For the second month in a row the Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission has cleared plans for a new indoor gun range along Texoma Parkway.


The Sherman P&Z approved issuing specific use permits that would allow a former gun range at 2926 Texoma Pkwy to return to operations under new ownership. Representatives with Triple Tap Training and Blackbeard Armory & Range said they plan to reopen the site, with improvements, after it closed down earlier this year.


"We want a really nice range for the people of Sherman to go to the level of effort and money going into this will be unlike anything that has been here before," said Tap Smith of Triple Tap Training.


According to meeting documents, the former gun range received a specific use permit in Oct. 2000. In April, the gun range ceased operations after nearly 20 years of operations.


The SUP became invalid 60 days after the building became vacant.


Smith said he acquired the range about two months ago through foreclosure and has spent the time since cleaning up the site and preparing it to be put back in operation. Since purchase, the roof of the building has been repaired and Smith said he is working on several safety improvements to the site that were deferred maintenance over the years.


While the structure of the range itself is still in tact, all of the equipment and safety features will be decommissioned, removed, and replaced with update equipment.


"Everything inside with regard to equipment will be new," he said.


The site will also feature a completely overhauled ventilation system that will help contain and filter contaminants in the air related to firearm use.


In addition to the gun range, Smith said the building will also have a retail storefront.


Smith said the 10 lanes of the range will be primarily used for handgun training, but he said some rifle training could be possible. The structure itself will be graded and designed to to take rifle fire.


"We will be rated for higher than that, but our main use will be handguns," he said. "With me it is safety first with firearms."


This represents the second gun range on Texoma that was approved by the commission. Last month, P&Z approved a similar request for Best Pawn, who plan to open a indoor gun range on site in about a year.


Smith said that there are limited manufacturers for the kind of protective equipment used in ranges.


"The range equipment, and safety features will be very similar for both," he said.


Smith said he is currently focused on rehabilitating the existing lanes. However, in the future, he is exploring the possibility of opening a second set of indoor lanes specifically for rifle training.


Currently, he estimates that the storefront could be open by late September of early October, but the range will take some additional time.


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