OCOEE Soon, West Orange-area residents will be able to take concealed-weapons permit classes, buy and rent firearms and shoot leisurely without having to drive too far.
Orlando Gun Club, an indoor live-fire shooting range, is set to open its second, 15,000-square-foot location in Central Florida this summer on West Colonial Drive in Ocoee. The new range is located in between Paws & Play Pet Resort and CubeSmart Self Storage, just east of the State Road 429 interchange.
“It’s in an under-serviced market — there’s not really any nearby gun ranges,” said owner Jon Kirson. “The closest is Shoot Straight in Apopka, which is a hike. We found a great piece of property and the location was right, so we decided to move forward. My business partner and I started the initial facility doing everything we could to put it together.
“The Ocoee location is ground-up our own building, designed for our use specifically,” Kirson said. “In doing that, we’ll be able to provide customers a higher level of service as a club.”
In addition to a live-fire shooting range, OGC is also a full-service firearms retailer. It is open to the public but also offers memberships for an enhanced experience. Kirson said there will be three range bays with 15 lanes total. Typically, 10 lanes are reserved for pistol shooting and five for rifles. However, one range bay, or five lanes, are exclusive to members in a more secluded area.
At OGC, safety is always the No. 1 priority, Kirson said. Once customers make a reservation, they are greeted by staff and given a general safety briefing and range-safety briefing and are instructed on what to do if an issue arises.
“From a service standpoint ... our No. 1 priority is making people comfortable, which requires us to focus primarily on safety,” he said. “It’s all focused on safety, safety, safety.”
Gun ranges are designed by engineers who build bullet traps, Kirson said. The main building itself is constructed with eight to 10 inches of solid concrete, and inside each range bay is its own room, also built with eight to 10 inches of solid concrete.
Additionally, there are various types of bullet traps within the rooms. There are armor-plated deflectors that only allow the bullets to enter the bullet traps. Some are made of granulated rubber berm, which slows and traps the bullets, and some are escalator traps.
But safety doesn’t end with live-fire shooting. OGC also offers instructional services, which includes private lessons, introductory classes and concealed-weapons permit classes. Classes are structured to help increase firearms proficiency at various levels.
Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].