New shooting range in Lafayette County

Posted on Sep 20 2013 - 9:23am by Maggie McDaniel

A new shooting range is to be built on Highway 7 near Abbeville. Joshua Gregory, owner of TCG Outdoors, has come up with a plan to build a safe shooting range that welcomes everyone in the county.

“Unfortunately, there is nowhere in Lafayette County to legally shoot unless you own private land,” Gregory said. “And most people do not have access to private land. Lafayette County needs a safe place for people to shoot.”

The first phase of the range has been completed, and it is now open to the public. According to Gregory, construction will soon begin on the other four ranges, which include a 100-yard rifle range, a steel target range and training ranges.

Depending on the portion of the property cleared, there could be additional ranges built. Gregory said he hopes all the ranges will be done by the end of the year.

Gregory said he thinks the range will bring more business to TCG. The customers will be able to test their new guns, and employees will be able to assist them with shooting.

The range is hoping to attract college students with student discounts and discount packages.

“Student discounts are a great way to help save students money, and I also feel it is a great way to get more people into the great sport of shooting,” said John Blake Riddle, a senior marketing major.

Riddle has been an avid duck hunter most of his life.

“I usually do not have many choices of places to shoot recreationally in Oxford,” Riddle said.

Before planning the construction of the range, Gregory conducted safety and noise research to address the concerns of the people living around the area. The range meets all NRA guidelines concerning safety. A professional-grade dB meter was also used to measure the sound heard from nearby areas when the range was in use. According to the meter, the sound of passing traffic is louder than the loudest firearms Gregory has.

Although Gregory has no problem taking necessary safety precautions, he does not see the range causing any issues.

“In fact, I plan on building a home on the same property,” Gregory said. “I have three young boys, ages 7 years, 5 years and 4 months. I wouldn’t build a home close to the range if I thought there were any safety concerns.

“The store has always been a family-friendly environment, and the range will be no different.”