Typically a membership-only shooting range, Rio Gun Club in La Feria will open its doors Saturday, to give people the chance to learn about gun safety and shoot a few rounds for free and also let them exercise their right to bear arms.
"We're hoping to get people that have AR-15 and AK-47 rifles to come out and take a mass photo, just to show that we're not just a few people here and there, owner Jeremy Reiley said. It's a large population that enjoy this kind of sport." Reiley said the recent announcements and push by President Barack Obama for more gun control laws, hasn't jeopardized his business - it's actually had the opposite effect.
"If anything, we're seeing an increase in business because people are looking to be trained properly now in the use of fire arms," Reiley said. The shooting range owner agrees with some of the president TMs proposals for gun control, like mental health screenings for those who purchase guns. However, he also agrees with the NRA TMs proposals to add police officers at school campuses. He adds making it harder for law-abiding citizens to purchase fire arms will not stop criminals.
"Our government sent thousands of guns to Mexico to the drug cartels and guns are illegal in Mexico, Reiley said. (Banning guns) won't slow anybody down - a criminal who wants a gun will get a gun." Rio Gun Club participated in a gun show just last week and Reiley said he was astonished with the reported jump in sales. One of the manufacturers of AR-15's sold 5,000 rifles last year and their January orders are up to 12,000, Reiley said. Another recent increase at the range has been female customers. We TMre seeing a lot of women especially, purchasing guns for the first time (in order) to get training because they are afraid (guns will be banned) and they want to be able to defend themselves, Reiley said.