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FL – TRAINING – Breaking Ground newsletter: A local shot at the billion-dollar gun business

Guns are big business. For example, shooting ranges alone are a growing $2 billion a year industry in the United States, according to Ibis World researchers. A bigger piece of that pie could come to Collier County if a property owner is successful in realizing his dream of opening a new private gun club. That path became clearer after an old prison went up in smoke recently on Collier’s northeastern edge, according to Laura Layden’s reporting for naplesnews.com. The prison near Immokalee burned to the ground in a training exercise involving multiple agencies including Greater Naples Fire Rescue. Owner Matthew Pitel, who had a permit in hand from Collier County to demolish the building, offered it up for firefighter training first. Land records show Pitel purchased roughly 20 acres — at 20201 State Road 29 — in March for $400,000 after a foreclosure. It’s the former home of the Copeland Road Prison, also known as the Deep Lake Prison. Pitel is not talking publicly about his plans just yet, but information he submitted to Collier County shows he plans to operate an “education gun club” through a company called Deep 50, which would sell annual memberships.  [full article]

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