from Puerto Rico,” Ortiz said. “He knew my history and how far I had come from those dark days when I was not in control of my life. It meant so much for him to hug me and say he was proud of where I was today.”

Ortiz traces his love affair with shooting back…

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