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Indoor gun ranges

Tom R

Ohio is in the process of changing its laws to permit concealed carry of hand guns with background checks, training etc. It now seem that indoor shooting ranges are the newest tanning salon or instant lottery store. Any experience out there regarding conditional use permits etc?

el Guapo

Having spent some time in these types of establishments I can tell you the following: A solid back wall is a plus in this type of business. :-D Indoor lead (Pb) pollution is a concern. You get the picture. The devil is in the details.

Your best friend in this situation is the NRA. They have a wealth of standards and protocols pre-established for these facilities that will help you compare the proposed application to the current state of the art. Contact them; I believe you will find them most helpful. If they sense you are looking to obstruct, rather than trying to obtain the best possible range, they may withdrawal their assistance.

Good Luck.



Going to sound odd coming from a Canadian, but I have had experieince dealing with this topic.

Our enabling legislation allows for the Commission/PAC/ZBA(choose one that fits) to make a determination related to uses not specifically listed/permitted in a zone. In making this determination the Commission is permitted to attached terms and conditions to the use "to protect the safety, health and interest of properties within the zone and adjacent properties".

This item is a bit hazy in my memory(7 years ago) That being said here are the gist of some of the conditions that were attached.

1) Required an engineered building (stamped) and firing range to ensure that no ammunition escapes the firing range / building.
2) Setback of 100 feet from property lines - as above.
3) Limited storage and sale of ammunition and firearms on site.
4) Regulated types of weapons permitted. I think it was done through registered muzzle velocities or barrel length, can't remember. Basically, the building had to be built to withstand the firearms expected to be used and no other firearms would be permitted.
5) Required additional warning signage around property and at driveway.
6) Fire protection. Sprinklered building and appropriate registration of materials stored on site for fire fighters safety. (related to item 3)
7) I think additional liability insurance was also a requirement.

This was for a large lot rural area, it never ended up being built as the ownership and registration rules for fire arms changed.


EG - I am surprised you did not bring up the best source of information. There is a US Army manual on standards for indoor firing ranges, AR (Army Regulation) 385-63. Also, as you suggested, The Range Manual, A Guide to Planning & Construction by the National Rifle Association.