Chauncey's Pawn and Gun to open indoor shooting range

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Robert Chauncey (right) and his wife, Tami, pose in their store, Chauncey's Pawn and Gun, in Elizabeth City, Wednesday. The Chaunceys plan to open an indoor shooting range on the store's second floor this summer.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pretty soon you’ll not only be able to buy a firearm at Chauncey’s Pawn and Gun, you’ll be able to try it out there as well.

The longtime firearms dealer plans to open Elizabeth City’s first indoor shooting range this summer.

Robert Chauncey, who co-owns Chauncey’s with his wife, Tami, said the armored, controlled shooting range will be on the remodeled second floor of his store in the 400 block of South Hughes Boulevard. Chauncey said he’s investing close to $1 million in the project, which he hopes to have ready around the start of July.

"It's expensive to do. I mean, ranges are not cheap," he said.

Chauncey declined to say who's building his indoor range, but he said the company has constructed firing ranges across the country.

"We felt like it was better to have somebody build it that was experienced enough to guarantee that no bullet could escape the range," he said.

Chauncey said the range will have six lanes, each 25 yards long, for customers to use firing handguns, rifles and shotguns at targets.

Chauncey said opening an indoor shooting range is something he’s wanted to do for a while. A lot of customers who buy guns from him have asked about the nearest indoor range, and he often has to tell them lower Currituck or the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.

Opening an indoor shooting range in Elizabeth City is one way to stay ahead of his competition, he said.  

"You have to do something different and change things every now and then," he said. “We felt like it was time to give people a place to shoot all those guns that they've purchased in the last eight years."

Chauncey said the range also will provide gun-safety training opportunities for customers new to gun ownership.

"We felt like it was better to be able to sell the guns, as well as teach them (customers) how to use the weapon, instead of just selling them a gun and then not knowing if the customer is qualified or able to handle the weapon in a safe manner," he said.

Chauncey plans to provide customers with free range time with each gun purchase. “That way we’ll help them and make sure they understand the safety rules," he said.

Chauncey also plans to rent guns, so that someone considering buying a pistol or rifle can try it out on the range before making a purchase. 

Installing an indoor shooting range on Chauncey’s Pawn and Gun’s second floor will require some shuffling of the store’s current layout. Before embarking on the range project, the store’s second floor served as Chauncey’s music shop while the first floor served as the pawn shop and was where guns were sold. 

Chauncey said he’s stored most of his music merchandise for the time being. But his plan, once the range is finished, is to set up his music store downstairs with the pawn shop and relocate all gun sales upstairs with the range.

Chauncey said not including himself and Tami, Chauncey’s Pawn and Gun now employs seven. He expects he’ll add at least three more employees once the range opens.

The Chaunceys have operated a pawn shop in Elizabeth City for nearly 30 years, the first 12 at a site off North Road Street, across from the Sentry Mart convenience store. For the past 16 years, they’ve operated a store at 404 South Hughes Boulevard in the former Tuck’s Restaurant building.

Chauncey's Pawn and Gun’s hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The business can be reached by phone at 337-7296.