County aims for new gun park

Tate's Hell Rod and Gun Club

Tate's Hell Rod and Gun Club

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM.

A local club would like to see the county shooting range moved further north on County Road 65.

There is currently a public shooting range on county land just east of the Franklin County Humane Society on County Road 65. A group of local outdoorsmen, the Tate’s Hell Rod and Gun Club (THRGC), has taken on the task of facilitating the construction of a new public rifle range in the county.

According to the THRGC website, plans include separate pistol, rifle, trap and skeet areas with covered shooting benches.

“Our first goals are to facilitate the relocation and improvement of our county's rifle range to a more suitable location to make it safer for shooters and neighbors. We hope in the future to arrange firearm training courses as well as competitive matches open to the public,” reads the site.

“A secondary goal will be to work with FWC on other regulatory agencies to voice our concerns with hunting and fishing regulations. We intend to advocate, with elected officials at all levels, hunting, fishing and firearm laws that reflect the needs and desires of our community's sportsmen,” it reads.

Grayson Shepard, a spokesman for THRGC, said moving the range would have a number of advantages. He said, because the range is adjacent to and in clear view of the county inmate’s exercise yard, some shooters are nervous about displaying automobile tag numbers and equipment they own to potential thieves. There are also safety concerns for the prisoners and the possibility of clandestine transfer of a weapon to an inmate.

In addition, the range is adjacent to the Franklin County Animal Shelter and, in particular, its outdoor kennels. The sound of gunfire is disruptive to both the animals and staff of the shelter and Director Karen Martin has expressed concern that an animal could be accidentally shot.

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