Kankakee, Illinois - Yesterday we tried out the NRA's new Electronic Target event at the home range of the Illinois State Rifle Association, so today we thought you might like to take a gander at a bit of the action. As you can see, we had young and old in the sun and rain taking part. Participants had tons of questions ranging from cost to durability to portability to when can I do this again.
Unfortunately for those living in Illinois, the next time the system will be available is October 1st at the Belfast Range in South Carolina. If you'd like to swing by Belfast and take a couple of shots on the Electronic Target System, sign up now on the NRA's Competitive Shooting Services page to reserve your spot. Sound like a plan?
Last month one of the NRA's Range Development & Operations Conferences was held in Buffalo, New York. The conference is a five-day industry seminar focusing on fundamental aspects of building and maintaining a shooting facility. Those who attend receive a multidisciplinary perspective on major topics of:
- Developing business and master plans
- Public hearings and zoning boards
- Environmental sound
Lead on outdoor ranges and OSHA lead standards
- Range maintenance
- Range safety
Range Development & Operations Conferences are designed to educate range owners and operators, of both existing and proposed range facilities, to identify potential problems associated with engineering, environmental issues, and safety. This information is vital for government agencies, as well as commercial, public, private, school, club, and casual ranges, of both indoor and outdoor types.
Presentations are given by America's top experts on range development. The ultimate goal of the Range Development & Operations Conference is to give attendees a forum to share their knowledge, and ensure the public has a safe and convenient place to shoot in order to exercise their second amendment rights.
A key element for advancement in any profession is continuing education. Today's shooting range operator needs the savvy of a businessman, the wisdom of a firearms enthusiast, and the knowledge of a health and safety professional. The most successful professionals constantly strive to improve their knowledge and expertise by pursuing opportunities to learn from associates and experts.
Interested in attending a conference yourself? The next one is slated for October 15-19 in Reno, Nevada. Contact Kara Schlifke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-NRA-RANGE to get more information and to reserve your spot. Registration can also be done online at www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/development.asp. For $450, you'll spend five days with America's top range development experts who will share their knowledge and experience in the field. All this will help you achieve your ultimate goal of ensure the public has a safe and convenient place to shoot.
As we told you earlier this month, representatives of the NRA the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) gathered in a small town known as Kinards to mark the opening of the Belfast Wildlife Area Rifle Range. Belfast is the first range to be built by way of the NRA Public Range Fund Grant Program, a project that encourages local and state agencies to work
with NRA in order to build or improve public ranges across the United States.
"We are experiencing a moment in history," said NRA Board Member Herb Lanford. "In the future, we’ll all enjoy remembering the time we spent together today and hopefully get a chance to use the range for its intended purpose."
After a brief introduction, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Director John Frampton told fellow SCDNR officials, law enforcement officers, and local citizens, about the the significance of an open, public range.
"Shooting sports is extremely important today," said Frampton. "As an Olympic sport, it is something that we need be highlighting and something that we need be getting our youth involved in. 20 or 30 years ago, we could go anywhere that we wanted to and shoot. You can’t do that anymore. So it requires us to build facilities like this."
Opened Wednesday through Friday in daylight hours and from 2 p.m. until dark on Sundays, the Belfast Rifle Range is just a starting point for the SCDNR.
"We will be developing a pistol range adjacent to this one," said Frampton. "Down the road we'll add an archery complex too."
As the ceremony came to a close, Frampton asked Emily Cope (his Assistant Director of Special Projects and National Affairs) to fire the first shot. “She was involved in just about all the negotiations for this property and pushed all of our staff to get the range developed.”
On a new range, with an unfamiliar rifle, at 100 yards, Emily managed to hit just outside of the ten ring for a nine. "Guess that gives me a good excuse to come back," she said with a smile.
Today marked the opening on the Belfast Wildlife Area rifle range. While it’s true that there’s probably a handful of ranges opening across the United States every week, the Belfast range is significant for two reasons … first it’s an unmanned public range and second it was financed completely through NRA Grants and the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program.
We’ll have more on this next week, but many thanks to NRA Board member Herb Lanford, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director John Frampton and Emily Cope – the SC DNR’s Assistant Director of Special Projects and National Affairs.
The honor of the first shot was bestowed upon Emily for all her hard work in making this the first of many public unmanned ranges helped financed through Friend of NRA Grants.
Ever get frustrated when looking for a range? Just trying to find a place to sight-in your rifle or work on your marksmanship? More times than not you end up driving halfway across the county only to find there's a membership fee required before you can set up a target. What would you think about going to an unmanned range?
For the past several years, the National Rifle Association has been working with a number of state Departments of Natural Resources bureaus to develop more unmanned public ranges. Tomorrow, in Kindards, South Carolina, we'll see the first one partially funded through NRA Grants ($75,000 in total) open for operation.
“I’m excited about this partnership we have with NRA and look forward to a very long partnership together,” said Emily Cope, Assistant Director for special projects for the South Carolina DNR.
Check back tomorrow and see how it goes!
Current and impending shooting range owners need to pull out their collective maps and calendars; Nashville March 26-30, Buffalo June 4-8, and Reno October 15-19. These are the places and dates that NRA's Field Operations will be holding their Range Development & Operations Conferences. And if you don't know what that is, then you probably need to attend.
The NRA Range Development & Operations Conference is a five–day course that covers the fundamentals of building, owning, and maintaining a shooting facility. There you will here from experts on subjects such as:
- Creating a business plan
- Dealing with zoning boards
- Environmental sound
- Insurance issues
- Meeting OSHA standards
- Range maintenance
- Range safety
"There are a number of unforeseen issues that arise when people begin the process of building a range," said Senior Range Services Coordinator Kara Schlifke. "We can help you successfully navigate those minefields. And for those with an operation already up a running, there are always new issues and regulations to address."
Registration can be done online at www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/development.asp. For $450, you'll spend five days with America's top range development experts who will share their knowledge and experience in the field. All this will help you achieve your ultimate goal of ensure the public has a safe and convenient place to shoot.
For additional information, contact Kara Schlifke at email@example.com or call 877-NRA-RANGE.
The goal of the Range Technical Team is to provide every shooting community with the necessary assistance and support to keep our nation's ranges operating well into the 21st century. America's shooting ranges are one of the NRA's top priorities, and we must coninue to maintain existing ranges and develop new ranges to ensure the survical of the shooting sports.
Services provided by Range Technical Team Advisors (RTTAs) include range
planning assistance, range use and procedural evaluations, and range
safety and design evaluations.
Training to become an NRA Range Technical Team Advisor is available at the last Range Development & Operations Conference
held each year. Three employees from NRA Headquarters – Elizabeth Bush,
Brian Hyder, and Kara Schlifke (pictured right) – were certified at
last year's training seminar in Providence, Rhode Island. This year’s
conference takes place October 7-13 in San Antonio, Texas.
Open to the public, most Advisors come to us through recommendations from Friends of NRA State Fund Committees who grant funds to pay for their training.
"We are happy to announce the newest additions to our program which has over one hundred Range Technical Team Advisors stationed across
the country," said Kara Schlifke, Senior Range Services Coordinator. "The 80-100 range
cases our Advisors process for NRA every year are invaluable tothe continued success of shooting ranges in the United States."
Congratulations to the Class of 2010:
- Daniel Weber - North Dakota
- Mark Wallevand - North Dakota
- Christopher Crone - Virginia
- Bradley Smith - North Carolina
- Mark Belli - Virginia
- Todd Smith - Massachusetts
- Samuel Richardson IV - Alabama
The Range Service Department has updated their Range Development & Operations Conference – a five-day industry seminar focusing on fundamental aspects of building and maintaining a shooting facility – schedule for 2011. Attendees will receive a multidisciplinary perspective on major topics such as business plans, zoning boards, insurance, OSHA standards, Range Safety and more.
Here are the dates for 2011:
||Buffalo, New York
The Range Development & Operations Conference is designed to educate range owners and operators, of both existing and proposed range facilities, to identify potential problems associated with engineering, environmental issues, and safety. This information is vital for government agencies, as well as commercial, public, private, school, club, and casual ranges, of both indoor and outdoor types.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-NRA-RANGE.
This quarter's Traditions magazine features another great article written by one the NRA Field Operations Division's Regional Directors on how the NRA is working to help new shooting ranges crop up all over the country.
NRA Public Range Initiative
By Brian D. Hyder
As NRA fights to protect our Second Amendment rights, it also works diligently to keep our shooting traditions prevailing through time. Thanks to a new NRA range grant initiative, intended to encourage the development of new public ranges, new shooting facilities will be sprouting up across the country to give recreational and competitive shooters, hunters, and law enforcement officers new opportunities to sharpen their skills.
Constructing new ranges, specifically public ranges, means providing generations with free places to learn, train, and develop as shooters. More importantly though, it gives training programs more platforms to reach and educate more people in the firearm community.
The new Public Range Initiative was launched in 2009 by NRA’s Field Operations Division to offer matching funds to state and federal agencies or city and county governments who might be interested in developing shooting ranges on their property.
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