By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Lafayette County shooters will have new indoor ranges at their disposal in the near future.
The Lafayette County Planning Commission Tuesday granted approval to Derek Hand for a state-of-the-art facility about three miles east of town on Highway 6.
Tentative target date for opening is September.
A reserve deputy with the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department, Hand intends to keep early-morning hours at the range reserved for law enforcement and open to the public mid-morning.
“It will be small arms – everything from hunting calibers and AR-15s to handguns and .22s,” he said. “We’ll keep a few firearms on hand for rental or sale, and we’ll mainly focus on ammo and accessories and a variety of self-defense classes.”
Rob Anderson of Utah-based Action Target, which will oversee the design and equipment installation, said gunfire at the 18-lane range will have no impact on neighbors.
“The noise is contained in the building,” he said. “The design of this facility is such that, from our experience, it would be difficult to get any decibel reading outside.” He said many ranges his company has created are in city settings where noise containment is crucial, such as at the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, Mo., or NRA headquarters in Arlington, Va.
Anderson added that HEPA-filtered, negative-pressure air treatment in the indoor ranges will protect not only customers from lead dust and gunpowder residue but the outdoors as well.
“The air leaving the range is cleaner than the air coming in,” he said.
Action Target also will bring its expertise to the creation of an indoor range at a new Hunter’s Hollow store. Owner Donny Guest is making plans to relocate to four acres on Highway 6 West, about a mile west of Wellsgate.
“We’re going to have an indoor range for handguns as well as rifles up to .308,” he said.
As with Hand’s range, the new Hunter’s Hollow will offer a variety of firearm safety classes. By the time the new store and range opens – in August 2014, Guest hopes – all staff members will be NRA-certified instructors, he said.
The new store will roughly double the store’s current 13,000 square feet of retail space and quadruple its parking to accommodate customers who are pulling four-wheeler or boat trailers.
“We’re so blessed to be in a business that’s booming,” Guest said.