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John Perry

Co-owner, Range Master of SLO

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New Times: What skills do target shooting develop?

Perry: Well, hand-eye coordination for one. It also helps you become a more alert person because there are rules you need to follow when you shoot.

New Times: What do you do when you have someone messing around on the range?

Perry: We eject them. We’ll go in there right away and we’ll take the gun. We’ve had that before, but we don’t allow anyone who’s been drinking or smoking, if you know what I mean. We try to be very aware of who’s (on the range). We have cameras on every lane and we have someone watching all the time. But we’re not your typical gun store; about 90 percent of the time we have a law enforcement officer in the store, so people don’t mess around.

New Times: What demographic are you seeing more of at the range?

Perry: We see a lot of grandfathers bringing in their grandkids and we encourage that as long as everybody’s safe. Demographic-wise, we’re seeing a lot more women and older people who want to have home protection.

New Times: Have gun sales gone up since Obama’s inauguration?

Perry: We have seen a slight increase, but we serve a lot of law enforcement so we stay fairly busy all the time. It’s not so much the Obama administration, it’s that people are generally more fearful that there’s not enough law enforcement out there with the budget cuts and everything.

New Times: What is today’s most popular handgun?

Perry: Probably the Springfield XD, because it’s a good quality gun with a lot of safety measures and for a fair price.

New Times: How can learning to shoot benefit youngsters?

Perry: It’s the opposite of what people think. Most people think if you show them they are going to be enticed by it. Usually it’s the other way around. When they see the power of a gun they know it’s something they don’t want to fool with and they build a respect for it.

New Times: Does recreational shooting deserve its cultural stigma?

Perry: Not at all. There’s a lot of competition shooting and you’re going to get folks who do wrong things and they’ll unfortunately give a bad stigma to everyone who’s doing the right thing.

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