Article published Feb 6, 2008
Gunny get your gun: New shooting range, firearms shop to open in Maryville

By Iva Butler
of The Daily Times Staff


Gunny’s, an indoor shooting sports complex being developed by three former U.S. Marines, is set to open in two or three weeks in Maryville.

The shooting range and retail gun shop is located at 2208 E. Broadway Ave., in a former antiques and collectibles mall near the intersection of Old Knoxville Highway and Wildwood Road.

Owners are David “Gunny” Perry, who was a Maryville Police officer for five years, and Johnny Anderson and David Stone, who are both airline pilots.

The men purchased the shooting equipment from a defunct range outside Des Moines, Iowa. The range had operated for four or five years but closed because it was in a rural area, Perry said. The equipment is from Shooting Ranges International of Las Vegas.

Perry took a crew out to Des Moines in July for 22 days and brought the equipment back in three tractor-railers. It has been in storage until now.

Perry will be general manager and retired Maryville detective Johnny Tindell will be the manager of Gunny’s. Perry, who was the entry-team leader on the Maryville Police SWAT team and firearms instructor, previously served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. He retired as a first sergeant after his last tour in Iraq with Marine Infantry Company Lima 3/24.

Learning on job

While in the Marines, Perry served as a drill instructor for two tours in San Diego, Calif.

“I learned by watching people and seeing what they did wrong while shooting,” he said.

Tindell has more than 40 years of law enforcement experience. He is a certified police firearms instructor and self-defense trainer.

The building has two levels, each with 6,000 square feet. The shooting range will be located in the basement and a retail store will be located on the top street-level. Firearms will be sold and rented at the retail store, that will also stock ammunition, shooting accessories, cleaning equipment, reloading supplies and equipment and clothing for hunters. The idea is to fill the hunting goods store slot that was left vacant in the area when Wynn’s Sporting Goods closed.

Also on the top floor will be classrooms where handgun carry permit, hunter safety and personal safety classes will be held. To get a handgun carry permit in Tennessee a person must pass an eight-hour course. Perry said he and four or five other instructors are certified to teach such a class.

Handgun carry courses are scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays beginning in March.

Private instruction will also be available on marksmanship and tactical shooting.

The range will include 12 shooting stalls, four of which can handle high-powered rifles and semi-automatic pistols. The 75-foot shooting range will be ventilated.

Jumping the gun

During the interview, Blount resident Mike Rogers came in inquiring about the range.

“Now I have to drive all the way across town to get to something like this. I’ve had a membership at a range across town for years. That’s too far to drive,” he said.

“I’ve been shooting all my life. I can’t wait to get in here,” Rogers said.

The closest indoor range is Cold Creek Armory off Lovell Road in West Knoxville.
Perry said there are about 10 people a day, like Rogers, stopping by the business and inquiring about when the range is going to open.

Thus far, 20 people have purchased memberships at the range.

As a preopening special, individual memberships for a year are $165 and family memberships are $250. Once the range opens those memberships will increase by $80.

Cost for a day of shooting will be $15.

Membership entitles people to free range time, 50 percent off one class and one handgun purchase at dealer cost.

The shooting range Web site is www.thegunny.com.


Ellie