by Tim Peel, NRA Range Services Specialist - Monday, August 14, 2017
For some Americans, a day of shooting is as easy as loading up guns and gear and heading to the nearest expansive outdoor range or indoor facility. For others, finding a nearby range may be difficult, as some markets are painfully undeserved.
When many American firearms enthusiasts think about starting their own business, they recall the enjoyment, freedom and fun awarded by a day on the shooting range, and wonder what it would take to open their own range facility. It’s a lot of work, but entrepreneurs who want to offer up a world-class shooting facility to gun owners in their area have a wealth of expertise to rely on for help – the NRA.
Would-be range builders are encouraged to attend the NRA Range Development and Operations Conference, scheduled for Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Don Turner is the President of the Nevada NRA State Association and Nevada Firearms Coalition, will speak at the Range conference. Turner is a strong proponent of the RDOC, and has provided the following questions and answers to prospective range builders interested in attending:
Who should attend these conferences and why?
“Why” is the easiest question to answer: [the RDOC] imparts knowledge, reduces liability, increases awareness and opens social and expertise contacts—and it is the only place to get these benefits. The who? Anyone who is thinking about developing a range, works on a range, manages a range or manages a recreational program that includes the shooting sports should attend this conference!
Why is the RDOC beneficial to those who attend?
There are several reasons to attend:
What have you personally taken away from attending these conferences and how have you implemented what you’ve learned?
I’ve been involved in shooting range operations and management since my first job at college to rebuild and manage the school’s shooting range. Unfortunately, that was long before this program was offered. When I started to manage state shooting ranges, this conference was the first place I went to begin to develop knowledge and information for the management of a statewide shooting range program and direct management of a large state facility. The documents, information and contacts were invaluable within the first two months in turning around a huge facility into a success. But learning this topic is a continuous improvement process. The networks developed from attending this school were invaluable on a daily basis.
As the President of the Nevada State Association, what are key points to this program that you’ve seen implemented in your own state? How can other state associations benefit from these conferences?
The ability to advise member ranges and operators about the NRA programs, best management practices, and directing them to key persons within NRA and the industry for problem resolution has been invaluable as a state association. Other associations can benefit by hosting a conference and developing relationships with ranges within their state and with key personal at NRA headquarters.
What about this conference do you enjoy most as a frequent attendee?
The networking, meeting new people and discussing new visions for shooting range operations from small commercial ranges to large public ranges is very interesting and rewarding.
Are you constantly learning something new?
Absolutely, every question generates new ideas!
Do you learn/find new ways with how you can assist the shooting community with these needs?
The best way to assist is to stay current with key players in the industry as new people are always coming on board and known experts are always job changing or retiring. Being able to listen to a problem, break it down into small pieces and help refer the community to the resources to solve these issues is a key way to assist.
Describe the topics these conference cover and the value it has to those who attend.
There are topics covered that are unfamiliar to most shooters irrespective of their level of shooting experience. Just because someone shoots even as a top-notch competitor doesn’t make him or her capable of shooting range development, operations and management. Sound levels and sound management, environment management, bullet impact and ricochet management, planning, customer service development, maintenance, policy development, business planning, safety rules, employee training and program implementation are all contained in this course and are all valuable for any type of shooting range operations or management.
Ready to join Don to begin or improve your shooting range development journey? Register now to attend presentations from America's top experts on range development, share your knowledge, and work to ensure the public has a safe and convenient place to shoot and exercise their Second Amendment rights!
For more information about the NRA Range Development and Operations Conference, visit the website by clicking here.