Proper equipment is vital to the successful operation of a shooting range.
A shooting range can be an indoor or outdoor range. You can start from scratch or purchase an already operating establishment. Once you make the decision what kind of shooting range you want, consider whether you are the kind of person who can operate under strict federal, state and local regulations, including safety, insurance, record keeping and reporting requirements. Also consider the social implications of owning a shooting range including protests by anti-gun activists, media scrutiny and potential liability for the actions of your customers or errors and omissions by you or your staff.
Items you will need
▪ Business plan
▪ Federal Firearms License
▪ State and local licenses
▪ Appropriate location
Research your license and zoning requirements. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has an informative website and offers call-in support. Your local city offices can educate you on the zoning laws in various areas and the requirements you must meet.
Visit shooting ranges in and out of your area, and attend as many gun shows as possible. Ask questions of the people already involved in the industry and establish contacts with gun manufacturers who are likely to have helpful advice for anyone opening a commercial establishment that can promote and sell their products.
Join the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry's largest trade association, the National Rifle Association and other interest groups where you can obtain news and advice.
Write your business plan giving special attention to the costs involved. It can be very expensive to build a shooting range from scratch, particularly if it will be an indoor range. Contact local ranges to see if they would consider selling or taking on a partner as the cost of improving an existing establishment may be far less than building a new one and you would have the...