A Sherman retailer is looking to add an indoor gun range to its Texoma Parkway storefront. Representatives for the business said the addition of the 10-lane gun range will provide a safe environment for gun enthusiasts of all skill levels to practice.


The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission granted preliminary approval for Best Pawn to build a new gun range and classroom at its location at 6400 Texoma Parkway.


"It is something that Sherman definitely needs: a safe gun range that families can go to and learn to safely shoot," Best Pawn Owner Cliff Montgomery.


The plans for the gun range represent a shift for the Texoma pawn shop. Montgomery said he plans to move the pawn business to a new 3,500 square-foot building on the west side of the property, which will allow the main shop to focus on the firearm side of his business, which he is naming BPS Outfitters.


"The new signage should go up in the next month," he said.


The new gun range will sit the current site of a metal building, which will be removed as a part of the range construction. The range itself will feature eight-inch-thick concrete balls with an armored ceiling.


A rubber berm trap on the end of the range will also collect debris and lead fragments while also acting as a dampening element for sound. The sound from the firing range will not be heard from the outside or from within the storefront, Montgomery said.


Even the ventilation system will be specially designed for a gun range.


"I spent a great deal of money on the ventilation," he said. "One of the problems you have with older gun ranges is that you have an environment full of lead and it is dangerous."


Montgomery said the range has been a lot-term project of his that dates back several years. With the closure of another indoor range, Montgomery said he say a need for another location to where people can safely train and learn to operate a fire arm.


"It gives people the opportunity to come out and try out new hand guns and do that in a safe environment," he said.


During Tuesday’s meeting, Montgomery said the range would be use primarily for handgun and small arms, but noted that there would be some rifle training on site.


Once fully approved by the city, Montgomery said construction should take less than a year to complete. Currently, he plans to have the facility operational by March 2021.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.