Carson City residents rally against partial closure of local shooting range
Carson City held a public information meeting Wednesday to provide updates on the partial closure of the City’s Rifle and Pistol Range.
Since then, Chris Pattison, a regular at the range, has collected over 1,400 signatures on a petition to reopen the range seven days a week.
Carson City ward 3 supervisor, Lori Bagwell, explained that the closure was due to reports of stray bullets flying into areas surrounding the range.
As a result, the City is only opening the range to law enforcement, military members and certified gun clubs Monday through Friday. Each entity is required to make a reservation.
The range is open to everyone on the weekend, however.
Dozens of shooters packed a room at the Carson City Community Center to express opposition to the new partial closure.
Many demanded to see ballistic evidence that stray bullets were flying off the range, which Bagwell could not provide.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said that the only report that he has seen was that of an "unsubstantiated claim" of a bullet hitting a truck near the range.
At the meeting, a board of 11 bullets was displayed at the front of the room. They were supposedly found near a landfill adjacent to the range.
However, Bagwell said there was no ballistic evidence to prove the bullets originated at the range.
Carson City parks and recreation director, Jennifer Budge, told News 4- Fox 11 in an interview that the temporary schedule at the range is a result of the City using "an abundance of caution".
“We don’t want anyone to get hurt. It’s all about public safety. It’s about the safety of the staff at the landfill and people that use it every day, and the people that use the range. It's an important part of the community, but we want to make sure that the facility is safe as well as all the adjacent properties,” Budge said.
The City has requested the assistance of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Range Technical Team to evaluate the facility and provide solutions. Bagwell said they hope to have an NRA rep out to examine the range by the end of the year.
In addition, the City's funding partner, Nevada Department of Wildlife, has requested a second assessment by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Budge said a "working group" will be created for those who wish to help the City find a solution. Anyone who wants to join is asked to email Jennifer Budge at firstname.lastname@example.org.