Dispatches from gun country: ‘In guns we trust’
By Ben Philippi
The Sumner family photographed at the Knob Creek Range in West Point, Kentucky. (Photo: Ben Philippi)
The Sumner’s motto is: ‘In Guns we trust.’ Twice a year, they host the biggest machine gun shoot in the world at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky. Started by Biff Sumner (center) after he bought the range off the army in 1964, the shoot has now become a must-see event for every gun enthusiast.
My dad was inspired as a boy by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. He sported his red cowboy hat and sheep wool chaps with cap pistols holstered on each side. That’s what started the love for guns in the Sumner family.
My Grandfather and Grandmother opened up a toy store/sporting goods/hardware store. Later on my Dad and Grandfather bought a piece of property (owned by the navy) at an auction; that became Knob Creek Gun Range. Dad started the range in 1964.
My brother and I would collect range fees for our allowance. As kids we grew up shooting guns and hunting at a very young age. As the range grew, Dad started the machine gun shoot that evolved into the world’s largest machine gun shoot and military gun show