By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

Learning proper gun safety and handling through training simulations is the purpose of a new, virtual-reality shooting range which opened recently at USA Town Center’s Southern Survival Military Surplus.
Powered by a MILO (Multiple Interactive Learning Objective) operating system, the range provides training through hunting, fantasy or real-life scenarios for both civilians and law enforcement.
“People buy firearms, but have no idea how to use them. You can receive a conceal-and-carry permit with little to no training, but we encourage people that buy firearms to be responsible and learn how to properly use them,” said Southern Survival owner Don Lankford. “We have a Second Amendment right, but we also have a right to get ourselves trained.”
Equipped with a Glock pistol or M4 carbine rifle, up to four participants at a time can practice loading and unloading the gun, proper holding and carrying techniques, as well as sighting and shooting the weapon.
Once trained, people can enjoy simulations which include deer hunting, target-range shooting or clearing a zombie horde from a metropolitan area.
Lankford added that his business has already used the range to train police officers from the cities of Opelika, Auburn, Lanett and Valley. Situations available only for officers through the machine include domestic violence calls, home invasions and routine traffic stops.
“You can’t get this kind of training in real life without risking your life or someone else’s. Here, you can get the training, and make a mistake, and do the judgment,” Lankford said. “Hopefully, that will apply to them out in the field and save their life or someone else’s.”
Lankford said the range will also be open to members of its NRA certification courses for training.
For more information or range pricing options and availability, call (334) 737-6561. The business is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and is located at 1220 Fox Run Ave.