Tucked away at the end of a winding drive off Whitemarsh Boulevard is the FreeState Gun Range. It’s the last suite of an office building with few tenants, and a giant “FOR LEASE” sign hangs on the brick building’s east wall. Walking through the front door, you wouldn’t know you’re at a shooting range until the loud pop of gunfire erupts from behind a back door. The walls are painted a pale green, and the floors are a light rustic wood. Display cases dot the floor, showcasing pistols and rifles, gun sights and holsters. There’s even a pool table.
On most days, you’ll find the range’s resident trainer and gunsmith (or “gunologist,” as his business card reads) hunched over his workbench behind the front counter. Robert Markert, who most refer to as Dr. Bob, fixes guns when they’re “sick.” A former registered nurse, he’s treated more than 400 guns since the range opened, a little more than a year ago. And while many swear by his attention to detail and craftsmanship, Markert’s skills stretch beyond the workbench: he is one of the best marksmen in the state. Read more