Booze and guns don’t mix, but they’ll be available in close proximity at one Florida gun range. According to the Dayton Beach News Journal, a Florida business owner got the “OK” to turn a vacant building into an indoor gun range with a restaurant — one that will serve alcohol.
Ron Perkinson insists that having alcohol available in the same location as a gun range won’t lead to trouble. He told WKMG that persons who stop into the restaurant first to have booze will get their licenses scanned.
“If they’re renting a handgun, or if they were bringing their own, they would do the paperwork, scan their ID. [Employees] will be trained to visually look at the person, look at their eyes…look at their pupils, just like an officer would.”
While this sounds good in theory, the Florida board that approved his restaurant admitted they were initially wary. Commissioner Pam Woods “went back and forth” before ultimately deciding to vote “yes.” Another board member admitted that the idea of booze at a gun range, even if not directly, made him “leery.” However, he too eventually approved the plan.
The only “no” vote came from Ruth Trager. Despite Perkinson’s claims, she wasn’t convinced he or his partner Edward Staudt could entirely prevent a drunk person or a felon from getting access to a gun.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) August 20, 2015
Her sentiments were echoed online, where news of the indoor gun range and restaurant combination met with a great deal of skepticism.
Perkinson said he understands the concerns, but felt that to make his business dreams a reality, a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages is something of a necessary evil.
Perkinson told commissioner the group plans to turn the vacant building into an upscale restaurant, not a bar. But he says he needs alcohol sales to make the restaurant profitable.
The businessman said that persons are allowed to come in with their own guns or rent guns and shoot at the range. If they then so wish, they may eat in the restaurant. But the reverse will not be true. Ron went a step further and banned all guns from the eating area.
These steps may not be enough to ward off the “Only in Florida” jokes, or convince some of the wisdom of having booze anywhere near a gun range. Perkinson did have a message for the critics.
“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.”
What do you think of the decision to serve booze near an indoor gun range? Does it sound like a tragedy waiting to happen, or is everyone overreacting? Share your thoughts below!
[Image Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images]