Gun maker plans to open shooting range, retail store in former Sun News building

The lights are on in the former newsroom at old offices of The Sun News. The site will now be Palmetto State Armory. The 69,000 square foot building and nearly eight acres of land is located off Frontage Road East just north of U.S. 501 along U.S. 17 Bypass. The Sun News moved its operations to Grissom Parkway and 38th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

A Columbia-based gun maker aims to convert the former home of The Sun News into a retail firearms store and indoor shooting range.

Palmetto State Armory, which sells guns, ammunition, firearms parts and accessories, plans to open its Myrtle Beach area location on Frontage Road later this year or early next year, the company’s marketing director, Logan Richardson, said in an email.

“PSA is coming to Myrtle Beach and we are very excited!” Richardson wrote. “The building itself has a long way to go before it will become a PSA retail store with a shooting range.”

In the coming months, the company will create a Facebook page for the Grand Strand store and updates on the building’s progress will be posted there, Richardson said.

The company operates retail stores across the state, including in Columbia, Greenville, Summerville, Savannah and Mt. Pleasant. The offerings vary at each location, but the stores typically sell fishing and hunting gear in addition to firearms, according to Palmetto State Armory's website. Summerville, the company's largest store, features an indoor pistol and rifle range.

Last year, The Sun News announced its staff would be leaving the iconic building that faces U.S. 17 Bypass. That location served as the daily newspaper’s headquarters for nearly 40 years. The news outlet moved to the Coastal Carolina National Bank Center near the intersection of 38th Avenue North and Robert Grissom Parkway.

In November, one of PSA’s owners requested a zoning verification on the tract, according to Horry County Government records. In her response, the county’s zoning administrator noted that the property’s zoning allows for both a retail store and a gun range as long as the range is completely indoors and doesn’t create any noise or other nuisance outside the premises.   

The six-acre property was sold less than a week later for $2.65 million, according the county’s online land records.

Palmetto State Armory is known for its line of PA-15 firearms, the company’s version of the AR-15 military-style rifle.

On its website, Palmetto State Armory describes the company’s guiding principles.

“Our mission is to maximize freedom, not our profits,” the website states. “We want to sell as many AR-15 and AK-47 rifles as we can and put them into common use in America today. Our focus isn't to make massive amounts of money but to spread freedom as far and wide as possible. Our legacy will not be about money; we want our legacy to be about maximizing American freedom. And we work every day to do just that."

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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