MIDLOTHIAN — Unmasking the mystery behind gun safety, TxGunrange is offering free memberships to encourage proper gun education during its ‘Freedom to Shoot’ celebration this weekend.

“The world has become a scary place, and I think it’s really important for people to educate themselves and keep their skills up,” expressed Tricia Miller, co-owner, manager, and chief range officer of TxGunrange. “We want to educate, that way, we have wise and educated shooters in the community.”

According to the outdoor range’s press release, TxGunrange is the only woman managed and co-owned outdoor shooting range in Texas with the "largest berm in North Texas." The venue also offers range safety officers at each shooting station.

“We are extremely female friendly, and we didn’t design this place to be male dominated. It really is a great place to come, and it’s a great family environment,” Miller acknowledged. “Our nine-year-olds are the youngest we have on the range, and you can bring your children, and we will work with them as well. And if you start young you don’t develop any bad habits that have to be undone later.”

Offering a free, yearlong membership that allows customers full access to the range, TxGunrange has knocked down its price for this weekend "steal of a deal" to a mere daily shooting fee of $15.94.

“So the idea of the free membership is to make it more for affordable and give people the chance to see how great the range is,” Miller explained. “The membership will allow you to come and go all year long, and all they have to do is pay for their shooting fee.”

Through the membership, Miller also notes that it plays a dual purpose towards safety and community charity.

“The reason we have a membership is that if we feel that someone is really dangerous, or comes in under the influence, it allows us to refuse service,” Miller expressed. “And the fee also goes towards our community projects.”

As the free membership attracts more attendants to shoot at the range, Miller notes that their used gun shells are often left behind, supplying the range with a creative way to give back.

“We collect up all the brass people leave behind, and we sell that and donate the money to ‘Toys for Tots’ at Christmas,” Miller told. “And this year, we’re going to split that and donate half of that to a woman’s shelter.”

“We are a community-based organization, and we want to give back to the community. We encourage our people to join, donate, and participate in the activities that we give back to the community in,” she heartened.

Accommodating a rise of new gun owners and License To Carry (LTC) individuals in Ellis County, Miller stresses the importance to make practice a priority.

“It’s important to keep practicing and be comfortable with firearms,” Miller began. “Heaven forbid – truly – if you ever have to need it to defend yourself, but with all the practice you’ve built up in muscle memory. You almost don’t need to think other than to say to yourself, ‘Okay, this is that situation, and I really do have to defend myself.’ And fear doesn’t take over, but the muscle memory does.”

“We frequently see people who don’t understand the three rules of gun safety, and that puts everybody around them at risk. So it’s important not to be cavalier about gun ownership and take it for granted,” she added.

Whether a new gun owner actively uses their weapon or not, Miller urges those always to follow the three gun rules they uphold at their facility.

“Always assume a gun is loaded,” Miller listed. “Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. And keep your gun ‘down range,’ so that means to never point your muzzle at someone unless you’re defending yourself.”

“A lot of mistakes people make is that they’ve shot themselves in the foot while they’re cleaning their gun because they assume it’s empty. But you never assume, you always check, and that’s how we approach it. We want people to be reminded of that, and not just practice those rules at the range or transporting their firearm, but at home and all the time,” she emphasized.

Safety being the number one priority, Miller also mentions they offer additional training from a staff that’s more than qualified to teach even the most advanced student.

“Ninety-nine percent of my Range Safety Officers are former military; they are so skilled and dedicated to helping people be the best that they can be, as far as gun safety and educating people to go. I really can’t say enough about how terrific they are,” Miller complimented her staff.

“They will take the time to work with you. We will help you hone your skills, so you won’t choke or be afraid of your gun,” she covered. “We also run female-only LTC classes, and I do private lessons with women to help them be comfortable and manage their gun, and learn to shoot to qualify for their LTC.”

Not leaving gun safety to chance, Miller and her team are looking forward to this weekend’s opportunity to connect with the community and teach firearm consciousness.

“We hope the community will join us in celebrating our ‘Freedom to Shoot.’ Our goal is for every person that visits the range to have a great and safe experience,” Miller finished.

TxGunrange will be holding their free “Freedom to Shoot” memberships this Saturday and Sunday, July-1-2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 5761 West Highway 287, Midlothian. Though the membership cost is free, shooting fees still apply as $15.94. For more information visit txgunrange.com or call (469)-487-4810.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450