Hello and good day to all.
I just joined up on the forums and was searching around and came across this thread. I live in Maryland and frequent Gilbert's range often. I have been a member for over 4 years and find this facility quite attractive. I was a member at Isaac Walton for over 10 years and enjoyed shooting there, but find the indoor environment much more appealing at Gilbert's.
I find it hard to believe that so many members have complaints. I admit I don't like the idea of having to buy my ammo their at retail prices, but I think it's a small price to pay for the convenience of having a range literally in my backyard. I do know for a fact that the ammo restriction was a "Special Exception", #S-2184 that had to be meet in order for this range to be approved by the Montgomery County Board of Appeals. I actually looked it up, and I encourage looking it up yourself before assuming that it's a BS policy with the sole purpose of forcing shooters to buy ammo at the range. Keep in mind folks that when it's 95° in the shade or Snowing it's a@@ off outside, Gilbert's range allows us shooters the convenience of a controlled shooting environment. I feel safe & comfortable when I bring my family or friends there to shoot for many reasons. I have seen the staff confront shooters that were not practicing safe shooting, and I for one am grateful that they either addressed the issue at the firing station or in several cases removed the shooter for the purpose of better educating them outside the shooting lanes. I would also like to mention that Gilbert's range has in place the finest fresh air filtration system. I'm confident than when I'm shooting in these lanes that ALL the contaminants from the powder burn along with the lead residue is appropriately drawn down range and collected in there massive filtration system. This is important to me as I have brought my family and friends to shoot, and it's a peace of mind knowing that I'm not breathing toxins while shooting.
I have to admit that over the years there have been some employees that have been less than polite. But I for one have called Mr. Gilbert and addressed my complaint, and was pleasantly surprised to see that employee replaced within a couple weeks. I think the staff he currently has in place, primarily Shane and Brian, are class acts. They have always been on hand when I either needed help or advice.
I think that often times we as end users forget the massive operating cost for a facility like Gilbert's in this over regulated county called Montgomery. It's truly amazing to me that he was even allowed to build it in the first place, and as I understand, is constantly under the gun (figure of speech) of the overwhelming number of "Anti-gun" residents and constituents in this county that are hell bent on closing it down.
I believe it's time we stop thinking just about our pocket books, and think of the incredible job Mr. Gilbert has done providing us shooters with a safe place to shoot. I don't see Atlantic, Wal-Mart, or anybody else building a range, so if it means that I have to spend a couple extra bucks for the safety and convenience of using this multimillion dollar facility, then so be it.
I personally commend, not condemn Mr. Gilbert for his efforts.