The popularity of public shooting ranges continues to surge in North Carolina.
According to NewsObserver.com, three outdoor ranges have opened this year, all of which have been either built or renovated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The ranges are: the R. Wayne Bailey/Caswell Game Land Shooting Range, Flintlock Valley in the Uwharrie National Forest near Troy and John F. Lentz Hunter Education Complex at Ellerbe in the Sandhills.
The commission plans to open two more ranges in 2015, in Cleveland and Pender counties.
The Cleveland range will be the biggest shooting range in the state when all is said and done, NewsObserver.com reported. It will have a 10-lane, 250-yard rifle range, a 12-lane, 50-yard pistol range, two skeet and trap ranges, and a 3-D archery range. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is also contributing $1 million to a $2 million project which will feature four additional pistol ranges.
Flintlock Valley, which just opened in the spring, is quickly becoming a popular shooting range in North Carolina. It features seven stations on the 100-yard rifle/shotgun/muzzleloader range. There’s also a 25-yard, four-station pistol range.
“Every Saturday, I’m slammed pack with people,” said safety officer Garrett Goforth.
Erik Christofferson, chief of the Division of Engineering and Lands Management in Raleigh, told NewsObserver.com that the impetus for building the ranges came from an increase in firearms sales — which means more revenue from the federal excise tax — and target practice on state game lands which led to safety and noise concerns from nearby homeowners.
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