San Angelo Man Hopes to Make 'Crime Free Gun Zone' a Reality
Darryl Presley is a familiar face in the gun world of San Angelo, having worked at the Outdoorsman for 24 years, as well as teaching Concealed Handgun License courses.
But Presley has a dream: the creation of an indoor pistol range in San Angelo called the ‘Crime Free Gun Zone.’ The dream is one with a perfect location and set up--the space right next to the Outdoorsman Sporting Goods Store, 2231 W Beauregard Ave,., San Angelo, Tx.
The building was originally a movie theatre, with one small screen in front and one larger in the back.
“There’s two things you can do with a building like this,” said Presley, “make a movie theatre or make a pistol range.”
The building has had several different functions, from the original theatre, to a youth facility for a church, to a workout studio. However, the theatre space in the back is perfect for 15 yards of range shooting, Presley said.
“I should have six lanes of shooting,” Presley explained. “The targets will be on a track to practice different distances, so no one ever goes down there.”
The dividers will give each shooter 42 inches, enough elbow room for themselves and the occasional instructor.
While the building is big enough for the range, it needs a lot of work to be compliant with all legal and safety codes. Because the building shares walls with other businesses, additional cinderblock walls filled with concrete are necessary in case of stray shots.
The back wall will have a sloped steel plating covered with two to three feet of granulated rubber.
“After about 80,000 rounds we’ve got to go in there and get the bullets out,” Presley explained. “If you don’t they all clump up. We’ll mine out the bullets and recycle the lead.”
In addition to the construction projects, Presley added that he has to put in a high quality ventilation system in order to avoid his shooters getting lead poisoning.
“The air can’t circulate lead fumes,” he said. “Ventilation can’t swirl, it has to be a solid wall of air.”
To complement the range itself, Presley plans on adding classroom space upstairs where the projector rooms used to be for his continuing CHL classes.
In addition, lockers will be available to rent for the storage of guns, something helpful for soldiers at Goodfellow Airforce Base, or students at Angelo State University who can’t keep their firearms on base or campus.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a gun range without a little retail space, an aspect of the business that can only be helped by having a gun store next door.
“A range by itself starves, you’ve got to have retail to supplement it,” said Presley. He explains that he will partner with Outdoorsman to run retail; they run the registers and he gets a cut of the profit.
While there are other venues in the area for target shooting, Presley feels like the ‘Crime Free Gun Zone’ will have a variety of things to offer.
“Largely, what I want to do is cater to women and first time shooters,” Presley explained. “I’m going to do my best to spread accurate information about guns and cater to people who may not know much about guns.”
Presley mentioned that women are the largest growing demographic in the gun industry, and as both a retailer and instructor, it’s a solid market.
He plans on having ladies' night, boy scout night, and even games such as poker played with card targets and .22 bullets.
“The whole project is estimated to cost $450,000,” said Presley. “Texas Bank said, ‘you can come up with about 30 percent injection of equity, they would go for the rest of it.’”
The bank asks for $120,000 to $130,000 before they give Presley the loan he needs, so he’s looking for investors. Anyone interested in making the ‘Crime Free Gun Zone’ a reality will have the opportunity to hear Presley’s business plan on Jan. 30 at 7:00 p.m. next door to the Outdoorsman.