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Business hits the road with mobile gun range
by Sarah Cooper
Aug 22, 2008 | 7412 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Debra Reid - There's an increasing demand for concealed carry weapons training according to firearms instructor Kevin Roth.
Tribune/Debra Reid - There's an increasing demand for concealed carry weapons training according to firearms instructor Kevin Roth.
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Kevin Roth pointed his finger down the long mobile gun range in the back of his trailer as he described movable targets and controlled ambiance lighting.

The 41-year Washoe County resident is almost ready to let the shooting begin.

Arms to Bear Mobile Gun Range is a 53-foot long trailer attached to a 2006 GMC Sierra, one-ton dualie Duramax diesel. The business aims to provide gun training and arms exposure to customers across Reno and Sparks, wherever they may be.

“We want to give people the opportunity to come and experience shooting,” Roth said. “What we have here is not available anywhere else … at least not west of the Mississippi.”

The gun range will be fully operational after Sept. 5, when Roth will take his business on the road for corporate parties, training sessions and special events.

The mobile gun range is an idea belonging almost entirely to Roth. The concept was originally patented by a Reno man, but the patent expired giving Roth the opportunity to open his own range. It is the only indoor range in northern Nevada and the only mobile gun range on the west coast.

As they step into the trailer, shooters and shoppers are greeted by a large fan, a hepa-filtered ventilation system and a small self-defense shop. As they look to the right, they will be staring down 24 feet of shooting distance encased by walls made of 12-gauge steel. At the end of the range, Roth will have three full-body targets propped up in front of a pile of ground-up, fire-resistant rubber.

“We will be shooting handguns only and those can only be up to a .41 (caliber) Magnum,” Roth said.

The guns and bullets, provided only by Roth, are lead-free and non-toxic. They also disintegrate upon impact with anything harder than themselves, Roth said.

The business is required to hold a $2 million insurance policy as well as post the range rules in a conspicuous place.

“We are going to be really strict on rapid shooting,” Roth said. He will also be armed at all times while operating the business as well as require all shooters to wear ear and eye protection.

Roth’s personal training is no less interesting than the business he operates with his wife, Dorothy, his daughter and his son-in-law.

An avid hunter and sportsman since childhood, Roth has been heavily involved with the National Rifle Association. He holds his basic pistol shooting certification from the NRA, his NRA Refuse to be a Victim training certification and has done specialized training at the Front Sight firearms training institute in Las Vegas.

He is also certified with the city of Sparks to give training classes for concealed carry weapons permits, something he will be offering at the mobile gun range. Those day-long classes will be held on the first, second and fourth Saturdays of every month.

In addition to just giving people a chance to shoot a handgun, Roth will be offering self-defense classes along with hunter education. The trailer will have a projector installed where hunters and law enforcement officers alike can practice their gun skills.

The projector will show a scene, be it a hostage situation, a traffic stop or an elk wandering through the wilderness. The guns will be equipped with lasers that must “shoot” the intended target.

“The goal is to have the rig up and going so that we can go and do law enforcement training,” Roth said. “The program projects people onto the screen and will monitor number of shots, reaction time, etc.”

Roth has also received a special letter from Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley that certifies Roth has passed the sheriff’s inspection and that he is certified to do business in Washoe County.

For Roth, the business was a wiser investment than opening an indoor gun range. He said the indoor range would have cost him more than $800,000 to open, whereas the mobile range has cost him about $140,000 so far.

The range is the only “indoor” shooting facility in northern Nevada. One other indoor shooting range did business previously in Sparks on Coney Island Drive. However, it was closed due to lead contamination issues, Roth said.

Those interested in reserving a session can call Roth at 972-4337 or visit his Web site at www.shootinandscootin.com

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