“Ready on the left, ready on the right, ready on the firing line, commence firing.”

Those are the words heard at a real firing range, not “Hold my beer while I blow up this television.”

Firing ranges have a code of conduct that focus on rules and safety. There is no consumption of alcohol or drugs allowed. Real firing ranges have targets, not TVs, cans and bottles. Firing range users pick up their spent cartridges and whatever trash they have created. They do not leave it for someone else to pick up and dispose of.

The land in question is not now and has never been a firing range. It is a section of the dump where people go to discharge firearms. This practice is very common in many rural areas. It has no supervision, it has no bathroom facilities; it has a receptacle that people throw trash at but not in. It is a dump within a dump! It is also an unsafe environment for the employees and inmates at the county jail, the employees of the landfill, and the employees, volunteers, and animals of the Franklin County Humane Society shelter.

The county commission should do the right thing by all concerned and close the area in question and authorize a real firing range in a location where the noise will not bother anyone. Where there is adequate parking. Where people feel safe. Where people can shoot whatever firearms they want in a safe environment.

I agree with Commissioner Boldt that because of the growing popularity of bow hunting, an archery component should be added to the new range. This new facility should be free to the citizens of Franklin County.

I look forward to visiting and utilizing the new range in the near future.

Jim Kemp