Published on October 16th, 2019
If you’re passionate about guns and enjoy teaching people, you should consider starting a shooting range. Whether you want to run an outdoor or indoor shooting range, bear in mind that you will have to obtain numerous permits and licenses to start this business.
However, if you’re well-grounded in gun safety, it should not be a difficult task for you. You will also have to meet strict government regulations – local, state and federal – regarding insurance, reporting, and recordkeeping. Here are a few tips on how to run a shooting range business.
1. Become Knowledgeable About Zoning Law
First things first, you need to familiarize yourself with the zoning laws and requirements you must comply with. There’s a whole host of restrictions about the location for a gun shooting range, necessary equipment, and the time a shooting range can operate. This means you will have to sift through zoning requirements and gun control laws.
Take the time to visit the official ATF website. They also offer call-in support. This federal law organization enforces laws relating to the safety, legal use, and possession of firearms. It is also a good idea to contact local law enforcement agencies. Inquire about the regulations for running a commercial shooting range, as well as building and shooting permits.
2. Get Familiar With Shooting And Guns
If you’re not already knowledgeable about shooting and firearms, enroll in a gun training program. You will learn about different types of guns and many other things like how to handle a firearm and increase accuracy when using a rifle scope.
Join industry associations, attend gun shows, and visit several shooting ranges in your area. This is a unique opportunity to get in touch with people who are already involved in the shooting industry and obtain helpful advice.
3. Outdoor Or Indoor Shooting Range
When it comes to the indoor shooting range, the best location is a downtown area or near shopping malls. In addition to a showroom, classroom and bathrooms, you’ll also need room for hats, T-shirts, rental guns, and your cash register. For all of this, you’ll need at least 3,500 Sq Ft.
If you want to run an outdoor shooting range, it’s best to buy land in a rural area or outside the city. Remember that an outdoor range takes up at least 2 acres. Also, keep in mind that each type of shooting range is affected by different zoning requirements.
4. Create A Business Plan
Once you’ve determined if you’ll start an outdoor or indoor shooting range and get funding for your business idea, you will need to write your business plan. Pay attention to the expenses involved when creating a business plan.
Building a range from scratch is an expensive venture. If you’re tight on money, get in contact with local ranges to check if they’re willing to sell an existing establishment. Not only will you reduce the costs but also get an existing user base.
5. Purchase Insurance Coverage
Purchase anywhere from $400,000 to $4,000 000 in liability insurance, depending on the types of services you’re going to offer. Aside from contacting real estate brokers, you should also establish contacts with those specializing in safety and zoning requirements for starting a shooting range.
Besides the insurance, you should also make an application for a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in order to sell and buy firearms. You will also want to purchase supplies and equipment like ammunition, safety goggles, earplugs, masks, cleaning supplies, and targets. You will need to purchase custom hats and T-shirts as well.
If you are interested in operating a shooting range, you can either buy an establishment that already operates or start from scratch. It will depend on the specific situation as well as your startup capital and your needs. Whichever way you choose, follow these tips to reap the benefits of your shooting range. Turn your hobby into a lucrative business!