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Posted: 7/12/2005 9:17:40 AM EDT
Federal Gun Ranges Hit With Requests for Access
Alan Korwin, Gun Laws of America

Activists around the country are beginning to probe federal shooting ranges, seeking public access, if my inbound emails are any measure. This follows release of news from Bloomfield Press that federal law specifically allows such use (linked at end). So far, authorities have reportedly been resisting the public's interest in following the law, and that's putting it nicely.
No one appears to be surprised by the stonewalling. Some of these target shooters have actually been motivated by the resistance they have encountered, saying it is a good arena for "shoe-leather activism." The reward of having a lot of new places to go shooting has also encouraged people to act.

One leverage point was brought up by an attorney. The law specifically says that range fees, which may be charged in some cases, "shall be credited to the appropriation available for the operation and maintenance of that rifle range and shall be available for the operation and maintenance of that rifle range." In plain English, that means the range keeps the money.

Normally, fees are taken away from the unit that collects them, and put in a general fund for all government offices to spend. Money staying at the range is a strong incentive to range operators who might otherwise be reluctant to comply with the federal law.

Wiggle room has been found by some ranges claiming they are pistol ranges, and not rifle ranges. The law is limited to rifle ranges, an undefined term. If rifles are or have ever been used on the range, the authorities would be hard pressed to claim it is not a rifle range. Carbines are rifles. The Uzi carbine popular with some federal officials is technically a rifle, since it is designed to be fired from the shoulder, even though it shoots a 9mm cartridge. The official definition of a rifle is in 18 USC 921:

"(7) The term 'rifle' means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger."

The question of federal-shooting-range access seems to be showing potential of becoming a significant national issue, even if only a limited number of shooters nationwide decide to keep up the pressure. Reports are no doubt being made to higher-ups, about calls received from civilians interested in using the ranges.

The Sandra Day O'Connor courthouse range in Phoenix, cited in the first news release, was mistakenly built too short for federal agents to use for qualifications. This may bolster their "pistol range" exemption. Another wild problem in the $150 million facility is reported by a local activist seeking access -- gunfire at the range apparently reverberates throughout the 58,000 square foot building, causing them grief when used by U.S. Marshals, who control the range.

People who contact local federal ranges would be wise perhaps to expect some resistance, dodging, denials, footdragging and even bad attitude, but the law is the law.

Despite a constant stream of scorn and even bigotry from the news media and the political "left" (a euphemism for socialist-style governance), guns are a wholesome and valuable facet of American life, and routine practice at proper facilities is a good thing.

Important laws such as 10 USC 4309 (this federal-range access law) were enacted so citizens would have a safe place to practice, could improve their marksmanship skills, increase national readiness in the event of an emergency, and get full value out of facilities paid for by the public. It and similar laws are direct recognition -- and implementation -- of a right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Marksmanship has been practiced by the American public since the nation was founded

Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:21:35 AM EDT
They're building one behind my house with Federal cash.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:27:24 AM EDT
tag. I'm going to see where there are any near my house.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:30:15 AM EDT
I hate indoor ranges.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:32:51 AM EDT
Is there any way to find out what ranges are available?

Is this something the GAO would have?
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:38:31 AM EDT
Where I live, there have to be a bunch of them. I'm on this like a hobo on a sandwich!

G
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:39:26 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:41:22 AM EDT
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?
Imagine the can of worms that would open.

Would be nice to be able to go to the range that the NSA uses on Ft Meade at my leisure.

How many of the nationally recognized pro-gun organizations are standing behind this?

NRA? If they were I'd get excited...

JPFO? Would certainly give them someone to take to court and sue if they resisted... IIRC they live for that shit.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:51:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?I don't think that military ranges would be considered "federal ranges' for this, because military bases don't have federal LEO's using the ranges.
Imagine the can of worms that would open.

Would be nice to be able to go to the range that the NSA uses on Ft Meade at my leisure.

How many of the nationally recognized pro-gun organizations are standing behind this?

NRA? If they were I'd get excited...

JPFO? Would certainly give them someone to take to court and sue if they resisted... IIRC they live for that shit.

Link Posted: 7/12/2005 9:54:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?
Imagine the can of worms that would open.

Would be nice to be able to go to the range that the NSA uses on Ft Meade at my leisure.

How many of the nationally recognized pro-gun organizations are standing behind this?

NRA? If they were I'd get excited...

JPFO? Would certainly give them someone to take to court and sue if they resisted... IIRC they live for that shit.



Nothing on the NRA/ILA news.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:00:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2005 10:01:26 AM EDT by 338winmag]

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?I don't think that military ranges would be considered "federal ranges' for this, because military bases don't have federal LEO's using the ranges.
Imagine the can of worms that would open.

Would be nice to be able to go to the range that the NSA uses on Ft Meade at my leisure.

How many of the nationally recognized pro-gun organizations are standing behind this?

NRA? If they were I'd get excited...

JPFO? Would certainly give them someone to take to court and sue if they resisted... IIRC they live for that shit.




Since when, in this country is the military not federal? Is it not supported by "federal" tax dollars? If it isn't federal, then it is state, local, or private.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:03:51 AM EDT
Does this mean I can go back to Camp Lejeune and not be at the range at 5am, and in Jeans and a t-shirt?

Woooo-hooooo!


JK, but it would be nice.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:07:24 AM EDT
Actually, it does say in the actual law that this includes military ranges, so long as it does not interfere with military training.

Many posts do ahve ranges open to the public. I know Ft Gordon does.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:10:07 AM EDT
It only takes one dollor of federal funds to make the range "open" to the public.


10 USC § 4309. Rifle ranges: availability for use by members and civilians

(a) Ranges available. -- All rifle ranges constructed in whole or in part with funds provided by the United States may be used by members of the armed forces and by persons capable of bearing arms.

(b) Military ranges. --

(1) In the case of a rifle range referred to in subsection (a) that is located on a military installation, the Secretary concerned may establish reasonable fees for the use by civilians of that rifle range to cover the material and supply costs incurred by the armed forces to make that rifle range available to civilians.

(2) Fees collected pursuant to paragraph (1) in connection with the use of a rifle range shall be credited to the appropriation available for the operation and maintenance of that rifle range and shall be available for the operation and maintenance of that rifle range.

(3) Use of a rifle range referred to in paragraph (1) by civilians may not interfere with the use of the range by members of the armed forces.

(c) Regulations. -- Regulations to carry out this section with respect to a rifle range shall be prescribed, subject to the approval of the Secretary concerned, by the authorities controlling the rifle range.

Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:11:19 AM EDT
Major taggage
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:16:08 AM EDT
How do I find out the location of these ranges? I'm a persistent cuss, as there aren't a hell of alot of places to shoot around here.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:18:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2005 10:23:36 AM EDT by SmilingBandit]

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
How do I find out the location of these ranges? I'm a persistent cuss, as there aren't a hell of alot of places to shoot around here.



Wright-Patterson will and the Army Guard should have something in the state.

ETA: Newton Falls looks like the state's training area. Over 16,000 acres, I'd imagine they have one or two rifle ranges in there.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:21:40 AM EDT
Tag so i can do some research.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:24:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Actually, it does say in the actual law that this includes military ranges, so long as it does not interfere with military training.

Many posts do ahve ranges open to the public. I know Ft Gordon does.



Ft Dix (in your mouth) does too... to a degree. Their rod and gun club is open to the public for a small fee. I have my doubts the other ranges are though... and I think a lot of it really depends on the ranges being "supervised"... we all know civilian gun owners are way to stupid to shoot on a range without federal adult supervision. It not like a state park range where you can just shoot how ever you want... somehow when you step foot on federal land your IQ and ability to handle a weapon safely are left at the door.

Actually it's not just because civi's are dumb but because some ranges are kind of a big coordination nightmare. If you have someone shooting on one range another might not be able to run on the other side of it and stuff like that. So if joe civilian just starts plinking on one range without th range control personnel knowing and a unit is training near by, well, you get the idea. They pretty much need to know what's happening on "their" ranges at all times. That whole safety silliness...
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:27:39 AM EDT
The Feds in my area used my departments range.

And if you asked the Chief would let anybody use our range.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:28:01 AM EDT
There may be a whole lot more to this than meets the eye.

A whole lot of ranges are built for police departments in part with Federal grants...... grants are such a huge thing now that many departments have full or part time grant writers that do just that...write grant proposals hoping to get all they can.

So find out what the freedom of information act laws are in your area and dig up details on the funding of these local police ranges. I know of multiple ranges in SC that were built for the police with aid from the Army Reserve.... so these should fall under this law.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:32:27 AM EDT
Anyone got a list?
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:44:08 AM EDT
Tag for the list.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 10:47:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2005 10:51:32 AM EDT by Th_Inker]
As poiinted out by others already military is included and permission MUST be aquired beforehand. For safety and also because ya dont want to be caught carrying any weapons on federal land/property without authorization , really bad news for you IF ya are.

Another point is Fees. Although individual LEOs andf militarty personel usually dont pay a fee invidually , most departments/divisions pay a usage fee or some other type donation or funding/support of some type. Therefore , IF the ranges wanted to , and I am sure some will try to keep civilains out , they will find / come up with something to hinder civilains getting access.

I know of several ranges that I would love to get access to (military long ranges) , so I am " All In " for helping get Support and draw attention to this cause.

ANY links to help that could be posted here would be greatly appreciated and very usefull to all of us.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:21:48 AM EDT
also tagged for a list
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:27:20 AM EDT
In just a few minutes I found several police ranges that look like they fall under this law.

coble.house.gov/news/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=29327

www.nctimes.com/articles/2004/04/08/news/coastal/4_7_0422_24_17.txt

www.smokymountainnews.com/issues/07_04/07_07_04/fr_bryson_private_grant.html small blur at the end mentions that the police range is on land purchased with a fed grant


Police departments suck hard on the fed tit for funding in many cases.....and now may come to find out that the "free money" has its costs.

Many ranges are also built at sewage treatment plants, simply because nobody lives close due to the smell and the property is available. Look and see how many sewer systems are built with grants..... over 50%...if a grant purchased the land the range sits on, you are in.

And, by default, I guess all ranges used by the DC police or any other agency there would be affected, if the people there could actually have guns.............
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:28:41 AM EDT
I've used the range at a local National Guard base (Camp Fogarty) in the early 1990's using this law (or one similar-there was one passed back then, there was an AP piece on it).
Frankly, my club has better facilities, but we wanted to see if we could do it. The Guardsmen were very cool about the whole thing.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:29:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:32:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
How do I find out the location of these ranges? I'm a persistent cuss, as there aren't a hell of alot of places to shoot around here.



Where do you live?

I can shoot at Miami Rifle & Pistol. I'm a member but you don't have to be to attend one of the many matches in many disciplines that they hold.

There's also Clinton County Sportsmen near Wilmington.

Start shooting highpower and you can get into Camp Perry several times a year, and also into Camp Atterbery in Indiana.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:33:51 AM EDT
and another tag
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:34:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2005 11:36:51 AM EDT by Forest]

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?
Imagine the can of worms that would open.



Yes.

Ft Meade in MD has a club (civies can join - there is 1 civilian member allowed per military/federal member). You can shoot on their rifle range on the days it's open to club members (a couple of times a month).

They have also opened other ranges (to include pistol ranges) for Class 3 shoots, IDPA, and Cowboy shooting as well as the State Rifle Championship. Much of that has been stopped due to 9/11 and the fact you can't use lead on the pistol ranges anymore.

I should also point out FT Meade used to (I don't know if they still do) allow deer hunting on their land- you had to take their safety course and pass their test. It was shotgun only, and was going on at least till 10 years ago.

Quantico (USMC base) has a club - again civilians can be members, and you can shoot on their 1000y range. They have also hosted IDPA tournaments there. I also know a club that used to run their monthly IPSC handgun and rifle matches there (the rifle matches have been discontinued because the range used is needed more by the increased temp of Marine training since 9/11.

I don't know if Aberdeen has public facilities.

In any even they are not run like an unsupervised DNR range - you WILL be following established range procedures.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:35:40 AM EDT
taggage
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 11:45:23 AM EDT
.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:02:42 PM EDT
Taggage for the listage.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:06:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?I don't think that military ranges would be considered "federal ranges' for this, because military bases don't have federal LEO's using the ranges.




Quantico?
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:10:01 PM EDT
So next time I need to get prescriptions filled at Wilford Hall, should I bring my AR-15 and head over to the rifle range?
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:12:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By w4klr:
Quantico?



See my post above. I've shot at Quantico for public events, and they have a club that is open to civilian members.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:14:16 PM EDT
taggenze.

TC

Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:14:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:
Yes.

Ft Meade in MD has a club (civies can join - there is 1 civilian member allowed per military/federal member). You can shoot on their rifle range on the days it's open to club members (a couple of times a month).

Quantico (USMC base) has a club - again civilians can be members, and you can shoot on their 1000y range. They have also hosted IDPA tournaments there. I also know a club that used to run their monthly IPSC handgun and rifle matches there (the rifle matches have been discontinued because the range used is needed more by the increased temp of Marine training since 9/11.



I knew Ft Meade had/has a range as well as Quantico... just didn't knwo the extent of their public access. I thought the one at Ft. Meade was more or less turned over to NSA and other local Federal agencies. When I was stationed there we could never use the range for weapons qual... we had to drive out to some reserve range in EBF.

I could also never get a straight answer for the times that you could use the Ft. Meade range. Seemed pretty ambiguous whenever I even got an answer. I've driven past the ranges, though, and it's a pretty nice set-up.

I figured if they were all public access before 9/11 it's probably a PITA getting on them now simply because it the bases are locked down now. I guess a guest pass would do the trick though.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:18:41 PM EDT
.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:21:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By w4klr:
Quantico?



See my post above. I've shot at Quantico for public events, and they have a club that is open to civilian members.



I read that, I made it as a retort to "No federal ranges are in use on military bases"
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:27:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
I could also never get a straight answer for the times that you could use the Ft. Meade range. Seemed pretty ambiguous whenever I even got an answer.


Join the club - they have a schedule for members


I've driven past the ranges, though, and it's a pretty nice set-up.

Very nice indeed. I was real bummed out about the 'no lead bullets' rule - it really curtailed civilian use of the ranges.


I figured if they were all public access before 9/11 it's probably a PITA getting on them now simply because it the bases are locked down now.

Not too bad. My Cub Pack had our banquet at their Golf House on FT Meade. The person who had the hardest time getting on post WORKED there at NSA. It used to be tougher right after 9/11, but now they have a system and the facilities.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 12:28:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Federal? Does that then include military reservations/bases/ranges?I don't think that military ranges would be considered "federal ranges' for this, because military bases don't have federal LEO's using the ranges.
Imagine the can of worms that would open.

Would be nice to be able to go to the range that the NSA uses on Ft Meade at my leisure.

How many of the nationally recognized pro-gun organizations are standing behind this?

NRA? If they were I'd get excited...

JPFO? Would certainly give them someone to take to court and sue if they resisted... IIRC they live for that shit.




What would you call an MP?
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 1:03:09 PM EDT
I think it would be sweet to go and use the DEA, DHS, FBI, and other alphabet agencies kill houses to train in.

Link Posted: 7/12/2005 1:22:08 PM EDT
With the right instructors, that WOULD be worth the cost of the training...
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 2:10:50 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 2:18:04 PM EDT
The ranges in the Hampton Roads area so busy with .mil, I doubt you'll find any, except Camp Allen which was built by the MCEX, that are available. Hell, the .mil contracts out to civilian ranges to help handle the load.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 2:19:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hardcase:
also tagged for a list



Link Posted: 7/12/2005 2:21:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2005 2:23:37 PM EDT by sterling18]
taggy

I have a membership to Fort Dix NJ's MWR range that's open to the public, but if I find our local county's brand spanking new range is open, I'm all over that like Mike Tyson on Robin Gibbins.
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 2:22:19 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 7/12/2005 2:23:45 PM EDT
tag
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