Special Report: Midland's indoor gun range

Special Report: Midland's indoor gun range

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Down a bumpy county road, northwest of town, sits a new business that was more than three years in the making.

The Family Armory and Indoor Range opened in November, and was the brain child of owner, Tony Grijalva, and his family.

"It was an amazing leap of faith on their part because of the financial investment that was required," said Spencer Bennett, spokesperson for the Family Armory & Indoor Range.

But even before finances and planning came into play, Grijalva needed to gauge the interest of the area about an indoor range.

With the nearest one nearly two hours away in Lubbock, they got a loud reaction.

"They got a major response from people going, 'build it, build it. We'll come. We'll love it. We need an indoor range. We need a place to shoot that we don't have to go out and fight dust and other shooters, and it's clean,'" said Bennett.

But that was only the beginning.

Next came the planning and funding, which can be a challenge for a firearm based business.

"Some banks as a matter of fact are hostile to the idea of funding anything that has to do with firearms, our second amendment or our rights. And it's sometimes tough to get funding to make that happen, but Tony was able to do that," said Bennett.

From there, it was on to the building process which took about nine months.

Everything was done carefully.

From dealing with fumes, to having proper ways of disposing of lead and brass, to shooting stops and concrete filled walls, no expense was spared.

"There's a lot of different elements that go into a shooting range. You said safety. Obviously, that's number one," said Bennett.

Finally, three years after the planning began, Family Armory and Indoor Range opened.

Their popularity in the area is growing quickly.

They've got over 12,000 likes on Facebook and have seen more than 4,000 people come through their doors since their opening.

As for the types of people coming in, they see all kinds.

"We do see a gambit of the people that are firearms owners, new owners and people that have never owned a firearm," said Bennett.

Another group their attracting? A high number of women.

"You've got female shooters, which is really becoming the most fastest growing part of the shooting sports, the female shooters. And women are understanding now they are responsible for their own protection. They are their own first responders," said Bennett.

A big reason they're attracting a wide range of people? Their constant focus on secure atmosphere and customer service.

"We've made these new people and these new shooters very comfortable. And they'll come back and want to shoot here," said Bennett.

"They help you with any of your questions. They help you with your ammunition and handguns. Just whatever questions you might have and they'll help you. Anything you might need, they got. It's just a very good place to come shoot," said Buddy Cole, a customer at the range.

"Everything was just very, very friendly." -- You would recommend this place to others? -- "I'd recommend it to anybody. First timers or long-timers," said Bill Browning, a first-time customer at the range.

Also helping their cause is a wide variety of services.

In addition to their ten lane range and their showroom, they offer a wide variety of educational and license to carry classes.

"CHL classes, safety classes, hunter safety classes are going to be added and a lot more. So the facility is evolving and the company is evolving as we continue down this road of offering a great place to shoot, a safe place to shoot and what people want in a shooting range," said Bennett.

Family Armory says their goal isn't to sell you gun. It's to educate and teach people on how to protect themselves.

"The most fulfilling thing is taking someone out there that's never shot out onto that range and in two to three minutes, and having them go wow, 'I'm putting bullets on targets like this just a few yards away. I can shoot a gun. I've learned a new life skill. I've learned away to protect myself. Now, I want to learn more,'" said Bennett.

While it's always good to be educated and prepared in today's world, Bennett says he hopes gun owners never actually have to use it.

"The best scenario is no one ever pulls a gun, no bullet goes down the barrel and the only thing you fire your gun for is here at the range to have a good time," said Bennett.

If you'd like more information about the Family Armory and Indoor Range, you can visit their website at www.fairdefense.com.

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