The father of a Dunblane massacre victim said he was disgusted that a gun range use real firearms
Black Eye Reality is seeking a public entertainment licence from Falkirk Council to operate the range, which will allow customers of “all ages and abilities” to get their hands on rifles, pump action shotguns, Sig and Glock pistols and Tasers.
The Falkirk firm’s website states it is the only shooting simulator in the UK using real converted weapons and that similar systems are used to train police officers and military personnel.
Anti-firearms campaigner Dr Mick North, who lost his five-year-old daughter Sophie in the 1996 tragedy, learned of the Black Eye Reality shooting range through his work as a member of the Gun Control Network.
Dr North said: “I have to say I’m disgusted at the thought that anyone can take pleasure from this type of activity and that there are those who wish to make money from it.
Black Eye Reality is seeking a public entertainment license to operate the range
“Looking at the pictures on their website it’s clearly being sold on the basis that people will get a kick from using real guns, and the presence of a child in one of the photos is particularly worrying.
I’m disgusted at the thought that anyone can take pleasure from this type of activity
Dr Mick North
"It feels like a step backwards to a gun culture that I’d hoped had diminished in Scotland following the handgun ban. This ought to be something just for training the military and police.”
Dr North’s daughter was one of 16 Dunblane Primary children, aged five and six, who died along with teacher Gwen Mayor when maniac Thomas Hamilton targeted youngsters on March 13, 1996, before turning the gun on himself.
The tragedy sparked worldwide outrage and led to the UK government outlawing the private ownership of pistols.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The worst mass shootings in history Thu, April 28, 2016
We've collated a round-up of some of the world's worst mass shootings and massacres in history.
Fairfax Media via Getty Images 1 of 18
On 28th April 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 23 in a shooting spree in Port Arthur, Australia
David Alexander, Falkirk North SNP council candidate, backed Dr North and said he has had a number of complaints from people about the proposed use of deactivated firearms at the range.
He said: “In today’s climate this shooting range is something which I don’t want to see in our area.”
The shooting range is the brainchild of ex-serviceman Barry Mitchell, who states on the website he served five years as a driver in the Royal Logistics Corps. Mr Mitchell said: “These weapons were deactivated in America and they have gone through the secretary of state gun proofing house in Birmingham where each one is checked and given a deactivation certificate.
It is the only shooting simulator in the UK using real converted weapons
“Basically they are just paperweights that look like real weapons. They can never be real weapons again.”
Mr Mitchell said Police Scotland officers had inspected the weapons and had no concerns about them. He said: “We had an open day that went really well. I’ve actually had beat cops who have never handled weapons before say they want to give this a try.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson stated the force was not in a position to comment because the application was still in its early stages with Falkirk Council’s licensing board.