The Bullet Ranch, a shooting range and retail firearms store that opened two months ago in Pataskala, gives central Ohio gun enthusiasts another choice in a market with few options, according to its owner.
Steve Garavuso, a former police officer and Pataskala resident, said the closest shooting ranges are in Columbus, Lancaster and New Albany. Delaware and Powell also have ranges.
The range, which is at 12425 E. Broad St. in Pataskala, opened for business Oct. 25.
The Bullet Ranch has 10 shooting lanes and an archery shooting range is being installed outside the 10,000-square-foot building.
The archery range will have several ground-level stations and an elevated station that simulates shooting from a tree stand, Garavuso said.
Arrows will be shot into a 20-foot-tall mound of dirt south of the range. Garavuso said he owns 3 acres of property at the site so there is plenty of room behind the mound.
The indoor shooting range is climate controlled, something, Garavuso said, that should separate Bullet Ranch from other ranges. He said shooting ranges require a lot of circulation to remove all particles from the air, which can make them difficult to heat.
Garavuso said he invested in a heating and cooling system from AireCom of Columbus to provide the air circulation he needs while providing climate control to make the range comfortable.
The 75-foot shooting lanes are rated for up to .50-caliber pistol and rifle shooting, Garavuso said.
The retail side has firearms, ammunition and accessories. Gunsmith services also will be available.
Garavuso said he is purchasing some firearms to be used as rentals, which shooters can test on the range before deciding to purchase a similar model.
"You can come in and try it before you buy it," Garavuso said. "It's like buying a car. People spend on average about $500 or more (on a gun)."
The facility has classrooms and Garavuso plans to offer courses for gun owners.
Garavuso said one of his goals is to teach people to be good and responsible shooters, not just people who have read the laws.
Garavuso retired from his law-enforcement career in November 1999, with 14 years of his career spent at the Pataskala Division of Police. He said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
He is a native of Long Island, N.Y., and his grandfather taught him how to shoot when he was 5 years old.
He said he moved to Columbus when he was 13 years old and received a degree from Ohio University in computer science. He worked in that field for 10 years before deciding to change careers and enrolling in a police academy.
Garavuso said he loves shooting, which is one of the reasons why he opened the Bullet Ranch.
"There's nothing better than being able to come to work every day and shoot," he said.
Paul Robinson and his father, Dwight Robinson, drove in last week from Hanover to use the range.
Robinson said it is a nice range that allows him to shoot during the day. He said he lives on a farm and has his concealed-carry license, but he doesn't get home before dark some evenings when he would like to shoot.
Pataskala Police Chief Bruce Brooks said the department has had no problems at the Bullet Ranch since it opened and he doesn't anticipate any.
"They know what they're selling and they know what precautions they have to take," Brooks said.
The Bullet Ranch is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Several memberships are available -- from monthly to annual, and individual to family -- that allow members to shoot in the range for free Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Memberships range in price from $40 for an individual membership to $2,800 for a corporate membership that includes up to three employees.
Customers without memberships can pay $20 per shooting lane per visit. A second person using the lane is an additional $10.95.
The costs for the archery range have not been determined.
For more information, visit thebulletranch.com.