MISHAWAKA – A Cincinnati-based national gun retailer will have a 20-lane indoor shooting range as part of its facility to be built on the former Movies 6 property at 6424 Grape Road.
On Monday evening, the Common Council approved the zoning exemption for Shoot Point Blank for the shooting range. The current zoning allowed firearms sales, but the company needed a gap for the lineup.
Kevin Alee, vice president of real estate for Shoot Point Blank, told council the shooting range will be safe for customers, staff and nearby residents.
He said the range is in a concrete building. The sound is designed so that retail store staff and buyers can have a normal conversation while people shoot inside the range.
“The noise from the freeway he will be sitting on will be much louder than the noise emitted by our building,” said Alee.
Company officials said there would be line security guards on duty at all times.
When asked about gun purchases by customers with no gun experience, Alee said they would be strongly encouraged to enroll in the company’s online or in-person safety courses.
“If they haven’t received any training, we are reluctant to just send them in with a gun and ammunition and say ‘good luck’ to them,” Alee said. “We have a security guard on the shooting range at all times. If it’s not too crowded, our security guard can help a new person with the basics of a handgun. But we highly recommend a group class or one-on-one lesson before someone leaves and starts using a handgun. “
The company, which Alee says will soon change its name to Range USA, is eagerly awaiting its $ 45 million investment for the Mishawaka gun store.
The 9,000 square feet devoted to the firearms line will accompany a 3,000 square foot retail showroom and 3,000 square feet of classrooms and related areas.
Board member Mike Compton said he was happy the company promotes gun safety in addition to its gun sales.
“I firmly believe that with the guns we have in our society today, anything we can do to educate people about gun safety and how to handle guns is a positive thing,” Compton said.