Amy Cunning of Hollywood loads up at Flat Broke Shooters new indoor range. (Photo: The County Times)
By Guy Leonard, The County Times
After nearly four years of planning, financing, permitting and building, Flat Broke Shooters indoor shooting range in Lexington Park is now fully operational; it's the only indoor shooting range open to the public in St. Mary's.
Cindi and Steve Thomas, shooting instructors who have competed in numerous courses of fire internationally and at home, have built the new facility on their own property on St. James Church Road at a cost of more than $2.5 million.
The new building, opened Aug. 10, resembles a large red barn but inside encompasses a state-of- the-art indoor shooting range with lighted firing lanes and a ventilation system that is computer controlled and keeps the interior at a comfortable 70 degrees year-round.
The Thomas' two dogs, cattle dog Bandit and Rottweiler Bailey, come up to each customer as they enter to greet them and accompany their owners while they staff the range.
The showroom is spacious and welllighted with shooting accessories for sale; though the facility is not a gun shop, the Thomas' can conduct firearms sales as they are a federal firearms licensed (FFL) dealer.
"It's exciting, no doubt," Steve said of their finally being open for business. "All the reviews on- line…everything's been five stars.
"Everybody's been blown away."
Steve said the new range has yearly memberships available but is open to anyone who comes in and wants to shoot—a brief video safety course is mandatory for all visitors their first time at the range, after which a safety card is issued that is good for one year.
Customers can rent time on the range as well as several firearms the Thomas's make available for visitors to try; volunteer range officers watch over shooters and offer advice on how to safely improve their shooting skills.
One of the firearms available for rent is an F4 Defense "Recce" AR-15 rifle locally manufactured in Lexington Park.
"We're not a private club," Steve said. "When we get them on the range, that's when they're [customers] really impressed."
Training classes available at Flat Broke Shooters include instruction for the Maryland state handgun qualification license (HQL), a "Ladies and Lead" class geared towards female shooters, training to qualify for a state-approved concealed carry license and home defense.
Having competed in such organizations as the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) and the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) they've learned from some of the top shooters around the world such as Rob Leatham, Todd Jarrett and Robert "Bob" Vogel.
"We've learned so much from shooting with some of the greatest shooters," Cindi said. "We really have a passion for teaching these principles.
"It's easy to teach them [customers and new shooters] these principals from day No. 1."
Those principles include proper stance, grip, trigger control and sight picture, Steve said.
"We operate on the K.I.S.S. principle," Steve said.
The atmosphere the Thomas' are working towards at Flat Broke Shooters is one of safety, relaxation and fun, Cindi said.
"We wanted it to be a comfortable place for everyone to hang out," Cindi said.
For more info, visit https://www.flatbrokeshootersllc.com/ or call 301-863-4524.
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