DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — The Daytona Beach Planning Board is currently hearing a proposal to open an indoor range within the same establishment as a restaurant and bar.
“As you enter, we will be checking guns, firearms as you come in and out,” said Ron Perkinson, owner and potential future proprietor of the indoor shooting range near International Speedway Boulevard and Interstate 95. Perkinson currently owns a gun store nearby and understands the predicament many may see it as.
On the surface, it seems there’s plenty to be wary about having a shooting range in the same 55,000 square foot structure as a restaurant that serves alcohol. Perkinson, however, says he has those concerns covered.
“If they’re renting a handgun, or if they were bringing their own, they would do the paperwork, scan their ID,” said Perkinson. “(Workers) will be trained to visually look at the person, look at their eyes (and) look at their pupils, just like an officer would.”
It’s unknown what the verdict will be from the Daytona Beach Planning Board but Perkinson has likened it to going a pistol range and stopping at an Outback on the way home – except in the same place.
Florida law still dictates that a person cannot carry a firearm into an establishment serving alcohol. More specifically, Title XLVI Chapter 790 Section 6 Subsection 12-a-12.
(12)(a) A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into:
12. Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;
So, on the surface, it seems like an interesting idea – albeit potentially fraught with risk and liability. However, it seems to run contrary to current Florida state law. So someone bringing their own handgun to this shooting range could run straight loggerhead with the law – and that’s no situation a concealed carrier wants to put himself in.
Guns, Food, And Drink – Family Friendly?
The whole concept Perkinson wanted to convey was the opportunity for families to come and fire guns together and be able to get dinner afterwards. Where the location is currently slated, it appears to be convenient to major highways.
Perkinson was sure to stipulate that no one who drank would be allowed to shoot for 24 hours. And if you came in a group and someone in your group drank, your group can’t shoot either. Their checks and balances process includes linking the restaurant and bar’s POS systems to the range’s. That way, when someone orders a drink, the range has access to that information. And with a three drink maximum, it appears it’s more geared for a few post range suds. As long as the weapons are locked up and alcohol kept out of the equation, what’s the harm?
While the concept seems likely to generate a lot of interest from both gun enthusiasts and those just curious, the true test is whether the Daytona Beach Planning Board approves Perkinson’s proposal. There’s no set decision in the works but when they finally do announce it – Perkinson may either have to revise his current proposal or get his shot at making one of the country’s only shooting ranges with a restaurant/bar.
Will people exercise enough restraint to keep alcohol separate from firearms? Will people try to sneak a few drinks in from outside the restaurant before going to the range? All of this and more we’ll surely find out if this plan gets approved.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts about being able to go to a nice restaurant next door to the range? Tell us about it in the comments below.