I'll be heading down to El Paso on the 29th from Phoenix, Az and am wondering what the climate for shooters is like down there? I currently have an Az CCW; and understand that Texas honors the permit; however since I am going to become a resident do I have to get a Texas CHL right away? Also any big shooting facilities in the area?
Thanks in advance for any answers!
I've been stationed in El Paso for the past 3 years, so I can tell you a little about shooting here,
and El Paso in general. Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club is a good range, check out this un-hot link:
Weather is good, very little rain here, and temperatures are mild in the winter (it was 72 degrees
today on Christmas Eve-Eve), but rather warm in the summer, topping out around 110 or so at the
Very worst part about shooting here is the wind. El Paso is a very windy city, especially when you
get out in the desert, like at ranges. Most days it's not too bad, winds between 5-15mph, but can
be higher on a regular basis, and occasionally are high enough to flip tractor trailers. These dust
storms happen sometimes, usually springtime, and visibility is very poor, 100 yards at best. Us
military types call El Paso "Kuwait Light" because of the heat and the dust storms. The dust
takes a toll on car paint and windows, my current car's windshield is pretty hard to see out of
sometimes because of the weathering effects on the glass.
Housing areas on the far Westside, far Eastside, and the Northeast side are pretty nice, but the
closer to the city center you get the worse crime gets. I live just off post and my car was stolen
about a year ago, and it was a 15 year old Honda. My neighbors' apartment was broken into
yesterday. Full coverage insurance is recommended, as well as homeowners/renter's insurance.
El Paso has a very high rate of drivers without insurance, so be careful. Traffic is bad at rush
hour, wrecks are common, and people like to bog down the highway doing 40 in a 60 for the hell of
it. If you need to be somewhere, leave a little early, and check traffic reports.
Juarez can be fun, just go during the day, and shop around, you can find some good deals. Avoid
Mexico at night. Also, Juarez has the highest murder rate for women in North America. The gangs
over there have been at war this summer and fall with a pretty high body count, but I think it's
calmed down a bit, so it may be safer now. A good friend of mine was murdered because he
married a gang member's ex-girlfriend, and a couple of other guys in my unit were stabbed when a
fight broke out at a night club, and that's on our side of the border. Remember, weapons are not
allowed into Mexico unless you're a bad guy, so be careful. Most cops can be bought off for less
than $20 if they're looking for a bribe, keep small bills on you, people can't make change for a
$20. Learn Spanish or find someone who does.
Just wanted to warn you about the rough parts of living here, but there are lots of great things
about El Paso, and you'll figure them out in good time. I enjoyed my time here (aside from the car
thing), my wife who is from NYC loved the weather and being somewhere different, and I'm glad I
got the opportunity to live here. In 2 months my time in the Army is up, and I'm taking myself
back to the East coast, but if I end up back out here someday, I won't be too upset.
Good Luck to you!
PS- just re-read your message, did you mean social environment for shooters? Um, pretty
decent, but most of my associates are Army, and it's kinda a job requirement. On the civilian
side, I've never had any problems. Gun stores are pretty expensive around here and refuse to do
transfers. If you don't have an FFL, Alpha Personal Pistol Sales or Top Gun Enterprises will do a
transfer for you, just look them up on Yahoo Yellow Pages.
The shooting climate is excellent. You may be able to do transfers at the Ft Bliss R&G (it's off and on, depending who is managing) and I have friends that will do them as well. Getting AR parts cheap is no problem if you know who to talk to, but the gun stores are very pricey.
I'm on leave right now and won't be around until mid April. I'll get in touch with you later when you move here. I'm a 15 year member of the R&G and it is an outstanding facility. There's a lot of predator hunting here as well.
There are a many AR guys here, they just don't post on this board too much.
Don't leave anything of value in your car. That way you won't feel as bad when the car gets stolen.
Thanks for all the info, I am getting stationed at Ft.Bliss so the info is much appreciatted!
For the CCW, you can use it until the expiration date. I am in the same boat but with a FL CCW. I called TX DPS legal office and double checked.
And because you are military, don't you dare change your AZ drivers license. That's the only thing I will miss about AZ .
I would advise not taking credit/ATM cards into Merxico. The gangs have been known to take people to ATM!s & force them to pulse out all that they can at gun point.
SO what's there to do in this town? I got into town last night and signed in, but I don't have to in-process until Tuesday.......So I've got the next 4 days free, I've seen all of the base I need to see this morning and went to the mall on I-10 that is near base....I don't have any of my firearms here yet so shooting is out of the picture for a bit...