A three-year plan came to fruition Friday as Take Aim opened with a volley of gunshots.
The new shooting range, located at 3403 Samson Way in Bellevue, had veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and both recent military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan fire the shots to officially open the range. Nearly 200 people made their way in and out during the morning-long celebration.
Bob Whaling, who owns the range with his wife Mary, said the range has already had more than 600 shooters in the first two weeks of operation, even before Friday’s grand opening.
“We’ve already had Fremont people in here,” he said. “I got a call from a truck driver in South Dakota. He does routes down through here. He wanted to know if he could park a semi and shoot. I think family and friends spread (the word) extremely far on Facebook.”
The Whalings said the idea for the shooting range started coming together in 2010. After they came up with the concept, Bob went to school in Reno, Nev., to learn the trade of owning a range.
When it came time to find a building, Bellevue was the only choice for the couple.
“We live here,” Mary Whaling said. “We want to keep the money here. We want to have a business in the community we live in.”
Besides two full shooting ranges, Take Aim has a classroom space. The facility offers introduction to pistol classes and concealed carry classes.
“We’re not in business to train the average person in a tactical setting,” Bob Whaling said. “I don’t think that’s an appropriate thing. We’re interested in teaching safety and protection. That’s it.”
He also said future classes like hunter safety would be possible at the range if they have instructors who want to teach there. Other classes and seminars are possible, depending on customer requests. The range is open and operational on a daily basis.
“We retired here from the military and it’s home,” Bob Whaling said. “So we need to make our home a little bit better. There’s a lot of folks leaving Bellevue, so we wanted to make sure we did our part for the city.”
For more information on Take Aim, visit the shooting range’s website at www.takeaimbellevue.com.