A Machine Gunner’s Guide To Las Vegas

By Robert M. Hausman

Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada’s largest city and, the gambling capital of the world. Your arrival here (for the SHOT show) and the fact that you are reading Small Arms Review, signifies your interest in things that move quickly, such as full-auto firearms. The 24-hour nature of the town means you will always find something to see and do here-not many people get bored in Las Vegas!

Nevada’s Gun Laws

Since Nevada is a “free state,” in that there are no prohibitions against owning Class 3 firearms and accessories, the following special section is tailored to your pursuits as it provides you with a detailed listing of where to buy and rent fully-automatic firearms in the Las Vegas area. But first, since many firearms enthusiasts are also history buffs, you may be interested in learning some of the region’s background.

Spanish explorers seeking gold gave the name “Nevada” to this state, the name of which was derived from two Spanish words meaning snow-clad. The reference was to the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains. Nevada’s nickname, The Silver State, comes from the large amounts of silver once mined here. It is also sometimes called The Battle Born State, as it was admitted to the Union during the Civil War.

If you go for a drive outside the city limits, you will note this Rocky Mountain state is a land of unusual beauty and variety of scenery. Huge rocky plateaus gleam brilliant red in the sunshine, and the salt flats of the deserts glisten in white. The flowers blooming on yucca, cactus, and sagebrush plants add smatterings of color to the vast stretches of sandy desert. Snow covers many of the peaks of the towering mountain ranges the year-round and you can find crystal-clear streams and blue lakes in the valleys.

Although Nevada ranks as the seventh largest state, it was the last Western region to be explored. Its great natural wealth remained unknown until the 1843 expedition led by John C. Fremont. In 1859, prospectors Peter O’Riley and Patrick McLaughlin discovered very rich gold deposits mixed with silver at Virginia City. Miners soon flocked to the area and development began.

After the stock market collapse beginning the Great Depression in 1929, the state began seeking ways to get itself out of financial trouble. One of the things looked at was the trouble and expense of enforcing laws against gambling, considered a victimless crime. As a result, in 1931 a law was passed allowing all forms of gambling that would increase state and local revenue coffers by licensing gambling devices. Gaming establishments grew rapidly in the ensuing years and so did the state’s income. World War Two brought another boom as munitions manufacturers needed large quantities of the state’s copper, magnesite, manganese and tungsten deposits.

Undoubtedly, you will try your luck in the casinos, but coming away a winner there is largely a matter of chance. A more sure-fire way to be a winner is to visit one or more of the following Class 3 firearms dealers and/or range operators. They offer the necessary service, selection, and advice to make your trip out here a memorable and pleasurable one with your particular interests in mind. Have fun!

The Gun Store: Closest To The Strip

Located on Tropicana Avenue, just minutes from the center of activity on the Las Vegas Strip and the airport, The Gun Store welcomes SOF conventioneers and SHOT show attendees to its easy to find and well-marked site.

Though a smaller retailer, the 12 employees of the approximately 5,000-square-foot facility stand ready to make your visit to Las Vegas a memorable one. There are two indoor air conditioned ranges available. The first contains six lanes, while the other contains three shooting lanes. Both ranges are 15 yards in length and are equipped with electrically- powered target carriers, explains Dave Johnson, a range officer and firearms instructor.

The Gun Store offers one of the widest selections of rental submachine guns in town. Availability includes: an HK MP5 in 9mm; a 9mm UZI; Smith & Wesson Model 76 in 9mm equipped with a sound suppressor; a MAC M11 in 9mm with suppressor; MAC 10 in .45 ACP; 9mm Colt M-16; Steyr MP691 in 9mm; a venerable Thompson M1A1 in .45 ACP; a modern HK MP5 in 9mm; a vintage M3A1 “Grease Gun” in .45 ACP; a British Sten Mark II in 9mm; Reising M50 in .45 ACP, Schmeisser MP40 9mm; and a Madsen M50 9mm submachine gun. In addition, there are a wide variety of rental handguns available, ranging from chamberings in .22 rimfire on up through .44 Magnum. The range is capable of handling firearms chambered for handgun calibers only.

Submachine gun rentals cost $30 per gun, per person, which includes 50 rounds of ammo and one paper target. For those “compulsive shooters” who can’t stop, additional ammunition can be purchased at an average cost (depending on caliber) at $15 per 50 rounds.

Handgun rentals involve a $5 range fee plus a $5 gun rental fee, and the cost of the ammo and targets. Anyone can bring in their own handgun and either shoot their personally owned handgun with their own ammunition, or purchase ammo from the range.

Like all area retailers, The Gun Store places a great emphasis on safety. A member of the store’s staff stands beside each shooter using a submachine gun on the range. The firearm’s operation and the range safety rules will be explained to all shooters and safety procedures are strictly enforced. All range users must sign a waiver of liability absolving the store of liability for sustained injuries occurring while using the facility.

In addition to renting full-auto firearms, The Gun Store is also a Class 3 dealer. While no full-auto inventory of guns for sale was maintained at the time of the author’s visit, virtually any submachine or machine gun can be ordered for residents. They are also dealers for such “conventional” firearm brands as Glock, Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Taurus.

While there were no live full-auto firearms for sale, there were a couple of other interesting items for sale at the time of the author’s visit. These were a deactivated German MG34 and a Garcia Bronco 12-inch barreled combination rifle shotgun in .22 rimfire over .410 bore. The Bronco piece can be sold with the payment of just a $5 transfer tax, along with the necessary paperwork and approvals.

For Nevada residents, or for those contemplating joining the approximately 3,000 families per month who are moving to the Las Vegas area, The Gun Store offers 10-hour concealed weapons classes which are required for obtaining a state concealed weapons permit. Only about one-half hour of the course time is spent on the range qualifying for the weapons permit. The remainder is spent in the classroom. In order to qualify for the permit, a shooter must fire at and keep all shots within the center area of paper targets set at distances of three, seven and fifteen yards, Johnson says.

The permit allows the holder to carry a maximum of two guns, and the prospective permit holder must demonstrate proficiency with his or her chosen gun(s) during this live fire qualification test. The classroom and range qualification course must be taken and passed before the application is filed for the concealed weapons permit. Concealed weapons classes are given twice a week to between 60 and 100 students.

The retailer also conducts an 11-hour security certification class for those seeking employment as security guards. The Gun Store’s owner, Robert M. Irwin, has authored an excellent little guide entitled, “Guidelines For Carrying Concealable Firearms In Nevada.” Available for sale within the store, it is well worth its modest cost of $1.95.

While anti-gun world leaders, such as Great Britain’s Tony Blair proclaim their people “Do not have guns - and do not want them,” the visitors to The Gun Store’s range tell a different story. A large percentage of the foreign tourists renting guns at this range are from that gun-banning country.

The Gun Store is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking in front of the facility. The address is 2900 East Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89121. It is just 3-1/2 miles from such major hotels as the MGM Grand, Tropicana and Excalibur. From the Strip, just take Tropicana Avenue East past the airport. The store will be on your left, marked by a large blue and white sign. Their telephone number is: 702-454- 1110. FAX: 702-454-6129.

American Shooters Supply: The Largest Range Facility

Las Vegas’ American Shooters Supply and Gun Club, Inc. is billed as the largest indoor shooting range and firearms training center in the southwest.

In conjunction with the SOF Convention, a special HK MP5 submachine gun class is offered. Taught by Robert William Olague II, an HK master MP5 instructor, the four hour course involves the expenditure of 250 rounds of ammo. Limited to 10 students per class, the tuition is $250 per registrant.

Originally founded in 1984, the facility’s 25 newly remodeled shooting lanes are divided into 15 lanes at a maximum distance of 25 yards for handguns and 10 lanes for rifle shooting at a maximum distance at 50 yards. The rifle range, said to be the only indoor range in the city of Las Vegas where centerfire rifle calibers can be fired, can handle anything under 4,000 feet-per-second which excludes .50 caliber rifles, but allows the firing of virtually everything else, says rangemaster Jesse Dalton. Participants in the SOF 3-gun match are invited to visit and sight-in their rifles, shotguns and handguns.

Submachine Gun Rentals

The submachine guns available for rental (at the time of the author’s visit) included a Thompson Model 28 in .45 ACP, a S&W M76, an UZI carbine, and a Sten Mk. II. Five more fully-automatic firearms are on the way and may be available for rental by the time of the SOF convention, including a HK MP5 SD, and an M3A1 “Grease Gun.”

Machine gun rentals cost $30 for those chambered for 9mm ammunition and $50 for shooting the .45 caliber Thompson. These prices include 50 rounds of ammunition, use of eye and ear protection, lane fee, paper target and basic instruction. Additional shooting time can be had for the cost of the ammo which must be purchased from the range.

Minors with a parent or guardian present can shoot any gun they own on the store’s range, as well as rent handguns and submachine guns. Unaccompanied persons under 21 cannot rent submachine guns.

Rifle rentals, including semi-auto versions of the AK-47 rifle, cost $30 with 20 rounds of factory ammo. For those desiring to shoot their own handguns, cost to use the handgun range is $6, plus $1 for rental of eye and ear protection and targets are just fifty cents each. Customers can use their own ammo with personally-owned handguns, but no incendiary, tracer or armor piercing loads are permitted for obvious reasons.

Club memberships are available at $200 per year, which includes free use of the pistol and rifle ranges, free eye and ear protection rental, and free submachine gun, handgun and rifle rentals, although members must pay for the ammo consumed. Members also enjoy a 10% discount off all merchandise offered at the range, including ammunition, targets and accessories.

American Shooters Supply and Gun Club plays host for the “Outdoor Writer’s Shoot” each year the firearms industry’s major trade event, the S.H.O.T. Show, comes to town. Firearms writers are given an opportunity to fire newly introduced guns and test their shooting skills against one another during this annual shooting event. Prizes are awarded to the best shooters.

Next door in the retail store, a full line of sporting and police equipment is available, as well as body armor. The store is a fully licensed Class 3 firearms dealer, and can order virtually any fully-automatic firearm a customer may desire, Dalton adds.

Four full-time NRA certified firearms instructors are employed at the range. Due to the growing business volume, four more are expected to be hired soon. Since Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, recently outlawed the firing of guns outdoors (except on an approved range) this ended the practice of many local shooters of driving out to the wide open areas of the desert to shoot. This county move has resulted in an increase in business for all the area ranges.

Course Offerings

The facility’s instructors offer a wide range of courses including the aforementioned HK MP-5 course, as well as basic rifle, and expandable baton training. For conventioneers bringing the wife or non-shooting friends or relatives along, these folks may be interested in American Shooters Supply’s Basic Handgun Orientation course. Developed to be of interest to the beginner or even the seasoned competitor looking to brush up on shooting skills, this two hour course is designed to take all students to a higher level of firearms proficiency.

The course includes personalized instruction with a male or female certified instructor, ammunition, range fees, targets and even the gun rental if you did not bring a firearm along. Class time is divided into one hour in the classroom and one hour on the range. The tuition is $55 per person and both afternoon and evening classes are available by appointment.

CQB Course

Of particular interest is the Close Quarters Handgun Course presented by American Shooters Supply. The course has as its goal to develop students’ firearms skills to be able to bring a favorable conclusion to a high-intensity armed confrontation. The course objectives are the teaching of survival shooting techniques, mental conditioning, advanced marksmanship, and to strike a balance between speed and accuracy.

The course is taught by Joseph N. Teti, who has nine years experience in both the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army Special Operations forces. He has seen combat in Beirut, Panama, Haiti and numerous classified operations. Teti has attended 15 formal military and civilian schools in special operations including: U.S. Army Special Forces qualification course (weapons); U.S. Army Special Forces military free-fall H.A.L.O. parachutist course; U.S. Army and U.S. Navy combat diver qualification courses; and the U.S. Army close quarters combat instructor course.

In addition, Teti attended the U.S. Army Special Forces operational detachment-Delta assessment and selection course; Countermeasures Tactical Institute tactical firearms urban combat course and close quarters handgun course; Investigative Specialist Executive Security School; Front Sight handgun instructor course; and he is an NRA certified pistol, personal protection and home protection instructor. Teti has also performed unconventional warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, and counter-terrorism missions abroad.

Tuition is $300 and class sizes are limited to 10 students. For more information, contact American Shooters Supply or Joseph Teti at 702-663-0288.

For Nevada residents, American Shooters Supply’s training instructors conduct state certified concealed weapons permit classes. All course materials are provided with the exception of the firearms you intend to carry. Private, as well as group classes are offered.

Dalton points out Nevada allows no reciprocity on out-of-state issued concealed weapons permits. So, even if your home state has issued you a permit, you will not be able to use it to carry concealed in Nevada.

State concealed weapons classes are 12 hours in length, divided into 4 hours on laws related to firearms and self-defense, 4 hours on firearms nomenclature, and 4 hours on the fundamentals of marksmanship and range time. Nevada is a “preclusion” state, Dalton adds, meaning one threatened must use all reasonable means to avoid the use of deadly force.

One who employs deadly force can only do so lawfully if it can be proven his/her life was in jeopardy, that the antagonist had the ability to cause death or grievous bodily harm, along with the means to do so (such as with a deadly weapon) and that the encounter could not be precluded by escape or other methods, Dalton cautions.

American Shooters Supply & Gun Club, 3440 Arville Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102. The hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Telephone 702-362-1223.

Discount Firearms, Inc. & Range: Worth The Trip

Though further away from the Strip than most other ranges covered in this SHOT special section this ailer and range operator located in the town of Henderson, Nevada more than makes up for approximately 30-minute drive with its low prices and friendly service.

This approximately 5,000-square-foot store is run by Mike O’Donoghue and his wife Anna. The range contains eight shooting lanes all at 15 yards maximum target distance. Only handgun caliber guns may be fired.

The full-auto firearms available for rental (at the time of the author’s visit included: a Thompson Model 21 in .45 ACP, an M2 Carbine in .30 caliber; an HK MP5 9mm; a 9mm UZI, and an HKMP5SD submachine gun. There is also a variety of handguns for rent on the range. The price for submachine gun rentals is just $20 which includes a full 30 round magazine.

The range fee for shooting a handgun is only $6 and for those 55 and over it is $3. Handgun shooters are not required to purchase their ammo at the range. Use of eye and ear protection is provided free. Range memberships are available for an annual $150 per person fee. Couples can join at a rate of $250 for both partners.

Discount Firearms is also a Class 3 dealer and there were three submachine guns for sale. These consist of a MAC M11 with suppressor, a Vector Arms UZI, and a MAC M10 in 9mm. Virtually any Class 3 item can be ordered for state residents. For handling the paperwork only on a Class 3 firearm transfer, a modest $50 fee is imposed.

The store is a local law enforcement distributor for Glock and Heckler & Koch products, so a wide range of police merchandise is available. One of the most popular long guns with local police, is the Colt AR15A3 which can be sold only to law enforcement officers. Being a police-friendly establishment, any commissioned law enforcement officer, from any part of the country may use the store’s range free-of-charge.

Handgun Training Class

In addition to gun rentals, Discount Firearm’s concealed weapons class which qualifies graduates to apply for a state concealed weapons permit, is so comprehensive, that visiting shooters already licensed to carry in other states, or contemplating obtaining a concealed weapons permit in the near future, may wait to take the 12- hour class to learn what is involved when one carries a gun, or as reinforcement of prior learning.

The cost is just $85, which includes ammunition for the live fire segment. The courses are taught by a network of six NRA certified firearms instructors twice a month, usually on Saturdays. Experienced shooters usually improve their performance by about 20% after taking the class, O’Donoghue has found.

The course content includes a review of handgun knowledge, safe handling and cleaning; handgun safety and child-proofing; handgun shooting and firing positions; ammunition nomenclature; firearms and the law; laws related to concealed weapons permit holders; avoiding criminal attack; and, controlling violent confrontations.

Required course materials are: a notepad; firearm cleaning kit (available at the range); handgun(s) you plan to qualify with (hey must be stored in a holster or carrying case unloaded. All ammunition must remain in original package. If you have not yet chosen your qualification firearm or feel more practice is needed, the qualification firing may be performed at a later date); eye and ear protection (Available at the range. Though earplugs are accepted, they are not recommended for use on the store’s indoor range); Practice ammunition (Ammo for the qualification firing is provided. How much practice ammunition students consume depends on their skill level).

O’Donoghue mentions one of the most important keys to shooting well is to remember the “BRASS” approach. Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze. If this method is followed, virtually anyone can become a good shooter.

Though Nevada is a “shall issue” concealed carry permit state, applicants can be denied the permit for any of the following reasons: having an outstanding arrest warrant; felony conviction; a judicial declaration of incompetency or insanity; habitual abuse of alcohol or drugs; conviction for a violent crime including a misdemeanor; conviction for domestic violence or stalking; been subject to a restraining order, or other order of protection involving domestic violence; currently on parole or probation; pending entry of a felony conviction or recent suspension of a sentence for a felony; pending criminal charges; or, making false statements on the permit application.

O’Donoghue is a great believer in self-defense training for women and is willing to schedule one-on-one training with ladies. Healso believes children need to be educated about the dangers of firearms and their proper use. Free shooting instruction is offered to youngsters with .22 rimfire guns while under parental supervision. “Today’s kids are my future customers, and if I can help them develop the self-discipline and responsibility needed to become good shooters, these positive character traits will carry over into their endeavors later in life,” O’Donoghue says proudly.

If you visit on Monday or Thursday evening, you can expect to see a group of about 60 retirees on the range. They are known as the “Senior Militia,” and regularly get together to shoot at the facility.

The literature rack at the door, contains the latest firearms legislative briefings from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, as well as newsletter from local shooters organizations and firearms manufacturer’s catalogs. There is also a lounge area with restrooms, soda and snack machines, a water fountain and free coffee.

To Visit

From the Las Vegas Strip area, take Tropicana Boulevard East to the Freeway entrance and get on 93/95 heading east and follow signs to the Freeway southbound. Get off at the Sunset Boulevard exit and make a left at the traffic light. Proceed under the overpass until you reach Boulder Highway. Make a right and the store will be about a mile down the highway on the left hand side of the road.

Discount Firearms, Inc. & Range, 1212 North Boulder Highway, Henderson, Nevada 89015. Telephone 702-567-1158. Internet address: www.vegasnet.net. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The range closes one hour before the store.

Machine Gun Kelly’s Gun Vault

Las Vegas, Nevada, is known for its sunny and dry climate, legalized gambling and variety of entertainment. A lesser known aspect of the city is the large amount of dealers in Class 3 firearms, particularly the full-auto variety. One such dealer is Kelly D. Carn, better known as “Machine Gun Kelly,” co-operator of a store called the “Gun Vault.”

Originally from Utah, Carn was formerly a restorer of classic automobiles before joining the approximately 3,000 families per month who are moving to the Las Vegas valley. Initially after arrival, Carn managed a couple of car rental agencies but soon grew tired of being an employee and yearned to have his own business. Drawing upon his lifelong interest in firearms, he started renting table space at area gun shows where he sold firearms accessories such as stocks, scopes and ammo.

He soon developed a specialty of selling parts and accessories for the SKS and AK-47 type rifles which were being imported in large quantities at the time. To differentiate himself from his competitors, Kelly developed sources of supply for some of the more rare parts for these rifles. He favored these rifles, as he was impressed with their durability as they require much less cleaning and maintenance than do rifles such as the AR-15, which he says require much more maintenance to retain reliability. Due to his specialty in selling parts for the AK rifle series, Kelly Carn developed the nickname “Machine Gun Kelly” at the gun shows.

Having achieved a great deal of success at the gun shows, Carn decided to become a storefront dealer and applied for the necessary federal and local licenses. He also took in a partner, Richard C. Weber. Their store, located in a small shopping center, opened its doors in July 1997. In an interesting sidenote, Carn mentions that when he first applied for his licenses, he intended to use “Machine Gun Kelly’s” as the name of the business. He was advised, however, by the licensing authorities that his applications would not be approved if that name were used. Thus, he chose the alternative name, the “Gun Vault,” and his advertising notes it is owned by “Machine Gun Kelly.”

Las Vegas is a machine gun town, as it contains quite a few Class 3 dealers. For those wanting to get their feet wet and try firing a machine gun for the first time, there are a number of indoor ranges from which to choose that rent full-auto firearms for use on the premises. Residents with a clean background can readily obtain the required signature of a chief law enforcement officer which is required on the federal transfer documents to purchase a machine gun, according to Carn.

Author’s note: obtaining the required signature of the local chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) has been a major stumbling block to full-auto ownership in many areas in which such firearms are otherwise legal. Some CLEO’s have adopted policies in which they have refused to sign the machine gun acquisition documents, citing liability concerns in case the buyer should use the gun for unlawful purposes or their own feelings that no one should own a machine gun.

Carn says the majority of his business is in conventional hunting, self-defense and target shooting firearms. Class 3 guns make up 15% to 20% of his sales and his stock of such firearms varies from as few as 30 to as many as 75 guns, at any one time. An increasing amount of customers are buying full-auto firearms not for shooting, but as financial investments, Since Congress imposed a freeze on the number of legal machine guns in circulation in 1986, prices have gone up in the years since. Carn says machine gun prices have risen an average of 25% over the last year alone.

While the store’s inventory varies, one of the most popular full-auto firearms is the MAC machine pistol series, particularly the MAC-11, originally produced by Military Armament Corp. of Marietta, Georgia. “They can still be usually purchased for under $1,000 and they shoot really fast,” Carn comments. Also popular are the Ruger AC556 rifles, as well as the ubiquitous AK-47.

Carn has developed a certain amount of expertise in handling the transfer process for machine gun buyers and says he can usually get approval in as little as seven to eight weeks. He questions why the transfer process should take so long as there is now an “instant check” system in place for reviewing the backgrounds of buyers of conventional firearms.

The MAK-98

An NFA manufacturer, Carn has developed a semi-auto modification of the popular MAK-90 rifle. Called the MAK-98, a new Norinco-manufactured MAK-90 rifle is modified by pressing out the barrel, shortening it to nine inches in length and threading the muzzle. The gas tube, gas piston and both handguards are shortened accordingly. The front sight is sectioned and welded to the top of the gas block.

A dummy suppressor is then threaded onto the muzzle and welded in place, returning the barrel to 16-1/2 inches and thus keeping the firearm within the status of a legal semi-auto rifle. The entire front-end is hot-blued and then reinstalled. Finally, the rifle is test- fired to ensure its function.

When the finished MAK-98 is compared to an unmodified MAK-90, the overall barrel length will be found to have increased slightly by about one-quarter inch. If the finished MAK-98 were compared to a pre-ban AK-47 pistol, the barrel and handguards on the MAK-98 will be found to be actually shorter than those on the pistol.

While the present store comprises about 900-square-feet, Carn and his partner are considering expanding into the space next door, which would give them an additional 1,000- square-feet of space. Further down the horizon, the partners may build their own range. While there are a number of ranges in town, all allow shooting of submachine guns only. Carn and his partner’s vision is to build the first and only range where belt-fed machine guns would be available for rental use.

Aficionados of Class 3 firearms will find much of interest in this store. If a visit to Las Vegas is in your future plans, you should stop by when in town. There is a wide variety of conventional firearms available, as well as a selection of specialty ammunition.

“Machine Gun Kelly’s” Gun Vault, 1631 E. Sunset Road #C-109, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119 Telephone: 702-837-8383. Web site: www.machinegunkellys.com.

Nevada Concealed & Custom Weapons: By Appointment

If you are looking for the unusual in high quality fully-automatic firearms, Nevada Concealed and Custom Weapons, should be on your shopping list while you’re in town.

In business since 1997, general manager Dan Carter says the store considers itself a specialty shop giving individualized attention to each customer on a one-on-one basis in fulfilling firearms needs-be it a self-defense handgun, or a collectible sound-suppressed full-auto. You must plan ahead, however, if you intend to visit, as customers are seen by appointment only, usually with 24 hours advance notice.

Nevada Concealed and Custom Weapons is an authorized AWC suppressor dealer and distributor. AWC manufactures wipe-less suppressors which obviate the arduous and time-consuming process of sending suppressors back to the manufacturer to be cleaned. There is also a good selection of Mad Dog-brand ceramic non-magnetic tactical knives, Gun Glove-brand Kydex holsters and Coronado Leather Goods.

The Inventory

Carter says he tries to stock the unusual in Class 3 firearms, items that cannot be found elsewhere. The inventory (at the time of the author’s visit), included: a sound-suppressed Beretta M9 Special Edition pistol built to NATO military specifications and packaged with a full range of accessories; a Sturm, Ruger 10/22 .22 rimfire rifle with sound suppressor; a pre-ban Steyr-AUG rifle with removable barrel; a Stoner SR-14 semi-auto rifle; a MAC M-10 9mm submachine gun; as well as an exceedingly rare Thompson 1928A2 .22 rimfire submachine gun built by Auto-Ordnance Corp.

Also noted was a Benelli Super 90 entry gun with pistol grip and 14-inch barrel; a MAC M-11 9mm submachine gun with suppressor; an interesting TAC-1 .45 ACP submachine gun with built-in combination lock built by Demro Products of Manchester, Connecticut; an UZI Model A, 9mm submachine gun with rare hard-chrome finish; and, an AR-15 9mm submachine gun.

This retailer’s policy of individualized customer service extends to the training needs of clients as well. Since Nevada passed a “shall issue” concealed weapons permit law in 1995, a great deal of interest has been shown by the local public in obtaining self-defense firearms as well as in learning how to properly use such arms in the defense of life. Thus, two NRA certified firearms instructors are on staff who offer the required training necessary to obtain a state-issued concealed weapons permit.

One advantage for state residents in obtaining the concealed weapon permit, Carter points out, is that permit holders are exempt from Las Vegas’ five day waiting period on purchase of their first handgun. All firearms with barrels under 12-inches (meaning all handguns) are required to be registered within Clark County, which encompasses the Las Vegas and Henderson areas, regardless of whether or not the owner holds a carry permit.

While there is no firearms range on the premises, Carter says arrangements have been made with several area ranges to allow customers to do the required live fire qualification segment of the licensing process. These same ranges are utilized for those clients considering the purchase of a fully-automatic firearm and want to do some test-firing before a buying decision is made.

Training Courses

Firearms training is also offered through an affiliation with the HALO Group, providing weapons and tactics, VIP and dignitary services and security consulting. The group was created with the philosophy that its students stake their lives on the training they receive. Thus, the training and operating techniques taught are the most current and up-to-date available. It is believed this can only be accomplished by relying on the experience of an instructional staff of professional operators.

HALO Group has brought together a staff that brings over seventy-five years of combined experience from the law enforcement, military, and special operations fields. This diverse experience gives the organization the ability to teach techniques and tactics that are not only current, but are used daily by operators all over the world.

The courses offered are designed to improve and challenge students’ skills, regardless of their level of experience. In a world of escalating violence, HALO Group’s intensive training courses and programs provide the tactical advantage to not only survive, but to dominate, and ultimately win,, those violent encounters. In a gunfight, second place is not an option.

The instructional staff includes Gabe Suarez, a police officer in Santa Monica, California for over 12 years. A founding member of his agency’s SWAT unit, he is a writer for firearms journals.

Instructor Marc Fleishmann, is a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. With over 25 years experience in special enforcement functions, tactical training and surveillance, he is known worldwide for his work with police and military units.

Instructor Gary Rovarino is a retired sergeant with over 30 years experience with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He has 20 years experience as a training officer and is internationally recognized and has lectured and trained police and military agencies throughout the world. Additional instructional staff come from a variety of backgrounds.

Since a training program can only be as good as the instructional staff delivering the curriculum, the HALO Group believes that no single instructor knows everything there is to know about tactics and personal combat and thus students are exposed to a variety of philosophies. When the organization was formed, a single objective was in mind. That is, to bring together the very best operators from diverse disciplines.

The training organization’s cadre of instructors has applied their knowledge repeatedly during their professional careers-so they know what works, and what doesn’t. Tactical knowledge, practical real-world experience, and the ability to impart that information to students is what the HALO Group has to offer.

Classes Offered

Classes open to the general public include: one day tactical pistol, shotgun and rifle instruction; two day intermediate tactical pistol, shotgun and rifle classes; and three day CQB pistol, rifle and shotgun courses. Other classes are a two day advanced tactics offering, a two day tactical concealed carry pistol class, and a five day dignitary/VIP protection course.

Courses open to members of the military or police agencies only include: H&K MP5 operator intermediate (3 days); MP5 operator advanced (5 days); MP5 instructor (5 days); high risk warrant service (3 days); covert movement in urban and rural settings (4 days); hostage rescue (3 days); hostage rescue from vehicles and buses (3 days); hostage rescue from trains (1 day); hostage rescue from aircraft (2 days); dignitary/VIP protection (5 days); and, active countermeasures (2 days).

For additional information on the HALO Group’s schedules and course locations, contact K. McMahon by telephone at 877-HALOGRP, or via e-mail at training@the halogroup.com Or visit the organization’s website at: www.thehalogroup.com

Since Nevada Concealed & Custom Weapons sees customers only by prior appointment, you must call ahead of time to visit. To reach the store from the Las Vegas Strip area, take Tropicana Boulevard Eastbound to the Freeway. Follow signs to Highway 93/95 East to the Freeway Southbound. Exit at Sunset Road and follow it past the Sunset Station casino. At Valley Verde Street make a right turn and the store is located in the white building on the right, just down the street.

Nevada Concealed & Custom Weapons, 12-B Sunset Way, Suite 214, Henderson, Nevada 89014. Telephone: 702-456-4055. FAX: 702-434-5002. E-mail: brian@nevadaccw.com. Website: www.nevadaccw.com.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V3N3 (December 1999)
and was posted online on October 9, 2015


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