Grand Reopening Celebration held for Barnett’s Indoor Gun Range

Published 9:14 am Monday, January 21, 2019

A year of waiting is finally over for area gun enthusiasts as the indoor range at Barnett’s Guns in Hampton has officially reopened for business.

Though the range has been opened since the tenth, a grand reopening celebration was held inside Barnett’s Guns just one day short of the first anniversary of the fire that completely destroyed the range January 19 of last year. Though no one was injured in the blaze, it closed both the range and the retail side gun shop in the Hampton community.

The retail area of the business reopened just three weeks after the fire, but it would take almost an entire year of hard work by the Barnetts and their employees to get the site of the indoor range cleared off, reconstructed and cleared to reopen by their insurance company.

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Owners Tim and Dana Barnett said they worked eight to 14 hour days to get the range ready to reopen. Tim Barnett said, “It’s a year tomorrow (the 19th) and you got to give me credit. But we also have to give credit to everyone in our community who came out and helped us get everything done.”

Barnett said that the new range is a fresh air range. “What that means is we have a four-ton unit putting in fresh air and a 36-inch fan taking out the air. The air is filtered before it goes out, and what that means is nobody will be breathing the lead in the air on the range.”

The fire was started when a customer, breaking range safety rules, snuck unauthorized ammo onto the range.

Because of that violation of range safety rules, one of the biggest changes required by the insurance company is that now all ammunition fired on the range must now be purchased at the gun shop. The range is now connected to the inside retail section of the business. Shooters are also now restricted to firing pistol caliber guns only or shotguns inside the facility.

Barnett said, “You can shoot a pistol caliber gun only on the range. You can also shoot a shotgun on the range. You can shoot any type shotgun shell, be it slugs, buckshot, whatever you want to.” His wife Dana added, “You can even shoot rifles too as long as they’re pistol caliber.”

Barnett continued, “So what can I shoot? Well, you can’t shoot an AR, but you can shoot a .44 magnum rifle, you can shoot a .357 or a .38 rifle, a 9mm or a .22. Indoors you don’t need to be shooting a high powered rifle, because of the way noise is contained inside the range.”

The range will now feature 12 lanes for area shooters, and they will no longer have to close the range to other shooters because of customers taking concealed carry or other classes at the range like they did in the past. The firing lines are divided into to six-lane shooting areas. Also, unlike other indoor ranges in the area, the $12 charge to shoot does not have a time constraint. Shooters can also rent different caliber handguns to fire on the range to see what is the best fit for them to purchase.

Twenty-one-year army veteran Russell Davis is an NRA certified pistol instructor in three different disciplines, basic pistol, personal safety, and he is the range safety officer. Davis said, “I can teach basic pistol courses. I’m also state certified to teach the handgun safety course which is the concealed carry course. That for both concealed or open carry.” Class will be held as often as once a week for as long as there is interest. Class size can be as large as 32 but there will be a 12 to 15 person minimum for each class. Classes are $60 for the course and then there is a $100 price for an eight-year handgun permit that is issued by the state DMV or $300 for a lifetime permit. Davis said there are discounts for all active members, prior service or retired military personnel.

Above the range, the Barnetts have built an area that can be used for meetings, parties, even wedding receptions.

“We can use the upstairs part for birthday parties, conventions, reunions. We have our classrooms and a small kitchenette and it’s all handicap accessible because we’ve put in an elevator. Everything is set up where we help anybody enjoy themselves,” Barnett said. Barnett laughed, saying, “We can even have a ‘shotgun wedding’ here now because they can go and shoot on the range after they get married. I said it’ll even be on Facebook, that’d be the best advertising we could ever have.”