Business boom at Bay County gun range

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Bay County Shooting Range located on Steel Field road in Panama City Beach hasn't been around for long.

"We've been open about three years," Public Shooting Range Director Louie Roberson said.

However, many people who go there, like Bruce Strampe, have been shooting for decades.

"I remember shooting at about five-years old, sitting in my fathers lap while we were shooting at a tin can across the creek down into a big bank," Frequent shooter Bruce Strampe said.

Just like Strampe, the range has come a long way. According to range officials, it started out as just a small shed in 2014 and now offers 50-yard, 100-yard and 300-yard rifle ranges, handgun and pistol ranges as well as sporting clay stations and archery fields. In turn, bringing in crowds faster than a speeding bullet.

"Last month we broke records, having a couple of hundred to three-hundred a day and averaging... somewhere around 1,500 a month which is really great," Roberson said.

Some go for a friendly competition, others to practice for the hunting season underway, but all who we spoke to say it's more about the bonding than the bulls-eye.

"My son, my whole family actually, are into distance shooting, accuracy and training the next couple generations," Strampe said.

"This is our third time to the range. Excellent set up out here and it's just a fun time for me and him to come out and shoot a bunch of rounds off," Local shooter Rick Kerr said.

Shooting range officials say safety is their top priority and as more and more people make their way to the range, more supervision will be provided.

Head to the Florida Fish and Wildlife website, linked on the top, right corner of this page, for more information on the gun range.