Premier Shooting gun range in West Chester Twp. permitted for liquor sales

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The West Chester Twp. trustees recently sanctioned a liquor license for Premier Shooting & Training Center after the police chief gave assurances all safety precautions are being taken as the popular gun range plans to expand.

When resident David Corfman saw a D5 liquor license item on a recent agenda he told the trustees he hoped they would be cautious.

“My late dad, a lifetime NRA member drilled into my brothers and me the ten commandments of gun safety,” Corfman said. “One of which is alcohol and guns don’t mix. I think personally it’s a horrific idea to put those two together at all, in any fashion.”

Premier’s owner Tommie Rowland told the Journal-News she is adding a 3,000 square foot “speakeasy” to the members-only section of the 30,000 square foot center off Ohio 747. She said they are “always safety first” and have instituted strict rules.

No guns will be allowed in the bar area and people won’t be allowed back on the shooting ranges after they have been drinking. Key cards are being used so staff can monitor to make sure there aren’t any rule breakers, “it’s more restrictive than most bars quite frankly but we’re adjacent to a gun range.”

“They are not allowed to bring their guns or ammo into the bar area, so once they scan in there they are also stamped, it’s a pretty ugly blue stamp on their hands,” Rowland said adding members can bring guests into the bar, so the double bar area checks will cover members and guests. “The stamp does not wash off, so even if you go in there and scrub in the bathroom for a while it’s still going to be there until the next day. That part doesn’t make us very popular.”

Rowland said people won’t be allowed to carry drinks outside the bar or bring them in and there will be a separate entrance.

The facility has gun ranges, a retail area, a plethora of gun training, classes in martial arts, self defense, concealed carry/CCW and armed protection, an exercise area and more.

Rowland said they are putting the “speakeasy-themed” bar adjacent to the VIP area, adding an arcade and an overlook in the back with a view of one of two 5-acre fishing lakes.

“We hope to be a destination not just an I’m going to go shoot...,” Rowland said. “A couple of our members call it the guntry club, I think that’s kind of cute.”

The West Chester trustees had to sign off on the liquor license, what is really just saying they don’t object to the state issuing one. Police Chief Joel Herzog told the trustees he is confident proper precautions have been taken, “the general public can’t just come in, go shooting and go over and have a beer, that’s not what’s happening here.”.

“They have many checks and balances, there’s no weapons in that area, there’s no returning to the range once that’s done and they have a policy set up that satisfied our needs that safety is going to be taken seriously,” Herzog said. “There shouldn’t be any issues here, so we have no concerns with this permit going through.”

The trustees agreed.

“I’ve been to that facility many times and I know that the owners are very strict,” Trustee Mark Welch said.

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