Owner of new Florida shooting range hopes to sell food, alcohol

Daytona Beach Planning Board to considers proposal

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A controversial business proposal to sell gunfire and booze in the same location will go before Daytona Beach city leaders Thursday afternoon.

The Daytona Beach Planning Board will meet to approve zoning for a new business that's part gun shop, part shooting range, part restaurant and part bar.

"As you enter, we will be checking guns, firearms as you come in and out," said Ron Perkinson, who has big plans for his new 55,000-square foot building near International Speedway Boulevard and Interstate 95.

If approved, it will be one of only a handful of similar businesses across the country.

Perkinson currently owns Volusia Top Gun and knows guns and alcohol don't mix.

But his plan to sell beer, wine and liquor at a restaurant inside the same building as a gun range has garnered online criticism.

However, Perksinson said customers will not be allowed to have a drink and then fire a gun.

Perkinson said before shooting at the range, customers will fill out a form, asking if they have been drinking or using drugs. Workers will also look for signs of impairment. If there's any hint of alcohol on a customer's breath, they will not be allowed to shoot.

"If they're renting a handgun, or if they were bringing their own, they would do the paperwork, scan their ID," said Perkinson. "(Workers) will be trained to visually look at the person, look at their eyes (and) look at their pupils, just like an officer would."

He's going even further to keep customers safe:

  • A computer system will track who has been drinking.
  • If you drink, you can't shoot for 24 hours.
  • If anyone in your group drinks, none can shoot.
  • There's a three drink limit for all customers.

Perkinson said he hopes selling beer and liquor will keep customers in his store after they've gone shooting.

"To the critics, I say, you're right. I'm not trying to mix the two. I'm trying to give you a nice meal before you go home. If you choose to have an alcoholic beverage and go home, that's on you. It's no different than them leaving here and going to Outback," said Perkinson.

He hopes to open his business in October, adding as many as 70 new jobs in what he's calling a family-friendly facility.

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