Bear Arms Wisconsin is not your typical shooting range.
Take a step through its front entrance and — aside from the muffled sound of gunshots — it’s hard to immediately tell that the 11,000-square-foot facility in Mequon houses eight, 25-yard lanes for pistol and rifle target practice.
There’s a fire in the fireplace, complimentary coffee brewing, and a massage chair and paraffin wax hand treatment along the back wall of what resembles a tastefully-decorated beauty boutique. Grooming and skin care products for both men and women are on display.
Owner Cheryle Rebholz likes to call Bear Arms a “guntry club.” She, with her husband Mark, opened the business just over a year ago as Ozaukee County’s first indoor “boutique” shooting range.
Also the longtime owner of Faces II salon in Mequon, Rebholz has leveraged her beauty industry background to appeal to what she says is an underserved, yet fast-growing segment of the firearms market: women.
“I want customers to protect themselves, their loved ones and their personal property,” Rebholz said. “It’s the last resort, but if you opt that you want to protect yourself that way, come here and get trained and know what you’re doing … it’s not the TV, it’s not the movies.”