Lawton : OK : USA | May 31, 2014 at 9:05 AM PDT
The Range Café at the Wiltshire Gun Range in Oklahoma will start serving liquor sometime in July after being granted a permit by the city, pending final approval by state officials.
The number of so-called “guntry clubs” has been increasing across the country for the past five years, according to Rod Bastanmekr’s piece in Alternet, including liquor-selling ranges in Texas, Florida, Georgia and now Oklahoma.
“Replacing the typical shooting range, luxury gun clubs have become a state-of-the-art space where wealthy lovers of that Second Amendment right to bear arms can exercise their much-beloved freedoms in a well-appointed space,” wrote Bastanmekr.
The Oklahoma facility is a 40,000 square-foot $6 million complex which feels more like a minimall.
Nonetheless, the idea of mixing alcohol with guns has been viewed as a bad idea, even by gun advocates.
“It’s generally a horrible idea,” said gun enthusiast Mike Giacobbe in a TODAY report. “You really don’t want to mix alcohol with a firearm.”
On the other hand, gun range patron Ovid Priffer didn’t see a problem with it as long as the alcohol consumption is done after shooting and not before.
But how can the facility control when and where customers consume alcoholic libations? Apparently, their driver’s licenses will be scanned to restrict their activities.
“You cannot drink before shooting, you cannot drink while shooting and you cannot drink while you have a firearm on you,” Jeff Swanson told Kerry Sanders on TODAY Friday. “Once people understand the safety protocols that we have in place, then right after that people kind of have an ‘a-ha’ moment and typically realize that this is going to be as safe as any retail establishment in the country.”
Still, the concept is a difficult one to sell in most states after the massacre of innocent children at a Newtown elementary school and 12 people being shot to death in the Aurora theater in 2012.
Any kind of basic gun control for background checks and regulations to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people has failed at every turn; primarily due to pressure from special interest groups like the National Rifle Association and politically vulnerable lawmakers, according to New York Daily.
But liquor being served in restaurants at gun ranges where the activity is compartmentalized by a strict scanning system should not to be confused with the gun control debate, say supporters, because all the patrons are legal gun owners presumably.
Still, social media reflect that most people are appalled at the idea of any combination of guns and booze under any pretext.
Bookseller: “Alcohol at the gun range? What could possibly go wrong? Unbelievable Oklahoma.”
Jarred K: “Because guns and alcohol go great together! RT”
Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission officer Brent Fairchild believes that no matter how many restrictions are put into the system, people will find loopholes and get around them.