Owner says range deserves fighting chance

The owner of a new computer shooting range in Falkirk defended his decision to use deactivated firearms in his business.

After courting controversy earlier in the month when Doctor Mick North, a father of a Dunblane massacre victim, publicly slammed the range, owner Barry Mitchell, a former serviceman, invited The Falkirk Herald to come along and see the facility in Grangemouth Road.

Black Eye Reality owner Barry Mitchell hopes Falkirk Council grant his licence as soon as possible

Black Eye Reality owner Barry Mitchell hopes Falkirk Council grant his licence as soon as possible

According to Barry, there are no safety or moral issues connected with holding one of these former firearms because they were used for training purposes by Thames Valley Police before they were deactivated, had barrels replaced and electronics inserted.

He said they have never been used in live operations and have never been fired at anyone, wounded anyone or killed anyone.

Barry Mitchell said: “This is as close to reality as you can get without actually firing a real weapon. I don’t even call them weapons – they are training aids. They can never be fired again.

“This facility is also secure – we have four cameras watching this area and we have the building security here as well. All the guns are locked away safely.”

Barry is currently seeking a public entertainment licence from Falkirk Council to operate the range, but the licensing board will not be able to look at the application until after the May 4 local elections.

“This system will give people an experience they would never normally have. We hope to create jobs and bring people to the Falkirk area because this is the only range of its type around.

“We’ve had people from as far away as Inverness expressing an interest in coming down to use it. There are a lot of people who want to do this and we have a lot of public support.”

Barry also revealed that a partially sighted woman had tried the range out during their open day earlier in the year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

He added – unlike a lot of video games available to play these days – there were no graphic bloody scenes when someone is shot in the Black Eye Reality simulations - people just fall down.

Visit www.blackeyereality.co.uk for more information.