Gunnison Council likes idea
proposed for indoor gun range
By Robert Stevens
Dec. 7, 2017
GUNNISON—A businesswoman’s proposal to build an indoor gun range in Gunnison City limits was met with enthusiastic response from the city council.
Amber Wilford told the council and mayor on Wednesday, Nov. 29, about her goal to build the indoor range, which would also have a trap range and sell firearms.
“I think this is going to be a really big success,” Wilford said.
Wilford has plans for an indoor shooting range with 10 25-yard shooting lanes. She says the range will comply with all the requirements, including 8-inch thick concrete walls on the exterior and between shooting lanes for preventing stray bullets from harming someone.
But she says the range isn’t going to just be a place to shoot guns.
While Wilford does plan to have lanes devoted for both commercial and law enforcement use, along with the retail sale of firearms and ammunition, a big part of her business model is going to be centered on firearms education and safety. She has education and safety classes planned for the indoor range.
“Safety is going to be a really key component in this,” she said. “This isn’t just about shooting guns. There is going to be a real element of safety education in place.”
Councilman Blane Jensen has been talking with Wilford about potential locations within Gunnison City limits that would work for her needs.
The option the council discussed first with Wilford is locating the range in the city’s industrial park—possibly close to ACT Aerospace’s facility or just north of the cemetery.
Wilford told the council that the areas in and around the industrial park seemed like they had good potential for the location of her range, but the council also offered an alternative.
The council’s alternative was a section of property near Main Street, which, unlike the industrial park location, already had utilities such as gas, water, sewer and electricity running to it, so she might be able to save some money with the Main Street property option.
“Your foot traffic would be an awful lot higher closer to town,” said Gunnison City Councilman Robert Anderson.
Gunnison City Mayor Bruce Blackham told Wilford she still had to go through the planning and zoning committee to get the range built in either location, but she might have stricter noise compliance requirements if she went for the property off Main Street.
To that Wilford replied that the range will be designed in a way that gunshots will barely be able to be heard from the building’s exterior, if at all.
Wilford told the council she needed to make sure about the exact building size and parking needs and that within the next week or two she would have more specific details from her architect.
She also said she was going to ask him to draw up potential plans for either location, so she could be prepared for construction in either place.