Guns

Oklahoma City Gun Range Requests Liquor License

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A new Oklahoma City gun range set to open this spring is hoping to obtain a liquor license.

The owners of Wilshire Gun told KOKH-TV that the state of the art indoor range will have 24 firearm lanes, 10 archery lanes, a shooting simulation room, classrooms and a VIP lounge. They plan to sell food and alcohol.

"As a group we wanted to build a place, the first one in Oklahoma, where you could go in, shoot, enjoy the retail area and then go to the café," said co-owner Jeff Swanson.

He said facilities like this one are the wave of the future.

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"That is where the shooting sport is headed," he said.

Swanson says they plan to enforce rules that people shoot and then drink, not the other way around

"Any misconceptions or joking aside, beer and bullets, guns and alcohol, they do not mix," Swanson added.

He said several ranges serve alcohol and have the same safety method with no problems.

"Once your order a drink your driver's license is scanned and you are red-flagged and you're not allowed into any of the shooting facilities either as a spectator and certainly not as a shooter for the remainder of the day," Swanson said.

"I've not seen a business that does the firearms that has a liquor license, but it's possible that if they apply they could be the first one,” said Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission spokesperson Capt. Brent Fairchild.

The Oklahoma City Planning Commission put the licensing to a vote on Thursday with 7-2 voting in favor. The issue will move to the Oklahoma City Council for a May 27th vote.

ABLE officials are skeptical that alcohol can be served safely in a gun range.

"I guess you could go back to the old adage where there's a will there's a way, so no matter how many safeguards you do put in place there's always someone who's going to try to get around those," Fairchild said.

“This is going to be an entertainment venue — it's going to take shooting to the next level,” Swanson said in January.

Sources: KOKH-TV, NewsOK