An indoor shooting range is in the works for Grande Prairie. City hall has approved a development permit for Bullets and Broadheads Shooting Centre, which would also include axe throwing and archery lanes. Co-owner Linley Coward says it’s a passion project for her and her husband, who have been checking out ranges across Alberta and the U.S.
“When we did our research we found one piece that we don’t see in Canada is the cinema ranges, and so that’s one of the pieces that we’re going to be bringing in. These cinema ranges, we can load over 700 different scenarios where they can come in and do live fire shooting in there.”
The range could also be used by RCMP and military members for tactical training. The pair also plan to host tournaments and charity events at their location in the West Industrial Area at 9401 125 Street.
While the shooting distance in the building will be capped at 25 yards, fellow owner Robin Coward says it will be rifle rated. They will have restrictions on the size of weapons that can be used, as well as on the age of shooters.
“Different aspects of shooting will have different ages,” says Robin. “In archery, we do have junior archery programs that starts at very young ages; actually as young as their parents want them to start. We’ll have certified archery coaches, certified range officers.”
They’ll also have age restrictions disallowing anyone under the age of 12 to shoot pistols. Youths will also have to be accompanied by an adult.
The whole Coward family are avid hunters and share a love for outdoor sports. They hope to give people an opportunity to shoot year-round, and to try out guns before they buy.
“Right now, when people go in to buy a weapon, they will pick one and then they take it home, shoot it, they may not like it,” explains Linley. “So the perk of our facility is that you can actually shoot those weapons at our range, see how you like it, how it feels, and if you like it you can purchase it there as well.”
The owners say they hope to open by the end of the year, but that’s dependent upon getting approval from the Chief Firearms Officer for Canada. They’ll also need to ensure their financing for the roughly $1.5 million facility. Their fee schedule still needs to be finalized, but a day range pass will cost $40.