Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 | 11:04 p.m.
Gun-firing fans and Hollywood celebrities are becoming concerned that the growing multimillion-dollar shooting range industry in Las Vegas will be affected by the current political moves in Washington, D.C., against weapons.
“It could wind up costing Las Vegas millions of dollars in lost revenue and cause a large number of people employed to go on unemployment,” one source said. “Check Google and do a quick search for gun ranges, and you will find Las Vegas has more than any other city in the country.”
Gun store owners and gun range managers are reluctant to talk about what affect the new laws may have on the Las Vegas sporting scene.
“We use more, fire more, sell more than the U.S. government does,” said one shooting club owner who didn’t want to be identified. “I don’t think the estimate is far off that we went through nine million rounds of ammunition at our ranges last year.
“More importantly, there was not one injury -- no violence at all. These are very responsible people who already abide by existing laws. Everyone here is licensed and works according to existing laws. There’s no need for change.
Politicians here have even opened their own gun businesses. County Commissioner Tom Collins celebrated the opening of the 2,900-acre Clark County Shooting Complex. It includes a shotgun center, a rifle-pistol center, an archery center and an education center.
Hollywood stars have been among the regular customers on their visits to our desert playground. “Our ranges get more and more enthusiasts every week. They come from all over America, but many from California -- and lots of showbiz people,” my insider said.
“We run very safe, respectable business operations involving guns and ammunition here. We don’t want new laws shutting us down, throwing a ton of people out of work and drying up great sporting revenue. It looks as if we are in a serious danger of that happening by the way they’re tough talking in Washington.”
To show just how mainstream the Las Vegas shooting and ammo industry has become, check out what’s happening on Valentine’s Day. No shotgun marriages, but at Guns and Ammo Garage, couples are invited to renew their wedding vows for free with Pistol Packing Preacher Jimmy Mac, an ordained minister with Valley Bible Fellowship.
And over at Range 702, there’s a Valentine’s Day package for couples. From Feb. 14-17, dating duos and married marvels can spend $249 for 20 rounds of ammo with a .22 pistol, 20 rounds with a 9-mm handgun and 50 rounds with any sub-machine gun. Thrown in are two tickets to the new topless show “Raack ’n’ Roll” at The D Hotel and a three-course dinner for two at Range 702’s cafe.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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