By Mark Robinson
Safety will be the primary focus when Point Blank Range & Gun Shop opens its Carmel doors in early 2015. Following a site change, weather delays have slowed construction of the facility on West Carmel Drive, but Tom Willingham, CEO of Point Blank, expects the location to open the first week of February.
“Meyer Najem is the general contractor and they finally got the foundation completed,” Willingham said by phone from Point Blank’s headquarters in suburban Cincinnati. “They should be pouring the slab anytime now.”
Willingham has been impressed with the response from interested patrons in the Carmel area, saying Point Blank receives several inquiries a day on its website and Facebook pages. He called Point Blank a “new generation of gun range and retail store” that caters to more than the avid range shooter.
“Our first priority is safety for our patrons as well as our employees,” he said. “We want to make everyone more knowledgeable. We offer a lot of different classes. If you’re learning about firearms, it’s all about safety.”
Point Blank has two Cincinnati locations and just opened one in suburban Cleveland. Another location is under construction in Florence, Ky., with the Carmel outlet marking the fifth store.
The Carmel location will employ 25 to 30 people, Willingham said, and about half of the employees are usually veterans. All instructors will be fully certified, with classes and free seminars including basic and advanced handgun use and special women’s-only courses. The gun range will be open to the public, with one-time passes, monthly passes and memberships available.
Willingham knows some Carmel residents are reluctant to welcome Point Blank to the city, but he asked them to avoid any “pre-conceived ideas” of other gun shops and give his company a chance to show it can be a partner with the community. “We’re not here to create problems,” he said. “We’re here to add to the quality of life.”