With the motto “armed and educated,” Best Shot, a new range and gun retail store located on Route 1 in Nassau not only offers firearms and ammo for sale, owner Ron Hagan focuses on training users, especially those who may be new to guns. Hagan explained that the company wants those purchasing guns to be educated about how to safely use firearms.
“This was actually supposed to be a hobby after I retired,” Hagan said. “And it just grew to the point where it expanded and the next thing I know, here we are with a 12-lane indoor range, 10,000 square foot facility and running about 15 to 20 classes a month. Different classes whether it’s concealed carry, women’s basic or women’s classes, handgun, cleaning classes, first aid classes, rifle classes. We have a whole litany of different classes that we offer on a monthly basis.”
The range offers memberships, but Hagan stated that people do not need to have a membership to use the range. It is possible to simply reserve a random lane and shoot for an hour or more. Hagan retired from the Delaware State Police in 2014 after serving 30 years.
“I went into the corporate world for a few years, and decided it wasn’t my cup of tea and came back home,” Hagan said. “Being a lifelong teacher in law enforcement as an instructor and also teaching on the college level for many years, I decided to open a firearms training business and it morphed into what we have today.”
The biggest challenge Hagan has faced is helping those who feel guns are dangerous understand that a firearm is inherently safe until it is placed in the hands of someone who is not properly educated or handling a gun in a safe manner.
“Everybody sees everything going on in the news today and the different, I don’t want to say factions, but different sides of the argument. People making certain comments about this is the problem or that is the problem,” Hagan said. “But yet, those people have no foundational knowledge to understand it other than what people with an agenda are telling them. I offer everybody that has an argument, I say ‘well, come in, sit through one of our classes and after you sit through the class and understand it, then let’s have a conversation about why you don’t believe guns are safe and why the law abiding citizens shouldn’t have them.’”
One of the most rewarding parts about his business is watching a new shooter who was anxious or nervous when they first held a gun until they were educated in how to use them, Hagan said.
“Watching them change their whole persona, their personality, when you can kind of see the light bulb going off and just the excitement of what it has given them a sense of empowerment, a sense of accomplishment, not being afraid anymore. Being respectful but not being afraid,” Hagan explained.
Best Shot is currently developing a firearm program geared toward children that would allow younger people to learn basic safety rules.
“We would start off with a little 22, something that doesn’t have recoil. We are building that program and actually my hope is in the future to have a kid’s camp in the summertime, where kids can come in and we teach for like two hours each day and each day we would do something different,” Hagan said. “My wife is also, obviously a big part of the business as a retired educator. So, that’s something that both of us are very passionate about is providing education, not just to the public as a whole but to our youth.”
Best Shot is located at 16797 Coastal Highway, Lewes, Delaware. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 10 AM until 7 PM, Saturday from 9 AM until 8 PM and Sunday from 12 Noon until 6 PM. For more information, call 302-567-2530.
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