In all they do, the folks at 707 Indoor Shooting Range stress that gun safety is their top priority.
Located on Highway 707 in Socastee, the range offers a variety of services including shooting lessons, Concealed Weapons Permit classes and range time open to the public.
Manager Laura Longo said the staff at the range are professionals and are highly qualified to help the novice to the expert on any shooting needs.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable handling a weapon,” she said. “Most importantly, we want them to be safe in doing so.”
Longo said the range staff always uses the four cardinal rules in gun safety in every activity:
n treat every gun as if it’s loaded;
n identify your target and know what’s beyond it;
n always point a gun in a safe direction; and
n keep your finger off the trigger.
“These are simple and very important,” Longo explained. “Accidents happen when somebody thinks a gun is unloaded and it isn’t. Always know your target and anything behind it. You’re responsible for anything your bullet hits.
“Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to hit. And no matter how many bells and whistles your weapon may have, it won’t fire until you pull the trigger.”
Never has safety been more at the forefront of gun discussion than now in South Carolina. As of Aug. 16, South Carolina is now an “open carry” state.
Longo said the new law may be confusing to some who don’t know all the details. It doesn’t mean anybody can buy a pistol and carry it wherever they choose.
“In order to openly carry a weapon,” Longo said, “a gun owner must already have a Concealed Weapons Permit or CWP. It also gives that person the right to open carry only in South Carolina, even if they go to a state that is also open carry.”
Location restrictions will be the same as those that apply to CWP holders.
Longo predicts that consumers will see more signs popping up on businesses that disallow weapons on the premises, especially family-friendly businesses.
She is an ardent supporter of people getting their CWP but isn’t an advocate of open carry.
“I think this opens the gun owner up to a list of potential problems,” she said. “If you’re somewhere and somebody comes in to rob the place and they see you with a gun, you become the first target. It also makes it easier for someone to grab your weapon. I don’t want anyone to know where my gun is.”
The range does offer CWP classes and they fill up fast.
To obtain a CWP, a person must take an eight-hour class, learning all aspects of shooting, gun safety and South Carolina laws relating to guns.
They must pass a written exam and a shooting qualifying test.
“The South Carolina CWP is recognized in 35 other states,” Longo added. “If someone wants to take the class and doesn’t own a gun, we have them to rent here. In today’s world, I think it’s very important to consider getting a CWP.”
707 Indoor Shooting Range is open seven days a week, except for holidays. No reservations are needed to use the range. The CWP class is the only service that requires reservations.
“I think everyone should know how to shoot and protect themselves,” Longo said. “I used to be afraid of guns and now I work here.”