The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved a gun club’s request to serve beer, wine and mixed drinks in its cafe and private lounge.
Wilshire Shooting Sports LLC is spending $6 million on what general manager Jeff Swanson told the city council is a “state of the art” range and events center at 615 W Wilshire Blvd., just east of Western Avenue.
Alcohol and guns will be kept apart, Swanson assured city council members.
“You will never be able to drink and then go to the ranges in any way, shape or form,” he said.
The request to serve drinks at a gun range cafe is thought to be a first in Oklahoma. Wilshire Gun must get a state license before sales can begin.
The council voted 6-3 in favor of the request.
Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee, Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer and Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis Jr. opposed the request.
McAtee acknowledged alcohol and guns are legal in Oklahoma.
“I have a real problem with mixing the two,” he said.
Serving drinks is important to Wilshire Gun’s aspirations to host national corporate gatherings and shooting competitions, Swanson said.
Swanson said a range safety officer would greet patrons as they arrive.
A system to scan driver’s licenses will assure no one who has been served a drink is allowed onto the shooting lanes, he said.
Plans are for the range to open this spring. The 40,000-square-foot range is to be in a warehouse on the north side of Wilshire near the railroad.
Marketing manager Jane Moran earlier said Wilshire Gun’s indoor 100-yard lanes, rare in shooting sports, were drawing interest from shooting competitions across the country and around the world.