I’m this much closer to becoming a member of Taylor Swift’s squad on the “Bad Blood” video (and quite possibly, the only one who has shot an actual gun).
Despite the mixed reviews and press Machine Gun America received when it announced its new location in Kissimmee, the attraction appears to be booming almost a year after opening its doors. In the few hours I was there, I saw people from all walks of life, multi-generational families, moms and their children, girlfriends–so much for it not being family-friendly!
When you walk in, an MGA employee guides you through choosing a package, signing e-waivers and making sure you’re safe at all times. No one under the age of 13 is allowed in the attraction and since this is not a gun range, no personal firearms or ammunition are allowed. Once they’ve concluded that you’re right in the head (and not under the influence), a Range Safety Officer (RSO) will provide you with ear and eye protection and escort you to the firing lanes.
According to their fact sheet (and what I saw but I’m too lazy to put into my own words), there is a double-locking system to the live action ranges. Meaning that all guests are escorted by a Range Safety Officer when entering the live action area and must pass two locked doors that cannot be accessed simultaneously.
And if you think that the RSO are pimply teenagers working a summer job, you’re badly mistaken. Members of the team include an Afghanistan and Iraq War veteran with more than a decade of service as a United States Army Infantryman and an internationally known and recognized trainer with 30 years of military and firearms training. That pretty much means they know their stuff.
Guests are never alone in the live action area and once inside, have to follow strict rules like keeping protective gear on at all times and not crossing the red line into the the firing lanes unless instructed to do so by your RSO.
One by one my friends and I went up, first shooting a Glock 17, which I was pretty comfortable with and then moving up to a Colt M4 Commando (which was a drastic change for me, personally). Before handing us the weapons, our RSO instructed us on how to stand and hold the weapons and he had his hand on our shoulders the entire time, kind of like a bad ass guardian angel. Check out the video of me shooting here.
Having visited numerous gun ranges in Orlando and being scared half to death by inexperienced loons waving guns around, my experience at Machine Gun America was a lot different. Although the weapons were a lot more complicated than the ones I’ve shot before, I felt safer because of the precautions the attraction owners have taken in ensuring this is a secure environment for guests. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Nothing cooler than challenging your friends and earning the bragging rights for having the most accurate aim (my aim is terrible, if you’re wondering)!
What is the most unique attraction you’ve visited? Is this something you’d add to your bucket list?