New business opening November 1 features indoor shooting range, ax throwing and gunsmith services.
There's ax throwing, zombie hunting, indoor shooting range, archery targets and much more at Shooter's Corner, a new business in Pratt put together by local businessman Dale Withers and accomplices. All venues will be open November 1 except for the indoor shooting range, which will open as part of a grand opening celebration 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Monday, December 2.
"We really just wanted to create a place where we could educate kids about how to properly use guns and provide something to do. We needed a place where old folks could have some fun too, all with a high emphasis on safety," said former Pratt Chief of Police Gary Myers who will be managing the business.
Myers said experts in a variety of genres will be on hand regularly to provide hunter's safety courses, conceal and carry registrations, personal protection skills and much more.
"We are doing everything according to the law, under scrutiny of federal agencies, so there will be background checks on things like gun sales," Myers said. "We also will be meeting all EPA, OSHAA and HIPA requirements for things like lead contamination. This will be a very safe place for families, individuals, couples, anyone to come in and let off some steam, have some fun and learn the value of weapons and how to use them."
A special HAVOC system collects all the lead from the indoor shooting range, and filters all powder, residue and contaminants in the air out of the building. The state-of-the art ventilation system was put together by Larry Martin and others who visited numerous indoor gun ranges and put together the best ideas for this one-of-a-kind facility in Pratt.
"Larry, he was the instigator of this all," said Withers. "He had some fun at a shooting range in Grove, Okla. and came back and told me we needed to have something like this in Pratt. It's all been a work in progress since then."
Withers said Shooter's Corner was now the only place in Kansas where a person may test bow strings on an archery target, rent a gun and shoot manual or electronically controlled targets, use laser pistols to blast watermelons, pumpkins and zombies, buy or trade guns, get ammunition and reloading supplies or take classes in self-defense and gun safety. Ax-throwing leagues will be formed as interest is expressed.
"We needed a place to for young people to learn about guns," Withers said. "This place came together as a lot of collective ideas that just fell into place as we began construction. We've worked out a wide variety of activities for all ages. There is something for everyone here."
Withers emphasized that Shooter's Corner was not a daycare center or a place where parents could just drop off their kids. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. No food, drinks or snacks will be served.
"Bring your money and play," Withers said. "Just be sure you are old enough to at least shoot BB guns."
In addition to offering a wide variety of activities, a sales area is open for business featuring full firearm retail, shooting accessories and related apparel, overseen by Staff Sergeant Andrew Hughes from the Kansas National Guard Armory in Pratt. Hughes, a gunsmith, will also fix guns brought in for detail work.
On grand opening day, Dec. 2, there will be a hot dog feed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a business card raffle and individual prizes, a special art exhibition by 2019 Miss Kansas Annika Wooton, and a visit from 2018 Miss Kansas Hannah Klaassen. All activities will be available to try for free on December 2, except for the indoor gun range.
Memberships for Shooter's Corner may be purchased on location at 624 S. Main, Pratt.