“Kristina Brown and her husband own the Lakeside Guns Shop in Acworth, Ga., and are building a $3.5 million gun range in nearby Powder Springs, north of downtown Atlanta.” The new venture – which is called The Governor’s Club – sounds like an ambitious project. Leaving aside the “you didn’t build that” question, one more high-end, class joint for busting some caps is a good thing. The only complicating factor: The Gov’s gonna have a bar, too. A clubby place to kick back after a hot afternoon on the range, down an oat soda or two and spin yarns about that zombie that got away . . .
The Brown’s aren’t being stoopid about the alcohol. They’ve thought through the whole guns-and-booze-don’t-mix thing. Thoroughly.
“Customers will have to order a drink with their identification card and once the card is accepted, and flagged, they cannot be checked back into the range that day.” The statement went on to say, “Georgia Law allows persons with gun permits to bring their weapon into a restaurant that serves alcohol, we are taking it even a step further.”
No problem there, right? Well . . .
A new sub division is being built about 100 yards from the club and some home owners in the area off C.H. James Parkway and Elliot Road think having a gun range and alcohol in the same location is a bad idea.
“I mean, that’s just stupid,” Traci Hart, a mother of three young children said.
She said her neighborhood is nice and quiet and they don’t want the gun range.
“We don’t need drunk people running around in and out of the neighborhood,” Hart said.
But if the Browns were building, say, a golf course featuring a 19th hole with beer-swilling duffers stumbling out, we’d bet dollars to donuts Traci wouldn’t be on camera voicing her concerns to the local actioneyewitnessonyourside TV reporter. Somehow gun owners (who can’t shoot after drinking) aren’t trustworthy enough to enjoy a tall frosty one after a round of skeet, but golfers knocking back a brew or two after a good walk spoiled is no problemo.
Come to think of it, if it’s beyond the pale to serve beer at a gun range, why is it any better for bars to have parking lots? Designated drivers aside, how many pub patrons who get into their cars after bellying up can really pass a roadside sobriety test? Isn’t allowing all those parking spaces just aiding and abetting drunk driving? Shouldn’t the only thing outside a bar be a cab stand?
Here’s the lengthy statement about the club’s liquor license approval from their web site:
Governors Gun Club has been granted permission to obtain a serving license in our members lounge. The lounge is not available to the general public or all club members. The lounge is only accessed by key cards issued to a limited group of members (Full Metal Jacket Members). All food and beverage services will be charged to the member’s account allowing tracking of their beverage purchases. Once a beverage is purchased on the customer’s account, the account is flagged and they cannot be checked into the range that day. Full Metal Jacket Members who wish to have a drink after shooting have available to them Gun Valet Service. This service allows their firearms to be stored in the facility vault until a future visits. Additionally, the members with the required level of access to the lounge have member lockers available to them.
Georgia law provides that persons with permits may carry firearms in restaurants and bars that serve alcohol; however, more stringent rules and measures are being implemented in the club. Service is not available to the general public or all club members, it is only available to a limited group of members. Members CANNOT drink and shoot, drink then shoot, or drink while in possession of a firearm. Members have strict contractual rules of their membership privileges that address facility conduct including drinking. The members lounge is not a bar and will not be used as one. This is a relaxing social atmosphere for members to enjoy food and limited drinks responsibly. Irresponsible and excessive drinking will not be tolerated by members, and will not be served by the staff. Members must be responsible firearm owners and responsible drinkers; otherwise they will not be patrons or members at the facility.
Most of the City Council Members and the Mayor are satisfied with guidelines and measures we are taking to insure a safe environment. Opposition was from council member Nancy Hudson who votes against ALL alcohol applications. Two citizens spoke in opposition to the application. One simply stated that “Alcohol and firearms do not mix.” The second person to speak did not address the application, rather their interpretation and opinion of a specific council member’s comment.
We know that unfortunately not everyone who owns a firearm exercises the necessary responsibility, but most firearm owners accept the obligation and grave responsibility that goes along with gun ownership. We also know that alcohol can and is often abused by many; however, it is unfair for some to assume that everyone who drinks is incapable of exercising personal responsibility and restraint and would choose to make that decision for everyone.