Ohio Gun Range Applies for Liquor License, Local Residents Speak Out

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Luke Sharrett /For The Washington Post via Getty Images) TEACHERGUNS

A gun range in West Chester, Ohio, recently applied for a liquor license. The community reactions seem to be a mix of emotions. Premier Shooting and Training Center applied for a state liquor license earlier this month, per local news outlet Fox19. The West Chester Township officials already seem to have approved the decision, leaving it up to the state to decide.

According to Premier’s website, the facility is not only a gun range. It also provides firearm training, online classes, retail options, event space rentals, fishing in the pond behind the building, and self-defense and martial arts classes.

West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog has already conducted a site visit. And he claims the Ohio gun range now wants to go for a “country club” feel. Hence the liquor license.

“They have many checks and balances that there are no weapons in that area,” Herzog said. “There’s no returning to the area once that’s done, and they have a policy set up that satisfied our needs that the safety is going to be taken seriously.”

By “that area,” Herzog seems to mean the area that would serve alcohol. It sounds like once you leave the food and drink area, you won’t be permitted into the gun range. And it sounds like they will monitor the food and drink area so that you can’t enter it with weapons. Even if you just bought something in the retail section.

“The general public can’t just come in, go shoot and then go over and have a beer,” Herzog added. “That’s not what’s happening there.”

West Chester Trustee Mark Welch also chimed in with his thoughts. “I’ve been to that facility many times,” Welch said. “I know that the owners are very strict on how they don’t permit people to come back in that area once they’ve been in the VIP area for an event.”

So, What Do West Chester, Ohio, Residents Think About This Gun Range Gaining a Liquor License?

Fox19 spoke with one West Chester, Ohio, resident who had particular thoughts on the gun range applying for a liquor license.

“My late dad, a lifetime NRA member, drilled into my brothers and me the ten commandments of gun safety, one of which is alcohol and guns don’t mix,” West Chester resident David Corfman said. “I think personally it’s a horrible idea to put those two things together.”

Corfman’s not the only one. When Fox19 posted the story on their social media sites, many people took to the comments with their thoughts.

“Ok, I am very pro-gun but why and how did this even come up as a possibility?” a man named Richard wrote on Twitter. “I don’t care how strict they will be, this still seems like a TERRIBLE idea,” another person named Sam Funk said on Twitter.

Others, however, see no issue with Premier applying for the liquor license. “Why not? You can throw an Axe and drink,” one woman commented on Facebook.

Another person named Alan Douglas wrote, “Don’t comment unless you know what the plans are. When you understand the plans for separation of the two issues, you will not be so afraid of this request. And if you are still afraid, stay away.”