rear view of man aiming gun at target in shooting range

Top 6 Factors to Consider When Operating a Shooting Range

Around one-third of adults in the United States own a gun. It’s clear that the gun industry is a popular and growing market. And as more and more Americans are purchasing firearms, that means that they are going to be looking for places to try out their weapons.

If you’re operating a shooting range or thinking of starting one, then you stand a good chance of profiting from this unique opportunity. But there are several factors that you will still need to take into consideration. Luckily for you, we are here to help you with just that.

So keep on reading and we will take you through everything that you are going to want to know!

1. First Steps to Opening a Shooting Range

In order to run a shooting range, you will want to check on the local gun control laws. At the national level, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is in charge of enforcing the safety, possession, and legal use of guns.

When it comes to local agencies, you should do a search on the internet and see what’s going on in your local area. You can also contact your local government to learn more.

It is also important that you have a passion and knowledge of firearms. Otherwise, you will find yourself bored during work and could run into a variety of problems.

You’ll also need to have a good business plan and mission statement.

After you get your financing and/or funding, you will have to figure out which kind of shooting range you want to run. You can do an indoor range, outdoor range, and a hybrid of the two.

2. State Requirements for Shooting Ranges

There are no special state license requirements in order to open a shooting range. It’s the same as opening any other small business.

Issues with your state are probably going to come down to zoning. Cities and states are going to have a variety of zoning laws that you’ll need to navigate.

3. Zoning Laws

There aren’t any national zoning laws when it comes to running a gun range. Normally, a gun range needs to be on commercial property.

A lot of states won’t let you run a shootin range within five hundred feet of a school. Some states require that you can only run a shooting range in an industrial zone.

When you are choosing the best location for your business, you should work with the city. You’ll need professional help with this. You don’t want to put all of this money and energy into building a facility only to be shut down on your first day for breaking a zoning law.

4. Federal Firearms Licensing

You don’t need a special license to run your own shooting range. If you want to sell guns, however, you will then need to have  Federal Firearms Licensing (FFL).

This license requires fees based on the sale and manufacture of guns. You’ll need this license if you plan on renting guns to customers too.

5. Shooting Range Start-Up Costs

An indoor range is going to require more equipment than an outdoor range. The outdoor equipment is also usually cheaper than equipment for an indoor range. You can even make some of the equipment on your own and save even more money.

A lot of the startup costs are going to come from materials that are used to make bullet catchers, barriers, and more. You will also need to plan for the labor costs to make these items if you don’t want to make them on your own.

Lastly, you will have to pay for a plot of land that is big enough for your range. After you start your range, you’ll have to figure out how to perform proper shooting range cleaning and maintenance.

6. Keep Your Shooting Range Safe

You want your customers to hae a fun time so that they will become members and come back. If you don’t provide a safe range, nobody will want to come back.

You should provide earplugs to shooters so that you can protect their ears. It might even be a good idea to make it mandatory to use ear protection.

You should laso check your AC systems and air filters often. Shooters should never be allowed to eat on the firin line. This is going to help prevent lead exposure.

If you plan on hiring employees, you’ll need to be aware of OSHA guidelines. Shooting ranges are exceptionally risky places.

If your employees don’t feel safe, they could file a lawsuit against you and shut your business down. Your employees should wear protective clothing and be safe from lead exposure.

You want to be as knowledgeable as possible about gun safety. You should have signs all over the range too about safety.

The Importance of Knowing What to Consider When Operating a Shooting Range

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of what factors you need to consider when operating a shooting range. As we can see, there is a lot of red tape involved in running this kind of business. But if you do it right and follow the above tips, then you should be able to run a safe and successful business.

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